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Angelo Branduardi - Concerto CD (album) cover


Angelo Branduardi


Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.17 | 7 ratings

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3 stars "Concerto", Branduardi's first ( and extremely huge - 3 vinyl LPs on 2 CDs ) Live Album followed three extremely successful studio-LPs and was meant to be "the best of everything", but it ended up as being "too much of everything" with, has to be said, an inferior sound. Don't get me wrong, it's very beautiful, but sometimes the performances are being stretched to over-length ( "Alla Fiera dell' est", "L'Uomo e la Nuvola", "La Luna" ) with rather self-indulgent noodling or intros than really outstanding performances, especially Branduardi's fiddling can strain at times - for he himself said he was not that good and here you can witness he was right - but that was then, and he became a great violinist during the years imo. It's a "big spectacle" nonetheless, comprising most of Branduardi's best loved tunes ( let's say the "most important" from all 5 of his previous studio-albums, some in English language such as "La Serie dei Numeri" ) performed by very good musicians and it's a treasure-box for his fans, but as often with big projects like that, it's not really keeping the promise of being that "ultimate collection" for the average record-buyer that intentionally ( and obviously ) had been aimed at, it's rather a welcome addition.

There are outstanding moments, especially "Gli alberi sono alti", "Donna Mia", "Confessioni di un Malandrino" - all from the second album and all rather intimate, brilliantly performed and not asking the man at the mixing-desk for too much . But with the full band he was overburdened more than once I think. While the previous studio-album "Cogli la prima mela" somewhat had suffered from over-production, this one - featuring recordings from several concerts small and big - rather suffers from under-production, with the full band's sound lacking body, bass and drums disappearing in the middle were most of the other instruments are gathering... and the acoustic guitars sound too flat. It's like an "alright bootleg", but when there's such an overweight in middle and higher frequencies and the instruments don't get their separate room while the singing doesn't really come upfront... oh my, every additional instrument is becoming too much and a big cake such as this is becoming a cake too big to swallow.

The medieval feast sure worked in the concerts itself with and for the audience, but at home... well, all the studio-albums are preferable if you're not that a big fan of the artist. Being a sonic disappointment already in its time, it's needless to say that It has not aged too well, in spite of some inspiring performances at keyboard/electric piano ( Franco di Sabatino ) and Maurizio Fabrizio's splendid guitars ( Branduardi himself is a good player, too, but what's really fascinating is the two of them together - "Confessioni" ! - with Fabrizio delivering the best ) that may really be something for the prog-lover. There's quite some tracks here on which Branduardi and his band were at their best, but in order to really appreciate it I'd need a better sound, for this one here it's 2 stars being appropriate, while the music itself gets a bare 4. The resulting rating has got to be 3, of course.

Branduardi himself does not seem to be keen to get this package re-released ( most of his albums have been on the "Tri Colori"-Label ! ), as far as I know it's out of print since many years after only having been released on CD by EMI at the end of the 90s and being deleted in the new millenium. It's not so bad that it wouldn't deserve better, but it's not quite essential if you're not a fan. It's a testament of its time, well worth the money cause this was Branduardi and his band on stage during their most successful phase, but it's not the best you can get - I recommend another "big package": buy as many studio-albums as you can get until you're not willing to follow anymore. That's what I did in the 90s. And lately ( 2009 ) I got hungry for more to discover that "Pane e Rose" or "Il Ladro" are somewhat underrated. I do not own "Concerto" anymore - only had it on vinyl - and I'd gladly re-buy it on CD later but it's far more interesting now to get stuff that followed "Domenica e Lunedi" for I'm quite satisfied with my studio-albums.

rupert | 3/5 |


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