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Flairck - Symphony For The Old World CD (album) cover



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5 stars Flairck exits (??) with their most ambitious project ever.

A double live album full of folk music is not what should entice a symph head like myself. But this album, although live, has a lot in common with the double concept albums from the symph prog scene. Like for example Genesis album Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. Then you have a look at the tracklisting here and you think that does not make sense whatsoever. Well, you are wrong.

Symphony For The Old World consist of made up folk music symphonies from east, west, north and south. That and a finale and an encore. I believe all of this is new music too, played live. All symphonies are on average 25 minutes long. And it is easy to detect which symphony you are listening to. The starting symphony The West, all twenty-four minutes of it contains a lot of bluegrass, country and jazz in addition to South American folk music. That off course refers to the Americas, north and south. The twenty-seven minutes long The East symphony have a lot of gypsy, Eastern Europe and further afield folk music. That is the Disc 1.

Disc 2 starts with the twenty-three minutes The North with a good nod to the Swedish folk music scene, Icelandic psalms and in particular; the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. The best symphony on Symphony For The Old World, in my view. But you would not excect anything else from a Scandinavian, would you ? The longest symphony here, clocking in at over thirty minutes, is The South which contains Spanish flamenco and a lot of other influences I am not able to detect due to a large hole in my knowledge base. The five minutes each Finale and Encore ties up the loose ends.

Symphony For The Old World is by all means a symphonic prog album, containing folk music. Period. The musicianship is excellent and Flairck has exceeded themselves here by a solid margin. The quality of the symphonies are excellent and the concept is easy to follow. If this indeed is the final Flairck album, they have given us something the coming generations of music lovers will cherish as the masterpiece it is. And that from one of the best bands this scene has ever witnessed. I cannot recommend this masterpiece highly enough to anyone interested in excellent progressive music. Hence my verdict.

5 stars

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Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011 | Review Permalink

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