Angelo Branduardi

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Angelo Branduardi. Angelo Branduardi chitarra.jpg
Angelo Branduardi.

Angelo Branduardi (born 12 February 1950) is an Italian folk/folk rock singer-songwriter and composer who scored relative success in Italy and European countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Greece.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Folk music Music of the people

Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.

Folk rock is a hybrid music genre combining elements of folk music and rock music, which arose in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in the mid-1960s. In the U.S., folk rock emerged from the folk music revival and the influence that the Beatles and other British Invasion bands had on members of that movement. Performers such as Bob Dylan and the Byrds—several of whose members had earlier played in folk ensembles—attempted to blend the sounds of rock with their preexisting folk repertoire, adopting the use of electric instrumentation and drums in a way previously discouraged in the U.S. folk community. The term "folk rock" was initially used in the U.S. music press in June 1965 to describe the Byrds' music.



Branduardi was born in Cuggiono, a small town in the province of Milan, but early moved with the family to Genoa. He was educated as a classical violinist in the Genoa music conservatory, Niccolò Paganini. At the age of 18, he composed the music for the Confessioni di un malandrino (Hooligan's Confession) by Sergei Yesenin.

Cuggiono Comune in Lombardy, Italy

Cuggiono is a small Italian town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Milan, 50 kilometres (31 mi) west of Milan on the Motorway A4 to Turin, gate of Marcallo-Mesero.

Province of Milan Province in Lombardy, Italy

The Province of Milan was a province in the Lombardy region, Italy. Its capital was the city of Milan. The provincial territory was highly urbanized, resulting in the third highest population density among the Italian provinces with more than 2,000 inhabitants/km2, just behind the provinces of Naples and the bordering Monza e Brianza, created in 2004 splitting the north-eastern part from the province of Milan itself. On January 1, 2015 it was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Milan.

Genoa Comune in Liguria, Italy

Genoa is the capital of the Italian region of Liguria and the sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived within the city's administrative limits. As of the 2011 Italian census, the Province of Genoa, which in 2015 became the Metropolitan City of Genoa, counted 855,834 resident persons. Over 1.5 million people live in the wider metropolitan area stretching along the Italian Riviera.

He is married to Luisa Zappa, who wrote the lyrics for many of his songs. They have two daughters, Sarah and Maddalena, both musicians.


The beginnings

Branduardi's first album was never released, and resulted from a co-operation with Maurizio Fabrizio, composer and gifted performer. The first released album, Angelo Branduardi '74 was arranged with Paul Buckmaster.

Maurizio Fabrizio is an Italian composer, conductor, arranger, producer, musician and singer-songwriter.

Paul Buckmaster British musician

Paul John Buckmaster was a Grammy Award-winning British artist, arranger, conductor and composer.

The minstrel

La Luna ("The Moon"), including "Hooligan's Confession" (translation of a poem by Esenin) and the fine, delicate song giving the LP its name, was a prelude to the success of the following works. Alla fiera dell'Est (English edition: Highdown Fair, 1976) was Branduardi's first vastly popular album, followed by La Pulce d'Acqua (English version, Fables and Fantasies 1978) and Cogli la prima mela (English edition, Life is the Only Teacher, 1979). Lyrics for the English versions of Branduardi's albums were written by Peter Sinfield, also lyricist for King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Sergei Yesenin Russian poet

Sergei Alexandrovich Yesenin was a Russian lyric poet. He is one of the most popular and well-known Russian poets of the 20th century.

Peter Sinfield British poet and musician

Peter John Sinfield is an English poet and songwriter, most famously known as the lyricist and co-founder member of early incarnations of King Crimson, whose debut album In the Court of the Crimson King is one of the most influential progressive rock albums released.

King Crimson British art rock band

King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists. The band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history, in the course of which 22 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin. Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force. The band has earned a large cult following. They were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Although considered to be a seminal progressive rock band, they have often distanced themselves from the genre: as well as influencing several generations of progressive and psychedelic rock bands, they have also been an influence on subsequent alternative metal, hardcore and experimental/noise musicians.

In those albums, Branduardi exploited themes and patterns from early music, mostly Renaissance and early Baroque. The song "Alla fiera dell'Est" ("At the Eastern Fair") is still popular among Italians of every age, who test themselves committing to memory all the fable-like, repetitive lyrics. It is based on an old Jewish song in Aramaic ("Chad Gadya" - One Kid Goat) sung at the end of the Passover Seder night service. In 2007 "Alla fiera dell'Est" was covered by Israeli singer Shlomi Shabat for a Passover time commercial for cellphone company Pelephone.

