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Clearlight - Impressionist Symphony CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.11 | 80 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I originally reviewed this album in the bygone Finnish prog magazine Colossus in 2014, and I wonder why I never happened to write the only collab review right here, until now. CLEARLIGHT is a French, mostly instrumental symph act led by keyboardist and composer Cyrille Verdeaux. The debut album Clearlight Symphony (recorded in 1974, released by Virgin Records) remains as his best known work. The later Clearlight albums seem to be too forgotten, as one can see from the lack of reviews for this latest one.

The inspiration for Impressionist Symphony sparkled already in 2004 at the French Embassy where Verdeaux was giving a solo piano concert. The ambassador described his style as impressionistic. "I love Ravel, Debussy, Chopin and Satie, so I thought this impressionist style was part of the 'French touch' cultural heritage, since most of the impressionist painters were also French." Thus came the idea to compose music to glorify that art movement.

The 64-minute instrumental album features several co-musicians such as guitarist Steve Hillage, synth wiz Tim Blake and saxophonist Didier Malherbe, all members of GONG who appeared also on Clearlight Symphony. Graig Fry adds his violin, and on drums is excellent Paul Sears. In the booklet the eight pieces are accompanied by paintings of e.g. Renoir, Monet, Degas and Van Gogh - such a nice idea!

The music flows brightly and dynamically and indeed it captures the sense of mpressionism, the spur of the moment. Some listeners may find the compositions a bit too ambivalent, but all in al this is a fine, gorgeously produced prog album made with pure passion and dedication. The booklet even contains album covers and brief introductions to the Clearlight discography. This pleasant extra makes me round my 4,5 stars upwards. Where are you, Clearlight fans??

Matti | 5/5 |


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