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Höstsonaten Symphony N.1 - Cupid & Psyche album cover
3.87 | 144 ratings | 3 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sacrifice (4:41)
2. Zephyr (3:46)
3. Love Scene (4:11)
4. Unmasking (6:03)
5. Venus (1st Trail) (4:03)
6. Entrapped (2nd Trail) (3:48)
7. Sheep and Water (3rd Trail) (3:16)
8. Underworld (4th Trail) (4:38)
9. The Awakening (2:53)
10. The Ascension (5:53)

total time: 43:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Fabio Zuffanti / bass pedals, Fx, composer, co-producer
- Luca Scherani / Mellotron, Hammond, Minimoog, grand piano, Wurlitzer, Korg Sigma synth, bouzouki, orchestral arrangements & conductor, co-producer

- Laura Marsano / electric & Classical guitars
- Daniele Sollo / fretted & fretless basses
- Paolo Tixi / drums, orchestral percussion
- Joanne Roan / flute
- Luca Tarantino / oboe
- Sofia Bartolini / bassoon
- Marco Callegari / trumpet
- Alberto Repetto / French horn
- Federico Curotto / trombone
- Maurizio Zofrea / tenor sax
Formus String Quartet:
- Sylvia Trabucco / first violin
- Alessandra Dalla Barba / second violin
- Ilaria Bruzzone / viola
- Chiara Alberti / cello

Releases information

Artwork: Eugenio Crippa

CD AMS - AMS258CD (2016, Italy)

LP AMS Records ‎- AMS LP 124 (2016, Italy)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy HÖSTSONATEN Symphony N.1 - Cupid & Psyche Music

HÖSTSONATEN Symphony N.1 - Cupid & Psyche ratings distribution

(144 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

HÖSTSONATEN Symphony N.1 - Cupid & Psyche reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If there is any doubt about Fabio Zuffanti being a prog icon, the disbelievers have some kind of chip on their shoulder! This gifted Italian bassist/composer owns a distinguished career one could only dream about, fronting Finisterre back in the late 90s, recharging the dormant RPI School once so prolific in the 70s and then consolidating the legacy with the splendid La Maschera di Cera project. His list of contributions and projects is endless but there was one project that simply just took off like wildfire, Hostsonaten having begun its life as a one shot self-titled endeavour in 1997, drawing universally positive reviews. The four seasons on four separate albums was a veritable tour de force, a modern day Giuseppe Verdi. Both 'Winterthrough' and 'Summereve' were spectacular classics, while 'Springsongs' and 'Autumn Symphony' were totally tasty in their own right. The chemistry has evolved around the keyboard chair with first Boris Valle, then Roberto Viggo, Agostino Macor and now Luca Scherani, all extremely talented keyboardists that have the talent to imprint fresh symphonic ideas into the creative process. Thus the impetus to continue creating lavish works remains invigorated and positive.

The main theme here is decidedly neo-classical , aided by an outright string quartet section, some brass and woodwinds in full regalia, all determined to elevate the arrangements to new heights. On the windswept 'Zephyr', the spirited musicians adopt a sterling vibe full of immense bravado and delirium, highlighted by drummer Paolo Tixi killing it on the skins while Scherani molests his synths with passionate resolve. Italy is the home of romanticism, a mindset splattered all over their glorious culture and when 'amore' becomes the focus, the artful methodology comes oh so naturally, as on the palpitating 'Love Scene', featuring profound emotion (as the gifted Laura Marsano rips off another seductive axe solo), a truly magnificent piece of solemn beauty, allied with some reflective piano and delicate flute. Things do get dissonant and complex with whipping mellotron blasts rivaling the brass section in a stop and go dance that defies logic and suddenly gets real hot under the collar, swerving into very orchestral realms that are insistent, jangled and grandiose. Sofia Bartolini's obsessive bassoon does wonders weaving between Scherani's various ivories, furthered along by Joanne Roan's magical flute. On 'Venus First Trial', the mood is very classical orchestra that slowly veers towards a more rock approach, colossal mellotron waves smashing into the electric guitar, strong brass support and the spotlight rests on some stellar sax work that recalls Traffic's Chris Wood on 'Glad'. This endless ebb and flow between classical music in the shape of string quartet and piano on one hand and the more pugnacious RPI delivery led by strong rhythmic work and searing soloing from both electronic keyboards and electric guitars is what makes this work so compelling. Things also get funky with Scherani's e-piano, linked with some judicious brass work and tick-tack drum patterns, proving that these musicians know a thing or two about soul and feeling. Then having the smarts to blend in both mellotrons and orchestra proves my point perfectly. Then letting Marsano have some bluesy fun on her sexy guitar pushes the pleasure level even higher, keeping the listener constantly stimulated. Then giving the spotlight on Scherani to delve into his keyboard arsenal and let his fingers do the walking and talking ('The Awakening'), playing dipsy-doodle with an errant oboe before laying down some heady cascades of 'tron. A perfect example of instrumental symphonic RPI prog !

