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Horizont Summer In Town album cover
3.81 | 94 ratings | 15 reviews | 33% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Snowballs (8:34)
2. Chaconne (10:37)
3. Summer In Town (18:46):
- March
- Minuet
- Toccata

Total Time: 37:57

Line-up / Musicians

- Igor Pokrovsky / vocals
- Yuri Beliakov / vocals
- Sergey Alekseyev / vocals
- Andrey Krivilev / vocals, keyboards
- Vladimir Lutoshkin / guitars, flute
- Sergei Kornilov / keyboards, director
- Alexey Eremenko / bass guitar
- Valentin Sinitsyn / drums

Releases information

Artwork: O. Brel

LP Melody - С60 23911 005 (1986, USSR)

CD Boheme Music ‎- CDBMR 008152 (2000, Russia)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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HORIZONT Summer In Town ratings distribution

(94 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(45%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (1%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

HORIZONT Summer In Town reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
4 stars It's a shame and a mystery that I haven't heard about the Russian band HORIZONT before. The opening track "Snowballs" are one of the better progressive songs I have ever heard. The band was formed in the mid-seventies and their debut LP "Summer in Town" was originally released in 1985 on the Russian Melodiya label. Now it has been re-released on CD, thanks to the Boheme Music label. The band is lead by the keyboard player Sergey Kornilov and he has also written all of the compositions. Therefor the music is very keyboard-oriented, although every musician is highly technical and skilled. The main part of the album is all-instrumental album, but the melodies and harmonies are so strong that you'll never miss the vocals. It ranges from quiet and beautiful to bombastic and complex. HORIZONT are calling themselves a Chamber Instrumental Ensemble. I don't know exactly what they're meaning, but their music is a mix between art-rock, avant-garde, neo-classical music, 70's progressive & symphonic rock. 80's neo-progressive rock, RIO (Rock In Opposition) and Zeuhl. I can hear reminiscences to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, KULTIVATOR, MAGMA, PRESENT and YES. There are only three tracks on the album and they are ranging from 8 to 19 minutes. I should also mention the beautiful seventies looking front cover. This is without doubt one of the better releases ever from this corner of the world, and it has become one of my favourite albums. A classic album that deserves it's place in the history of progressive rock. What else can I say but: Buy it! Buy it! Buy it!
Review by maani
3 stars Given my "stingy" rating scale, let me say that this album definitely deserves another half star. Despite its late entry into prog (1985), this is one of the most truly creative albums I've heard - possibly in the entire genre. In addition, whereas my colleague Greger likes "Snowballs" best, I felt it was actually the "weakest" track (though nothing on this album can truly be called "weak"). "Snowballs" has a very post-90125 Yes sound (that album came out just months earlier), but is good just the same. For my money, the other two tracks are the standouts. "Chaconne" is essentially a "true" classical chaconne, interpreted via rock instruments. (N.B. Because the "chaconne" form is fairly simple, some may not understand what the band is doing, and may misinterpret the piece as "weak" or even "boring." Thus, a knowledge of classical music will increase your appreciation of this piece immensely.) True, it is reminiscent in some ways of ELP, especially their interpretation of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." The difference is that ELP didn't WRITE that; HorizonT WROTE this. Which brings us to the extended track, "Summer in Town." Here, the band uses the "march," "minuet" and "toccata" forms to create a "soundscape" evoking the sounds and feelings of "the city." And although it is not always successful, it is nevertheless an extremely creative composition. At the risk of having my head handed to me, I dare say that ELP only WISHES that they had written something this original, using the same approach that both groups use (i.e., interpreting classical music with rock instruments). Most of ELP's music is either rock-oriented in composition (though obviously having classical elements), or are interpretations (too often uncredited...) of existing classical pieces. And although HorizonT is writing what amounts to "naive" classical music - and while it would be silly to suggest that anything here is as "good" (or great) as most of ELP's music - it is nevertheless totally original. It is also playful and fun, very enjoyable, and deserves a place in your collection.
Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars I recently received this CD from Boheme Music International from the Czech Republic. This new label is planning on releasing 35 or so progressive rock albums from ex-USSR states. And after listening to the three CDs that they sent me for review, I can tell you that we will be in for a musical treat. HORIZONT's 1984 debut, "Summer In Town", is a stunning album. The music is at times symphonic in a YES-like fashion, while other times it borders on synth avant-garde and even RIO (Rock-in-opposition). The sound-quality is excellent and rich with thick keyboards (YES-like Church organ, Moog synths, and bass pedals), and occasional choir. Their guitarist is influenced by Steve HOWE, and provides some tasty guitar chops. In fact, he also reminds me a bit of the guy in MODRY EFEKT. The album consists of three long tracks. The first track is complex, optimistic, and energetic. Try to imagine a complex, and prog, version of ASIA (I'm not kidding!) and you'll have some idea of what the music sounds like. The next two tracks are a bit different, but approach the avant-garde sound that HORIZONT would experiment with on the next album. These two tracks somehow mix avant-garde synth work (tons of thick Moog work), RIO, with lush YES-like symphonic sections, and busy prog rock. Some of the passages also come close to soundtrack music. Overall, these two tracks are more avant-prog in nature, but really define the band. HORIZONT comes highly recommended. Fans of YES, RIO, and especially analog synths, will love the music here.
Review by loserboy
3 stars Subtitled as chamber instrumental ensemble, "Summer In Town" blend all the right aspects for me here... Without a question the first 18 mins of this album is perhaps the best I have heard in some time... Absolutely breath taking symphonic prog which reminds me very much of Steve HACKETT and early GENESIS (minus the voices). The fine folks at Music Boheme have released some great little lost prog gems from Russia and plan to release more (thank you). Vocals are very much in the back and do come across very much as church angelic voices which enrich the overall album for me. Instruments include keyboards, guitar, flute, bass and drums which play fluidly in a very tight manner. Third track took a bit longer to grow on me and is certainly more of a chamber-like song than the first but now it is just as addictive as the first 2 numbers for me.
Review by Prognut
4 stars I would classify this Band as a Symphonic with many classical-RIO overtones.... specially their second album...

