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Tangerine Dream Pergamon - Live at the 'Palast der Republik' GDR album cover
4.22 | 131 ratings | 9 reviews | 43% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Quichotte, Part One (23:33)
2. Quichotte, Part Two (22:38)

Total Time 46:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / keyboards, guitars
- Chris Franke / keyboards
- Johannes Schmoelling / keyboards

Releases information

Originally released as "Quichotte" in 1980 by Amiga in East Germany / Virgin LP 1986 /Essential-Castle CD 1996

Thanks to paulindigo for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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TANGERINE DREAM Pergamon - Live at the 'Palast der Republik' GDR ratings distribution

(131 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(43%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

TANGERINE DREAM Pergamon - Live at the 'Palast der Republik' GDR reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is one of the best Tangerine Dream's albums! There is only 1 track per side. They are quite different: the side 1 is rather mellow, sounding New Age, opening with a beautiful melodic piano passage; it continues with helium-boosted floating keyboards textures; then, repetitive melodic sequencers begin through floating & dreamy keyboards: the ensemble is EXTREMELY hypnotic and spacy, being absolutely NOT linear nor monotonous. Actually, the side 1 is partly the Live experience of some parts of the Tangram album. On Tangram, it keeps you alert, but here, it transports you in another ethereal quiet world.

The side 2 is completely different, sounding more electronic rock: it starts with very psychedelic, strange & intense streams of keyboards; then, watch out: some repetitive melodic sequencers enter to prepare the arrival of Froese's heroic guitar: he goes in the high notes during more than 8 MINUTES!!!! Unbelievable! His sound is extremely echoed, hard rock and bold; his sound is amazingly clean and distortion-free. This guitar is played with passion, as reveal the numerous tremolos and the VERY sustained notes. This solo is all the time very well supported by Schmoelling's very rich rhythmic keyboards notes and by Franke's complex sequencers. This solo will remain forever as being an EXTREME one! An intense moment is when this solo turns into a keyboards sound: just before it happens, Froese really insistently sustains each note. Then, the solo is immortalized by a delightful set of melodic keyboards, and the ensemble reaches, with the excellent work of Schmoelling and Franke, very intense moments; it pleasantly ends with a gradual decrease of intensity, like if you were on the highway, driving at 140 km/h for 3 hours, then take an exit, and finally, very slowly, reduce your speed to zero.


Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the defining live album from TD in the 1980's. Live Miles is good but Pergamon, recorded live in East Germany in 1986 is an abundantly strong piece of music. It is comprised of two halves, " Quichotte Part 1" and " Quichotte Part 2". The first piece is largely based on the Tangram Set themes, and as this was one of their top five studio releases, then you won't be left dissappointed. " Quichotte Part 2" however is the real jewel, the atypical build up from all TD members until Edgar Froese plays which must undoubtedley rank as one of his best guitar solo's this reviewer has ever heard him play. All the time Schmoelling and Franke's input of equally high standard. There is also a Force Majeure feel to this piece as well which hearks back to their peak from a creative standpoint. The energy on this album throbs and pulses and guarantees to get your adrenalin going. Best played loud. I cannot praise this enough, four and a half stars!
Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
5 stars It's a fact that in the 80s the live stage is where Tangerine Dream are able to place good music. In addition, this is the re-release of the "Quichotte" live album from a concert of, I think, 1980.

It's probably because after a number of movie soundtracks that were, as PA defines, good but non-essential, and sometimes neither good, that this album appeared to me like a miracle.

Not only we are back to a suite divided into two side-long tracks because of the limitations of the vynil, the initial piano riff shows how skilled the band members are and this is something that doesn't happen very often: TD music doesn't leave room to solos or virtuosity and the first minutes of Quichotte are a spectacular exception.

The music has a bit of the newage mood that will be quite a constant later in the 80s, but it's still on the chords of Ricochet or Cyclone.

Surely the best TD release of the 80s, the last to have some psychedelic and spacey moments.

No more words. An album strongly recommended to everybody.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Beloved older brother of the Poland album !

Pergamon is the highest rated Tangerine Dream album, a significant indication that these Berliners were no studio twiddlers only but could garnish a stage with their elaborate electronic rock. In fact they have proven themselves rather brilliantly on a series of live renditions from Ricochet, Encore, Poland and this stunner! The opening piano work is a new revelation for the band and it delicately leads with guide-like precision through the ultra- ironically titled "Quichotte" suite and into the farthest celestial horizons. Being West Berliners and sensing the approaching downfall, they must have felt exhilarated to play to fellow countrymen sadistically separated by an inward-firing windmill of death, a few deadly meters the gulf between two distinct yet brethren universes. Not just Reagan but music could "tear down that wall" of artistic freedom, which can only survive in a free, albeit at times faulty society. East Bloc musicians had a hell of a time in between arrests from the secret police in asserting their musical vision, using innuendo, irony and creative humor in vilifying a system that was pure ideology and little else. The DDR must have been extremely leery of these surely imperialist spies on keyboards but the people's mood was to revolt and the agreement was surely a compromise, good-will gesture from the dour Erich Honecker., head of the German socialist paradise.

So Live at "the Palast der Republik" recorded in 1980 and released in 1986 is an entirely symphonic affair, with unusual latitude given to tones that are not always profuse with the band such as flute settings on the synths and denser bass synth programming throughout. The textures are silky as opposed to experimental, almost classical with hefty allotment for form over substance. When Edgar picks up his guitar on the second track, the inexorable electric squeals must have been heart-stopping, drenched in echo-like despair, all platformed by Franke's rhythmic onslaught and Schmölling's more traditional yet sparkling piano, e-piano and synth leads. I mean, wow! I am sure many an audience member thought" I have been missing out on THIS!" or "THIS was verboten?", and things changed, piece by little piece, everywhere in the Warsaw Pact at the same time. A final series of solos are evidently exalted in its bliss, portraying a new approaching dawn. What a thrill!

