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Collegium Musicum

Symphonic Prog

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Collegium Musicum Collegium Musicum Live  album cover
3.61 | 49 ratings | 7 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Burleska ~ Burlesque (11:01)
2. Si nemozná ~ You are impossible Part 1 (8:54)
3. Si nemozná ~ You are impossible Part 2 (8:01)
4. Monumento ~ Monument (14:42)

Total Time: 42:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Marián Varga / organ
- Fedor Freso / bass guitar
- Dusan Hájek / drums

Releases information

LP Opus 9115 0261
LP Jupiter Records 89374 OU (1975) - photo on the cover is a little bit different
CD Opus (Along with "Zelena Posta" as two lps on one cd)
CD Pavian Records PM0003 (1992) - photo on the cover is a little bit different
CD Opus 91 2618 2 (1998)
CD Opus 91 2773-2 (2007)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to michna for the last updates
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Buy COLLEGIUM MUSICUM Collegium Musicum Live Music

COLLEGIUM MUSICUM Collegium Musicum Live ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

COLLEGIUM MUSICUM Collegium Musicum Live reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends, ladies and gentlemen .. COLLEGIUM MUSICUM!! After a few minutes listening to their music (live recordings from 1973) I had almost made this review because it's so obvious derived from early ELP ("Pictures .."-era): an omnipresence of the powerful Hammond organ (bombastic floods and flashy runs), a propulsive, metallic sounding bass and fluent drumming. The band plays less virtuosic and less fiery but they sound tight and inspired, these are good musicians who enjoy themselves and please their crowd. Only the drum solo sounds a bit boring but in those days every drummer got the opportunity to shows his skills! A fine album for Hammond aficionados.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Third album from the Slovak (well Czech also back then) Collegium Musicum became the Eastern Block's ELP/The Nice, especially now that guitarist Griglak had left to found Fermata. Actually this could be considered as the group's fourth album, as the remaining trio had recorded with Pavol Hammel an album called Zelena Posta, but it wasn't credited to CM. So came this Live album holding four tracks (two aside) that are totally based on reworks of the classical master composers.

Soundwise, there is little doubt that the reduced line-up is limiting the group's spectrum to an ELP almost-clone (no singing bassist), and not much else! In some ways, the arrangements resemble also Ekseption or Trace, Focus or Finch, as the group seems content of just putting drums and bass parts to the music that's played on a single organ. You can easily imagine, the Slovaks making incredible sacrifice for a western electric instrument during the Cold War, let alone investing into a second one. One of the things that bugs me is that all of those borrowed passages from the master composers are not acknowledge, therefore making the borrowings grow into rip-offs.

Unlike some other groups like Plastic People Of The Universe (who were regularly busted as they inspired themselves from Velvet Underground and rebellion), it is easy to imagine that CM benefited from a sort of "approval" from the communist regime, since they made easy access to the classical master to the younger generations. Judging by the inside photos from the group's stage performance, they were at least playing in theatres or movie houses, shows which no doubt were at least not banned from the state police. Nevertheless, I suggest you start your discovery of CM with another album.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The lineup and the instrumentist's skills, and also the kind of music can not make the listener think to an Emerson Lake and Palmer clone, but please look at the release dates: this live album was released one year after Picture at an Exhibition. If you think to the complexity of the compositions, how long do you think the band has taken to compose, rehearse, arrange and play it live? Of course Marian Varga can have take inspiration from Keith Emerson's work with the Nice and in the early ELP, but he's a skillful keyboardist who lives and plays in a country which has a strong cultural background in classical music and was also on the other side of the iron curtain. Are we sure that they have listened to the ELP albums released in 1972 before composing the four tracks of this album?

Let's quit here the discussion about cloning or not and concentrate on the music only.

The first beats of "Burleska" can effectively remind to Picture at an Exhibition, but most of the track is closer to Grieg than to Mussorsky. Of course it's an instrumental track full of different moments. The "Mussorsky part" opens and closes it circularily.

The second track is split in two parts mainly because of vinyl restrictions. IN this track there's room also for the other instrumentists, not only for Varga. In Part1 there's a remarkable bass solo, and to my ears the source of inspiration for the composition is Stravinskij. Part 2 is a bit more chaotic, and effectively the distorted remind to Rimsky-Korsakov sounds very Emersonian. The long keyboard interlude (not properly a solo) is a little boring, but it's counterbalanced by the excellent final of the track which has a huge number of different signatures.

The last track, "Monumento" starts with a bass harping. I still hear Stravinskij (Rites of Spring) in the initial organ notes. Now also the drummer Dusan Hájek has his moment. It's not a solo but his drums are really in evidence. AFter some minutes basically of drums and bass with little intervents from the keyboards a true drum solo starts. It's 1973, a long drum solo can't be missed in a live album of this kind. As many other solos of this kind this is a bit too long and the coda too short.

In brief, this album is very far from that masterpiece that's Konvergencie. This album fits perfectly in the 3-stars definition, also because CM albums are usually not cheap. If you have some extra money to spend on this band, go for Konvergencie.

Latest members reviews

3 stars First new material after the ingenious "Konvergencie", this is a live album at the same time. Left without a guitar player, Collegium Musicum soldiered for some time as a trio. Varga logically outshined his two members on this album as his keyboards are almost everywhere. I think it's partly in ... (read more)

Report this review (#2509166) | Posted by sgtpepper | Friday, February 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Another great album for this Chec Republic band. I thik that is the first live album made by then, in a country of Iron Courtain when is prohibited Rock and Roll in comunist ideology. In begining of 70 years, made a live album in this context is an adventure that in some cases they pay with pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#237101) | Posted by Joăo Paulo | Friday, September 4, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Welcome back my friends........ Once upon a time, there was something called The Iron Curtain. Behind it, a big and very creative music scene was bereft from any ideas from the free world. The distribution of albums from western bands was very limited. Rotten tapes and bootlegs, mostly. So t ... (read more)

Report this review (#214341) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Friday, May 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First live album from this outstanding band. MARIÁN VARGA is a fabulous organ player and their covers of some classical music to rock and fusion are incredible. Their sound is closer to ELP, but a little more jazzier. Not less virtuoso than EMERSON, FRITZ or VAN DER LINDEN, VARGA deliver us mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#46602) | Posted by Melos | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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