This one is a stunning debut for this Russian act...they called themselves "Chamber Instrumental Ensemble"??... Remains me Genesis-Hackett, some dissonant elements ala UZ and maybe some influence of Yes and Fripp.

In any event, not a Masterpiece. However, an excellent surprise nonetheless. My only complain in both of the albums is that they are too short for the year issued.

If you are building a solid Prog-Music collection, like I am, you definitively need this one on your shelves...If you are a casual Prog listener, I would not recommend this band to you..... There I said it, and is just my opinion!

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I do find myself reminded of YES while listening to this album; not just for the Howe-esque guitars but also for their method of resolving instrumental almost-chaos into a majestic finale- both "Snowballs" and "Chaconne" do this quite well, for instance ( although I thought a chaconne was supposed to be in 3/4, like a waltz...but the guitar regularly plays in threes, so...oh, never mind. It sounds good). While I was never quite brought to rapture by the music, it does have a unique courtly cacophony that can be surprisingly emotive at times. The title track has a (possibly unintentional) odd undertone of humor, with the wavering synth and ponderous feel- "Clockwork Orange" fans may well have flashbacks. The noisy synth madness in the second half of this song could almost be an APHEX TWIN precursor, but the monotonous fade out afterwards taxes the patience somewhat. It is redeemed slightly with a tinkling, flutey flourish at the end, but overall leaves an unsatifsied aftertaste. Maybe I just hate being denied closure, but both "Snowballs" and "Chaconne" seem much more like complete compositions. My only other complaint is that the production seems quite 80s (well it would, wouldn't it?) and the processed sheen clashes with the organic flow a bit, as does the occasional poorly-chosen synth sound- but these are relatively minor gripes about an otherwise refreshingly original style. Russian culture has a long history of geniuses who use their Western European influence in truly original ways; while HORIZONT is not quite Prokofiev or Tchaikovsky, their unique take on rock and avant-garde classical is deserving of a listen or two.
Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars What a pleasant surprise: a good quality instrumental symphonic rock album released in 1985 in the former USSR; a treat if you like your rock with classical music influences and synth. Others have mentioned "chamber instrumental ensemble", and indeed this is very much the impression I get listening to this band. I'm guessing that the band members studied classical music formally.

'Snowballs' is very reminiscent of YES and, to me, of a snowscape with snowflakes falling and a sleigh speeding through it. It's a jolly track and very classical sounding. 'Chaconne' also reminds me of YES, albeit less than 'Snowballs' does. It is a slower piece, still pleasing, building slowly and darkly; then a lighter guitar melodiously comes in as if the sun has broken through the clouds, backed with a repetitive keyboard and bass line which is, after all, what a chaconne is. 'Summer In Town' does not remind me much of YES but there is the odd reminder of ELP, probably due to the various synth parts, sometimes sounding very fat (I just love the sound of reverberating analogue synth!). Part of the track plods along like a great dancing bear. Unlike the other two tracks, 'Summer In Town' has a very insipid ending though. Although I've mentioned YES a few times above, the band is not a YES imitator: they have their own sound.

