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WURTEMBERG

Prog Folk • France


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Wurtemberg biography
WURTEMBERG is the musical project of instrument-maker Alain CARBONARE. If you don't know this name, he is best known internationally for the making and playing of his own "traditional" style instruments, the dulcimer, psaltery, lyre, among others. The group places a heavy emphasis on sophisticated arrangements, as nice parts on acoustic guitar and authentic medieval stringed instruments.

The music on "Rock Fantasia Opus 9", only CD of this French band, is totally instrumental fusing classical, renaissance music, French folk and progressive rock. The music is calm and breezy, with a lot of air between the strings and piano. For fans of bands such as CLEARLIGHT, GRYPHON, early AFTER CRYING, MALICORNE, and MINIMUM VITAL. An essential addition to any collection of French symphonic music. GOOD STUFF, so don't miss it!

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WURTEMBERG discography


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WURTEMBERG top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.36 | 16 ratings
Rock Fantasia Opus 9
1980
3.00 | 3 ratings
Rock Fantasia Opus 10
2008

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WURTEMBERG Reviews


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 Rock Fantasia Opus 9 by WURTEMBERG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.36 | 16 ratings

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Rock Fantasia Opus 9
Wurtemberg Prog Folk

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

2 stars This album was originally released in 1981, and brought together many different medieval instruments (all made by band leader Alain Carbonare), with piano and guitar. When it was originally released it sold 15000 copies, pretty good for an album of this nature. It is an instrumental album, with the lead melody often piano based, but sometimes on woodwind. It is a pleasant album, one that is not nearly as experimental as may be expected given the instrumentation, but one that quite a few prog lovers may enjoy if they had the opportunity. It is 'clever' music that can also be listened to for pleasure as well as just curiosity. But pay attention otherwise it can drop into the background as it is not the most dynamic or abrasive of albums.

Originally appeared in Feedback #69, Aug 02

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 Rock Fantasia Opus 9 by WURTEMBERG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.36 | 16 ratings

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Rock Fantasia Opus 9
Wurtemberg Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars These guys have been compared to groups like In Spe and After Crying, which is what got me interested in them. Also, multi- instrumentalist and ‘band’ leader Alan Carbonaire apparently makes his own instruments – also interesting.

But this album has a number of troublesome aspects to it that kept me from really being able to enjoy it much. True, the piano, keyboards and brass put them somewhat into the After Crying arena. But these guys have nowhere near the charisma or emotive appeal of that band. Also this is a really short album, and even with the additional snippets of Beethoven and Bach at the end still barely manages to exceed EP size. This is also not a real band as near as I can tell, since they appear to have been put together just to record this album, and when Carbonaire laid down the two bonus tracks a couple years later the lineup had changed.

Finally, despite the prominent featuring of psaltery, dulcimer and other instrumentation on the cover and artwork, the most predominant sounds on the album come mostly from piano and flute. Not really breaking any new ground there.

I have to say my first impression on listening to this album was that Mr. Carbonaire had packaged together a little sampler of music featuring the type of (if not the actual) instruments he produces, as some kind of promotional effort. After repeated playing my opinion on that hasn’t really changed much.

This was apparently some sort of cult hit in Japan in the early eighties, and more power to them I suppose. But I can’t imagine this music making too deep of inroads into the more traditional progressive music camps, and I have a hard time understanding why this is considered folk music as well. Seems that a piano, flute and occasional pretentious nod can get the folk label slapped on nearly anyone. In the case of this group and this album, it is not a warranted designation.

Technically this is a well-played album. If that’s all you look for in your music and are any kind of progressive music fan who isn’t limited to only metal or jazz or some other narrow genre, then you’ll more than likely enjoy this music. But if you listen for emotional commitment and connection, you won’t find it here. For those reasons I think two stars is the best this gets as a prog album, despite the considerable skills of the individual players. Not particularly recommended.

peace

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 Rock Fantasia Opus 9 by WURTEMBERG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.36 | 16 ratings

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Rock Fantasia Opus 9
Wurtemberg Prog Folk

Review by philippe
Special Collaborator Content Development & Krautrock Team

4 stars Wurtemberg is basically a rock band trying to make a middle age, acoustic folk music and the result is very astonishing and perfectly relevant. The leader of this French musical "tribe", Alain Carbonaire is a multi -instrumentalist who successes here to make us sensitive to a large range of acoustic, traditional instruments of the middle age, renaissance period. Each composition offers a very pleasant mood, alternating different musical evocations from the past. However in spite of bringing so many acoustic elements the work is dominated by a rather basic rock structure (sometimes old dated) just as if the enchanting, dancing flute lines try to raise the music to a higher level. The omnipresence of the piano gives a "neo classical", "symphonic" touch to the ensemble. Not bad at all!! A real must for lovers of Malicorne and others.

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 Rock Fantasia Opus 9 by WURTEMBERG album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.36 | 16 ratings

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Rock Fantasia Opus 9
Wurtemberg Prog Folk

Review by Marcelo
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Delicated and enjoyable, a very fine instrumental album. Imagine the ancient musical style from the first GRYPHON album blended with the elegant CLEARLIGHT progressive music, and you have some idea about WURTEMBERG. This is a short album plenty of pearls, and not exactly in the "folk prog" category but with many folk and classical elements. A delight to refined ears.

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