the bands that i am constantly hyping to my "prog-friends" right now are Quella Vecchia Locanda and Locanda Della Fate from Italy who both take the sort-of Chamber Music/slightly folky side of early Genesis and develop it as only the Italians can develop Prog! QVL is slightly folky-er, they have two albums, the first (self-titled) is very good, but the second (il Tempo della Gioia) is fantastic. LDF is slightly more "classical", they only have one album that i know of (there _is_ a "LIVE" CD, but i had been warned of it's bootleg quality). i have appended notes on these 3 CDs...
Quella Vecchis Locanda - (1st)/self-titled; original recrding info ??? (1972?); CD: Vinyl Magic VM 054 (1995); 8 tracks.
6 member band: keys, voice, lead vocals, flute, ottavino (?), drums, perc., bass, frequency generator, guitars, voice, electric & classical violin
overall, reminds of early Tull (flute , piano, organ), but violin really sets it apart.
track one (5 minutes ):starts with violin playing a line, then piano plays a line, then they play a line together, then guitar plays a line, then they all play together, then add bass, then full band/full tilt..led by the violin, add organ, flute (a little bit) and vocals, middle section sounds like harp (string, not blues), then piano solo, then organ & flute, and bring the whole band back.
track two (4 minutes ): again starts with violin, add bass & drums, and electric violin & electric guitar, flute, gruff vocals, great bass solo,
track three (4 minutes + ): acoustic guitar, then add very melodic flute, and vocals (more melodic than before), nice piano, subtle drumming
track four (3 minutes ): starts with very discordant keyboards, then the band comes in with a crash, flute & violin crazed duet, heavy-rock guitar solo, vocals, really vibrant & dramatic.
track five (4 minutes ): drums & bass, organ, synth, vocals, very TULL-flute,
track six (almost 4 minutes ): heavy bass-line, pitch-bending synths, piano, _clarinet_ (!), full band, vocals
track seven (5 minutes + ): piano solo, drums, violin, violin solo, keyboard-part that remind of K.Emerson with flute on top,
track eight (5 minutes + ):piano solo, add violin, _very_ classical chamber music feel, some vocals.
Quella Vecchis Locanda - il tempo della gioia; (p) 1974 BMG Ariola S.p.A. / CD 1995; 5 tracks.
6 member band: keys, voice, vocals, flute, ottavino (?), drums, bass, contrabass, voice, guitars, voice, violin
track one (5.5 minutes ):piano solo, romantic violin, drums, vocals, full band, very dramatic,
track two (4 minutes ): very slow fade-in of piano, add violin, switch to harpsichord, switch from violin to flute, add violin back in, add piano back in, add wordless vocals,.
track three (6 minutes + ): violin, piano, vocals, starts very classical, then gets very jazzy, nice guitar solo
track four (almost 10 minutes ): violin, add piano, add bass, full band, very fast, stop-and-go, clarinet (sax?), cool bass-line, jazzy piano, great sax solo to end
track five (8 minutes + ):eerie vocal chant, bass guitar, dramatic piano chords, flute, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, synth (like harpsichord), vocals, piano, really neat section with strings and either oboe or bass-flute, i just _LOVE_ these CDs!!!