Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Recommendation: Hostsonaten - Summereve (2011, AMS)

The 4th and last installment in the Seasons Cycle by Fabio Zuffanti's Hostsonaten, Summereve is an epic conclusion to the suite and is becoming my favourite of the "seasons", despite me disliking the summer.

As is the case with previous Seaons, the music is rich and lush. The album consists of a full prog rock lineup (with lots of keyboard types) on the one hand and a string quartet alongside an oboe and flute on the other hand.

The music, which is (almost) entirely instrumental, goes from the slow, emotional and picturesque (Glares of Light for instance) to the adventurous, fast and exciting (opening track Season's Overture, for instance) to the powerful, gorgeous and intense (Evening Dance). Interconnected, the music goes on from one piece to the next uninterrupted, inviting one to dream along and absorb the various airs of summer. The different pieces run the gamut of atmospheres and emotions that are prevalent in summer (according to Zuffanti's view), the sounds emanating from how one perceives that hot and blooming season.
Fabio Zuffanti's Summer sounds a little lazy at times (sitting out on the porch, drinking lemonade), probably cause it's so hot and humid (Glares Of Light and Under Stars), sometimes nervous and edgy (Blackmountains) while at other times energetic and exciting (Seasons's Overture), but most of all beautiful (the entire Season).

I personally always had a hard time connecting with other people's view of summer, as I almost hate that season. But the music here, though I have hard time connecting it with summer, is gorgeous. Had I been composing a Summer soundtrack, it would sound vastly different (and have a very different cover art work that this album has); probably something not a lot of people would like to hear and others be repelled upon hearing it, viewing as some sort of atrocity (did I mention I don't like summer?).
But Fabio's Summer sounds like a season I'd like to experience. Thankfully, with this album, I can.

1. Seasons's Overture (10:51)
i. Rite Of Summer
ii. In The Rising Sun
iii. The Last Shades Of Winter
iv. A Church Beyond The Lake
v. La Route Pour Finist?re
v. Springtheme
2. Glares Of Light (7:25)
3. Evening Dance (4:13)
4. On The Sea (4:20)
5. Under Stars (3:17)
6. Blackmountains (4:07)
7. Prelude Of An Elegy (4:07)
8. Edge Of Summer (5:40)

- Fabio Zuffanti / bass, Moog Taurus bass pedals, acoustic guitar, tambourine and tubular bells
- Luca Scherani / Mellotron, Hammong and Church Organ, Minimoog, Grand Piano, Fender Rhodes, Clavinet, Roland & Yamaha Synthesizers, RMI Keyboard, Farfisa, Strings Ensemble, Sequencers and Yamaha CP80 Piano
- Maurizio Di Tollo / drums, congas and tambourine
- Matteo Nahum / acoustic guitars, lead electric, 12 strings, classical & rythm guitars
- Fausto Sidri / didjeridoo and percussions (Zills, Darbouka, Dumdum, Kajon and Djembe)
- Joanne Roan / flute
- Luca Tarantino / oboe
- Sylvia Trabucco / violin
- Alessandra Dalla Barba / violin
- Ilaria Bruzzone / viola
- Chiara Alberti / cello

Fabio's website
Prog Archive band entry

Here's an update from Fabio's website about his next project:
" Fabio Zuffanti is working on a new Hostsonaten project based on famous poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'The rime of the ancient mariner'.

Fabio Zuffanti conceives the idea to work on a musical version of the poem in 1995. The first two parts are in fact in the first two Hostsonaten albums ('Hostsonaten', 1996 and 'Mirrorgames', 1998) but the realization of these never fully satisfied the composer who decides to suspend the project.

In 2011, at the end of the successfull tetralogy 'Seasoncycle suite', Fabio decided to take up work on 'The rime ...' and bring it to a conclusion.

The project will be divided into two cds: The first, release in 2012, will feature the prologue and the first four parts of the poem, the second in 2013 with the remaining three parts and the epilog.
The two parts that have already published will be completely re-recorded. The vocals of the first four parts will be assigned to four different singers who will try to explore, interpret and return to the listeners the emotions of the dark and dreamy Coleridge's poem.

The recordings will begin in November 2011 and the release of the first cd is scheduled for spring 2012. The musicians who will join Fabio will be Maurizio Di Tollo (drums), Luca Scherani (keyboards) and Matteo Nahum (guitars). In addition to these a long series of guests will embellish the sound with their instruments.

You can find all the updates on Zuffanti's Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/fabiozuffanti) and on Hostsonaten's one (http://www.facebook.com/hostsonaten). "

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