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LITTLE TRAGEDIES

Symphonic Prog • Russia


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Little Tragedies biography
The Russian group LITTLE TRAGEDIES (former Pardox) was founded by the composer Gennady Ilyin and guitarplayer Igor Mihel in Kursk, Russia in 1988. The direction of the music was 'Progressive/Art rock'. In 1990 Gennady Ilyin leaves to study in St. Petersburg, he acts in a conservatory by Rimskiy - Korsakov on branch of a composition. The group continues to write down albums during a summer and winter vacation. After ending a conservatory, Gennady Ilyin leaves to live in Germany, but he continues to write music for group and he in parallel writes music for symphonic and chamber orchestras. Arrive to Russia he two times per one year, winter and summer can only, and the group continues to exist, and writes down till two albums per one year. In 1999 Igor Mihel (guitar) is arranged on work in studio of a sound recording " Art Technology "and with sound-engineer Eugeniy Shukin decide to engage in record of music Gennady Ilyin, then the group changes the name Paradox to LITTLE TRAGEDIES.

The first album "Passions on Titanic" was recorded in the studio "Art Technology" within just two days. This music is a sonic impression of guitarplayer Igor and composer Gennady from the well-known movie "Titanic". In his arrangements Gennady uses a huge collection of vintage analog synths collected in "Art Technology" studio. The "old school" of analog recording (without digital tools!), combined with the sounds of original vintage synths and Hammond organ recreates that unique and famous sound of great groups of 70'th. Thus Hammond and Minimoog becomes the "sonic signature" of the group. Among the members of the group this album is the most beloved recording. On "The Sun Of Spirit" Gennady gains inspiration from the poetry of the great Russian poet Nikolay Gumilev and writes music on his poems (cycle "Porcelain Pavilion"). The album "Porcelain Pavilion" is a continuation of "The Sun Of Spirits". It is speculated that nobody else currently plays such a music in Russia.

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ReturnReturn
Musea 2005
$14.57
$24.62 (used)
At NightsAt Nights
Musea 2014
$45.19
$28.44 (used)
Obsessed by LITTLE TRAGEDIESObsessed by LITTLE TRAGEDIES
Musea
$118.36
Chinese Songs - Part Two by LITTLE TRAGEDIES (2013-05-03)Chinese Songs - Part Two by LITTLE TRAGEDIES (2013-05-03)
Musea
$37.02
$33.16 (used)
At Nights by Little Tragedies (2013-05-04)At Nights by Little Tragedies (2013-05-04)
Musea
$78.72
Return By Little Tragedies (2006-07-28)Return By Little Tragedies (2006-07-28)
Musea
$41.73
CrossCross
Mals Limited
$28.52
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LITTLE TRAGEDIES discography


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LITTLE TRAGEDIES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.58 | 10 ratings
Passions on Titanic
1999
3.58 | 22 ratings
The Sun of Spirit
2000
3.51 | 23 ratings
Porcelain Pavilion
2000
3.82 | 42 ratings
Return
2005
4.04 | 64 ratings
New Faust
2006
3.65 | 45 ratings
The Sixth Sense
2006
3.40 | 27 ratings
Chinese Songs - Part I
2007
3.38 | 28 ratings
Chinese Songs - Part II
2007
3.81 | 36 ratings
The Cross
2008
3.10 | 21 ratings
The Paris Symphony
2009
4.14 | 49 ratings
The Magic Shop
2009
4.04 | 66 ratings
Obsessed
2011
3.98 | 54 ratings
По ночам / At Nights
2014

LITTLE TRAGEDIES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

LITTLE TRAGEDIES Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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LITTLE TRAGEDIES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

LITTLE TRAGEDIES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Magic Shop by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.14 | 49 ratings

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The Magic Shop
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars This Russian formation was founded in the late Eighties by composer/keyboard player Gennady Lliyn, he is the brainchild of Little Tragedies. My first musical encounter with Little Tragedies was shortly after the release of their fourth studio album entitled Return (2005). From the very first moment I was very impressed by their often bombastic sound with awesome interplay, the Russian vocals add an extra dimension to the music. Meanwhile Little Tragedies have released 13 studio-albums, At Nights is their latest, from 2014. This review is about their 11th album entitled Magic Shop, unfortunately it lacks those special sounding native vocals. Magic Shop is a concept with a Christmas fairy tale as the subject, in the information booklet you can read about that.

The CD Magic Shop contains 20 tracks that sound melodic and varied with again impressive interplay, especially between the powerful and harder-edged guitar and the flashy keyboard runs. In my opinion this is Little Tragedies their trademark, along with the classical overtones (you can hear that Gennady is classically trained). The cheerful lyrics of the songs are perfectly translated into the atmospheres, especially in Shepherd Boys (halfway the climate changes into heavy with dazzling work on guitar, keyboards and drums), Malvina & Piero (with saxophone and a xylophone sound), The Sheriff (in the vein of Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson with a surprising bluesy conclusion) and Matryoshka (pleasant interplay between guitar and saxophone).

