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Höstsonaten Winterthrough album cover
4.05 | 158 ratings | 10 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2008

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Entering the Halls of Winter (10:13)
2. Red Sky (3:43)
3. White Earth (1:20)
4. Snowstorm (3:18)
5. Over the Plain (2:04)
6. The Crystal Light (6:46)
7. Outside (2:18)
8. Ruins (2:17)
9. Through Winter's Air (1:42)
10. Rainsuite (i. Prelude, ii. New Year's Theme, iii. Winter's End, iv. Celebration / To the Open Fields...) (12:42)

Total Time 46:23

Bonus track on 2008 LP edition:
Intro: Autumn's Decline

Line-up / Musicians

- Matteo Nahum / lead & rhythm guitars
- Alessandro Corvaglia / Mellotron, synths (Minimoog, Crumar, Roland, Yamaha), RMI keyboard
- Roberto Vigo / grand piano, Hammond, church organ, electric piano, String Ensemble, glockenspiel, horns, sound designer, mixing
- Edmondo Romano / soprano saxophone, clarinet, brass
- Fabio Zuffanti / bass, bass pedals, rhythm, 12-string & classical guitars, percussion, composer & producer
- Maurizio Di Tollo / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Davide Guidoni

CD AMS - AMS133CD (2008, Italy)

LP Vinyl Magic ‎- Ams lp 07 (2008, Italy) With a bonus track

Digital album

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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HÖSTSONATEN Winterthrough ratings distribution

(158 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

HÖSTSONATEN Winterthrough reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Wintertrhough is the third part of the season cycle suite, a musical celebration in four parts thought by Fabio Zuffanti as the magnum opus of Hostsonaten. The band is going backwards from the fourth and final part (Springsong released in 2002) to the future project planned as it follows: Autumnsymphony (part two) and Summereve (part one).

The album is mainly instrumental-based despite only two pleasant episodes of recitative warm vocals in italian language, as it happened also in the previous record.

Musically the new album is very similar to the previous one but less celtic. The general mood is darker, still pastoral, romantic and sad with many crescendos from slow hypnotic fragments of dark/light to full melodic symphonic prog and hints of jazz and ethnic music. Excellent (and curious) the addition of brass section which makes the sound more passionate and plentiful.

The opener Entering the Halls of Winter (10:13 mns) is really beautiful: it starts off with liquid whispering piano then introduces delicate bass playing and repetitive drums' patterns. Hypnotic for sure. Then, (not) surprisingly enters the mightly mellotron with its fluent dreamy waves. Brass also takes the scene until the song turns into a more conventional sympho prog for a while, within an electric guitar solo but... suddenly another change... soft classic piano and gentle harp...clarinet also for a romantic pastiche. Wonderful 'till the end the strong crescendo lead by clarinet and majestic choir- mellotron... hornes also...what a pleasure!

The other highlight is the fantastic closer Rainsuite (12:42) that follows a similar formula. Its ending part (To the Open Field) is the reproduction of the opener from Springsong (In the Open Fields), a perfect conjunction between the two seasons albums of winter and spring.

Other tracks are shorter (total timing is in fact about 46 mns) but very interesting because go from soft to slightly harder interludes (Snowstorm). Crystal Light is about 6:46 mns and it's another gem for its sad and romantic atmosphere. Special mention for the delicate soprano sax playing.

The dull and darker atmosphere gives this new work from Hostsonaten a stronger appeal. It's a must have for the fans of contemporary italian prog bands like LA MASCHERA DI CERA and FINISTERRE. Sparse use of choir- mellotron makes the whole work sparkling. If you like the previous Springsong, this one will certainly appear as a moderate improvement. Excellent.

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars In 2004 the Italian six piece band Hostsonaten released a compilation CD that contains material recorded between 1992 and 2002. I was very pleased with the music and therefore looking forward to this new studio album, six years after their previous effort entitled Springsong.

You can divide the ten compositions on this CD in seven shorter pieces (between 1 and 4 minutes) and three longer songs (between 6 and 13 minutes). The shorter songs are very tastefully coloured with a wide range of instruments, from frequently twanging acoustic guitars and assorted percussion to electric guitar and - piano, vintage keyboards and woodwind - and brass instruments. The climates change from dreamy and compelling to mid-tempo (Snowstorm with a strong final part delivering choir-Mellotron and moving guitar work) and a fluent rhythm like in the short but exciting Outside in which we can enjoy Minimoog flights, choir-Mellotron and Moog Taurus bass pedals, like Wind And Wuthering Genesis, I love it! The 3 long compositions deserve to be described separately, first Entering The Halls Of Winter (10 minutes): the first part sounds like a bolero with tender Grand piano and then slowly other instruments (like soft drums and bass, violin-Mellotron and brass), followed by heavy choir-Mellotron waves and a compeling part with howling guitar and propulsive drums and finally wonderful interplay between piano, clarinet and choir-Mellotron, culminating into a grand finale with a French horn. The track The Crystal Light (almost 7 minutes) starts with lush choir-Mellotron, then a slow rhythm that turns into a dreamy interlude with twanging guitars and a clarinet solo, concluded with an exciting final part featuring fluent drums, powerful Hammond and spoken words. The long final composition is my highlight on this new Hostsonaten album: first a slow rhythm with sensitive guitar and then splendid parts with breathtaking interplay between Grand piano and violin-Mellotron and sumptuous moments with synthesizers, organ, choir- Mellotron and howling guitar, this is Progheaven!

