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XII Alfonso - Claude Monet - Volume 1, 1883-1889 CD (album) cover

CLAUDE MONET - VOLUME 1, 1883-1889

XII Alfonso


Symphonic Prog

2.81 | 23 ratings

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3 stars "Claude Monet volume 1" is an album of beautiful music which seeks to tell the story of Monet's life and work, volume 1 covering the years 1883-1889. It features an absolutely amazing 50 page booklet which painstaking details each piece of music on the album; providing lyrics, reprints of his paintings from these years, detailed texts describing the paintings, notes about his personal life, notes from his diary, and passages from letters to friends and family. I think it's my first CD booklet that actually has a bibliography in the back! If you are a fan of Monet you will need to get these CDs before they go out of print. It's a history lesson to be sure.

The music itself is a sweeping and ambitious symphonic work. Lush sounds are courtesy of an army of instruments: many electric and acoustic guitars, E.Bow, Syrian Oud, Vietnamese Lute, Harmonicas, many Keyboards, Pianos, Glocks, Gongs, various Percussion, Harp, Bamboo Flutes, Whistles, and several vocalists. About 14 musicians take part in the recording, give or take. It is a pastoral album but one that can veer from the peaceful to the playful, from the (almost) rocking to the near-techno. It has many enjoyable moments throughout, the quieter piano and acoustic guitar sections being my favorites. However compositionally this album is all over the map and you need to be willing to love meandering. I feel it could use significant tightening especially in the ridiculously out of place techno keyboard sections that really seem out of place given the storyline. You have a very professional, often beautiful album of moments but without much in the way of musical coherence, amazing given the amount of work dedicated to the lyrical storyline and booklet. A very mixed bag.

If you like mellow, pastoral, relaxing prog and you have an interest in Claude Monet, this release is your dream come true. If you don't care about Monet but like mellow prog you should still enjoy this quite a bit. If you are neither of the above then proceed with caution here. 5/10

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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