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(52 min, Musea)
TRACK LIST: 1. Me & Sarah Jane 6:33 2. Seven Stones 4:58 3. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway 5:15 4. The Battle of Epping Forest 11:09 5. Blood On the Rooftops 5:30 6. Eleventh Earl of Mar 7:25 7. The Cinema Show 11:10 LINEUP: Yngve Guddal - piano Roger Matte - piano
Prolusion. The classically oriented Norwegian pianists Yngve GUDDAL and Roger MATTE present their second tribute album to Genesis. The recordings took place in the Concert Hall of Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. "Vol. 1" was released via Steve Hackett's Camino Records in 2002.
Analysis. I believe all connoisseurs of progressive music would agree with the sentence that most, if not all of the works Genesis did in the '70s have already become classics, in the widest sense of the concept. Analyzing the two previous decades, we note a huge number of solid bands and projects, which became followers of the legend - Citizen Cain, IQ, Cast and many others. The profundity of Genesis's music places it in the honorary row of the evergreen masterpieces of the past, without exaggeration. The album under review is certainly nothing else but Genesis by means of classical music, though it sometimes evokes associations with Igor Stravinsky's pieces for two pianos. The emotional component of the album is vivid and versatile, which is resultant on the tastefully compiled material. Me & Sarah Jane is rhythmically the least complex, often sounding like a march, while the general arrangements are lavish and tasteful. The mood of the second composition, Seven Stones, is melancholically quiet at the beginning, but later on it becomes more solemn and sublime. The anxious and loud The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway gives way to the most diverse and unpredictable piece, The Battle of Epping Forest. Then follow Blood On the Rooftops and The Cinema Show, each being lucid and sad simultaneously, whereas the emotional atmosphere of Eleventh Earl of Mar is analogous to that of the heady opener. I think it's quite pointless to describe in detail the music that any art-rock lover knows by heart, so here I have to stop.
Conclusion. The album's concept is quite unusual and interesting. The musical world knows not so many examples of serious endeavor in rendering the texture and the atmosphere of rock pieces by academically oriented means. Yngve Guddal and Roger Matte are both masterful pianists and thoughtful re-arrangers. Their second release is admirable throughout and might be of interest to fans of Genesis and those into classical piano music.
VF: February 15, 2006
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