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Saturday, 17 February 2018

New Trolls” Concerto Grosso N. 2″ 1976 Italy Prog Symphonic


New Trolls” Concerto Grosso N. 2″ 1976 Italy Prog Symphonic
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Upon reforming The New Trolls, the group probably made a mistake in wanting to repeat/rehash one of their better works of their first period. First, it was over three years after their previous line-up and the line-up was not very different, Salvi’s on keyboards absence is dearly paid. 
Musically, the album’s title track sounds a bit like the precursor of Rondo Veniziano’s 80’s kitschy eeeeehhmmm!!!!.. “violin” works and at the same time the worthy successor to their first Concerto Grosso of 71. Although there are moments in the 13 minutes that are superb, there is plenty of cheesy fondue for all of Italy. Filled with Vivaldi and Bach reminiscences this “opus” is again directed by Enriquez and the results are not that far off the first Concerto Grosso. The singing is a bit of a cross between Vanilla Fudge and Queen (especially in the second movement, they sound like Freddy Mercury At The Night Of The Proms), but overall the second version comes close to its predecessor but no cigar. The rest of the album is not quite up to the symphonic caliber, but holds some charms as in Quiet Seas might just sound from a Cart Stevens or Springsteen album. 

The flipside starts with a CSN&Y impersonation (20 Years) mostly due to the pitch perfect vocals, and the next Bella Come Mai where the arrangements behind the kitsch girl-group-like vocals (almost waiting for those doowop behind it) are quite good and worthy of some of the masters in the genre. However the weird, awful and out-of- context Let It Be Me (an Everly Bro cover) is an awful track that ruins the album’s continuity just when the following Le Roi Soleil (whose Queen-esque vocals can remind of a rhapsody from Bohemia meeting 10 CC’s taste for pastiche), might just be the album’s proggiest track even if it is rather unrepresentative of Italian-style prog. My version of the album (a Japanese release under catalogue # KICP 2153) contains a ninth track called Vento O Cent'Anni that is probably the best track of this album, starting out on a hard rocking guitar alternating with an acoustic and strong vocals, soon joined by a great flute >> absolutely enjoyable and a glimpse of Di Palo’s hard guitar past. 

While hardly undeserving CG#2 is not a bad album per se (no real weak tracks outside the cover), but the many different passages always reminding of some other group. I suggest you try to find the Japanese version of this album for the great added bonus track..by Sean Trane …..~



In 1976 “old friends/enemies” Nico di Palo and Vittorio de Scalzi were back together for the recording of what was thought to be the prosecution of their best release “Concerto Grosso” (1971). 
Did the reach the goal? This is the frequent question of many people. Sadly that magical moments of the so called “Concerto Grosso n. 1” (the correct title is Concerto Grosso per I New Trolls i.e. Concerto Grosso for New Trolls) were impossible to re-produce! History repeats, sometimes.not then yet!.what a pity! 

By the way it would be tough thing to dislikes Concerto Grosso n. 2. Honestly I have to say that the first three tracks almost catch that previous GRANDEUR. In fact “1° Tempo: Vivace” is another one from the well known “wand” of Luis Enriquez Bachalov, a strong song in that beautiful baroque vein plus an enjoyable synth’ new sound.no doubt it’s a very good opener! One of the best tracks of the album, alternating strong bass and electric guitar runs with more gentle and delicate 18th century’s atmosphere. And that unexpected synth’ sound is the icing on the cake. 

The album follows very well with the more introvert sounding of “2° Tempo: Andante” also referred as “Most Dear Lady”. Dreamy strings in a perfect opposition with the previous one. Warm and mellow vocals for the most pure and relaxing classical sound of the album. 

With “3° Tempo: Moderato” (also titled Fare You Well Dove) my excitement increased! Simply superb those alternating classical guitar, harp and violin! Even better than the first track!! This is what I like most in New Trolls! 

.and then.what’s up?.there are four pop tunes..completely different from the previous temper of the album! .yeah it is the same album.just doubting for a while! By the way, Quiet Seas, Vent'Anni, Bella Come Mai and Let it Be Me aren’t bad at all! I like them, expecially for the classical guitar intro of Vent'Anni though I hate its Italian lyrics which are about the sad remembrance of the old good times when they played rock’ n’ roll.what the hell! That was what I was waiting for (at least)!! 

