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Harmonium - Harmonium En Tournée CD (album) cover

HARMONIUM EN TOURNÉE

Harmonium

 

Symphonic Prog

4.20 | 64 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bern
5 stars "Pour tous les fous ici présents"

Harmonium en Tournée is simply one of the most beautiful, somptuous and grandiose live album ever. This full version of L'Heptade is magical from the first word spoken to the last not played. L'Heptade is often criticised because of it's over-orchestration and of its somewhat flat production. This live version is the answer to all these problems. It's way rockier and jazzier than the studio album. The orchestrated part are totally omitted and replaced with jazz breakdowns and symphonic jamming.

One of the strength of this recording is the true live feeling we get from listening to it. It has a warm magical feel that only a true live show can give. The introduction speech by Fiori really helps to get yourself "into" the concert. Well, it may be because I speak french but nevertheless, his warm voice speaking words of wisdom in a very simple way is just soothing. Then, the fun starts. All of L'Heptade is performed and most songs are extended into intense and powerful jam sessions. Every musician is showcased at his best and the whole thing really rocks.

Serge Fiori shows that his almost perfect beautiful voice isn't only the result of studio production. In fact, he delivers his most brilliant performance ever on record in this concert. He reaches his peak in L'Exil but anywhere in the album, his performance is crystal clear and stunning. I also have to speak about Monique Fauteux's subtle and perfect back vocals. She has also a truly beautiful tone in her voice. This is obviously more evident in Le Corridor in which she takes the job as the leading singer. With her soothing voice and the delicious Fender Rhodes parts she provides make this song memorable.

This album showcases Harmonium's musicians at their best and they sound proggier and rockier than ever. Long Moog solos, jazz guitar inserts and inspired drumming make the extended pieces epic. My favorite cut is without any doubt the twenty minute long version of Le Premier Ciel. The instrumental section is just amazing. The part where that incredible bass line appears and the moog solo rocks the place just throws me to the floor everytime. L'Exil and Lumière de Vie are two other brilliant tracks. Libert Subirana also does a wonderful place on sax and flute. The winds are way more present than in the studio version and they give us a chance to appreciate the skills of this great musician.

The only bad thing I can find to say about this album is that they only play songs from L'Heptade. It's a good thing that they decided to play the whole L'Heptade because taking cuts out of it would have made the whole songs pointless but it's kinda sad that they don't play anything from Si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison, their studio masterpiece. Histoire sans Paroles or Depuis L'Automne would have added a lot to an already astonishing show.

Finally, this is probably my favorite live recording ever. It is an incredible memento to a band that broke up a short time after the recording of this album. It is also the only chance to hear any of their material played live. My words are not enough to describe the magic and warmth provided by Harmonium en Tournée. It's rare but it's worth it. 5 stars!

-Bern

Bern | 5/5 |

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