La pulce d'acqua sees Branduardi accompanied by a number of excellent Album), some playing unusual instruments like the Pan pipes, the bouzouki, and the distinctively-sounding launeddas, the Sardinian bagpipes. This unique instrument, evocative of the Mediterranean island's stark landscape, features prominently in the album's opening track, Ballo in fa diesis minore, inspired by a Baroque dance, where Death speaks and declares itself everyone's lord and master.
Il ciliegio is instead based on a famous English folk ballad, The Cherry Tree Carol, also performed by The Pentangle on their Solomon's Seal album though with a different music - Branduardi's version is definitely more upbeat.
The sprightly title-track features a rich orchestral arrangement, as well as the perky sound of the piccolo and other woodwind instruments.
On the whole, the album is consistently well-performed, with all the participating musicians on top form. The majority of the tracks are not particularly experimental, and keep within the song form. However, what I consider to be the highlights of the album are nothing short of stunning.
And no surprise The song is based on one of the most genuinely disturbing pieces of poetry I know, John Keats' La Belle Dame Sans Merci of which the song's lyrics are an excellent translationthe story of a knight ensorceled by the titular 'beautiful lady without mercy', and condemned to a lingering life-in-death. The song's haunting beauty is further enhanced by the exotic sound of the sitar, particularly effective in the coda.
Branduardi's vocals go from measured, almost whispered, to passionate and emotionally-charged; a grandiose string section completes the picture.
Two extra-musical features of the album also deserve a mention: the beautiful drawings by Mario Convertino unfortunately, except for the cover, only visible in the vinyl versionand Luisa Zappa Branduardi's wonderful lyrics. Luisa is very gifted with words, and some of her compositions including the lyrics to this album have been translated into English by someone well-known to every prog fan, King Crimson and ELP lyricist Pete Sinfield.
This album will definitely appeal to anyone interested in medieval and folk music, even though it is not as dark and experimental as the likes of Comus. Anyway, if you are into Pentangle, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, you could do much worse than get to know Angelo Branduardi's fascinating musical world. Probably not easy to get hold of outside Europe but to be found for very cheap in ItalyLa pulce d'acqua makes nevertheless for a very rewarding listen.
Four stars from this reviewer. While the album is generally placid, there are some uptempo tracks, with the 7 minute opener being the most impressive of these, replete with a bagpipe fashioned segment alternating with a decidedly Celtic melody in the verse.
Even the closing piece with its by then decade-old psychedelic flourishes is enhanced by his own poignant violin, other strings and a traditional styled tune. Elsewhere, Branduardi's symbiotic mix of traditional and LP bears exotic fruit thanks to a pool of talented musicians. Songs like ''Il Ciliegio'' and ''La Lepre Nella Luna'' have something of a West Coast feel, the former through its slide guitar and the latter due to its use of harmonica. But this album is principally based on Italian folk and ''La Sposa Rubata'' features pan pipes and violin, while the uptempo ''Il Poeta di Corte'' is fortified by its use of launeddas.
The launeddas are traditional Italian pipes and they provide the main impetus for the album's largest scale piece, ''Ballo in Fa Diesis Minore'', where the two main themes interweave to uplifting effect. There was a Christmas tradition in Italy whereby mountain shepherds would visit the towns to play their bagpipes zampogna in return for food or in order to earn a little extra money. December was the month of LP zampognari, the name given to the bagpipe players, and they heralded the arrival of Christmas and even featured in traditional Nativity scenes, Album).
So while Branduardi uses launeddas here rather than zampognas, along with the strings and other wind instruments they add to the festive Album) of this track and make it La Lepre Nella Luna - Angelo Branduardi - La Pulce DAcqua (Vinyl quite seasonal. I remember we fans were having a lot of expectations about this album and it received also a lot of advertising including posters on the road, something that was not very usual actually.
The vinyl came out with nice watercolor paintings included in the package, one for each song. The cover sleeve is an example of them. Make sure your selection starts and ends within the same node. All News Daily Roundup. Album Reviews Song Reviews. Song Lyrics. Review: RIFF-it. RIFF-it good. Listen while you read!
Add Comment. Ballo In Fa Diesis Minore 2. Il Ciliegio 3. Il Marinaio 4. Il Poeta Di Corte 5. La Lepre Nella Luna 7. La Pulce D'Acqua 8. La Sposa Rubata 9. Cheeeek that out dude. Lead RIFFs:. Bad selection. Save Cancel. Really delete this comment?
Yes No. Ballo In Fa Diesis Minore.
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