At this point I was quite half-disappointed with Concerto Grosso n. 2 when. suddenly a crack of light: “Le Roi Soleil” (alternating French and English vocals)!!!! Simply a SUPERB, strong and super-exciting track!!! The best of the album, I’m sure! Somehow with some evident Queen references (A Night At the Opera, mainly). excellent! 

Conclusion: it is not a masterpiece, obviously.but, despite those four (good) popish tunes, many pleasing surprises, haunting arrangements and good vocals: 3,5 is my rating. Recommendable!… by Andrea Cortese ….~


This was the 1976 attempt by the NEW TROLLS to repeat the success of their 1971 album “Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls” (sometimes referred to as ‘Concerto Grosso No. 1’). 
While the 'concerto grosso’ on the 1971 album has four movements (well, three really: three rock-classical fusion pieces plus a coda that rehashes the second movement’s theme in the style of Hendrix), the 'concerto grosso’ on “Concerto Grosso No. 2” has three movements, the remaining five tracks on the album not being part of it. 

The 1971 album’s concerto has a Vivaldi feel to it, whereas this album’s concerto has a hint of the Bach or Mozart about it, plus a slight classical Spanish feel in the third movement. As Argentinean composer of movie scores Luis Enriquez Bacalov was again involved, the three movements also have a soundtrack feel about them. Anyway, as with the earlier album, the result is pleasant but not stellar. The orchestra is more integrated with the rock instruments than on the earlier album, and the horns on this album are actually synthesizer (still good, though). 

The first movement bobs along nicely in a funky, jazzy sort of fashion. The second movement is a sedate piece introduced by clarinet, with flowery vocals (corny English lyrics, too) and movie score strings wafting in the background; I’m more reminded of Burt Bacharach than Bach (pun intended). The third movement has some nice lute played in a Spanish-like style, giving a slightly medieval feel, and some modern-sounding synthesizer. There is some rather twee singing in English (“fare you well my restless dove”, “farewell, farewell little dove” and the like) accompanied by violin. Nevertheless, of the three movements I prefer the third. 

The remaining five tracks are a mixed bunch. 'Quiet Seas’ reminds me of CAT STEVENS. It’s a pleasant enough song, again sung in English, but nothing special. 'Vent'Anni’ starts with some nice acoustic guitar or lute. It’s a calm, commercial-sounding number in Italian, and I enjoy it. 'Bella Come Mai’ is my favourite track on the album. It reminds me a little of 'Tornare a Credere’ on the NEW TROLLS ATOMIC SYSTEM s/t album, which has the same Italian 1960s pop feel, the raucous, almost-gospel female backing vocals and the gruff Italian lead vocals (well, the vocals on 'Tornare a Credare’ are not so gruff). The twangy guitar and slow, groovy beat are the business and I like the retro feel of the music. 'Let It Be Me’ by Curtis, Delanoe & Becaud, sung in falsetto, is an incongruous track on this album, having been sung by ELVIS PRESLEY, THE EVERLY BROTHERS, BOB DYLAN, NINA SIMONE, JACKSON BROWNE and many others. 'Le Roi Soleil’, sung in English, is an enjoyable, upbeat poppy number with a nod to classical music, and strongly reminds me of 10CC. 

As with the 1971 album, this is easy to listen to in the foreground or background. The music is more accessible than on the 1971 album. The album is not bad if you have an eclectic taste in music and enjoy the type of pop played in the 1960s and early 1970s. From a Progressive Rock perspective this album is less interesting than the 1971 album. It would probably be more of interest to those who lived through those years and have a certain nostalgia for the sounds of the time. I wouldn’t rush out to buy it, though. I’ll settle for 3 stars (Good, but not essential). 

