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Novalis Konzerte album cover
4.01 | 60 ratings | 9 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bolero (Ravel) (0:51)
2. Dronsz (Rahn) (2:41)
3. Es färbt sich die Wiese grün (Karges/Karges) (9:04)
4. Impressionen (Rahn) (10:00)
5. Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört (Rahn/Karges) (9:14)
6. Wunderschätze (Job/Originaltext von Novalis um 1798, lyrics adapted by D. Job) (11:33)
7. Sommerabend (Job/Rahn/Reihel): (19:19)
...a) Wetterleuchten
...b) Am Strand
...c) Der Traum
...d) Ein neuer Tag
...e) Ins Licht

Total Time: 63:42

Bonus tracks (recorded live at the Winterhuder Fährhaus in December 1978) on 2008 CD:
8. Wenn nicht mehr Zahlen und Figuren (Mühlböck/Novalis, lyrics adapted by F. Mühlböck) (3:07)
9. Astralis (Mühlböck/Novalis, lyrics adapted by F. Mühlböck) (8:58)
10. Irgendwo, Irgendwan (D. Job/D. Job) (4:28)

Line-up / Musicians

- Fred Mühlböck / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, flute
- Detlef Job / electric guitar, vocals
- Lutz Rahn / Hammond H100 organ, PPG synth, Mellotron, electric piano, clavinet, Solina strings
- Heino Schünzel / bass, vocals
- Hartwig Biereichel / drums, gongs

Releases information

LP Logo 0060.065 (1979)

CD Universal Music, SPV306032 CD (2008, remastered with 3 bonus tracks)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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Buy NOVALIS Konzerte Music

NOVALIS Konzerte ratings distribution

(60 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

NOVALIS Konzerte reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
4 stars This is a very good live concert from one of the most original Krautrock bands. It captures Novalis at their creative peak. The long compositons contain many wonderful changing climates, from mellow, classical and folky to up-tempo rock and bombastic symphonic. The keyboard sound is magnificent, especially if you like the vintage keyboards, to me they always sound so warm and distinctive. The vocals are in the German language, for me as a Dutchman (we are neighbours) good to understand and I like the poetical undertone that is emphasized in German. I hope that this gem wil be released on CD very soon, WUNDERBAR!!
Review by Progbear
4 stars Few albums unveil a new member with a live recording, but that's precisely what Novalis did with their first (of two) 1977 releases. KONZERTE is a live document that also serves as a prémiere for the band's new frontman, Austrian singer Fred Mühlböck. Mühlböck is probably the first real singer the band ever had. Prior to his membership, the vocals were understated in a Camel sense, there just to have someone singing. But Mühlböck actually has something of a vocal presence: he's dramatic without falling into the trap of having fits of spastic, tasteless "hard rock" histrionics like so many others. He also plays guitar, so earlier pieces like "Wer Schmetterlinge lachen hört" can be interpreted in fullest glory. Also, he's a flute player, adding additional texture to an already full and rich sound.

That this album is not on CD is really something of a crime, as it contains what surely are the definitive versions of "Sommerabend" and "Wunderschätze". Mühlböck adds a good deal of life to the earlier songs as well, making this a great starter album for established fans and newcomers alike.

Don't get too excited by the concept of a live version of "Dronsz", though. It's basically pre-recorded walk-on music.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars I really couldn't have reviewed another band than ''Novalis'' tonight. The presence of Febus is so intense even if I know by now that I won't read any more new great reviews nor posts on the forum from this important collab. I dedicate this review to him of course. He was the one with whom I shared many mails and interests (aside music of course). We were really close in many aspects of our lives. It is a though job to write about a band whom he was praising so much. But here we go...

It is a bit of a shame that this first live album from ''Novalis'' doesn't hold any track of their debut album. Especially their fantastic ''Banished Bridge'' epic, which is my all time fave form this German band. Of course, by then, there was another vocalist who used to sing in English (which was a good idea IMHHO).

This live set is actually almost an integral play back of their second and third album. The sound is rawer here than on the studio counterparts. It is particularly true during the guitar part of ''Es Färbte Sich Die Wiese Grün''.