We can enjoy Little Tragedies their usual ultimate bombastic sound in the tracks Overture (amazing interplay and virtuosic soli), Little Cooks (wonderful build-up and delicate organ work), Tango (flashy synthesizer flights and swinging piano) and Moraziana (mid-tempo with a fat rock guitar, virtuosic keyboard runs and a propulsive rhythm-section). I am also very pleased with the beautiful, mellower compositions Pathway To The Magic Shop (warm combination of classical guitar and dreamy keyboards), The Minstrel (harpsichord and sensitive electric guitar) and the final track Epilogue (dreamy with again sensitive electric guitar runs).

Along with Return (2005) and the 2-CD Faust (2006), this album is part of Little Tragedies their best work, this Russian formation sounds inspired and creative.

 The Paris Symphony by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.10 | 21 ratings

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The Paris Symphony
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars The Russian progrock formation Little Tragedies was founded in 1994 by composer Gennady Ilyin, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Between 1995 and 2000 Little Tragedies was a trio that consisted of Gennady Ilyin on keyboards, Yuri Skripkin on drums and Oleg Babynin on bass (what a wonderful genuine Russian names!), after a visit to Paris keyboard wizard Gennady got inspired by the awesome Parissian architecture and cultural heritage and started to work out a tribute with Little Tragedies, recorded in 1996 and 1997 and in 2009 released on CD by the French progrock label Musea.

On Little Tragedies their wonderful website I read: "After visiting Paris in April 1995, which impressed Gennady very much, he started working on The Paris Symphony. The climax of this almost 45-minute work is the three-part opus Napoleon which, in a way, is the heel post of the 'symphony: it determines the structure and intonation of the other parts: House Of Invalids, Notre-Dame De Paris, Luxemburg Garden, Montmartre and Triumphal Arch. The major themes of The Paris Symphony are based on the tunes of and allusions to the Catholic Easter worship service in the Notre-Dame Cathedral. The Paris Symphony was played a few times in music schools and concert halls of Kursk, the city were Little Tragedies was born."

The album contains 9 tracks (between 2 and 11 minutes, total time around 56 minutes) delivering mainly bombastic atmospheres, loaded with dazzling and spectacular synthesizer flights and Emersonian Hammond organ runs, supported by a tight and energetic rhythm-section. Only the short composition Moonlight People contains a more mellow atmosphere: dreamy with orchestral keyboards but finally also culminating in bombastic with sensational keyboards. But in general Little Tragedies their music is a winner for the fans of ELP, Trace and Gerard. I am blown away by the majestic church organ in Notre Dame De Paris and Montmartre and the exciting duels between Hammond organ and synthesizer in Romantic Waltz and Relayer, this is virtuosic keyboard driven progrock!

My rating: 3,5 star.

 The Cross by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 36 ratings

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The Cross
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars I have heard a couple of other albums by Little Tragedies, but it is safe to say that they didn't impress me nearly as much as this did. Inspired heavily by the Seventies, and by ELP in particular, this has a complexity and togetherness that is rarely displayed by other prog bands. It is full of dynamics, with gentle guitar and synthesised flute combining with fretless bass and rim shots to create a certain mood, yet at the next they can all be off and flying with every musician pursuing note density and complexity yet always making perfect musical sense. Musically it is more Western than Eastern, with just the vocals (performed by Gennady in a spoken style, in his native Russian) creating something that is obviously different.

In some ways, it is the vocals that spoil this for me, as there is so much going on that they could easily have made this a fully instrumental album, and not bothered with the vocals at all. There are large sections where the band allow themselves to fully push themselves, with no words to heard, and it is here when they fully come alive. The longest track, "The God Abandoned", is nearly twenty minutes in length, and vocals are there only for a small part of it, yet the song just flies by as the listener is taken deep into an incredible world of soaring keyboards and guitars, with majestic interplay between all those involved. Their site is available in English, and I urge every proghead to discover the joys of Little Tragedies.

 Porcelain Pavilion by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.51 | 23 ratings

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Porcelain Pavilion
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Same year with ''The sun of spirit'' comes the second part of Gennady Ilyin's trilogy, entitled ''Porcelain pavilion'' and practically recorded around the same time with the first part with Igor Mikhel on guitars.It was released on Boheme Music and the album has seen a few reissues, the MALS one credited to Ilyin contains also some bonus material.''Porcelain pavilion'' marks also the first attempt by Ilyin to promote his project through a videoclip (the chosen track was the ''The way'').