If you don’t already have the 1971 album “Concerto Grosso Per I New Trolls” then you could buy the CD of the same name issued by the Warner Fonit record company (CD no. 3984 26602-2) which has both albums on it for the price of one…..by Fitzcarraldo ….~

1976 is the year of the New Trolls reunion . After the album UT , the group was disbanded because of disagreements between De Scalzi and Di Palo who, ognugno on its behalf, had given birth to two distinct groups ( Atomic System for De Scalzi and Ibis for Di Palo ) that had little collected. Since they did not manage to separate from one another, the two, in fact in 1976, reconcile and here is the return of the historic Italian group. What better way to consecrate the event than by making a second edition of the Concerto Grosso, who had so much luck in the first edition? 

Besides the usual Vittorio De Scalzi keyboards, Nico Di Palo on guitar and Gianni Belleno on drums is the return to the family of George Adam on bass, that after the first concert had to give up in order to fulfill his military duties and later he had not found space for a return, and there is the addition of a second guitarist in the person of Ricky Belloni , coming from New Idea . 

This second Concerto Grosso , however, does not have the same potential as the first, even though the composer is still the same Luis Enrique Bacalov . This, too, like the previous one, is divided into three movements that more or less follow the footsteps of the past: a lively beginning in this case with great blaring of trumpets, a moment of calm and a finale that recalls the initial theme. Nothing particularly exciting, in fact, sometimes the sounds seem to come from electronic keyboards, rather than from true orchestras. 

To discover the new face of the New Trolls , you have to turn the disc and listen to the B side. It will be because the progressive rock was agonizing and the group felt the desire to return to the easy melodies of their past (read 60s …) fact is that the B side contains a handful of songs that have nothing to do with the symphonic prog. Simple, catchy songs with fairly trivial lyrics. “ Twenty years ,” for example, is an autobiographical acoustic ballad in which the group regrets the good old days and is a way of saying that we were stupid to argue, but now here we are better friends than ever. There is even a cover of a piece of FrenchGilbert Becaud . 

The song that closes the album, “ Le Roi Soleil ” has a last flicker Baroque spectacular interweaving of voices, but it’s just proof that the New Trolls had just finished listening to “ Bohemian Rhapsody ” by Queen . 

But if we stop to take as the touchstone the first concert Grosso, then this last album is not so bad and in fact a certain success has had. With the next record the New Trolls would have collected even more consents but now the adventure prog of the group was dead and buried….by Claudio Modigliani…..~

In the wake of the experiment conducted a few years earlier with the Concerto Grosso n.1 , the New Trolls propose a second façade baptizing it for the precisely Concerto Grosso n. 2. The group seeks the favor of that good star that had guided him in writing the first part, a more than worthy success that had placed them in the foreground on the contemporary stage. 
Also this time, the direction of the work is entrusted to the master Luis Bacalov, who adopts, for the structuring of the album, the interweaving of rock genre with that of chamber and symphonic music, that is the same formula that had been the essential connotation of the firstborn C oncerto Grosso. 

The debut is given at the first half of the concert, Vivace, where the arches announce the entrance of a majestic moog effect, which is reiterated and developed until the end, with repeated dialogues between classical and electric instruments, primarily the guitar. The second half, Andante , is introduced by a sweet oboe melody, immediately replaced by the choirs and the Grosso of the orchestra. The third time, Moderato , opens with a carefree and delicate vocal melody, shaded over a noticeable guitar arpeggio, where the crescendo finds its effectiveness thanks to the battery and synthesizer interventions at first, and of arcs and choirs in closure. 
Once the classic part of the album ends, the one tending towards rock-pop opens, thus announcing the opposite directions to the progressive matrix, which would have been taken shortly by the Genoese group. This is how Quite Seas follows , where the piano textures accompany a sweet vocal melody, until the closing of guitar and drum synthesizers; the songs Twenty Years, Bella Come Mai, and finally Let It Be, from the blues reminiscences. 

The New Trolls take leave with the flagship piece of this Concerto Grosso n.2, which is the fascinating and fun Le Roi Soleil, based on a majestic staccato of the keyboards on the rhythmic trotting of the drums. Here the structural complexity of the classical part of the album is resumed, giving life to a piece that surely represents, in all its facets, the authentic progressive figure: amused instruments combine with pyrotechnic vocal and choral counterpoints nervously yelling imported names from the history and literature of the Baroque period, such as the Sun King ( Le Roi Soleil which gives the title to the piece), Richelieu and Cyrano de Bergerac, almost projecting the listener into a royal court of the seventeenth century. The instrumental revival of the Quite Seas vocal motif finally closes the piece. 

