Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Höstsonaten - Winterthrough CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

4.05 | 151 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The recent Höstsonaten is probably the finest definition of contemplation in prog music, a serenely nostalgic all-instrumental adventure that luxuriates in the almost classical expression of the Four Seasons that nature provides with since time immemorial. Having Vivaldi as their compatriot is already a great omen, but of course, here we are dealing with a full-blown progressive delivery , with all the usual suspects (lush keys, rippling piano, gentle bass and a plethora of detailed percussives details , with sizzling lead guitar solos as well as inspired wind instrument work (clarinet, flute and sax) . Mastermind and bassist extraordinaire Fabio Zuffanti has labored long and hard with colleagues Roberto Vigo and brass/windman Edmundo Romano while introducing La Maschera di Cera singer Alessandro Corviglia (who handles lot of the 'coloring' keyboard textures) and bringing new guitar whiz Matteo Nahum . The masterful drum /percussion chair is ably handled by Maurizio di Tollo (recently featured with Moongarden and LMdC), quickly turning into current Italian prog's most prolific drummer. From the drop-dead dazzling cover artwork bathing in highly suggestive deep bluish pastels, the simply refined booklet and of course, the "cathedralesque" music, this has all the tools to be a winning package. The whopping opening epic "Entering the Halls of Winter" begins with a languorous beat, evoking the hypnotic slide show of tumbling snowflakes, bullied gently by brief gales of chilling mellotron, highly orchestral moods and pastoral settings. When the fanfare-like blares of trumpet usher in the ever growing melody, the mood switches abruptly to the tempestuous blizzard, highlighted by an effects- laden guitar sortie full of Wind and Wuthering. After the storm, the sultry use of clarinet introduces the warm glow of the sun reflecting on the crisp snow banks, the contrast of urgent temperatures vying for attention and the grand piano issuing rivulets of ice water streams. The mighty mellotron kicks in this melody into interstellar overdrive, grandiose and majestic beyond belief, the fanfare trumpets blazing away the last gusts of winter's powerful beauty. "Red Sky" leaves the stage mostly to Edmundo Romano's iridescent clarinet and sax work, aided by some "triangular" percussion and traversed by some spoken words in Italian. The short "White Earth" evokes exactly what the title implies: immense simplicity and splendor this time expressed by some piano while "Snowstorm" introduces violins, more brass and harder drumming, with a strong jazz dissonance that is slowly building the recognizable melody, very "recherché" with a splendiferous synthesizer solo, a mellotron cascade and Matteo Nahum entering the fray with a rippling solo. "Over the Plain" dives straight into jazz realms, grooving on some enormous sax meanderings and choir samples humming in the background. "The Crystal Light" is another highlight, after a brief orchestral swell, the gentle beat returns and the sax (sounding a bit like Andy Mackay) develops the ravishing theme once again, the keys allied in the cause and the magic contemplation returns again with fervor. Saxophone lovers (of which I am a huge fan and of which there is too little in prog) will have an "all you can blow" buffet here! A brief narration and bang! The theme explodes with renewed grandeur, this is a gem, folks! The next 3 diminutive cuts provide a showcase for some lovely synthesizer forays ("Outside"), acoustic guitar remindful of Ant Phillips (liquid piano and almost Frippertronic leads) adventures ("Ruins") and the accordion -fueled magnificence of ("Through the Winter's Air"). The colossal "Rainsuite" erupts with a repetitive lead guitar plea, a desperate search for some untold emotion, an insistent piano ornaments the waves of torrential orchestrations (yeah the 'tron!), with Matteo going delirious, squeezing all kinds of feeling out of his axe in the finest Hackett tradition. The arrangements stretch out into some nearly PFM like moments, with keyboards playing the lead weaving simply magical symphonic tapestries that are simply to die for. The pace grows in intensity with little respite until rolling drums rumble in introducing the majestic theme once again with unreserved abandon, punctuated by another searing and soaring lead that knows no pity. Probably one of the finest piece of Italian symphonic prog ever, I mean it's that resounding! I enjoyed the previous "Springsongs" but this is at another level altogether. Ridiculously good! 5 frozen icicles.
tszirmay | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this HÖSTSONATEN review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.