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MUSEO ROSENBACH

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Museo Rosenbach biography
Founded in Bordighera, Italy in 1971 - Disbanded in 1974 - Reformed in 1999 - Activity unknown since 2017

This is a one-shot-band including Pit Corradi (keyboards), Giancarlo Golzi (drums), Enzo Merogno (guitar/vocals), Alberto Moreno (bas/piano) and singer Stefano Galifi. In '73 they released "Zarathustra" (about Nietzsche's superman), this album is still considered as one of the masterpieces in the world of progrock. And it's one of the most sought after "collector items". In '92 the CD's "Rare and Unreleased" and "Live" '72 were released, both interesting but with inferior sound quality. A new line-up with the drummer and the bass player who made the album "Exit" in 2000.

The album "Zarathustra" starts with the magnificent titletrack (five parts, almost 21 minutes). The foundation is a beautiful theme (like in "Firth of Fifth" from GENESIS) that returns in different climates (from dreamy to heavy and bombastic) and with different colouring of the instruments. The interplay between the electric guitar, keyboards (Hammond organ, synthesizer and piano), rhythm-section (propulsive and perfectly timed drumming) and strong and expressive Italian vocals is very captivating. It all creates a constant tension, topped by majestic eruptions of the Mellotron. The omni-presence of this instrument gives the titletrack the same thrilling impact as it does on the early albums from KING CRIMSON and GENESIS! The other three (shorter) tracks sound flowing and powerful with a lot of Hammond organ and guitarplay with echoes from Steve HACKETT. ESSENTIAL!

A long anticipated return called "Barbarica" arrives in April 2013.

-Erik Neuteboom-

See also:
- WiKi
- HERE

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MUSEO ROSENBACH discography


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MUSEO ROSENBACH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.32 | 956 ratings
Zarathustra
1973
3.31 | 38 ratings
Exit
2000
3.61 | 92 ratings
Barbarica
2013

MUSEO ROSENBACH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.70 | 22 ratings
Live '72
1992
4.02 | 37 ratings
Zarathustra - Live in Studio
2012
4.26 | 19 ratings
Live in Tokyo
2014

MUSEO ROSENBACH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MUSEO ROSENBACH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.15 | 21 ratings
Rare and Unreleased
1992
3.20 | 5 ratings
Rarities
1992

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

MUSEO ROSENBACH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review N 534

Everything really began when a group, initially named Inaugurazione Museo Rosenbach, was created around 1971 from the fusion of two late 60's bands from Sanremo, La Quinta Strada and Il Sistema. Their first line up included the future Celeste's member Leonardo Lagorio on sax and flute, and the future guitarist of Museo Rosenbach, Enzo Merogno.

La Quinta Strada and Il Sistema had played mostly songs by some other popular artists at the time like Jimi Hendrix and rock groups such as The Kinks, The Animals and Steppenwolf and by Rhythm & Blues stars like Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. Somehow, towards the end of the 60's, the Sanremo's groups, La Quinta Strada and Il Sistema, were two of the first Italian rock bands to spread progressive rock in Italy, even though they had never recorded a single album.

Everytime that the name of Museo Rosenbach is pronounced, you can see a sparkle in the eyes of every European truly progressive rock fan. Their album "Zarathustra" is usually considered as one of the best examples of the genre to come from outside England. However, the band wasn't successful at the time. They were accused of right-wing inclinations for the Mussolini image in the front cover collage on an all-black background and because Nietzsche inspired the lyrics. Both things contributed to limit the diffusion of their name and their album. So, it's not strange that Museo Rosenbach had a very short life, splitting soon after their album "Zarathustra" and some good live concerts in the summer of 1973.

"Zarathustra" is, undoubtedly, one of the most impressive Italian prog rock albums ever, with an astonishing blend of hard and symphonic progressive rock. It's still a perfect example of the Italian powerful idiosyncratic musical creativity. It's not hard to understand why this is regarded as one of the main albums of the Italian prog rock. This is symphonic progressive rock with a rough edge, but without becoming too much heavy progressive. The arrangements are heavily loaded with Mellotron, organ, piano, aggressive guitar and furious drumming. Everything is amazingly played. The compositions are flawless. It's a complex album with many time changes which is something that happens all the time.

Though the music is generally dark and heavy, it still manages to remain very melodic and fluid. The traditional rock ensemble of electric guitar, bass and drums has plenty to offer, with the Mellotron and Hammond organ capable of taking on both lead and supporting roles. The continually captivating interplay is a result of wicked distorted electric guitar, varied and beautifully arranged keyboards, a versatile rhythm section and strong expressive Italian vocals. Stefano Lupo Galifi's singing is bold and passionate, elevating the rest of the music to a higher level. It all comes together in a constant tension, topped by the majestic outbursts of Mellotron, which is the main hallmark of the album.

In the original vinyl version, side A was entirely occupied by the long "Zarathustra" suite, consisting of five tracks with the duration of about twenty minutes. "L'Ultimo Uomo" is the segment that opens the album between solemn and emphatic sounds and King Crimson's solutions. Hammond, piano and Mellotron introduce "Il Re Di Ieri", the second chapter of "Zarathustra" in which Museum Rosenbach manages to blend the symphony of the early King Crimson with the darker sounds of the Italian prog. "Al Di L Del Bene E Del Male", is a song that deepens and expands the prog demands of the band. "Superuomo" is the most changeable episode of the all "Zarathustra" suite. The fifth and final chapter, "Il Tempio Delle Clessidre", returns to the final theme of "L'Ultimo Uomo", a pompous and grand instrumental.

The three other tracks on the album maintain the same high standard. "Degli Uomini" opens the B side of the vinyl. The initial Mellotron foreshadows the violent attack by Merogno's riffs, who contend for the scene at Corradi's Hammond and Golzi's battery pyrotechnics. "Della Natura" moves to a more jazz rock territory, with Hammond, