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Trans-Siberian Orchestra

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra Beethoven's Last Night album cover
3.70 | 124 ratings | 19 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture (2:56)
2. Midnight (2:10)
3. Fate (1:14)
4. What Good This Deafness (1:46)
5. Mephistopheles (3:43)
6. What Is Eternal (4:39)
7. The Moment (2:46)
8. Vienna (3:32)
9. Mozart / Figaro (3:18)
10. The Dreams Of Candlelight (4:05)
11. Requiem (The fifth)(2:58)
12. I'll Keep Your Secrets (4:15)
13. The Dark (4:23)
14. Fur Elise (0:41)
15. After The Fall (4:34)
16. A Last Illusion (5:26)
17. This Is Who You Are (3:58)
18. Beethoven (2:56)
19. Mephistopheles' Return (4:25)
20. Misery (2:44)
21. Who Is This Child (4:33)
22. A Final Dream (1:56)

Total Time: 72:58

Songs (1,3,11) written by O'Neill
Songs (2,4,6,9-10,16,18-20) by O'Neill/Kinkel
Songs (5,7,15,17,21-22) by O'Neill/Oliva
Songs (8,12) by O'Neill/OLiva, Kinkel
Songs (13) by O'Neill, Oliva, Caffery
Songs (14) arranged by Kinkel

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Kinkel / piano and keyboards, strings arrangements
- John Oliva / piano, keyboards and bass guitar
- Al Pitrelli / lead, rhythm and bass guitars
- Paul O'neill / rhythm and acoustic guitars
- Jeff Plate / drums
- Johnny Lee Middleton / bass
- Chris Caffery / guitar
- Dave Wittman / drums, guitar and bass inserts
- Tood Reynolds, Paul Woodiel, Mary Rowell, Laura Seaton-Finn and Denise Stillwell / violins
- Mark Wood and Mark Ferris / violas
- Garo Yellin, Jonas Tauber and Dorothy Lawson / cellos

Caracters Lead vocals:
- Jody Ashworth-Beethoven
- Patti Russo / Theresa
- Jon Oliva / Mephistopheles
- Guy Lemonnier / Young Beethoven
- Jamie Torcellini / Twist
- Sylvia Tosun / Fate
- Zak Stevens, Dave Diamond and Doug Thoms / The Muses
- Danielle Landherr, Marni Elliot, Sylvia Tosun, Robert Knikel, John Oliva, Guy Lemonnier, Jody Ashworth, Doug Thomws and Christian James / back vocals
- Jacob Ashworth, Even Maltby, Sebastian Perez, Caroline Ross, Mikhail Kofman and Adrian Ross / Child Choir conducted by Anthony Picollo

Releases information


Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Beethoven's Last Night Music

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Beethoven's Last Night ratings distribution

(124 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA Beethoven's Last Night reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
5 stars TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA'S latest album "Beethoven's Last Night" is a real masterpiece. Their style is as always "rock-opera-musical" with big dramatic orchestrations and pompous arrangements. PAUL O'NEIL from SAVATAGE is the leading man behind TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA'S, and some of the SAVATAGE members are also participating in TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA'S. The participating musicians and vocalists are too many to mention here. The music is built up of both classical and heavy metal music perfectly integrated with each other.

The concept of the story is explained like this in the promo-sheet: "On a late night in 1827 Vienna, an exhausted LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN sits slumped over his piano, having just completed his Tenth Symphony. This is to be his last night on earth Fate informs him. At the stroke of midnight, Mephistopheles appears to collect his soul. Faced with eternal damnation, a terrified BEETHOVEN stalls for time, claiming he has yet to finish his greatest work. But the Lord of Darkness has a bargain in min."

The musicians are technically skilled, all the vocalists have strong voices, the story is thrilling and the compositions are both complex and melodic. All in all this album have everything you can wish for in a rock opera. A must have in your record collection.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I almost always like the blend of classic and rock music like what this album is offering. It's an excellent album, I would say. Presented in the opera fashion, you will definitely guess that the singing style is performed in a dialogue or monologue style. This album reminds me to Tobias Sammet's Metal Opera "Avantasia" even though the music is totally different. Avantasia focuses on the metal part with no influence of classical music; while "Beethoven's Last Night" has put more emphasis on classical music. It seems this album has not been popular to prog lovers so far. This might be caused by the "orchestra" name in the band name that may have given a "classic" music perception to the mind of proggers. Probably

It's not just the marriage of rock/metal with classical music that has made this as an excellent album. The melody is very strong, you can find many music segments that have touchy or tasty melodies, usually accompanied by piano work. But it's not always the case as I find many segments with full music has strong melodies as well. You may find at the intro of track 9 "Mozart" where there is definitely a perfect influence of classical music and metal opera. Cool opening. This album also offers uplifting track such as track 16 "A Last Illusion" where you can find a demonstration of various instruments performed in speed with influences of power metal and classical music. The music then flows to a medium tempo with meloow vocal line. Try this track in your music room and play it loudly - you can feel the difference.

