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Fabrizio De André - Fabrizio De André - In Concerto CD (album) cover


Fabrizio De André


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4.96 | 5 ratings

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5 stars Perfect harmony of poetry and music

Parts of these records from 1998 Fabrizio De André tour were released as CD + VHS set ''De André in concerto'' in 1999 and later, in 2001, on CD ''In concerto volume II''. And only in 2004 the entire set saw the light of day on DVD.

1998 ''Anime salve'' tour (unfortunately the last tour in De André's life) was prepared beautifully: 8 extra class musicians playing countless, often exotic, instruments and 3 female singers, big and well- thought set list, lots of light and sound equipment. Many of these musicians worked with De André before, in different periods of his career (from 1981 to 1996). The band included this time Fabrizio's talented kids, Cristiano and Luvi.

In my opinion ''In concerto'' DVD is De André's best live record. Sound, picture and montage are perfect.

But there are some even more important things.

1. Fabrizio's charisma and his deep, emotional, sfumato voice. The voice rules here. This man only sits, sings, plays guitar (and other instruments), tells stories, but the feeling that he knows something what other people don't know never leaves me.

2. Poetry. I'm sure there is a big difference between poetry and what we call texts. Real poetry has its own rhythm and melody, it sounds unlike some, even rhymed, set of words. Even if you don't know the language, you can feel: this is poetry. If you are fluent in Italian and its dialects you are lucky, you can fully appreciate Fabrizio's songs. If you (like me) not so lucky I believe in this case you can enjoy the songs too.

3. Music and arrangements. This Fabrizio's band consists of excellent musicians, any singer can dream of such a band. They can play everything and most of them play many instruments. Music is stylistically varied and has elements of Italian folk, rock, world music, French chanson, 60's pop, classical music and jazz. Arrangements extremely well done, all details of rich musical palette are perfectly heard, instruments never suppress each other. Playing is always inspired and arrangements always serve to the main idea of the song.

Now to the concert.

First part of the show starts with 3 songs from 1984 album ''Creuza de mä'' completely written in lingua genovese, dialect of Fabrizio's home town. Music of this innovative album, warmly received by critics and listeners, is a mix of different Mediterranean cultures (Italian, Greek, Arabian, Turkish).

Then the album ''Anime salve'' is played in its entirety and in original running order. All songs for this concept album were written by Fabrizio De André and well known Italian singer-songwriter Ivano Fossati (ex-DELIRIUM). Solitude is the main theme of this work - Faber's personal feelings and solitude of different people, seen through the eyes of a poet. Music, sometimes powerful, sometimes almost etherial underlines Fabrizio's deep sensual baritone. Cristiano De André also shines here - he sings Fossati's vocal parts, plays violin, guitar, keyboards, bouzouki and lots of exotic string instruments. (Listening to Cristiano's solo albums I can only guess why he does not use most of his numerous musical talents in his own songs, but that's another story.)

Interesting episode: before the song ''Smisurata preghiera'' Fabrizio introduces to audience Mr. Luis Enriquez Bakalov, Argentine composer, in many ways responsible for the success of such important RPI albums like NEW TROLLS ''Concerto Grosso 1 and 2'', OSANNA ''Milano Calibro 9'' and IL ROVESCIA DELLA MEDAGLIA ''Contaminazione''. Luis Bakalov helped Fabrizio to work over Latin-American versions of his songs.

Second part starts with two songs of Cristiano De André. No band here, only Cristiano's voice and acoustic guitar. Emotional and far from being fillers.

Then Fabrizio explains the concept of his 1970 album ''La buona novella'' based on Gospels, but telling the story of Virgin Mary and Christ as a story of human beings with their human feelings and pain. After his announcement big part of the album (''L'infanzia di Maria'', ''Il ritorno di Giuseppe'', ''Il sogno di Maria'', ''Tre Madri'' and ''Il testamento di Tito'') is played in new, and in my opinion, better arrangements.

Last 40 minutes of the concert are given to ''greatest hits''. There are humorous ''La cittŕ vecchia'' and ''Bocca di rosa'', little epic ''Amico fragile'' with wonderful guitar and violin solos, rocking ''Fiume Sand Creek'', beautiful ballad ''Via del campo''. One of my favourite songs is ''Geordie'', English ballad interpreted, in Italian language, by Faber. First time it was recorded in 1966, female vocals were sung by Maureen Rix, Fabrizio's English language teacher. Now, 32 years later, he sang this song with his own daughter Luvi - what a beautiful voice and what a nice lady (not a photo model at all, but what a good open face, can't help falling in love :), really)!. Joyful ''Volta la carta'' closes one of the best concerts I ever seen.

The show is full of positive energy, musicians and audience are happy, but after watching this concert I often have sad thoughts: how good the year 1998 started for De Andrés - successful tour, warm reaction of listeners, father and kids on the same stage, real family idyll. And how bad was the end of the year, when it was clear - no chances left for great Italian bard. And on January 11, 1999 the world became an emptier place without suonatore Faber - ever smoking, often drinking poet.

One of my favourite records. Essential for De André fans and very good, perhaps the best, starting point for newcomers. Highly recommended if you are interested in Italian music of the last half of the 20th century (no less!).

NotAProghead | 5/5 |


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