This is yet another review where I'm torn between awarding 3 or 4 stars to an album. It's not a masterpiece, but is enjoyable to listen to and, judging by the brief vocalisations in the last track, the band enjoyed making it. In my opinion it's definitely worth having if you've got it, but I'm not sure I could categorically say "go out and buy it" if you don't. Nevertheless, if you like long, instrumental, classical-influenced symphonic Prog then you probably wouldn't be disappointed if you did buy it. If 3.5 stars were possible I'd go for that, but will plump for 3 (Good, but non-essential).

Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Hmmm, a lineup -- I'd better join it! "What are they selling today, comrade?" "I'm not sure. Some say potatoes, some say shoes." "Here comes a lady who has just been served -- ask her." "What did you get, comrade?" "State-approved western music (but made in Mother Russia) known as 'progressive rock.' Now I have to line up for CD player, and still I have no potatoes for my borscht!"

Yes, the old Soviet Union produced more than vodka, antiquated tractors, cheap, unreliable cars, Nobel prize-winning dissidents, and radioactive waste. Unlike the Lada, however, this particular East bloc export, now available to the wider world, is a very high-quality consumer product indeed! Horizont were a Russian prog band who released two albums, and SUMMER IN TOWN, from 1985, is a very enjoyable and accomplished piece of prog music history.

Like previous reviewers, I can hear shades of Yes, ELP and Genesis in this music, but the mostly instrumental SUMMER IN TOWN rises above mere imitation. (There are some vocalizations, but they take the form of Yes-like "dit dit dits," and pseudo-operatic "la la las" in a sort of proggish doo-wop backing section.)

There are three tracks on this relatively short album, but they are each of a consistently high caliber, with no padding. (Better to have thirty-eight minutes of fine music, as here, than eighty of unfocussed, rambling filler, as on many newer prog releases!) I find the music of Horizont to be engaging, original, and uplifting, and somewhat like updated, electronic Tchaikovsky -- very classical/romantic in feel. The keyboards which form the predominant sound are a trifle "Switched On Santa" (i.e., dated) in places, but there is also some lovely piano, some fine Hackett-esque electric guitar, and enough other instruments to keep things interesting.

SUMMER IN TOWN is well worth checking out. A recent acquisition, I listen to it fairly often, and unlike some albums I've reviewed, I plan to keep listening to it. Fans of ELP, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky, in particular, should enjoy it. This is no mere Soviet-era musical curio, but a very worthy, world-class piece of progressive art. Pass the "Stoli," please. Glasnost!

Review by Progbear
5 stars Certainly a more eccentric band you'll not find. I'd call this sympho-prog, but unlike a lot of sympho bands, it doesn't sound like they were influenced by "easy" orchestral music like Tchaikowsky or Elgar. Quite the contrary, this album runs the gamut from the more intense moments of Stravinsky to the all-out avant-garde-isms of Xenakis. If ever there were an "avant-sympho" album, this is it!

It starts off serenely enough with the Yes-like "Snowballs". But things soon snowball (ha ha!) out of control with "Chaconne" which pits a soaring orchestral melody against a dark, Magma-like riff. Things go totally bonkers with the "Summer In Town" suite, which starts off dark and get progressively more crazed, with sustained piano pounding and wild synthesizer squeaks closing out the piece.

It's hard to find someone to recommend this to. Neo-heads would run a mile from its more dissonant, avant-garde tendencies. On the other hand, it's probably too rooted in symphonic forms to attract "serious" avant fans. I guess the only ones I could recommend it to are other weirdos like me, who aren't loyal to one particular style and just like to listen to music that's good and unique. This is definitely a one-of-a-kind album, it's literally impossible to compare it to anything else I've heard. For sheer originality, they deserve renown.

