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Magenta - Live at Real World CD (album) cover




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4 stars I'm amazed that this splendid live album has only got 6 ratings so far, albeit that the average rating does the album justice. But the album has been with us for quite a while and there is more to be enjoyed than you may expect! So where are you all?

Okay, then I'm the first to submit a review. Magenta played this acoustic concert in Peter Gabriel's Real World studio in front of a very small, selected and thus enthusiastic audience. But who could stay neutral when you witness this band, that has become famous for its long and well-worked epics, play acoustic splendidly, encompassed by a few talented young musicians who add so much flavour to the music with their oboe, violin, viola and cello? It is absolutely marvellous, and daring too. Because the complex nature of Magenta's music could easily have been overlooked in this new clasical arrangement, using few instruments. But it certainly is not. The songs work well in this classical way, based on the beautiful voice of Christina Booth (although her start is somewhat hesitating...), the intricate playing of Rob Reed on piano and the excellent guitar playing by Chris Fry. Add to this that the band seems to enjoy this gig enormously, while risking a lot playing in such an intimate setting and with such new arrangements. They simply seem to feel that it works well, that they are doing a fine job. And they do!

The set list is intricate too, with the addition of several songs they hardly if ever play live, such as Lemminkainen's Lament (what a title to pronounce...!). That song is one of the many highlights, with beautiful romantic oboe playing. Hearing and seeing those rather unknown songs is one of the gems of this cd/dvd combination. The other one is the addition of several video clips while the overall set price is also so friendly that anyone who likes this band or who loves acoustic prog certainly should purchase it.

Are there no critical things to discuss? Well, only very few. The most obvious is the rendition of one of Christina's solo efforts, 'Hate you'. In atmosphere and melody that is totally different from the rest and therefore, in my opinion, not a real asset. The other one is that Christina sometimes forces herself too much to reach the high notes. But these are only minor setbacks. This is an excellent addition to your prog music collection for sure, produced by a bunch of great musicians who will hopefully please us again and again in the near future.

Highly recommended!!

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Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink

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