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Focus - Hamburger Concerto  CD (album) cover

HAMBURGER CONCERTO

Focus

 

Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 700 ratings

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friso
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Focus - Hamburger Concerto (1974)

Misplaced Adulthood..?

There has been a high level of agreement concerning what was the peak of Fucus' career: Hamburger Concerto. I've always fellt that Moving Waves was superiour, but still this is a great album. One track with French vocals and one with Dutch vocals, this is an inventive and a risky expiriment. It does make the album stylish. Still it sounds a bit tame when compared with the earlier Focus albums.

Focus was a Dutch supergroup with keyboardist/flutist Thuis van Leer, guitarshredder (and Fusion expert) Jan Akkerman, Colin Allen on drums and the great bassplayer Bert Ruiter. At first spin one thing was apparent for me: Pierre van der Linden is shurely missed. The main link for the energetic side of Focus is gone, so is the uptempo side of Focus.

His abscence evoked an down-tempo record, except for the second track Harum Scarum. La Cathédral De Strasbourg is however one of the most gentle atmospheric tracks I've ever heard. The French vocals are a nice finding. The long epic on side two has it's up and downs. I think the opening section is not very interesting, while the middle section with the serious themes with the fade in guitar part of Jan Akkerman and his solo is masterfull. After that the perpect parts keep coming. The great intelligent progressive church-like chord progression with the Dutch vocals is one of the finest achievements of the band. The following heavy symphonic parts are great as well and finish the the epic bravely. To bad for the avarage first sections of the song, for the other parts are essential proglistening.

Conclusion. A great symphonic prog record with lots of classical influences and some fusion elements. Still I miss Focus rockin'out on this one and the weak begining of the title track is a pity. I won't give this five stars, for it lacks some of my favourite Focus elements. Where is Focus' sometimes naive compositional style? Did they become a musically adult? Four stars seems to be justified however, for Hamburger Concerto has a lot of masterfull moments.

friso | 4/5 |

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