Corte Aulica is an Italian prog band from Brescia that was formed in 2006 on the initiative of drummer, keyboardist and composer Gustavo Pasini (Lithos, Notabene). The line up features Gustavo Pasini (drums, percussion, piano, vocals), Nicola Gasperi (keyboards, backing vocals), Luca Saccenti (guitar) and Emanuele Jaforte (bass) but on the album there’s also the collaboration of Anna Paderni on flute credited as a special guest. Corte Aulica’s debut album “Il temporale e l’arcobaleno” (The Storm And The Rainbow) was released on the independent label Mellow Records in 2007 and contains seven instrumental tracks plus two “bonus tracks” sung by Gustavo Pasini. The main sources of inspiration of the band come from the “Canterbury scene” (especially Camel) and from the Italian prog scene of the Seventies but the band managed to express their own original ideas without being too derivative. The result is excellent and all along the album you can listen to beautiful melodies soaring from complex rhythm patterns.
The opener “Chiaroscuro” begins with a nice electric guitar solo, then goes on through many changes in rhythm and atmosphere. Next comes the excellent title track where the “stormy” guitar work and some dreamy piano passages produce a very interesting contrast. “Corte aulica” is another beautiful track, complex and melodic in the meantime. There are no weak moments and the music flows steadily stirring the imagination of the listener. “Tiziana”, “La principessa del parco”, “Via Rua Sovera, 19” and “Zwanenbeek” are all full of colourful nuances and really worth listening to.
The last two tracks, “Grazie a te” (Thanks to you) and “La ragione d'autunno” (The reason in Autumn), are credited as “bonus tracks” because they are older compositions by Gustavo Pasini. “The voice whispers looking for a reason / A smile shines new emotions / Without fears you are spellbound / Autumn makes you change your way...”. Gustavo Pasini’s vocals on the bonus tracks are not flawless, but according to an interview with the musician these songs were “too personal” to be sung by another person and the choice to sing them in an “imperfect way” was made to keep all their emotional content.
Well, on the whole “Il temporale a l’arcobaleno” is really a very good album and the last two tracks do not waste the pleasure of listening at all!
You can listen in streaming to the complete album HERE
Corte Aulica: Il temporale e l'arcobaleno (2007). Other opinions:
Vitaly Menshikov: Despite its quasi-derivative nature, this is quite an outstanding debut release and very decent recording in general, definitely worthy of your attention if you lack anything new in the style of Camel while awaiting your idols’ return from their prolonged vacation... (read the complete review HERE)