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Faveravola - Contea Dei Cento Castagni CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.83 | 52 ratings

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5 stars I came upon this album by chance. The naive yet charming cover art caught my attention first, then seeing the Italian title I presumed it was another RPI band I didn't know anything about, and so having a definite soft spot for RPI I bought it without questioning the clerk about it. And the fact that it was in a bin of second-hand CDs made the deal even more pleasant. Since my wife and I were then on vacation, it took us a few days before we could listen to it. But when we put it into the CD player, we were both instantly under the spell !... It turned out, it wasn't RPI after all, but Prog Folk. But then, the album is not least great because I mixed up the labels !

A very good friend of mine claims that, basically, our musical tastes are experiential and, even though I'm not at all convinced that his theory applies universally, I must admit that it rings true in this particular case. When we listened to "La Contea Dei Cento Castagni" for the first time, my wife and I both recalled bands from the '70s that had weaved similar music infused with traditional tunes and/or instruments, such as Barde and L'Ensemble Claude Gervaise (both from Québec), or Alan Stivell and Malicorne (both from France). Now, Faveravola are neither Canadian or French, but absolutely Italian. All of which proves once again that, first, music knows no frontiers and, second, as far as folklore is concerned, even the roots of various ethnic or cultural traditions delve into some common soil somewhere.

The album was recorded in Venice in 2006. Since then, not a word from Faveravola, which is a pity because, given the generous pleasure this CD holds, it would have been great to have a sophomore album. One can always hope, but this time I think it won't ever come true. "La Contea Dei Cento Castagni" seems to be a one-off, and so it's best to enjoy it as it is.

Calling Faveravola a "band" is almost too limited a word, because Faveravola is made up of seven musicians, to which you add five guests (among which A. Tagliapietra !). In my book, 12 musicians make for a small orchestra ! Instruments include keyboards, bass, drums and percussion, violin, electric guitar, flute and recorders, and there are no less than four singers (including Tagliapietra).

Now I would've liked to know more about the storyline behind the album and the lyrics themselves, but I don't understand much Italian, and since all liner notes and the booklet are in that language. The only thing I was able to translate is the title, which would be "Tale Of The Hundred Chestnuts" (if I'm not mistaken)? On the other hand, one needs not to understand Italian to get into the music, especially when Faveravola has been generous enough to record about 73 min of pure musical delight on the CD.

Since other reviewers, obviously much more knowledgeable and articulate than I am, have taken the time to describe (accurately and passionately) the content of each song, I need not to by-pass or ignore them in order to add my own little two-bit. I'll simply say that, after listening numerous times to "La Contea Dei Cento Castagni", I can state that this album is unequivocally loaded with music "to make you happy" for the rest of the day. So, do yourself a favor and try to find a copy (though it seems not easy : I've been lucky). That is, if you believe being happy is important to you and those around you?

5 splendid chestnuts



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