Corde Oblique/Riccardo Prencipe
"A Hail of Bitter Almonds"
Mediterranean Folk, Female Voices, World-Music
CD Superjewelcase (rounded corner) + booklet 16 pages

Fourth Album from the italian eminent guitarrist Riccardo Prencipe, by his project Corde Oblique. On this occasion, he is accompanied by great musicians, from bands such important as Ashram y Argine, also guest artists from Daemonia Nymphe, Anathema and three female vocalists that give a refined beauty to each song: Floriana Cangiano, Caterina Pontradolfo y Annalisa Madonna.
This amazing work boasts a pure sound, using instruments like acoustic guitar, which exalts the most prominent virtuosity of Riccardo, in addition to violin, piano, woodwinds, Irish mandolin, organ and percussion. No synthesizers, samplers nor keyboards, as well Riccardo clears in the credits.
Knowing all the work of this wonderful musician and composer, from Lupercalia to Corde Oblique, I can say that Riccardo outdoes himself on every album. "A hail of bitter almonds" is a masterpiece, with beautiful melodies that invite the melancholy, through harmonious chords, Folk and Mediterranean music, with exquisite Neoclassical.
The album opens with the beautiful and brief song, with all the splendor neoclassical and folk, as well as the beautiful featuring of Floriana. Then, a romantic  felt and melancolic ballad, that definitely invites to dream, and it raises the soul towards deepest landscapes of the heart, seeping deep in sentiment, being performed magnificently by english male singer: Sergio Panarella. The dream goes on for mediterranean landscapes with Arpe di Vento, that holds the identifying characteristic chords of Corde Oblique, with Riccardo acoustic guitar, the sweet vocals reminiscent of Floriana, and a folk percussion that gives power without leaving the halo of melancholy which remains throughout the album. Paestum, performed in english by Annalisa, is more ethereal, a sweetest melody, like a caress to the soul. Melancholy is installed with the first chords of Che Non C'E mother, this time in the voice of Caterina, softly repeating: "Il tempo che se me va e una madre che non c'e"... Slide is a beautiful instrumental passage that leads to Le pietre di Napoli, once again the lovely voice of Floriana, with the italian cadence so special and tender melancholy, which plunges into the heart. Then we have the pleasant surprise of the acoustic version of "Jigsaw Falling" by Radiohead, featured in its original language by Claudia. The next song returned to the italian language in the voice of Caterina, who is joined by the greek Spyros Giasafakis (Daemonia Nymphe) whose declamation, gives a strong and arcane ritual climate. Another exquisite ballad is Giova di Vivere, played by the sweet and laconic Floriana. Red Little Wine is a beautiful neoclassical instrumental passage, followed by The Man of Wood another melancholy song sung by Sergio. Le Cose piccole in the voice of Caterina, surrounds the soul of great nostalgy. Floriana leads us to Mediterranean landscapes with an old deep and heavenly song: Pietra Bianca. She is who has the last bastion of the lyrics vocal with Dipinto di Giovanni Bellini, leaving us with the melancholy that does not hurt, filled and uplifting sentimental poetry.
"A Hail of Bitter Almonds" conveys pure nostalgy that motivates, perhaps a tear steals softly, because every song is breathtaking, inviting us to feel, to dream, to get excited. Just a sublime album, essential for sentient beings.

My favorite songs: A Hail of Bitter Almonds, Together Alone, Arpe di Vento, La madre Che Non C’é, Crypta Neapolitana, Le piccole Cose, Su un Dipinto di Giovanni Bellini


Puntuaction: 10/10
Review by McKland Volver a la Magia Radio-Show
May 23, 2011

1. A Hail of Bitter Almonds*
2. Together Alone*
3. Arpe di Vento*
4. Paestum
5. La madre Che Non C’é*
6. Slide
7. Le pietre di Napoli*
8. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
9. Crypta Neapolitana*
10. La Giova di Vivere
11. Red Little Wine
12. The Man of Wood
13. Le piccole Cose*
14. Pietra Bianca
15. Su un Dipinto di Giovanni Bellini*




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