The songwriting is excellent. Almost each track has an excellent structure. The structural composition of the overall album is also excellent, in which you may enjoy listening the CD without having to read the sleeve and/ or knowing the story. The CD tells you everything because you experience a feeling of being a member of group that is going through a journey. It has become my attention that there are a lot of tracks in this album that starts with a domination of piano work followed with voice line.

The only "little" trouble that I have with this album is the appearance of "Fifth Beethoven" tagline melody. Nothing wrong with the song. It's just so often that I find musicians (one of them was Dutch's EKSEPTION with their "Dance Macabre" album) play this melody that has made me getting bored with it. Well, I have to understand that this album is about Beethoven . so I have no choice to accept it. It's an excellent album anyhow. I highly recommend you to have it. GW, Indonesia.

Review by Zitro
3 stars A symphonic metal-opera album! This is a concept album with a fictional, yet interesting, story of Bethoveen. The music is heavy, and the songs are extremely short. All the short songs connect together and flow really well one from the other. There are many musicians and singers for each character in the story.

The song starts excellently with the main heavy riff. While I feel the first songs are the best, the rest of the material is quite strong too, and it takes a few listens to realize there is beauty and good compositions in this album. The melodies are strong, the guitar riffing is heavy, yet it fits with the opera-like feel of the album. The keyboards may sound a bit 'dream Theater' like in moments, but it is more classical in style. The singers are all very good (especially the Devil and Bethoveen), and the bass+drum rhythm part of the group gets the job done while it is nothing spectacular.

I recommend this album for fans of concept albums. While the musicianship and songwriting cannot be compared with the great progressive rock bands, it is still good enough to hold your interesting. The music style is very interesting : a fusion of Heavy Metal with Album Rock.

My score : C+

Review by sean
4 stars While most people are familiar with this band from their Christmas albums, this was actual my introduction. The concept is a fictional story based around the composer Beethoven's fictional tenth symphony. With the concept revolving around Beethoven, naturally many pieces are based on his works, along with Mozart and Rimsky-Korsakov. The original pieces are also interesting, and the musicians are good but do not show off too much other than in the occasional guitar solo. Most of the music is vocal oriented with a few instrumentals thrown in. While I do really enjoy this album, I feel like many of the songs could have been longer and developed more, as most of them are extremely short. My favourites are What is Eternal?, Requiem, A Last Illusion, and Mephistopheles' Return.
Review by ProgBagel
3 stars Trans-Siberian Orchestra - 'Beethoven's Last Night' 3 stars

Much better than anything Trans-Siberian Orchestra currently has on record.

The songs have finally gotten more progressive and more musically inclined. There is an abundance of new piano ballads that are very beautiful. Also, there is an array of wonderful and even technical instrumentals.

The vocals were a bit of a step up as far as the ear slaughtering little girl's choir and the voice of a grumpy old man singing. I prefer this album over the rest for all the reasons listed above. Other than that, there is nothing new to really expect here, just better songs in my opinion.

Review by TheGazzardian
4 stars Trans-Siberian Orchestra are notable to me because of the theatric feeling that their albums encompass. I own all their albums, but the one nearest and dearest to me is still Beethoven's Last Night, the album I was introduced to the band with.

BLN includes many skilled instrumentalists, as well as multiple vocalists playing the roles of the different characters (Beethoven; Mephistopheles; Fate; Twist; Teresa). The story is interesting enough, without being groundbreaking.

I've seen a couple of complaints about the length of the songs; and it is true that, fitting on a single disc and having 22 songs means that the average song length is less than 4 minutes, something that is unusual in progressive rock music, especially the more modern progressive rock music where artists are free to sprawl across an 80 minute CD instead of being confined to making music fit on the limited space of a vinyl.

I have two points to make why I don't view this as a problem; the first is that, I first listened to this album before I was into progressive rock, and the music seemed fine to me. Listening to it again, after being in progressive rock - the music sounds just as good. The length suits the songs, and allows them to express what they want, in a very tight manner. The other is that, much like Marillion's Misplaced Childhood, this is an album that is much stronger as a whole then in pieces, and as such, the length of individual songs is not quite as important.