Renaissance music

Renaissance music is vocal and instrumental music written and performed in Europe during the Renaissance era. Consensus among music historians has been to start the era around 1400, with the end of the medieval era, and to close it around 1600, with the beginning of the Baroque period, therefore commencing the musical Renaissance about a hundred years after the beginning of the Renaissance as it is understood in other disciplines. As in the other arts, the music of the period was significantly influenced by the developments which define the Early Modern period: the rise of humanistic thought; the recovery of the literary and artistic heritage of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome; increased innovation and discovery; the growth of commercial enterprises; the rise of a bourgeois class; and the Protestant Reformation. From this changing society emerged a common, unifying musical language, in particular, the polyphonic style of the Franco-Flemish school, whose greatest master was Josquin des Prez.

Baroque music Style of Western art music

Baroque music is a period or style of Western art music composed from approximately 1600 to 1750. This era followed the Renaissance music era, and was followed in turn by the Classical era. Baroque music forms a major portion of the "classical music" canon, and is now widely studied, performed, and listened to. Key composers of the Baroque era include Johann Sebastian Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, George Frideric Handel, Claudio Monteverdi, Domenico Scarlatti, Alessandro Scarlatti, Henry Purcell, Georg Philipp Telemann, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Jean-Philippe Rameau, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Albinoni, François Couperin, Giuseppe Tartini, Heinrich Schütz, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Johann Pachelbel.

Chad GadyaorHad Gadya is a playful cumulative song in Aramaic and Hebrew. It is sung at the end of the Passover Seder, the Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover. The melody may have its roots in Medieval German folk music. It first appeared in a Haggadah printed in Prague in 1590, which makes it the most recent inclusion in the traditional Passover seder liturgy.

Lyrics had a broad spectrum of inspiration: a Danse macabre, the theme of Satan's mistress, Chinese, Native American and Druidic tradition, the apocryphal Gospels. Concertation owes much to the talents of Maurizio Fabrizio, and exploits unusual instruments for pop music: dulcimer, Pan flute, lute, clarinet, among others - mixed with more standard guitar, bass and drums.

Experimentation and crisis

Subsequent albums showed an increasing desire towards experimentation and differentiation. Branduardi (1981) had a more intimate tone, Cercando l'oro ("Searching for Gold", 1983) had very sophisticated and delicate arrangements (starts with a String Quartet), Branduardi canta Yeats ("Branduardi sings Yeats", 1985) was a tribute to William Butler Yeats. Pane e rose ("Bread and Roses", 1988) was a still inspired, but increasingly dark picture of life and death. Il Ladro ("The Thief", 1991) marked a very delicate point of Branduardi's life, edging on depression, echoed in a dark, almost cemeterial, style of singing.

The album Si può fare ("It Can Be Done", 1993) brought back Branduardi to normality, but the artist is now struggling to evade the minstrel character which was now too tight for him. In 1994, he published Domenica e lunedì ("Sunday and Monday"), dedicated to the Italian poet Franco Fortini who was one of Branduardi's professors in his school years.

New directions

In 1996, during the celebrations for the restoration of the Duomo of Spilimbergo after the catastrophic 1976 earthquake, he recorded the album Futuro antico ("Ancient Future"), in which he, as an early Baroque musician, keeps reusing, mixing, wording pre-existing material along with his own. This experience, accomplished with the aid of musicians and musicologists, continued with Futuro antico II and Futuro antico III. The same year he performed "Te vojo 'bbene assaje" ("I love you so much" in Neapolitan) with Italian pop singer Eugenio Finardi.

In 1998, Branduardi teamed up with Italian stand-up comedian and writer Giorgio Faletti for Il dito e la luna ("The Finger and the Moon").

He subsequently reworked earlier musical themes with writings of and about St. Francis to produce L'infinitamente piccolo ("The Infinitely Small"); he wrote a musical on the same topic (Francesco).

In 2003, a new album, Altro ed altrove ("Other and Elsewhere"), in a time period marked by a rise of racism and intolerance, brought together (mainly) love stories from several cultures.

For the last 10 years, his band, on stage, has been composed of Davide Raggazoni (drums), Michele Ascolese (guitars), Leonardo Pieri (keyboards) and Stefano Olivato (bass and harmonica), or with Ellade Bandini (drums) and Maurizio Fabrizio (guitars and keyboards).


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