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Clarion - Clarion CD (album) cover

CLARION

Clarion

 

Crossover Prog

3.50 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

NotAProghead
Special Collaborator
Errors & Omissions Team
4 stars Elegant

I have no idea why ZAUBER flautist Gianni Cristiani and keyboardist Paolo Clari, with the help of their bandmates, decided to start a new project, CLARION. Both bands are similar in style, the same musicians are involved, most pieces are written by ZAUBER members Mauro Cavagliato and Boris Poziakov (by the way, strange name for an Italian, perhaps he has some Russian roots, but I could not find any information of him). We may only guess why CLARION was born, but it happened and definitely not in vain - their music is full of grace and beauty.

CLARION debut album is almost pure instrumental work. There are no electric or acoustic guitars, but the sound is rich and the absence of guitars is unnoticeable. Flute and keyboards (organ, electric piano, synthesizers) are omnipresent, glockenspiel (metalophone) and harpsichord add nice colors at times, bass often plays melodic lines and, together with drums, strengthens the overall sound. Most pieces are inspired by classical, particularly baroque, music, there are also hints of jazz. The longest track, ''Rifflessioni'' (8 minutes) starts and ends as bolero, while its middle part has spacey feel.

Music is melancholic, heartfelt and full of light. Turn on your imagination and it will carry you away to some beautiful places: a sea shore (''Canzone del mare'') or an old park in the autumn, where yellow leaves are almost transparent in the sunlight (''Viviana'', my favourite piece on the album). ''Canzone del mare'' is the only vocal track, pretty simple (because even I understand it - something like ''You sing your sad song to the sea, but the sea is too big and does not hear you''), but nice. Pleasant voice of Liliana Bodini is recorded with a slight echo effect, giving you the feel of almost physical presence by the sea.

I listen to CLARION debut album quite often, but rarely look at linear notes. Now, before writing this review, I looked at the booklet and was surprised: some pieces were wriiten for theatre and rock-opera and were not initially intended for this album; the last track, ''Orgelwaltz'', was recorded in some Turin church in 1977. Despite this the album is coherent, pieces flow naturally one into another.

Very accessible album, but far from being 'music for elevators', compositions have depth. Good for listening in the background, when you are busy with something else, and good for careful listens. Highly recommended if you like CELESTE, ZAUBER (obviously), HOSTSONATEN, softer PFM songs or instrumental pieces from ''Jethro Tull Christmas Album''. Fans of ''Palepoli'' by OSANNA will probably call it too safe and cheesy. But if you are ''going slightly mad'', hold a ticket to hell (IL BIGLIETTO PER INFERNO) in your hand and are already close to destination, if death from IL BALLETTO DI BRONZO's ''Ys'' walks behind you, take a breath of fresh air in CLARION music. It will remind you once again: life is beautiful.

NotAProghead | 4/5 |

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