Every song on this album is great, and that is difficult to say about an album with 22 songs; you would expect that one or two of them would be skip-worthy, or sound too much like another song; but on this masterpiece, each song is interesting, memorable, and melodic. The music is quite varied, ranging from introspective vocals (This is Who You Are), piano music (Midnight), overlapping vocal parts (Fate/Mephitopheles Return) to rock versions of classical music (Mozart/Figaro), to songs that move the story along supported by great vocal talents (Misery), and it ends on a song that is akin to a lullaby - a great, quiet way to end a great album: A Final Dream.

The combination of classical music, heavy guitars, great vocals, and a large concept, leave this album wanting very little - the only thing that a progger might look for that this album lacks is an epic; but again, there have been many classic progressive albums that had no epics (I'm looking at you, Octopus). And while there are no songs of epic length, I would argue that some of the songs on this album succeed in being epic through their content (Mephistopheles Return is an excellent example of this, with the building up of layered vocals as Beethoven comes to terms with the decision he will have to make).

All in all, an excellent album, nearly deserving a full five stars - but perhaps falling just a bit short, not because of any problems with the music (4 stars is still an excellent score), but because to consider this album essential might be giving it slightly more credit than it deserves.

After all, I would love to believe that TSO's next release will be even better. Let's give them something to shoot for. :)

Review by ProgressiveAttic
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very dramatic rock opera about the life of Beethoven, it features nice piano melodies, lots of symphonic prog and an overall neoclassical metal feeling with lots of electric guitars + variations on some Beethoven pieces... A definitive highlight of the album are the dramatic vocals...

The story is very well constructed and there is a nice balance between the music and the vocals with a few instrumentals that merge into the story without disrupting it. The piano interludes are very beautiful and help to induce the feeling of Beethoven's work by quoting some of his melodies as a part of the composition + the string section gives a more organic atmosphere to the metalish sound....


The Dark and A Last Illusion (The Flight of the Bumble Bee) feature great electric guitar solos worth listening....

The amazing vocals (both male and female).

The piano performances throughout the album.

The storyline.

This is a very fluent record but I would have preferred something more symphonic with less metal + the metal adaptation of Beethoven's Fifth is not a very original idea (ELO, Yngwie Malmsteen).

The overall sound of the album is really good, the musicians are very skilled and the concept is very well presented but there is a lack of experimentation and risk taking (things that I love) to make this album a masterpiece.

TOTAL Rating: 3.58

Now I have to round.....I think that this is a good album and almost excellent so I'll rate it with a three (almost 4).

Review by Menswear
3 stars Par.

Not super good, not really bad, this record is a story well told with a mix of classical and metal. Unfortunately, it's not my first excursion into that genre; I already heard many artists doing the same thing. Ayreon with The Human Equation and foremost Nolan and Wakeman with their Hounds of Baskersvilles is approx. the very same recipe. But, to experience TSO into a live scene is something; it bursts with fireworks, lasers, vari-lite shows and spectacular interpretation. A sight to be seen, worth your pennies!

I encourage anyone who liked the Hounds of Baskersville to try it. If it's your first approach into that category, this could be a good start. You'll know very soon if you're fond or not.

I personnally had gone through that musical phase once...and not keen to plunge again.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars I'm not a Christian, so I have little interest in most of Trans-Siberian Orchestra's albums, but I will admit that if I must listen to Christmas tunes, theirs are at least tolerable. But when I listen to this disaster, it makes me think of that song from the movie, "Team America: World Police" that goes "I miss you more than Michael Bay missed the mark, when he made Pearl Harbor. I miss you more than that movie missed the point. And that's an awful lot, girl."

It seems like a good idea to turn some of Beethoven's best known music, and turn it into power prog. But sometghing insidious must have happened between this band and the memory of lovely lovely Ludwig Van in the course of creating this album. Something bad enough to have the poor composer's remains spinning so fast in his grave that he could generate enough power to send an army of Marty McFlys hurtling through time every minute.

Okay, in the band's favor, there are a few pieces that almost live up to expectations. Mozart / Figaro and Requiem (The fifth) have the bombastic sound we expect from this group, and towards the end of the album, they even make a (all too quick) attempt at the fabulous second movement of the ninth symphony.

The tragedy of the album comes mainly from the vocals. The singing is mostly gruff, not quite accurate, but over the top theatrical ravings that are unlistenable from start to finish. They make Für Elise into Füry Elise. It doesn't help that most of the vocals are not sung over Beethoven's music, but pieces that make Andrew Lloyd-Webber sound interesting.

Why? Just why?

