Written on March 19th 2014
Hi everyone, this is another busy week for me, and as I still want to keep posting stuff once a week, I’ll write about just one album, an album I discovered about two weeks ago. Pop-ish music, but with orchestral arrangements (folk-pop, i guess? Whatever, I’ve always found categorizing music extremely hard and kind of useless). Not cheesy crap ones, I mean proper orchestral arrangements, seriously delightful to the ear.
I had heard about Angelo Branduardi long ago, as I had a multi-artist CD with sung versions of Federico García Lorca poems from the book Poeta en Nueva York (Poet in New York) and one of the poems was sung by Branduardi. However, I never paid attention to him until I saw his music on http://folkyourself.blogspot.com, and that’s when I decided to download a few of his CDs (he has more), Confesiones de un Malandrín and the seven albums of the Futuro Antico series (medieval and Renaissance songs covered by Branduardi with the help of an orchestra arranged by Renato Serio). In this post, I’ll talk about the first.
A few things about Branduardi before getting into business. He was born near Milan in 1950, and when he was very young he started playing the violin. He got a lung disease caused by his bad position while holding the violin, so he started playing the guitar, which helped him overcome his shyness. He also plays the piano.
His music is often based on oriental fables, old poems, popular British legends, myths, etc. His wife Luisa Zappa has written the lyrics for many of his songs. And well, what can I say, I’ve heard a few Italians sing in Spanish and I just haven’t liked them at all, cheap cheesy pop in my opinion. Branduardi is different, very different.
Confesiones de un Malandrín, the CD I’ll briefly discuss today, came out in 1993. The title comes from Confessioni di un Malandrino, a song Branduardi composed when he was eighteen years old and which remains one of his best known compositions. It’s based on a poem from Sergei Yesenin (no, I didn’t know about this Russian poet before writing about Branduardi). In this CD, he sings this song in Spanish.
The album has three parts when it comes to orchestral arrangements. The first one has quite a lot of them, very good ones, as I said. First song, Puede Hacerse, is a beautiful hymn to life, to all the things we can do and all the emotions we can experiment. It’s sung in Spanish, as most songs in the album (some others are sung in Italian).
The other song I seriously love in this first part of the album is La Pulga de Agua, another song he composed in Italian and translated to Spanish here. Soft, sweet voice and arrangements, both tiptoeing playingly through the whole song; some delightful four and a half minutes that put me in an excellent mood every single time I listen to it.
The second part of the album pretty much forgets about the orchestra thing, but it’s still very nice. Guitar, drums, harmonica, accordion and piano, amongst other instruments, can be heard in this pop part of the album, which is mostly sung in Italian.
The third part gets a bit folky again, but not as much as the beginning of the album. Also, Branduardi switches back to Spanish. This part shines with the majestic and classical sounding Baile en Fa Menor (again, he translates it from Italian) and closes with the sensual Señora.
This is it for today. As I said, a short post. I haven’t said a great deal about Branduardi or the album itself, but at least I hope some of you have enjoyed these songs and have found out about a new artist.
By the way, you can download the whole CD at folkyourself.blogspot.com!