I needed a few listening sessions to get into this new Hostsonaten CD (also because I am not a fan of woodwind - and brass instruments) but now I am carried away by this wonderful and pleasantly arranged blend of Seventies inspired symphonic rock, classical and folk, a big hand for Hostsonaten!

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The recent Höstsonaten is probably the finest definition of contemplation in prog music, a serenely nostalgic all-instrumental adventure that luxuriates in the almost classical expression of the Four Seasons that nature provides with since time immemorial. Having Vivaldi as their compatriot is already a great omen, but of course, here we are dealing with a full-blown progressive delivery , with all the usual suspects (lush keys, rippling piano, gentle bass and a plethora of detailed percussives details , with sizzling lead guitar solos as well as inspired wind instrument work (clarinet, flute and sax) . Mastermind and bassist extraordinaire Fabio Zuffanti has labored long and hard with colleagues Roberto Vigo and brass/windman Edmundo Romano while introducing La Maschera di Cera singer Alessandro Corviglia (who handles lot of the 'coloring' keyboard textures) and bringing new guitar whiz Matteo Nahum . The masterful drum /percussion chair is ably handled by Maurizio di Tollo (recently featured with Moongarden and LMdC), quickly turning into current Italian prog's most prolific drummer. From the drop-dead dazzling cover artwork bathing in highly suggestive deep bluish pastels, the simply refined booklet and of course, the "cathedralesque" music, this has all the tools to be a winning package. The whopping opening epic "Entering the Halls of Winter" begins with a languorous beat, evoking the hypnotic slide show of tumbling snowflakes, bullied gently by brief gales of chilling mellotron, highly orchestral moods and pastoral settings. When the fanfare-like blares of trumpet usher in the ever growing melody, the mood switches abruptly to the tempestuous blizzard, highlighted by an effects- laden guitar sortie full of Wind and Wuthering. After the storm, the sultry use of clarinet introduces the warm glow of the sun reflecting on the crisp snow banks, the contrast of urgent temperatures vying for attention and the grand piano issuing rivulets of ice water streams. The mighty mellotron kicks in this melody into interstellar overdrive, grandiose and majestic beyond belief, the fanfare trumpets blazing away the last gusts of winter's powerful beauty. "Red Sky" leaves the stage mostly to Edmundo Romano's iridescent clarinet and sax work, aided by some "triangular" percussion and traversed by some spoken words in Italian. The short "White Earth" evokes exactly what the title implies: immense simplicity and splendor this time expressed by some piano while "Snowstorm" introduces violins, more brass and harder drumming, with a strong jazz dissonance that is slowly building the recognizable melody, very "recherché" with a splendiferous synthesizer solo, a mellotron cascade and Matteo Nahum entering the fray with a rippling solo. "Over the Plain" dives straight into jazz realms, grooving on some enormous sax meanderings and choir samples humming in the background. "The Crystal Light" is another highlight, after a brief orchestral swell, the gentle beat returns and the sax (sounding a bit like Andy Mackay) develops the ravishing theme once again, the keys allied in the cause and the magic contemplation returns again with fervor. Saxophone lovers (of which I am a huge fan and of which there is too little in prog) will have an "all you can blow" buffet here! A brief narration and bang! The theme explodes with renewed grandeur, this is a gem, folks! The next 3 diminutive cuts provide a showcase for some lovely synthesizer forays ("Outside"), acoustic guitar remindful of Ant Phillips (liquid piano and almost Frippertronic leads) adventures ("Ruins") and the accordion -fueled magnificence of ("Through the Winter's Air"). The colossal "Rainsuite" erupts with a repetitive lead guitar plea, a desperate search for some untold emotion, an insistent piano ornaments the waves of torrential orchestrations (yeah the 'tron!), with Matteo going delirious, squeezing all kinds of feeling out of his axe in the finest Hackett tradition. The arrangements stretch out into some nearly PFM like moments, with keyboards playing the lead weaving simply magical symphonic tapestries that are simply to die for. The pace grows in intensity with little respite until rolling drums rumble in introducing the majestic theme once again with unreserved abandon, punctuated by another searing and soaring lead that knows no pity. Probably one of the finest piece of Italian symphonic prog ever, I mean it's that resounding! I enjoyed the previous "Springsongs" but this is at another level altogether. Ridiculously good! 5 frozen icicles.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This is yet another good album by ''Höstsonaten''. The band is one of my fave, not only from the brilliant Italian genre but overall.

