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Il Rovescio Della Medaglia - Contaminazione CD (album) cover

CONTAMINAZIONE

Il Rovescio Della Medaglia

 

Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.18 | 288 ratings

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BrufordFreak
5 stars A brilliant and skillful merging of classical and rock traditions is here used to present a story of the life of Johann Sebastian Bach. The full title of this album is "CONTAMINAZIONE di alcune idee di certi preludi e fughe de 'Il Clavicembalo ben temprato' di J. S. Bach." Hearing the album makes it obvious how much Il Rovescio della Medaglia was inspired by J.S. Bach life and music.

1. "Absent For This Consumed World" (1:05) awesome atmospheric opener of synths and strings and cymbals (10/10)

2. "Ora Non Ricordo Piu" (1:47) opens with and fast lead synth arppegi over GENESIS/New Age-like synth wash. Beautiful male voice announces something in a plaintive voice. (10/10)

3. "Il Suono Del Silenzio" (5:16) exposes the full rock sound of the band for the first time even though there are some very classically organized and constructed sections within this multi-movement song. Very tight, competent instrumental cohesion. The choral choice for vocal exposition is good though it makes the song feel kind of rock- opera-ish. (9/10)

4. "Mi Sono Svegliato E... Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi" (4:19) opens with organ and strings as if from a famous Vivaldi, Bach or even Mozart composition. Vocals enter and the song builds all the while maintaining its largo foundation in sparsely arranged classical music. (10/10)

5. "Lei Sei Tu: Lei" (2:04) using harpsichord and orchestra with the rock band rhythm section lends this song a very time-representative sound. Little vocals, presented in the choral form again. (9/10)

6. "La Mia Musica" (4:10) opens with electric piano played classical-style (as if practicing before one's piano teacher) before the music falls away leaving a very sparsely instrument-and-space-supported foundation for a very delicate, soft solo vocal. At the two-minute mark an full church organ takes over as the foundational instrument where it is eventually joined by voice(s), rock band, and orchestral strings. The first (and only) orchestral arrangement on the album that is a bit 'cheesy.' (8/10)

7. "Johann" (1:23) uses solo electric guitar to create a finger-picked in a kind of country-classical way chordal foundation for a vocal as if from a haunted individual. (9/10)

8. "Scotland Machine" (3:06) returns to full rock format--though with all electronic instrumentalists performing as if in a classical composition.By the second half of the second minute the song climbs into drive with rolicking, melodic ride forward. Probably my favorite rock-oriented song on the album. (9.5/10)

9. "Cella 503" (3:18) an astonishingly perfect blend of rock'n'roll and orchestration--here used in an amazing call and response arrangement! Opening with awesome classical guitars (three tracks!), moving into harpsichord, horns, strings with drum-and-bass-supported synthesizer as its alternate. The organ and harpsichord work beneath the electric instruments is awesome and the pipe organ solo at the end of the song is great! Amazing song! (10/10)

10. "Contaminazione 1760" (1:04) is an astonishing display of woodwind (and synth?) skills and possibilities (10/10)

11. "Alzo Un Muro Elettrico" (2:55) is a straight-forward hard rock song in the RARE EARTH vein of dynamics and sound. If there is a weakness in the music present on this album it may be in the vocals. Not so much the lead but the choral voices are recorded rather poorly throughout the album. Two interjections of classical instrumentation occur here, one a brief quartet-like interlude in the middle and the other being the joinder of organ for the final minute. (8/10)

12. "Sweet Suite" (2:17) is a slowed down, sparsely filled instrumental similar to a couple of the earlier songs on the album, using organ as the primary foundation and lead electric jazz guitar for the melody-maker. (9/10)

13. La Grande Fuga (3:42) pits organ and harpsichord against synthesizers while both orchestra and rock band play in support beneath. The best rock riff on the album lays the foundation for the song while familiar classical (Bach?) themes play over the top from a wide variety of soloists. (10/10)

Though Il Rovescio della Medaglia employed the same Argentinian composer/conductor that NEW TROLLS had used for their 1971 Concerto Grosso, Luis Enriquez Bacalov, I have to agree with many of my predecessors that the arrangements, integration, and recorded sounds of the orchestral inputs here are far, far superior to those on Concerto Grosso. These fit within and do not feel cheezy, diluted or soundtrack-like as do the ones in New Trolls' Concerto Grosso.

A rare and gleaming achievement of integration of rock and classical music as well as a great story foundation. In my opinion, this is one of the peak achievements of the classic RPI scene.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |

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