Review by daveconn
4 stars This disc just made my day. That the seeds of Western dissent could travel into Russia, take root and produce such a faithful facsimile of our own revolutionary rumblings proves that progressive rock knows no boundaries. Horizont would have themselves billed as a "chamber instrumental ensemble," and not as a point of pretension. The side-long "Summer In Town" is avant-garde classical music built around the core of a rock band, something that Frank Zappa fans will already be familiar with. Not that it isn't harrowing stuff, but you see I've got this real tiny brain, and after so many notes it sort of gets filled up. (I know, that's two sentences ending in a preposition, but after reading the reckless English translation of the reissue's liner notes I'm a little disoriented.) If you thought that Frank's fustian arrangements were a little slice of Heaven, more Heaven awaits you here and especially on Portrait of a Boy. What won me over to Summer In Town was the first side of music, however. When the liner notes trumped out the old heroes (Yes, Genesis, ELP), I kind of yawned and thought "yeah, everyone says that." I've seen people use those bands to describe Supertramp, Kansas, Kayak and anyone else who's ever rented a mellotron. But Horizont sounds exactly like Genesis (or more specifically, Steve Hackett) with bits of Yes and ELP tossed in for good effect. "Snowballs" and "Chaconne" are musical objects that might have been constructed entirely from bits of those band's works. Vladimir Lutoshkin is a careful student of Steve Hackett's style, and the first side of music comes as close to replicating the sound and spirit of Voyage of the Acolyte as anything I've ever heard. (Since I've never encountered a suitable followup to that masterwork from the Genesis guitarmeister himself, interested parties may want to skip straight to Horizont instead.) Sadly, Horizont has only released two discs to my knowledge, and as I said earlier the second eschews prog rock for dissonant, brain-draining music. But for twenty minutes anyway, Horizont raises the standard of the old gods, and prog's salving benediction once more settles on the misty earth.
Review by Certif1ed
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A somewhat patchy offering, with lush production and allusions to the 19th and 20th century Russian maestros that begins somewhere between ELP, King Crimson and Genesis, with the strongest ties to the latter, especially initially in "Snowballs".

As the music progresses, more original touches begin to shine through, in a fairly obvious attempt to produce a work of Prog Rock, with explorations in time signatures, out-of-context changes, and Copland or Ives-like juxtapositions of sound and style that I find somewhat irritating. But that's only because I find Copland and Ives irritating too - I've never been a huge fan of bi-tonality or polyrhythms - but there are plenty of people that are . The redeeming qualities for me lie in the Hackett-like guitar and "vocal" arrangements that for the present I find incomparable.

The band are all too happy to settle into long and meandering grooves, and break these up with tangential ideas rather than enter into any kind of development, so it quickly becomes old - but unquestionably stylised Prog Rock.

"Chaconne" begins with some atmospheric keyboards - whooshes of keyboard "wind" with drifting strings, and quasi-atonal guitar, that gradually build to a tonality underpinned by D with a decidedly major flavour - possibly a little syrupy, but unusual.

A bass begins to underpin everything, and I await the start of the Chaconne itself - distinctive by the 3 time feel (Possibly optional), ground bass, fixed chord progression via cycle of fifths over 8-16 bars and minor key feel...

This is not forthcoming - in fact, around 6:45, there is a strong major key feel, the bass is simply a pedal, the harmony drifts around a single chord with some suspensions, and the feel is decidedly 4 time.

So, ignore the pretensions - there is no Chaconne here!

The music is vaguely interesting thought, and well executed enough, but a bit busy really, and with no clear direction or development - a kind of ever-intesifying mush.

"Summer in Town" is more original in introduction, the "warped record" feel is strangely edgy and uncomfortable, and the tutti entry somewhat reminiscent of King Crimson. I'm reminded of parts of ALW's variations when the Moog follows the piano entry to lead the way into a rather ambling and wandering remainder of the piece.

The instrumentation is intriguing, and there are a lot of "surprises" - although I have to say that I fail to find them surprising, as the style of "Snowballs" sets you up to expect the sudden changes as part of the style. I'm not keen on most of the sounds - and it's only occasionally that the band get it together and produce a combined texture that actually holds my interest without me wishing they'd move on to the next bit.

It's interesting that the piece is supposedly divided into "March", "Minuet" and "Toccata", as the "March" appears to be in 2 time, (Marches are in 4 time, albeit with a duple feel) and the "Minuet" largely in 4 time (Minuets are in 3 time). Using unusual rhythms and combinations of rhythms is one thing. Implying other forms, especially when using the names of those forms is quite another - here it would suggest that the band does not understand these two very basic forms.

The "Toccata" is a real attempt at a free form, however, and consists mainly of dense swirling layers that suddenly shine through as a moment of real invention and understanding of the form being interpreted. Fragments of Gong's "Master Builder" appear in the bass, and thematic material from the other "movements" float past, in chaotic tension-holding that sounds dense, driven, and somewhat random, yet highly controlled.

This is possibly held a bit too long, but the near atonal invention that serves as a codetta is interesting if vague in direction.

So, in short, this would probably appeal to anyone that likes Prog Rock - it's not my cuppa tea, but to me, that's not the purpose of reviewing - anyone can state their opinion and surmise from that whether a body of work is "good" or "bad". It's harder to evaluate the "Prog Content" and appeal to other fans of Prog Rock - and this should have a wide appeal - especially to those who do not like "accessible" music, those who like "complex" music, and those who like Rock that has strong "Classical" allusions and pretensions - even if they're factually inaccurate.

Definitely one to try if you're bored of the same old same old!