An album that completes the historical value of the first experiment, so much so that the two Concerti Grossi will then be combined together in remastering: it is a work that was born and lived in the shadow of the first part, and therefore suffering from a relative lack of originality if compared to the predecessor. There have been numerous criticisms to which he has been exposed from this point of view, along with those that accuse him of an unbalanced global organization in which the contrast between classical and light music appears too sharp. 

The technique and ambition that characterizes it are, in conclusion, the proof of a product above average, but happy with the signs of the decline of the progressive genre….by….Michele Comaianni…~


Seems that at this point, New Trolls, as it was prior to UT reunited, and recorded a sequel to Concerto Grosso Per 1 in 1976. This album, like its predecessor, featured strings from Luis Enriquez Bacalov, incorporating classical in a prog rock context. However, the suite isn’t as long, and the music in general tends to be mellower. The rest of the album is a confusing mixture of pop, prog, folk rock and R&B (they even do a cover of “Let It Be Me”). “Vent'Anni” is an interesting one because it sounds like an Italian Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, singing in Italian, even one of the vocalists went as far as sounding like Stephen Stills. This album ends up being eclectic at the expense of being consistent. The original Concerto Grosso Per 1 is definately the better album, but the 1989 CD reissue of Fonit Cetra crams both that album and Concerto Grosso Nr. 2 on one disc, which means you really get your money’s worth (as you actually only pay for a single album’s worth of material)…..by…Proghead72 ….~


Five years after the first appeared in 1976, the second “Concerto Grosso” of the New Trolls. The album is basically a reunion record for the trolls, as Nico Di Palo and Vittorio De Scalzi, who previously worked separately with different formations, sometimes called New Trolls, were active (see NT Atomic System , Nico, Gianni, Frank , Maurizio , Ibis ), after four fractious years together again as New Trolls. 

Like the “ Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls ”, this album also combines a “Concerto grosso” (mostly composed by Luis Enriquez Bacalov) with more normal rock material. However, the “Concerto Grosso No. 2” is stylistically no longer fixed on the baroque. Bacalov poaches in almost every style between Renaissance and Neoclassic. There is also a clear shot of jazz. Like his predecessor, this rock concert suffers from the usually terrible, poplish-schmaltzy choir singing. Otherwise, the “Concerto Grosso No. 2” is almost the more interesting, it is even more varied and even more polystylistic than the first “Concerto Grosso”. In addition, a whole range of time-typical electronic key sounds are used, 

The rest of the disc, which unfortunately makes up the majority, is then just scrap. Pop songs, sophisticated vocals, lardy choirs, Anglo-American models copying rock numbers and spiteful Italorock come here from the boxes. It has nothing to do with Prog, so I do not want to go into this music anymore. 

Also the “Concerto Grosso No. 2” is of interest for classical guitarists, but it would not be advisable to buy the disc for only about 12 minutes of reasonably usable music. However, this is relativized by the fact that the CD reissue of “Concerto Grosso per i New Trolls”, which can currently be found in almost every Italian electronic market for a few euros, also contains the complete album reviewed here. Italoprogliebhaber can therefore grow this twofer without much concern. After track 8 (the third movement of the second concert), you should then press the stop button!….by….. Achim Breiling …~ 



Line-up / Musicians 
- Vittorio De Scalzi / acoustic guitar, flute, Fender electric piano, Syntorchestra, Crumar Brassman, ARP synth, vocals 
- Nico Di Palo / electric & acoustic guitars, ARP synth, vocals 
- Ricky Belloni / electric & acoustic guitars, vocals 
- Giorgio D'Adamo / bass, vocals 
- Gianni Belleno / drums, percussion, vocals 

With: 
- Luis Enriquez Bacalov / composer, arranger and orchestra conductor (1-3)












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