My preferred tracks in here is the beautiful ''Impressionen''. The fact that it is an instrumental is probably not alien to this feeling. But left alone this fact, the musical moments are so poignant, melodic and passionate that it is pure pleasure to listen to such a piece of music.

This being said, the according studio albums belonged to the band's best repertoire. Still, I would have liked to get the great ''Aufbruch'' in here (from ''Sommerabend''). Anyway, this live set is very good and should please any ''Novalis'' fan but also any symphonic music lover. The bombastic closing part of ''Wunderschätze'' is a wonderful aspect of this characteristic.

The pièce de résistance is the epic ''Sommerabend''. The wonderful and spacey intro is another great moment of this live album which is actually a very good collection of their early work (bearing in mind the remark for ''Banished Bridge''). Recommended.

Four stars.

I closed my review for ''Sommerabend'' with these words: ''I dedicate this review to my friend Febus: hold on my friend. There is light after the tunnel''. I knew about his health situation and I wrote it on November 29th. Antoine passed away three days later...

Unfortunately for Antoine, the light was turned off but he will always be a light for me. Repose en paix mon ami.

Review by friso
3 stars Novalis - Konzerte (1977)

After I got enthousiastic listening to the second album of this German sympho band, I bought this live record. On side one Novalis plays about 70% of the Novalis album, on side two Novalis plays 70% of the Sommerabend follow-up album. The tracks selected for the liverecord are very nice, maybe some material from their debut could have been included for a complete look into their discography.

The recording is reasonable. The vocals are worse then in the studio, but the keys are almost as good, though some keysounds are a bit different. The problem with the recording is the many low volume parts of the record that aren't represented very well here. Sometimes I've got the feeling things go wrong during the concert, but overall it's acceptable. A thing that is apparent here is that the band has found nice ways to use the material from the Novalis album, not always playing the song the same as on the album.

The compostional style of Novalis is between symphonic prog and symphonic rock. It never get's very intelligent, but it stay's atmospheric throug the whole record. On side one the tempo goes up a few times, but on side two we get a slow pulse for almost half an hour. Nothing of this material can be seen as very progressive, it's more of a way to recycle ideas and making something new with it. This accompanied by the lack of uptempo or sophisticated songwriting makes this album not very essential. It's just sympho, nothing more.

Conclusion. Symphoproggers might want to try this, others might skip on this one. I myself like to put it on during dinner or other peacefull moments of the day and it's perfectly suitable for that. So, it's good, but not essential. Three stars.

Review by stefro
4 stars Novalis were a excellent German symphonic prog outfit often bracketed under the 'krautrock' banner yet in truth much closer to the likes of Yes and Genesis in both sound and style. Starting out during the early-seventies as a psychedelic rock group who sang in English, Novalis would take the brave and rather unusual step of singing entirely in German from their second release onwards, thus limiting their commercial appeal to that of their homeland and a few surrounding countries. They would produce a handful of attractive, keyboard-drenched albums during this time, including their classic self-titled release and it's ethereal follow-up 'Sommeraband', before gradually pursuing a slightly more commercial sound as the decade wore on. However, for the 1977 show from which this superb double live-album is culled, the group went for a full-blown symphonic rock approach characterised by slick, snazzy synthesizers and richly-textured keyboards that showed Novalis really could rock it up with the best of them. The undoubted highlight of the set is the main track from 'Sommeraband', played in all it's glorious four-part beauty, capping off a remarkable performance from a group performing at the peak of their powers. The sound is full and crisp, and the CD digipak reissue features an extra fifteen-minutes worth of material that includes the anthemic synth-rocker 'Astralis' from the group's underrated 'Brandung' album, a worthy addition indeed, capping off what is essentially the definitive Novalis release. Impressive.


Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Hamburg's Romantic Rock ensemble may have been settling into bad habits in the recording booth, but on stage the band was still capable of putting on a rousing show in 1977. Unlike their current studio album "Brandung" (not yet released when these gigs were taped), the emphasis in concert was on the instrumental performances, with a setlist devoted to earlier, stronger material from their self-titled 1975 album and its splendid 1976 companion "Sommerabend". New singer Fred Mühlböck would soon usurp the songwriting duties and steer his comrades into shallower waters, but he sounds completely at ease in the band's more symphonic back catalogue (he may have simply been trying too hard on his upcoming studio debut with the group).

