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Hoelderlin - Hoelderlin Live - Traumstadt CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.82 | 31 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

After a series of three studio albums of above-average symphonic prog (and a prog folk debut fairly different to what they had been din of late), Hoelderlin released the obligatory double live record. Recorded over two consecutive nights, in late 77, the album actually makes a correct recap of those three albums, just before the band will change musical direction the following year. Unsurprisingly we find the line-up of the Rare Bird album, where both Kaseberg brothers are gone from the stage and only one of the Grumbkow brothers is still around (on stage since the other is behind the desk). The newcomers have well adapted to the group, changing only lightly the general sound of the self-titled album band, and if the playing is very apt, there are times when the band sounds a bit flat on this record. In retrospect, the following changes of direction might have seemed judicious, since the band was coming to exhaustion, but the proghead has every right to be displeased with future albums of theirs.

Anyway, after the ever-exciting Schwabebahn (the lead off track from their great eponymous album), the groups heads for their recent Rare Bird album with Intergalaktik (better live than studio), then the centre of the album will be axed towards the C&C album with the both the clowns and the clouds side getting a fair share of exposure, but as the studio album had let us guess the Clouds side was much more inspired, the same can be said in concert. Circus does not really gain much, while Mad House is only marginally better in this version; it is the Streaming-Phasing duo (presented in the reverse order though) that gets the full honours here. Two previously elsewhere- unavailable tracks are present here; with the 12-min+ Die Stadt (The City) and the finale almost 9-min Soft Landing. None of those two tracks bring much new to Hoelderlin's musical propos, but are a definite bonus to confirmed fans of the group. The lenghty Die Stadt is actually a showcase for solos of the band members and present the inevitable lengths, although the exercise is not completely useless either, since it is one of the better such showcases. The ill-named finale is anything but tranquil and provides as good an outro as the lead-off Schwabebahn was an intro. But this highlight comes a bit too late, toooooo bad!!!

Not my ideal track selection for the ultimate presentation of Hoelderlin's classic period, Traumstadt (making a useless reference to their early folk prog album) is a fairly good introduction to their symphonic rock. One of the unfortunate things is that this is still a double disc affair in Cd, but they could've added a few more tracks than the vinyl original issue.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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