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Fugato Orchestra

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Fugato Orchestra Neander Variations album cover
4.07 | 33 ratings | 4 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Neander Valley Chase (4:32)
2. Peace of Mine (3:28)
3. Virelai (4:27)
4. Serenade (3:20)
5. Marine Myth (5:07)
6. Etnoid (7:30)
7. Haiku I (1:36)
8. Haiku II (3:11)
9. Witches' Sabbath (4:33)
10. Tales about Modesty (1:36)
11. Hoquetus (2:50)
12. Joke (2:06)
13. Neander Variations I (2:52)
12. Neander Variations II (3:36)
13. Neander Variations III (5:55)

Total Time: 56:39

Multimedia bonus:
1. Poén - Live
2. Kacatok
3. Díszlakoma
4. Rémálom
5. Haikuk (eredeti kórusmű)

Line-up / Musicians

- Balázs Alpár / keyboards, violin
- Kinga Ujszászi, Beatrix Kutas, Ádám Radics, Diána Bazsa & Ferenc Puss / violins
- Dóri Jekl & Dávid Tóth / violas
- Anna Radványi, György Lelovich & Tamás Zétényi / cellos
- Réka Bartányi / contrabass
- Lívia Marschall, Kriszti Lukács & Gábor Valentiny / flutes
- Péter Hargitai / trumpet
- Győző Széki / oboe
- Mónika Szénási / guitar
- Jávor Delov, Helyettese Jelenlegi & Zsolt Nagy / drums & percussion
- Gábor Veisz / bass
- Dániel Papp & Zsolt Kugyelka / percussion
- Anna Györfi / vocals

Releases information

CD Periferic BGCD 121 Hungary (2004)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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FUGATO ORCHESTRA Neander Variations ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FUGATO ORCHESTRA Neander Variations reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Composer and brilliant pianist Balázs Alpár is a young Hungarian who studied long and hard both the strong classical heritage (Liszt, Bartók, Kodály) as well as the illustrious prog (East, Solaris, Omega, After Crying) that came out of this incredibly brooding land and after a great amount of patient persistence, finally got this marvel produced by the intense Periferic Records boss Gregory Böszörményi. Allegedly the demo stayed stashed within a pile of documents on his desk and found it only a year later. I can understand the shock! Fugato Orchestra is the purveyor of a rather opulent symphonic work that chose to structurally depend on some massive classical orchestrations with copious violins, violas, cellos, string bass, flutes, trumpets, oboes and chorale work. This is quite distant from the ELP/King Crimson/Genesis School of prog, probably much closer to the Enid in both structure and substance. What makes this so utterly attractive is the blending of so many young amateur musicians into a clearly defined modern progressive masterpiece. From the opening flute-driven "Neander Valley Chase", the exquisite orchestral sonics rapidly enchant, beguile and entertain, utterly original. It becomes face slappingly obvious that this is going to be some expertly paced symphonic prog that is unafraid to venture into explorative synthesized expanses, such as on the absolutely stellar "Marine Myth" where Alpar's synths buzz, bellow and blister with uncanny genius. But that's the fifth cut here, so let's not get ahead of ourselves .There is utter melodic grace on the romantically piano led "Peace of mine", a swerving delicacy that is true to the Magyar taciturn nature, happy yet sad at the same time, a unique emotion that many Westerners cannot comprehend. "Virelai" keeps it bouncily vibrant with joyous classical infused strings, mobile flute and thumping drums to make it rock gently. "Serenade" is just that, a quasi epic hymn to some distantly painful emotion, once vibrant and now veering into history. In my odd view, that's what a serenade should be: utterly romantic, suavely sensual, cockily melancholic and somehow timeless, with a seriously concocted upwardly enthralling theme. Back to "Marine Myth", this is a classic for the ages, a jewel that will stun into disbelief any keyboard fan, so completely modern and current and a shoo-in for a part on a sci-fi action thriller soundtrack. You got to hear this! On the 7 minute plus "Etnoid" the true the Enid tendencies come shining through, a heady concoction of bass/drum propulsed classical music that teems with lush melodicism. The flute comes around again, leading the charge, allied with some trumpet in strategic places; this is adventurous yet sharp music, never complacent or tepid. The next 2 tracks ("Haiku" 1&2) infuse some fabulous tenor, alto and soprano voices that instill unbridled awe and then on "Witches Sabbath" there is a supremely slick synth flurry, anchored by a solid groove that is simply delectable. Again ivory ticklers and electro fans alike will be flabbergasted by the audacious delivery and the sheer genius of the dense music delivered here, a mid section that swims in funeral grandeur, just waiting for the synth to slither in between the flutes ornaments. My goodness! There then begins a triumvirate of 2-3 minute tracks that are distinct from one and other, each with its own title, praising the various symphonic virtues of the numerous young musicians as this is not a band but rather an orchestra, some amazing baroque flute that will dazzle fighting off some devilish trumpet escapades (I mean think about it: a duel between flute and trumpet!!!). The disc ends with the 3 part title track "Neander Variations", an exquisite merging of classical grandeur, folk no longer extremity but spiritual guide, modern keyboard stylings that need only a solid bass and drums package to seal the deal. I am not a massive connoisseur of the Bachs, Beethovens, Mozarts and alumni, but at my age, I can recognize splendid music when I hear it and this certainly is. Fans of the Enid, After Crying and Solaris in particular should leap at this with ease but I think it's a masterpiece for any music lover, period! You guys got to get this or else you are off the boat ,drowning.... 5 flaming fugues
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Fugato Orchestra started in 1999 in Budapest, Hungary, as a high school live project by the (then) 17 years old composer Balazs Alpar.This gave the opportunity to young Classical-educated musicians to combine their studies on music with a drum/bass/guitar/keyboards back up group.The growing fame of this unique ensemble was seemingly leading to somewhere and Alpar decided to keep it going.He himself performs on violin and keyboards and is supported by more than 10 musicians on strings and bass instruments along with a bassist, a guitarist and three drummers/percussionists.Their first work ''Neander Variations'' was released in 2004 on Periferic Records.

