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Horizont - Summer In Town CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 58 ratings

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3 stars Given my "stingy" rating scale, let me say that this album definitely deserves another half star. Despite its late entry into prog (1985), this is one of the most truly creative albums I've heard - possibly in the entire genre. In addition, whereas my colleague Greger likes "Snowballs" best, I felt it was actually the "weakest" track (though nothing on this album can truly be called "weak"). "Snowballs" has a very post-90125 Yes sound (that album came out just months earlier), but is good just the same. For my money, the other two tracks are the standouts. "Chaconne" is essentially a "true" classical chaconne, interpreted via rock instruments. (N.B. Because the "chaconne" form is fairly simple, some may not understand what the band is doing, and may misinterpret the piece as "weak" or even "boring." Thus, a knowledge of classical music will increase your appreciation of this piece immensely.) True, it is reminiscent in some ways of ELP, especially their interpretation of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." The difference is that ELP didn't WRITE that; HorizonT WROTE this. Which brings us to the extended track, "Summer in Town." Here, the band uses the "march," "minuet" and "toccata" forms to create a "soundscape" evoking the sounds and feelings of "the city." And although it is not always successful, it is nevertheless an extremely creative composition. At the risk of having my head handed to me, I dare say that ELP only WISHES that they had written something this original, using the same approach that both groups use (i.e., interpreting classical music with rock instruments). Most of ELP's music is either rock-oriented in composition (though obviously having classical elements), or are interpretations (too often uncredited...) of existing classical pieces. And although HorizonT is writing what amounts to "naive" classical music - and while it would be silly to suggest that anything here is as "good" (or great) as most of ELP's music - it is nevertheless totally original. It is also playful and fun, very enjoyable, and deserves a place in your collection.
maani | 3/5 |


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