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Collegium Musicum - Collegium Musicum Live  CD (album) cover

COLLEGIUM MUSICUM LIVE

Collegium Musicum

 

Symphonic Prog

3.61 | 47 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The lineup and the instrumentist's skills, and also the kind of music can not make the listener think to an Emerson Lake and Palmer clone, but please look at the release dates: this live album was released one year after Picture at an Exhibition. If you think to the complexity of the compositions, how long do you think the band has taken to compose, rehearse, arrange and play it live? Of course Marian Varga can have take inspiration from Keith Emerson's work with the Nice and in the early ELP, but he's a skillful keyboardist who lives and plays in a country which has a strong cultural background in classical music and was also on the other side of the iron curtain. Are we sure that they have listened to the ELP albums released in 1972 before composing the four tracks of this album?

Let's quit here the discussion about cloning or not and concentrate on the music only.

The first beats of "Burleska" can effectively remind to Picture at an Exhibition, but most of the track is closer to Grieg than to Mussorsky. Of course it's an instrumental track full of different moments. The "Mussorsky part" opens and closes it circularily.

The second track is split in two parts mainly because of vinyl restrictions. IN this track there's room also for the other instrumentists, not only for Varga. In Part1 there's a remarkable bass solo, and to my ears the source of inspiration for the composition is Stravinskij. Part 2 is a bit more chaotic, and effectively the distorted remind to Rimsky-Korsakov sounds very Emersonian. The long keyboard interlude (not properly a solo) is a little boring, but it's counterbalanced by the excellent final of the track which has a huge number of different signatures.

The last track, "Monumento" starts with a bass harping. I still hear Stravinskij (Rites of Spring) in the initial organ notes. Now also the drummer Dusan Hájek has his moment. It's not a solo but his drums are really in evidence. AFter some minutes basically of drums and bass with little intervents from the keyboards a true drum solo starts. It's 1973, a long drum solo can't be missed in a live album of this kind. As many other solos of this kind this is a bit too long and the coda too short.

In brief, this album is very far from that masterpiece that's Konvergencie. This album fits perfectly in the 3-stars definition, also because CM albums are usually not cheap. If you have some extra money to spend on this band, go for Konvergencie.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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