Reverie | Shakespeare, La Donna, Il Sogno

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Folk: Progressive Folk New Age: Neo-Classical Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Shakespeare, La Donna, Il Sogno

by Reverie

A 6-musician ensemble defining a new music genre by combining ancient, baroque, folk, middle-eastern and ambient, which they call "progressive folk".
Genre: Folk: Progressive Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Willson's Wilde
1:57 $0.99
2. Sonetto 18
2:11 $0.99
3. Sonetto 8
2:37 $0.99
4. A Toy
1:35 $0.99
5. Sonetto 47
2:16 $0.99
6. Sonetto 147
4:52 $0.99
7. Passamezzo Antico
3:06 $0.99
8. O Mistress Mine
4:04 $0.99
9. Sonetto 130
3:54 $0.99
10. Plurestantaj Memoroj
5:40 $0.99
11. Kiam Alvenos La Fino
4:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Some years ago we played an ancient tune called “la Follia”, a fixed chord scheme with free variations (somewhat like modern blues). Looking for some lyrics to fit that music, we came across Shakespeare’s Sonnet 144. Its words fitted to the music so perfectly that our “Follia” included in our previous CD (2004) became one of our most appreciated songs and a perfect gig opening.
Since then, we started reading all the sonnets and we did a lot of research about Shakespeare's life and times and the music of that period. We fell in love so much with “Old Will”’s Sonnets that we decided to dedicate an entire CD to such a wonderful material.
Willson's wilde - is a Renaissance lute tune, rearranged for 6 instruments. It's a sort of prologue, in which you can "see" various characters happily introduce themselves on the stage.
Sonetto 18 - Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? - Here the music is light and soft like the sonnet's words themselves.
Sonetto 8 - Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly? - This is a 3-part track, according to the baroque cantata scheme Arioso/Recitativo/Aria. This structure was chosen to follow and underline all the suggestions hinted to by the text. We felt that a simple song-scheme could not be enough!
A toy - Another Renaissance lute tune, rearranged for various instruments in a sort of little, childish fugato. It's like a jingle or a break between more "weighty" songs.
Sonetto 47 - Betwixt mine eye and heart a league is took... - This track starts in a very sober way, with an almost-unimpassioned vocal line that grows in intensity as the song goes on: the watcher has become a lover!
Sonetto 147 - My love is as a fever, longing still... - Like Sonetto 8, this is a several-part-track, following the scheme Aria/Recitativo/Aria/Aria. The ever-changing feelings of a soul driven mad by love need more than a single mood to be described!
Passamezzo antico - another break, this time based on an ancient folk tune, known as "Greensleeves". The "passamezzo antico" was an Italian ground bass (a stylized chords sequence, like blues today) on which the tune was adapted.
O mistress mine - O mistress mine, where are you roaming? - This is a Renaissance song cited by Shakespeare in "The 12th night": only the vocal line has survived, so we wrote anew both harmonization and arrangement. The doubts and questions of the lyrics are painted in music with very atmospheric (almost ambient-like) sounds and long notes that suggest the distance between the two lovers.
Sonetto 130 - My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun... - My lady is not perfect, but who cares? I love her even more because she's unique! This is the last song of the soundtrack and the text is a parody of the classical love sonnet. The melody is sustained by guitar arpeggios and then underlined by two flutes, in a very warm and pastoral mood.
Plurestantaj memoroj - the first of the two bonus tracks in Esperanto. Almost a soundtrack of its own, with layers of string synths and moog and an atmospheric electric guitar solo in the introduction. The main question of the text is: maybe in our remaining memories is indicated the path for us to follow?
Kiam alvenos la Fino - second and last track in Esperanto. It is completely different from Plurestantaj... and, despite the "dark-ish" title ("When the End will come"), it is a sort of short story of hope, underlined by music.

Tracks 1 to 9 of the cd are the soundtrack of the theatre play "Shakespeare, la donna, il sogno" ("Shakespeare, the woman, the dream"), a short piece we wrote to create a link between some Shakespeare sonnets and Renaissance dances we set to music.

"Shakespeare, la donna, il sogno": an introduction to the play
In our days, a company of musicians reaches Elsinore, in Denmark, to perform music of the Renaissance.
Incidentally, one of the musicians pronounces a name in a loud voice: YORICK.
Upon hearing his own name, Yorick, biting and witty joker at the ancient court of Elsinore, rises again!
Within a dreamy atmosphere, full of merry recollections and subtle regrets, a very young actor and poet with playwright ambitions comes back to Yorick’s mind: Will Shakespeare!
The fellowship between Yorick and Will is clouded by the advent of a "dark lady", whose deep and perverse fascination subjugates both of them.
This encounter will mark a turning point in their lives. Yorick, who has lost memory of the beloved lady's name and face, is forced to seek for her features and memory within his friend and rival's verses, since the "black dame" left an indelible trace in each one of the female characters put on a play, or sung, by Shakespeare.
Will Yorick be able to give back life to his sole beloved lady?


Rêverie ensemble was founded in 1996 by composer and guitarist Valerio Vado. Aim of the project is the creation of music inspired by renaissance, baroque, celtic, mediterranean folk and ambient musical elements, mixed together with a "contemporary" sensibility and always keeping melody as foundation of the songs.
Another peculiarity of the project is the mix of acoustic instruments (winds, piano, guitars, mandolin, cello, percussions, etc.) and electronic instruments (synths, effects). This creates a style defined as "folk-prog" or "progressive folk". Some analogies can be found in works by artists as Loreena McKennith, Mike Oldfield, Clannad, Jethro Tull, early Genesis, Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare, etc.

The ensemble started to perform live in February 1999 with a 6-musician line-up. Since then, Rêverie played several concerts in all Northern Italy, in small theatres, concert halls and open air music festivals, with line-ups varying from 2 up to 7 musicians.

Up to now, Rêverie published some cds, each of them "focusing" a particular moment of the constant evolution of the project. The ensemble has recently published the cd "Shakespeare, la donna, il sogno" ("Shakespeare, the woman, the dream"), which is also the soundtrack of an eponymous theatre play. The cds received good reviews in Italy and abroad; the tracks contained therein are broadcast by radio networks in Italy and worldwide.

Furthermore, all Rêverie's members are involved in other musical projects: as sessionmen, as music teachers, as members of classical and jazz orchestras and pop-rock groups.

The present line-up is made up of:
Fanny Fortunati - lead vocals, percussions;
Fulvia Borini - flute, mandolin, percussions, keyboards
Alberto Sozzi - clarinet, flutes, banjo, guitars, keyboards, didjeridoo, percussions
Valerio Vado - guitars, keyboards, mandolin, oud, vocals
Daniele Defranchis - guitars, turkish saz
Andrea Amir Baroni - cello, keyboards, celtic harp



to write a review


A journey through time and space
These guys play very charming music: it's like a time machine combining ancient and ambient music. Just listen to the opening track and you will find yourself inside the Globe Theatre with Shakespeare on the stage! Then, the mood of each song is different; there are soft moments and more rythmic ones, many passages are very moving. Most remarkable thing: a voice singing real melodies (it reminds me of Italian ancient music). At first it may sound strange for non-trained ears but in the end... it works! The vocal melodies underline every line of Shakespeare's sonnets. I highly recommend this cd to all music and poetry lovers: you won't be disappointed!


very nice album
A kind of progressive medieval folk but also modern approach, varied songs, lyrical and melodic, quite interesting and certainly recommended!!!