''Porcelain pavilion'' has a slightly more optimistic approach than the previous album, somewhat abandoning the intense, sinister Avant-Garde-like moments for a more dreamy, accesible and pleasant sound, always along the lines of Classical-flavored Progressive Rock.Musically the album is heavily led by Ilyin's keyboard pyrotechnics with organ, synthesizers and piano as the main instruments, delivering a more direct style towards Classic Symphonic Rock with evident E.L.P. nuances.The music is interesting with a few nice melodies, angular solos and vintage-styled organ moves, rarely giving emphasis on the cinematic soundscapes of the previous work, although some Electronic and ambiental atmospheres are still present.The concept flows with Ilyin's narration, always delivered in the Russian language, and the sporadic moments with Mikhel on guitars become extremely bombastic, having a certain more grandiose flavor.The synthetic drums are an issue, but basically for a one-man effort ''Porcelain pavilion'' appears to be more than decent, maybe a bit more of an electric taste with guitars could give the album a higher value.

Keyboard-based Prog Rock with some lovely symphonic colors, struggling a bit due to a plastic rhythm section.Nothing more, nothing less.Recommended.

 Obsessed by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2011
4.04 | 66 ratings

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Obsessed
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by Sol Invictus

5 stars Another excellent album from this Russian band! This album is for everyone who enjoys art rock/symphonic prog/classical music with a Russian twist. It is obvious where Gennady Ilyin has taken his inspirations from; as a classical pianist he has much in common with Keith Emerson - and that is good! In "Hallelujah" Little tragedies interpret a song by Prokofiev in a very enjoyable manner - it is a merry tune with a Christmas feeling - and ELP used the same song as base in their "I Believe in Father Christmas". "Conquistador" is a nine minute breathtaking journey that stretches from heavy prog through melancholy and ends up with an emotional final. "Obsessed" is another nine minute of pleasure, starting with a feeling that the obsession is boiling underneath - and that bursts out two minutes into the track, then comes a passage with Russian song, the track then brings all pieces together in the final. "Poet's House" is a moody passage with Russian song. "Too Late" is like a 12 minute long symphonic poem, starting in silence, then the keyboards and guitar bursts out in a heavier theme, followed by a short emotional Russian song passage, leaving room for a heavier passage, combining some of the elements from the album, slowly ramping up the piece, adding new elements, to the grand finale, which is breathtaking in its beauty, ending with a question mark - is it really too late? I have listen more or less continuous at this album during the last two weeks and despite some weaknesses (mainly regarding the vocals and some recording imperfections) and my conclusions cannot be other than that this is a true masterpiece! Gennady Ilyin is a true genius, both as a keyboard player and as a composer, where he is one of the absolute best in the world - sorry to say that his vocals are average though. Also the other musicians in the band are truly excellent. This album is a true gem and a "must have"! Despite the average vocals and the "non-state-of-the-art" recording, this album is far too good to not deserve a 4.8 star rating. Highly recommended!
 Return by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.82 | 42 ratings

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Return
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by Sol Invictus

4 stars With "Return", Little Tragedies have progressed into one of the very best bands in the contemporary "Symphonic prog / art rock" genre. I have no clue what the lyrics are about as it is all in Russian - but the music speaks for itself - and how it speaks! This is truly excellent! Imagine a combination of ELP, Arena, Dream Theater, classical music with a Russian twist and the outcome will be pretty close to Little Tragedies. The band leader and main composer, Gennady Ilyin, has developed to be an excellent composer and the music is very melodic and appealing, beautiful and complex - also for the demanding listener. This is very much keyboard-driven music - but all musicians perform extremely well and play with loads of feeling and technical skill; this is indeed a very tight and good album. Absolute world class! Highly recommended!
 The Paris Symphony by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.10 | 21 ratings

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The Paris Symphony
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by Sol Invictus

3 stars "The Paris Symphony" is in my opinion the weakest effort from this excellent Kursk-based band. It is obvious that Keith Emerson is some kind of role model for Gennady Ilyin, who doubtless is a very skilled musician - but when it comes to composition The Paris Symphony lacks the confidence of the bands later efforts and the distance to Keith Emerson is in this case obvious. It is however interesting to follow the bands progress; from this bud to later beautiful flowers and as such, this album deserve a three star rating. Gennady Ilyin is the main musician on this album - and he definitly know how to play his keyboards! All musicians on this album are good - and that is not the problem. No; the problem is rather that the music drowns in all keyboards. I however like the idea to make a concept out of the perceptions and and emotions related to Paris - and in some respect I would say that Gennady and co- musicians have succeeded. How about the music then? Basically it is very obvious that Gennady, who is the main composer, is classically trained both as concert pianist and as classical composer. On this album, he mixes quite gothic type organs with jazz, classical music and some rock - and he does it with a twist (I like the surprising "Paint it black" reference at the end of "Montmatre" - how on earth did that end up there?). The production could however been better. Don't get me wrong: I am a big fan of Little Tragedies - but I would rather (and highly) recommend their later albums, where the bud really have evolved into the most beautiful flower. I would give this album a 2.6 star rating.
 The Cross by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.81 | 36 ratings

