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Triumvirat - Mediterranean Tales (Across The Waters) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.61 | 213 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

I sometimes wonder how would sound the music of classical masters such as BACH or BEETHOVEN would they be living nowadays with our modern technology! I think TRIUMVIRAT would be the closest thing BACH for example would come up with. I am not saying that because JURGEN FRITZ, the keyboards wizard from TRIUMVIRAT and BACH are both German, but the affinities are here. I cannot think of another band as baroque as TRIUMVIRAT. I can tell you JURGEN FRITZ has listened a lot of BACH in his youth.

Another reference associated with TRIUMVIRAT is EMERSON, LAKE and PALMER. Not that it is wrong, but it is not fair to consider TRIUMVIRAT as an ELP clone. They're not. KEITH EMERSON can play everything , not only classical but ballroom jazz as well as honky tonk music (remember!) . He is as good sampling BEETHOVEN as contemporary americana composers. JURGEN FRITZ is German and play German, at least with a more classic european feel.

Of course, the fact that TRIUMiVRAT is also a keyboards/bass-vocalist/drums trio always fueled comparisons between the 2 bands.However, all the vocalists used by TRIUMVIRAT (3 in the first 4 albums!!!!) never sounded quite like GREG LAKE,especially the first 2 HANS PAPE, then the late HELMUT KOLLEN. First of all, they sing with a not that discreet German accent and with a rather harsh tone that can be surprising at first listen.

But this not a vocal band in the first place; this is the band of magnificent keyboard virtuoso JURGEN FRITZ, as good as K.EMERSON or R. WAKEMAN, believe me! And he showcases his huge talent throughout the album with hammond organ, piano, electric piano, harpsichord and all different kind of synthetisers.But what makes him great, is that he is not only a great player, (yes, he can play fast and shows it), but he is more interested in the beauty of the music than in any technical show off . He is really looking for this beautiful moment where only 3 or 4 piano notes nicely put after each other, do the trick and bring you to a higher ground. Virtuosity is nice to hear, but that's emotion which brings to musical ecstasy! And JURGEN FRITZ plays with emotion. This is beauty, a beautiful symphonic prog odyssey only a few albums can do for me so well.

I reviewed recently the NOVALIS self titled album , one CD that can make me take off mentally by the power of their beautiful music, i tell you ,this album MEDITERRANEAN TALES is not far behind.

The album starts with a side 1 suite ''ACROSS THE WATERS'' with overture, underture and all that, a lot of MOZART references (yes, it's acknowledged in the writing credits) but don't think one moment it is slow paced and peaceful music. On the contrary, it's very energetic, full of time changes, the rythm section is no slouch either and know how to pull fast. Real symphonic prog at it's best; you just have to get used to the voice of HANS PAPE which is not in the romantic canon and the backing voices sometimes don't sound angelic either. But after a while you will see, they go very well with tha fast paced rythm and give TRIUMVIRAT their own personality. Definitely, not GREGLAKISH!!!!

The ex-second side is just a wonderful trip ; just listen to E MINOR 5/9 MINOR and its beautiful haunting synth part with accompanying dreamy piano; Heaven on earth!!! The fast, then slow, very fast again BROKEN MIRROR with so many rythm changes going from crazy to beautiful then back is as good as anything ELP produced in their heydays!

On my CD, i have also 4 bonus tracks; 2 excerpts from the album made for a single and 2 nice --pop--- songs which are very good anyway and are a nice addition , albeit quite different than the rest , to the album.

One of my treasure albums that i will enjoy until my last day; this is not an excellent addition, it is ESSENTIAL!!


febus | 5/5 |


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