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is the third CD by an organisation (I think the word band probably doesn't fit this situation) that I have never heard of, who have managed to sell over 1.5 million albums to date. TSO are the brainchild of Savatage front man Jon Oliva, along with composer/producer Paul O'Neill and classical composer/conductor Robert Kinkel. They take classical ideas then fuse these with rock to bring out rock operas on a huge scale. The idea has been so popular that last year two versions of the band were on the road at the same time to satisfy demand. The rest of Savatage lay claim to most of the rock sections, while members of the New York Philharmonic are also in evidence.

The story here is that of Beethoven's last night on earth when he is being tempted by the devil and the decisions he has to take. There are twenty-two sections, and this much more about being a full modern rock opera than just an album. It starts with a delicate rendition of the introduction of 'The Moonlight Sonata' before becoming much more reminiscent of Savatage in flight. In many ways this seems to be to be a logical progression from "Gutter Ballet", although here the orchestral passages and dynamics are much more in evidence.

But as this is an opera does it work as a piece of music? Yes, dramatically so. As well as being original pieces, the fusing together of some of Beethoven's best loved pieces does give it both class and also at the same time a sense of surprise, a wondering about what is going to happen next. This is an album that cannot be played in the background, but rather is one that should be listened to intently (with the booklet close to hand) to gain the most from. Yes I liked this a lot, now all I have to do is search out the earlier albums where they brought in Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky.

Originally appeared in Feedback #67, Apr 02

Review by The Crow
4 stars At the time of releasing "Beethoven's Last Night", Savatage was in his post-Criss Oliva best moment, having released two masterpieces such as "Dead Winter Dead" and "The Wake of Magellan".

And under the name of Trans-Siberian Orchestra (let's not forget that they were the same musicians, composers and producers), Savatage made this album that, following a scheme of good against evil already presented in their album about the Sarajevo war, offered us interesting rock versions of works by Beethoven (and Mozart) interspersed with grandiose ballads and some somewhat darker and rockier songs.

And despite the corny and somewhat ridiculous story, the album is listened to with delight from beginning to end, constituting without a doubt the best album by Jon Oliva, Paul O'Neill and company under the name of Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

And without a doubt, this album is the best to introduce you to this band if you never listened to them, especially if you don't like Christmas music!

Best Tracks: It's hard to stick to single songs because of the high quality of the album and how well they work and flow together.

My Rating: ****

Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is one big Irony. It's the only 'non-christmas' themed Album of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, their lest known album, and yet their best. The musicion ship in this album is superb. The story behind it, although not very complex or alaberit, or even very origanal, is still compeling. W ... (read more)

Report this review (#154875) | Posted by mothershabooboo | Sunday, December 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the first album by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra that doesn’t talk about Christmas. Like their other works, this one is also a concept album – a story about the famous composer Beethoven this time. The story is fictional, about the last night before Beethoven’s death and ... (read more)

Report this review (#131296) | Posted by kazansky | Thursday, August 2, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I've just had a listen to this album and I'm sorry to say I was totally underwhelmed by it. Now I know my Beethoven (he is one of my all-time favourite composers) but I reckon if he could have heard this sorry effort he'd have disowned it completely. The best parts of the album were, of course ... (read more)

Report this review (#120890) | Posted by ElwoodHerring | Sunday, May 6, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've listened to this album for quite awhile, and can say without discomfort that it deserves a five "masterpiece" rating as a fusion of hard rock, almost metal fusion with classical music. With this album, Trans-Siberian Orchestra proved that they can do more than write incredible Christmas rock ... (read more)

Report this review (#116376) | Posted by Draith | Sunday, March 25, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Good to come across something that's genuinely that bit different - a rock opera based around the concept of Beethoven's final night, and the mystery of his 10th Symphony. The rave reviews on this site got me to try them; it's very clever, and great fun, but the songwriting talents of Messrs O ... (read more)

Report this review (#71874) | Posted by Phil | Tuesday, March 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A concept album that rivals all. The shame of it all is that this is a side project for some of the best talent in music today. I was fortunate enough to see them live, and I am still in shock ! Their mastery of the live performance rivals or out does most of the great bands that I have see ... (read more)

Report this review (#68672) | Posted by titfortat03 | Tuesday, February 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a vastly underrated band. This album showcases not only their great songwriting, but incredible musicianship as well. Beethoven's Last Night is a concpet album about...Beethoven's Last Night. While all the songs on here are great. The true gems of this album a ... (read more)

Report this review (#63718) | Posted by White Queen | Sunday, January 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is definitly the most thought out concept album in many years. The TSO really packs a punch, as well as delevering the story theatrically, and with pride. Excellent musicianship, and great writing has made this a near masterpiece. The only problems here definitly make a big difference...F ... (read more)

Report this review (#46440) | Posted by soundspectrum | Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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