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The Cross
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The cross from 2008 is another worthy album from their catalogue. This time a simple album but clocking over an hour of music. Musicaly speaking Little Tragedies is inspired by bands like ELP and from symphonic prog bands from the '70 thats for sure but also they incorporated in their sound some prog metal elements, the combination resulted is excellent and without sounding like a prog metal band at all. The head of the band Gennady Ilyin and together with the guitarsist they done some fantstic work here again. I think this band is quite underrated and to less known to larger public and is a shame because their music is very complicated and yet melodic and full of intresting arrangements. Sometimes is keyboard dominated prog, sometimes is more towards prog metal ala Dream Theater, sometimes the band combines this two always with eficiency and with good intelligent passages. Some brilliant moments are on opening track The cross or The God Abandoned almost 18 min of pure beauty, both show how great Little Tragedies is. Here we have also some fokish moments like on Tanets and in rest the album is an avalanche of keyboards and impressive song writting. Again 4 stars , but I like little more New faust then this one, still excellent and overlooked.
 New Faust  by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 64 ratings

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New Faust
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars TOP notch album

Little Tragedies is without doubt one of the best progressive rock bands Russia ever had and has of course. THier music is highly impressive in instrumental arrangem,ents with lots of tempo changes and excellent songwritting. New Faust from 2006 released at Mals is a great example of how Gennady Ilyin the main composer and the head of the band manage to understands music in our days and the final product is simply said excellent. New faust is a double album with almost 2 hours of music, but with all that long musical journy , this album for sure doesn't dissipointing at all, not a boring moment, quite contrary each piece is a total winner, with a plus on the epic closing number from first CD - Two Demons, just brilliant. Little Tragedies has a special way of combining symphonic prog elements with in places I can hear Dream Theater similarities, and special in keyboard departement. They incorporate in their symphonic overall sound some prog metal elements, the result is outstanding. Complicated arrangements with many and long instrumental passages, lots of superb guitar works and keyboards aswell, both Alexander Malakhovsky from guitar and Gennady Ilyin from keyboards and aswell voice are very skillful and gifted musicians and musicaly speaking they understanding each other very strong. Some passage sounds like they were extracted from Dream Theatre - Scene from a memory, very similar in aproach, but in the end not bad at all. New Faust is a fantastic album with many memorable parts that will pleases both symphonic prog listners as prog metal lovers aswell. Easy 4 stars, one of the best albums ever from Russia, this is solid as rock and goes recommended.

 The Sun of Spirit by LITTLE TRAGEDIES album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.58 | 22 ratings

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The Sun of Spirit
Little Tragedies Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The second part of the orgasmic trilogy recorded by Gennady Ilyin in late-90's was the album ''The Sun of Spirit'', a work created again at Art-Technology Studio in Moscow, released in 2000 on Russian label Boheme.Ilyin was helped by sound engineer Evgeny Shchukin and guitarist Igor Mikhel, but because there was a band feeling during the creation of the album Ilyin decided to release under the Little Tragedies name.A decade later the album was re-released by Mals Records, this time correctly credited to Gennady Ilyin himself (with a bonus track).

The first few tracks see Ilyin trying to deliver a bit more experimental themes, always of heavy Classical nature, with cinematic soundscapes, sharp Electronic vibes and melodramatic, theatrical vocals.The E.L.P. influences are still apparent in the bombastic synth solos and the grandiose symphonic parts, but there are some very dark moments, close to early ROZ VITALIS, with a haunting sound, closer to Avant-Garde than Progressive Rock.From the fourth track and on things seem to be rolling.The presence of some incredible guitar solos and rhythm parts by Igor Mikhel, the more Prog-compatible structures by Ilyin and the use of the drum programming result to well-crafted Symphonic Rock compositions, which still retain a strong Electronic flavor.Plenty of orchestral themes, bits of acoustic passages and a few nice melodies make the work stronger as it unfolds, eventually presenting Ilyin's talent in full mode.

While this early stuff created by Gennady Ilyin has some too ambitious ideas, it contains enough well-executed material to evaluate this man's unique talent.Recommended, a great work for all lovers of keyboard-driven Symphonic Rock.

Thanks to erik neuteboom for the artist addition. and to H.T. Riekels for the last updates

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