Another stellar chapter in the ongoing Hostsonaten discography, a step up from the previous 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', we are witness to a slew of incredibly gifted musicians enjoying the style they so obviously adore.

4.5 troubled cherubs

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Whether it's the luscious all instrumental four-album `Seasons' cycle or bombastic classical- influenced rock-operas such as `The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and its live interpretation `Alive in Theatre', Hostsonaten has always been the most purely symphonic project modern Italian progressive music icon Fabio Zuffanti is involved in, and he and his music collaborators here return in 2016 with `Symphony N. 1: Cupid and Psyche'. Zuffanti and his musical friends, including La Coscienza di Zeno's keyboardist Luca Scherani, Laura Marsano on classical and electric guitars, Paolo `Paolo' Tixi on drums and Danielle Sollo on fretted and fretless bass, are backed up by multi- member brass and woodwind sections as well as a string quartet, and without a doubt they've delivered one of the most proudly grandiose, extravagant and bombastic symphonic Italian works of the year!

`Cupid and Psyche' was a story originally written in the 2nd century AD by Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis, concerning the overcoming of obstacles to the love between the above two characters and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage. The tale has not only been frequently retold in poetry, drama and opera, but depicted widely in painting and sculpture, and it makes for an ideal inspiration for the frequently theatrical and classical-flavoured style that Italian prog-rock is so often renowned for.

The album forms a continuous suite of instrumental music, and looking at some of the highlights, opener `The Sacrifice' blends skipping violin, triumphant horns and rollicking drums with whirring synth trills, and Mellotron and violin weave together dramatically with snapping up-tempo fanfare runs and spiralling synth soloing throughout `Zephyr'. Unsurprisingly with its title, `Love Scene' is a deeply romantic and softly swooning theme that would have fit right at home on any of the above- mentioned `Seasons' albums, and the extended guitar solo in the second half reminds instantly of the Flower Kings' Roine Stolt and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. `Unmasking' fleetingly reminds of Osanna with its mix of heavier guitars, dominating Mellotron with call-and-response horn duels and intimidating orchestration, but the second half turns acoustic with reflective prettiness.

There are four pieces that then make up the `Trial' movement - `Venus (1st Trial)' is often playfully mischievous with an approaching tension, `Entrapped (2nd Trail)' is a sobering piano, flute, violin and classical guitar rumination that rises in dignity with subtle orchestration, the sprightly `Sheep and Water (3rd Trail)' surprisingly grooves with jazzy electric piano dashes and soaring orchestral flights of fancy, and `Underworld (4th Trial)' is excited and full of liveliness, culminating in immaculate Pink Floyd-like weeping bluesy guitar strains over carefully humming Hammond organ before roaring to life in the powerful finale. `The Awakening' instantly launches into a Moog- powered sprint with a heavy driving beat and scratchy Mellotron, and the joyfully stirring `The Ascension' is a dashing reprise of perfectly fused rock and orchestra unity to finish on.

For such an epic undertaking, it's actually a welcome relief to find that `Symphony n. 1' is a forty- four minute vinyl-length release, often broken into shorter passages that together mean the album can be given plenty of replays without an overwhelming length becoming too intimidating. Some will find the album impossibly stuffy, pompous and self-indulgent (but hey, pretty sure that's what a lot of prog-fans are here for!), but lovers of the grandest of progressive rock styles will find this to be luxurious symphonic prog at its very finest, one of Hostsonaten's grandest artistic statements to date, and certainly one of the most sophisticated Italian releases of 2016.

Four and a half stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars My first foray into Italian record shops was on a trip to the Veneto in 2005 when there were two stores in Venice and another a short train ride away in Treviso. In those days I was aided by Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files (Collector's Guide Publishing, 2000) when I'd scour entries for rema ... (read more)

Report this review (#2402840) | Posted by Agnenrecords | Sunday, May 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

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