3.5 stars, but it's not something I'd listen to very often.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Unfulfilled potential

"Summer in town" is the delightfully named first (of 2) album by this short lived Russian band, who subsequently disappeared without trace. With just three tracks and a running time of 37 minutes, there is a superficial similarity with "Close to the edge" by YES, and while there are occasional similarities with the music of that band, there are other stronger influences.

Of the three tracks, the opening "Snowballs" is the weakest. This 8 minute piece just never seems to get going, appearing to be a succession of good introductions to a structured piece, but without the substance necessary to make it interesting. The staccato start is indeed reminiscent of YES, giving way to some IAN ANDERSON style flute, and perhaps a nod towards PFM's "Four holes in the ground".

"Chaconne" is for me the best of the three. Here, the theme builds far more constructively, sounding a little like STEVE HACKETT's "Shadow of the Hyrophant". Indeed the GENESIS influences are clearest throughout this track, the strong guitar and keyboard performances complementing each other well. Towards the end, there are pleasing hints of FOCUS' "Hamburger concerto".

The feature (title) track runs to some 19 minutes, and is in three defined sections each of which is given a classical sub-title (March, Minuet and Toccata). Here the influences are perhaps more GENTLE GIANT, the slightly jazzier orientation leading to a rather messy sound at times. There is a certainly a diversity of sounds, ranging from concert hall organ, through Focus like yodels and quirky flute, to circus themes and solo piano. For me though, the track does not hang together as a complete piece particularly well, the melodies being undistinguished and unfocused.

On the plus side, the performance is exemplary throughout, the album showing the band had potential in bucket loads, sadly largely unfulfilled.

If you got this at the time (and unfortunately outside their native Russia relatively few would have) it would have been a pleasing and worthwhile purchase. Whether it is worth seeking out now is more dubious.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent Russian Symphonic/Progressive Rock group, found sometime in mid-70's in Gorky (now Nizhniy Novgorod) by a very young keyboardist Sergey Kornilov.Horizont was one of the most active groups in ex-Soviet Union, performing hundreds of concerts.However the band had to grow some 10 years before releasing an official album.It was the great ''Summer In Town'', released in 1985 on the Melodyia label.Kornilov was supported by a second keyboardist Andrey Krivilev, drummer Valentin Sinitsin, bassist Alexey Eremenko and guitarist Vladimir Lutoshkin with a few session members contributing on vocals.

The album opens with the very melodic and Classical-influenced ''Snowballs''.8 minutes of majestic musicianship through the dual keyboard attack on organs, harsichord and synthesizers next to very delicate piano interludes, accompanied by a solid rhythm section.Vladimir Lutoshkin contributes with very atmospheric guitar playing at moments.Excellent composition and a file next to GENESIS, THE ENID or E.L.P..''Chaconne'' has to be one of the best tracks ever recorded by a Symphonic Rock group.It develops through its 10 minutes from a hypnotic Classical/Electronic piece to a superb Space/Symphonic Rock opus.It opens with very atmospheric synth layers, while in the background there is an ever-growing majestic guitar melody.The very GENTLE GIANT- like short middle break will give birth to one of the most haunting melodies ever written, much in the vein of Estonians IN SPE, this is superb, grandiose and highly symphonic Space Prog with deep bass, melodic guitars and tremendous synths.The flipside of the original LP is dedicated to the eponymous 18-min. epic.Here Horizont completely turn around in terms of music, presenting a work of highly complex Progressive/Avant Rock with strong RIO, Symphonic Rock and Classical influences.''Summer in town'' is a composition full of unusual breaks and radical changes, half-dissonant, with many atonal moments next to very atmospheric keyboard passages, complicated guitar exercises, electronic segments and Avant-Garde dominant piano parts, definitely an acquired taste but undoubtfully a work of pure beauty, whether you like this type of music or not.

Fortunately the album has been reissued by Boheme in CD format, so anyone can taste these three pieces of music, created by possibly the best Russian band of the time.Highly recommended to all fans of Progressive Rock,4.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is a singular disk... why ?... Because, I think which due to one track whit only 8 min 34 sec this albun is a must in any prog collection, my explanation is: In first place; due to the year from release <1985> ( I think in the 80's like very "ingrate" period with a few notorious except ... (read more)

Report this review (#613743) | Posted by maryes | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A wonderful lost gem. Not only was it 1985, but they were in Soviet Russia! That a prog album of this calibure was produced in those combined circumstances is nothing short of amazing. While not being exactly a masterpiece, nor being totally original, it is certainly unique. The first track e ... (read more)

Report this review (#95829) | Posted by | Thursday, October 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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