The music itself on the live disc is more or less conventional Prog Rock, a description sadly becoming less of an oxymoron in 1977. But don't dismiss the album too quickly. Yes, it represented a waning style of music captured at that awkward moment just past its cultural expiration date, complete with obligatory classical walk-on music (Ravel's "Bolero") and, outside of the brief instrumental "Dronz", no song shorter than nine minutes. But thankfully the rumors of Prog's death-by-misadventure hadn't reached suburban Hamburg yet, and even with its flat, detached production the album crackles with energy and enthusiasm.

Judging by the sound of the crowd (large and ecstatic), the band was nearing the apex of their popularity as well, before starting to buckle under the pressures of commercial success. Be prepared, however, to accept a little mustiness when opening this bluntly-titled musical time capsule. But as anyone who has ever haunted an old vinyl emporium can tell you, the dusty whiff of yesterday's faded treasure is not an unpleasant experience.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars One of the reasons why I think Novalis never reached the status as one of the most important and original bands of the 70´s prog scene is fact that they never had a decent producer. Their albums always sound like recorded in a two track studio in a back of a long tunnel. When my friend Erik Neuteboom sent me this CD my impression did not change. But upon reading some of the reviews here I found out that there was a remastered version of this live album that was released in 2008. I went out to find it in hopes that they had fixed the old problem this time. And, fortunately, I was right. The new version sounds powerful and clear where the old one is thin and muddy. Besides, as a bonus, there are three extra tracks recorded an year later. So you really got the best of offer with this new edition.

With 2008´s Konzerte , released by SPV, you finally hear Novalis in all its glory: a real terrific band that deserved to be better known by all symphonic prog lovers. Their music is simply divine, with all the elements that made progressive music so good at the 70´s: melodic, adventurous, creative and performed by musicians who know their trade. By the time they released this live album the former quartet had added to the line up singer Fred Mühlböck , who also plays guitar and flute. Mühlböck gave the band one of the few things Novalis really lacked (i.e. a good, professional vocalist). It is no wonder that some of the older material sounds better here than on their studio counterparts.

The tracklist is simply fantastic: after a short intro (that is a sample of Ravel´s Bolero), the band kicks in with the short instrumental Dronsz, on which the driving beat leads an organ heavy riff and guitar forward. After that you have some of the best examples of great symphonic epics in the form of tunes like Es färbt sich die Wiese grün and Sommerabend. But, to me, the highlights are the long instrumental Impressionen and the beautiful and the absolute masterpiece of Wunderschätze, where you don´t have to understand german to feel goose bumps when you listen to the emotional vocals and the seamless, perfect performance of all involved. Sometimes their music reminds me of great german bands like Triumvirat, Eloy and the dutch legends Focus, but for most of the time the songs, although sounding quite familiar, are very original and unique. Lutz Rahn is probably one of the most underrated keyboards genius of the world and the rest of the band is not far behind. The three bonus tracks area also a nice addition to the package: maybe not as perfect as the main course, but they are very good anyway.

Conclusion: I was really, really glad to hear Novalis with a proper remastering that shows their music as it should be from the beginning. I have been listening to this CD almost non stop for the last two weeks and I still can´t get enough of it. This is a prog masterpiece and I´m happy to have found it. If you´re new to this great band and loves 70´s symphonic prog do yourself a favor and get this remastered copy of Konzerte. You will be rewarded with 78 minutes of pure prog heaven.

Rating: 5 stars, no less. A masterpiece of progressive music. Highly recommended!

Latest members reviews

4 stars I often went on a 'Krautrock' pilgrimage to the famous record store Saturn in the German city Cologne in the late Seventies/Early Eighties. In those days you could easily buy complete LP collections of bands like Jane, Eloy, Grobschnitt and ... Novalis. I bought their live LP entitled Konzerte, ... (read more)

Report this review (#1871209) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Thursday, February 1, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have to give this a straight fiver because not only is it the first Novalis album I bought, but because it deserves it! First of all, a clarification to Progbear's review above: The "walk-on" music is "Bolero," and this *is* a live version of "Dronz." It is played with a different feel to t ... (read more)

Report this review (#88201) | Posted by Jeff Carney | Friday, August 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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