Easily compared to classic acts such as compatriots AFTER CRYING or British masters of the sound THE ENID, Fugato Orchestra combined the Classical harmonies with the rock aesthetics in a work of pure symphonicism with extended brass and string sections.The primary roles of course are given to instrumernts like piano, violins, cellos, flutes or trumpets and there is a discreet support by a smooth rhythm section and to a lesser extent guitars.The musicianship is overall quite calm, full of delicate melodies and passages with some more bombastic moments thrown in.The atmosphere has often a strong cinematic feeling with an emphasis on grandiose interludes and soundscapes.The more-piano based structures have also a slight jazzy approach, an example of Alpar's versatile talent as a composer.The lack of a stronger rock content propably will push back the more traditional prog listener, but again the nice mix of synths, bass, drums and a few more modern sounds with the unique sound of a small Classical orchestra offers series of eerie and elegant instrumental textures with a very nice approach.

No question, anyone into more symphonic listenings or even fans of pure Classical music should listen to ''Neander Variations''.But I recommended the rest of prog audience to spend some time listening to this album, there is something for everyone to like in here.Warmly recommended.

Latest members reviews

4 stars It's a beginner band of young talents, but their first album is a strong 4 stars right-away, almost 5. It's a very enjoyable and variable fresh prog music of a mixture of symphonic-rock-jazz-folk. I hope they will continue their career. ... (read more)

Report this review (#133030) | Posted by morcosmedve | Tuesday, August 14, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars hey folks this is great,being familiar with groups from hungary like SOLARIS,OMEGA,AFTER CRYING, i didnt think twice about buying this you have classical music mixed with great drums and synths/keyboards the timing is spot on from the musicians,if you like after crying well these are just as g ... (read more)

Report this review (#36148) | Posted by | Saturday, June 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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