They played such a beautiful music, fully reminiscent of the seventies that it is almost normal that I am so thrilled with them. In the genre, they are only surpassed by ''La Maschera Di Cera'' IMO.

The centre part of this work and masterpiece as well is the great opener '' Entering The Halls Of Winter''. The second longest song of this album which leads you to the best moments of the seventies I love it so much. Mellotron, flute, melody, fantasy, passion: such a cocktail!

It is also true to say that some shorter tracks aren't that superb, like ''White Earth'', the jazzy '' Over The Plain'', or the useless ''Ruins''; but the magic still operates during ''Snowroom'' for instance. Nice mellotron and gorgeous guitar. I just feel that the track would have deserved more than three minutes to be developed.

This is too much of a habit though in this recording: lots of short tracks are quite a change for the ones who were deeply in love with their long epics. I am not deeply impressed with all those sliced musical moments.

This album is somewhat of a disillusion. Too many sax parts are invading this work which is their weakest so far IMHHO. My hopes were rather high with this ''Höstsonaten'' album, but if you would except the excellent opening track, there are not so many great moments available unfortunately. Some parts of the ''Rainsuite'' closing number are also great but I was used to more than this really.

I was really expecting much better from the band (the man?). Three stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This is the final chapter in the "SeasonCycle Suite". HOSTSONATEN have been celebrating musically each of the four seasons. Nice art work as well although considering i'm in Canada and it's Winter right now all I have to do is to look out the window to see barren trees and snow. This is by far my least favourite season, and where I live it's the longest. Perhaps the one advantage of living in snow and ice for up to 5 months is how much we appreciate Spring, Summer and Fall. I cherish those seasons. This is really one long 46 minute suite broken into 10 movements.

"Entering The Halls Of Winter" opens with gently played piano as drums, bass and acoustic guitar join in. Mellotron after 1 1/2 minutes. This sounds great. A change after 4 minutes as pounding drums and mellotron take over. Electric guitar comes in as well. It settles before 6 minutes as piano then sax and mellotron join in. Piano only 7 1/2 minutes in. Drums and mellotron before 9 minutes as the sound becomes fuller. "Red Sky" features some different sounds including bagpipes. Spoken words as well on this one around 2 minutes with acoustic guitar. Clarinet and piano join in too. "White Earth" features intricate sounds. I like listening to this one. "Snowstorm" opens with drums and horns as guitar and bass come in and it all sounds fantastic ! The tempo slows after 4 1/2 minutes then we get a mellotron flood followed by a guitar solo.

"Over The Plain" is a cool song with the horns, mellotron and light drums. "The Crystal Light" opens with drums and mellotron. Nice. Acoustic guitar takes over for the mellotron. Sounds like sax joining in. Spoken words 5 minutes in as organ and drums carry on. A great soundscape follows. "Outside" is excellent with the drums, guitar and synths leading the way. "Ruins" is interesting. I like the atmosphere they create here. Some different sounds on this one. "Through Winter's Air" features mellotron, accordion and acoustic guitar. "Rainsuite" is the longest section at around 13 minutes. It changes tempo and mood throughout. I like the electric guitar with organ and drums early. More nice guitar leads 3 minutes in and later.

My favourite from this band is still their self-titled debut. They're all good though.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Will we survive through this harsh winter ? Do we have enough food and hot ale to live through these cold, icy times and keep our good health ? Or is our fate sealed and we are doomed to be prisoners of this snowy terrain, this artificial landscape of this temperature deep bellow zero degrees. But wait a minute, the snow is already thawing, the heat is here and sun is shining. Where is this coming from ? Oh, it's not cool winter, no rough and wild winter, it's a winter in RPI performance, so we can except these warm feeling, passion (of play) and mostly also good mood work, you really feel like you were there (to which, acoustic guitars helps).

4(-), they made it, again. Not as interesting as their latest, but you know. Good enough.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A long 6-year break for Hostsonaten due to Zuffanti's work on other projects would stop in 2008.Long-time partner Stefano Marelli is not present anymore,leaving his place to Matteo Nahum (later also on La Maschera di Cera),but Edmondo Romano and Roberto Vigo are still here.Next to Zuffanti we find also his partner on La Maschera di Cera Alessandro Corvaglia and new drummer Maurizio Di Tollo from Moongarden and Rohmer.The new album with the excellent cover, released on BTF, was entitled ''Winterthrough''.