Just like with Poland barely 3 years later, the scene must have been a surreal atmosphere of endless contrasts from the icy cold imprisonment to the bristling heat of renewal, from elegant piano to bubbling synthesizes gasps and shearing guitar leads. A rapt audience of mostly party officials hypnotized by musical travel and sonic exploration, where the only visa requirement was a ticket to the show. They went home, dreamed tangerine and vowed to implode their system (hey Egon Krenz, the two Gunthers, Schabowski and .Kleiber! How ya doin'?).

And who says that music cannot change the world!

If you ever need to choose 1 Tangerine Dream album, let it be this one.

5 crying Vopos.

Review by richardh
4 stars A perhaps overlooked Tangerine Dream live recording that captures them almost at their peak.Johannes Schmoelling had just joined Froese and Franke and here gives their music a real shot in the arm.Within electronic music this trio has never been bettered IMO. Stylistically this is similar to their other release in the same year Tangram.The first part opens with an extended electric piano section that is like Tangram Part One.Here they develop it a bit more.The second part is more electronic driven but also features some nifty guitar work that takes it all up another level.Great stuff and ideal for the headphones.Safe 4 star album that as far as live Tangerine albums go is only slightly behind Ricochet and Poland but on a par with the excellent Logos and Encore.One to add to your collection without doubt
Review by Modrigue
3 stars "Pergamon" is the 1986 Virgin re-release of the East-Berlin concerts compilation "Quichotte", initally recorded in 1980. Performances took place near the Pergamon museum, while pictures of a movie relating Cervantes' Don Quichotte story was projected in the background. These concerts were the first given by a western band at East-Berlin. As TANGERINE DREAM was mainly instrumental, their music did not contain sung lyrics that could carry ideologies. As a consequence, they were was one of the few western musicans allowed to play behind the iron curtain.

As usual with their lives, the material differ from the studio releases. However, and from now on, some common passages can be found. For me, this concert is good but a bit overrated.

"Quichotte Part 1" opens with a intriguing, spooky piano melody. It then curiously alternates with more joyful passages. The second half is mainly the sequence of the middle section of "Tangram Part 2", with some arrangements. This clearly was a preparation for the album version. The overall is nice although a bit repetive.

"Quichotte Part 2" features completely new material and is much more rock-oriented. The track begins with a mysterious, ambient atmosphere. Its middle section consists mostly in a long Froese guitar improvisation over an electronic sequence. The guitar play is quite inspired and enraged, but again the composition itself has not many melodic changes. The finale is average. I would have liked to see the unreleased "Quichotte Part 3" featured here. This track is a reprise of the sequence of "Quichotte Part 2", but faster, in a more tenser tone.

First and successful debut performance for Johannes Schmoelling. Although it certainly shows very interesting promises and ambiances, at the same period, I prefer the studio album "Tangram" for more variations and musicality.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Pergamon - AKA Quichotte if you get the rare East German original release of the album - finds Tangerine Dream in a groundbreaking concert in East Berlin, in a rare instance of cultural exchange between West and East Germany during the Cold War. Blending classical styles which would be more familiar to an East German audience (who'd been largely kept insulated from rock music by the authorities) with more adventurous music existing somewhere between the arcane, progressive space realms they'd explored in the 1970s and the slick cyberspace terrain they'd enter in the 1980s, it's an enjoyable piece which is one of the better Tangerine Dream live albums out there.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was live album number three by TD following "Ricochet" and "Encore" but this one really goes beyond the music for me. Edgar Froese apparently knew someone in East Germany that had some authority and connections that opened the door for a Western band to play in Communist East Germany at the peak of the cold war in 1980. Maybe they felt that Electronic music with no lyrics was pretty safe for their youth to hear although I have no doubt some rules were laid down for the band in order to play there. It was held on January 31st at Palast Der Republik which was where the government held their parliament sessions. There were 3,000 people in attendance and it was recorded and replayed on East German radio shortly thereafter. Johannes Schmoelling has just joined the band the month before and this was his first live event with them, what a way to begin!

We get two side long tracks worth around 23 minutes each and both sections really resonate with me. Part 1 mostly for the piano that opens the track which is melancholic and relaxed for the most part until it kicks into gear with synths before 2 1/2 minutes. I have to say though that I looked forward every time I spun this for that opening piano that lasts around 5 minutes. Electronics galore to follow including sequencers around 8 minutes in. Experimental to end it.

Part 2 opens with those experimental sounds before turning haunting. Sequencers hit around 4 minutes but it's spacey too. Some much needed warmth before 6 minutes then the highlight as Froese stands out front and does his guitar hero imitation for 8 minutes! Soaring leads and I can just imagine every East German in attendance looking to buy a guitar after this. Did the government anticipate this? Regardless Edgar puts on a show for the youth that I'm sure many have not forgotten who were in attendance. The last 7 minutes is pretty much electronics with applause to end it.

I'm so happy to own this one along with their first two live records. I may review their first soundtrack tomorrow which I have been spinning all this week up to today. Easily 4 stars for this special event.

Latest members reviews

5 stars Really, a stunning album. Although one might have contradictory impressions about TD's studio albums from 80's, the live recordings are all killers. Here the band presents itself as gloriously as in Ricochet and Encore, but a bit of new age melodic sensibility constitutes a really welcome musical bo ... (read more)

Report this review (#1085782) | Posted by Thandrus | Wednesday, December 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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