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Opus Avantra


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Opus Avantra Lyrics album cover
3.29 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Viaggio Immaginario:
- a. Parte 1 (2:39)
- b. Parte 2 (2:08)
- c. Parte 3 (4:23)
2. Misterious Japanese Suite:
- a. Parte 1 (5:29)
- b. Parte 2 (2:39)
- c. Parte 3 (2:35)
- d. Parte 4 (5:07)
3. Ballata (2:57)
4. Lirica Metafisica (5:20)
5. Danza Arcana (4:38)
6. Meditazione (4:55)

Total Time: 42:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Alfredo Tisocco / disklavier Yamaha, computer project, ensemble conductor
- Donella Del Monaco / voice
- Saverio Tasca / percussion
- Enrico Professione / violin
- Andrea Corsara / violin
- Pieregidio Spiller / violin
- Martina Pattenon / viola
- Stefania Cavedon / cello
- Alberto Brendolin / cello, free interpretation(4)
- Gianfranco Spigolon / contrabass
- Angelo Lora / oboe
- Alberto Crivelletto / flute
- "Tammittam" Ensemble / percussion (5)

Releases information

CD Artis ARCD 023 (1995)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Fassbinder for the last updates
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OPUS AVANTRA Lyrics ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (60%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

OPUS AVANTRA Lyrics reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by laplace
3 stars An initially unassuming work - belying a trove of hidden treasure - floating somewhere between chamber music and the sort of film score that would accompany a movie featuring a lot of travel between scenic locations. The music isn't as fickle as on previous Opus Avantra albums - indeed, a sustained, stringed drone provides a base for the nine minute opener, "Viaggio Immaginario" which may well limit the amount of variation it can achieve.

The other large piece - "Misterious Japanese Suite" - opens more notably with creative and challenging piano playing in - to this admittedly under-educated reviewer's ears - a rather esoteric scale. This flows into a more rhythmic battle between the piano, a string section playing pizzicato notes and some manner of tuned percussion. There is simply no room for Donella to sing at any point during this suite, so she doesn't. Were that we were all so restrained.

For fans of classical and avant-garde composition as "Lyrics" has negligible to nil rock content. A solid work that's only a slight disappointment when compared to their previous albums - this isn't brought about by a lapse in quality so much as a change in approach.

Review by DamoXt7942
FORUM & SITE ADMIN GROUP Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars Cheers for great Italian avantgarde progressive band!

Beg your pardon but Lyrics is the first OPUS AVANTRA's album for me. I can't now understand it's whether good or not, but I think it's okay because the album has several short suites plus short songs, and is not relatively hard to hear. OPUS AVANTRA is a project by two leaders, Alfredo Tisocco the practical leader, and Donella Del Monaco the vocalist and the mental core of the band. It's not overappreciation that he and she together should make and drive the project.

This album is composed by two suites and four short pieces of song. First, Viaggio English, imaginary made by repeated phrases by strings, horn section, and percussion with opera voice. This suite can remind me BOLERO by Joseph Maurice Ravel (as everyone should say?), namely it should get more elevated and louder as an eagle flyes. Simple but strong phrases repeated can kick us out completely. Next suite is named Mysterious Japanese Suite. Japanese? How?...I can't understand well what they might intend. Humbly, I can imagine that the suite should express itself as Japanese traditional art, No-Gaku. Some speedy tension and conversely slower flute sound can remind me the real No-Dance of young or old ladies, and attacking and hitting points the one of Han-nya, an ogre or a devil. Or I can imagine a busy and restless life of a modern Japanese... Also about the other 4 pieces Donella's opera-like or hiphop-like voice should be the key point of the songs.

Lyrics itself is not a concept album but it can throw us listeners into the AVANTRland. With confidence I can say they are pride of avant-progressive world.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not the place to start

And so we arrive at the final (to date) Opus Avantra album, the 4th, "Lyrcis." Opus Avantra are a much loved RPI band dating back to the 1970s, led by composer Alfredo Tisocco, and featuring the lovely voice of the acclaimed Donella del Monaco. Behind them are a large troupe of musicians dedicated to the experiments of combining classical music, opera, and the avant-garde. It is a formula that has served them well and treated fans to four worthwhile albums over the years.

While "Lyrics" is another classy and meticulous project it is probably not the place to begin for people new to Opus Avantra. The two 70's albums are filled with more warm and sentimental melodies, the third album Strata is an object of pure beauty, and Lyrics is left to be perhaps the most difficult release of the four. It does not seem concerned with beauty or pretty melodies, but is more a collection of sound meditations of chamber music. The "full immersion into the sounds of the past through the machines of the future" is how Tisocco describes "Viaggio Immaginario", the first of two long suites. Here the process of sampling live musicians and creating the work through computers was a "fantastic sensation" to Tisocco. Violins, cello, percussion, oboe, flute, and bass are used as both rhythmic backgrounds and leads in different situations, sometimes it sounds like classical music, other times it lulls you into a bit of a trance---it reminded me most of some of the albums I've heard by Oregon. It's a strong and impressive piece of work even if it leaves me a bit dry compared to other Avantra releases. I miss some of the raw passions of the early work, even Donella's vocals here are infrequent and more subdued than in the past. Perhaps that was all part of the plan, to explore a more disciplined landscape, to make a clear departure to another place.

Part 2 of "Viaggio" is a treat with Donella's mournful operatic song pausing here and there for a lovely violin expression. Part 3 continues the strange, unyielding and tense background rhythm as it crescendos. The four part "Mysterious Japanese Suite" is next and clocks in at about 15 minutes. Here Tisocco speaks of the trials of trying to arrange a piano score with more than 100,000 notes. This is pretty cerebral stuff, dry again, and has a feeling of restlessness hanging over it. Even the lovely woodwinds in part 2 cannot find the sense of peace. In part 3 things get even more chaotic with furious piano storms, tense strings, and odd percussions that sound like a young band finding the key to the percussion closet at Abbey Road. Oddly, Donella is not utilized in this track, the album's centerpiece. She returns for the lovely traditional "Ballata." A very minimalist strings piece follows (Lirica Metafisica) that is unsettling in the sparse dialogue panning back and forth between the strings, with no accompaniment. "Danza Arcana" is the one nod to the playful mischief of the 1970s albums, four minutes of wild and crazy that will remind you of the early work even as it ultimately goes a different direction. The album ends with the plaintive and introspective "Meditazione" which is a quiet keyboard piece.

"Lyrics" is an interesting work to check out after you've heard the others, when you can appreciate the departure more by being familiar with the Opus sound tradition. In some ways this may be their most consistent work while at the same time, not as much pure fun. The Artis Records issue features a booklet with notes on the music and some nice photos of the musicians.

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