More of the same for Mr.Zuffanti & company,excellent Symphonic-Folk rock based on captivating melodies and deep and dreamy atmospheres.But this time everything is more balanced with no obvious leanings towards more symphonic or folkier arrangements.The longer tracks are certainly the best,magnificent mix of Symphonic Rock with Ethnic musicianship and a superb alternation between keyboard-driven/guitar passages with folksky arrangements.Haunting emotional guitar solos,orchestral keyboards and delicate melodies are all over the place.This style is a guaranteed Zuffanti trademark,which few people can present with such thrilling atmospheres.The shorter ones are definitely in a Folk/Folk Rock style,dominated by the acoustic guitars of Fabio along with a slow-tempo rhythm section,the piano of Roberto Vigo and a changing use of traditional instruments.Still the flutes,saxes and bagpipes of Edmondo Romano can create ethereal soundscapes and highly intensive moods in a blink of an eye.

The 6-years waiting was worth till the last second.The return of Hostsonaten is another unbelievable instrumental journey into deeply atmospheric progressive rock.An essential album for your collection.

Review by andrea
5 stars "Winterthrough" is the third part of Höstonaten's cycle of the seasons and was released in 2008 on the independent label AMS/BTF with a line up featuring along with composer and producer Fabio Zuffanti (bass, bass pedals, acoustic and electric guitar, moog, percussion) also Alessandro Corvaglia (Mellotron, Mini-Moog, synthesizers, keyboards), Maurizio Di Tollo (drums, cymbals, tambourine, gong, percussion), Matteo Nahum (electric guitar), Edmondo Romano (sax, clarinet) and Robbo Vigo (piano, Hammond and Church organ, strings ensemble, glockenspiel, horns). The soft musical colours of Winter are painted here with delicate and balanced classical passages and an overall symphonic sound. Davide Guidoni's art work invites you to take an immaculate white path leading in a wood, there's snow all around and magic in the air...

The epic opener "Entering The Halls Of Winter" begins softly, just some delicate notes of piano, then the rhythm section comes in and the atmosphere becomes hypnotic. You're not walking alone, a whole army of ghosts is marching with you as if they were icy soldiers in a snowstorm... When the rhythm calms down you are alone again and you can admire the beauty of the nature around you. It calls you, go on, look ahead, beyond the horizon, far away, up to the limit of the world... It's not dark yet, but the end is here, in front of you... The voice-over that you can hear on "Red Sky" is taken from Werner Herzog's film, Heart of Glass (as the last words in Autumnsymphony) and evokes apocalyptic images: Time begins to crumble and after Time it's the turn of the Earth, it's the beginning of the end, everything falls down... "I'm falling down, I go down and down, it's the dizziness...". "White Earth" is a short, dreamy acoustic passage but in the following "Snowstorm" powerful winds begin to blow. An electric guitar solo leads to the jazzy "Over The Plain" where a trumpet draws dark shadows on the white landscape. On the second part of the beautiful, ethereal "The Crystal Light" the over-voice comes back conjuring new visions... "Once again I see a feather floating in the brook / And the wind pushing the fire on / I've seen the trees burning like matchsticks / I see some men running up the hill / Breathless, they stop at the top and paralyzed they turn into stone, one beside the other / The forest is made of stone / Everything becomes silent... Am I really the last one?". On "Outside" the rhythm rises and the mood becomes lighter. Next comes the quiet, dreamy "Ruins" that fades into the short acoustic "Through Winter's Air". The last track is the long, complex "Rainsuite" which is divided in four parts (Prelude, New year's theme, Winter's end, Celebration / To the Open Fields...). It starts softly, the mood is melancholic but melancholy eventually gives way to optimism and a drum roll seems to announce the celebration of the vernal equinox and the upcoming rites of spring. A magnificent grand finale for a wonderful album!

Latest members reviews

4 stars Winterthrough is the 4th studio album by #italian symphonic and RPI prog band #höstsonaten and the second of the Seasoncycle Suite (an opera-like conceptual composition released in four different albums, one for each season of the year), but will be my first review and recommendation, for now! ... (read more)

Report this review (#2739113) | Posted by ElChanclas | Sunday, April 24, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Hostsonaten is a project headed by Fabio Zuffanti, the bass player for one of the best newer Italian symphonic bands at the moment, Finisterre. Winterthrough is Zuffanti's fourth album with the name Hostsonaten and it seems he keeps improving. This time, he paints an idyllic and also a not so per ... (read more)

Report this review (#204307) | Posted by maribor1 | Wednesday, February 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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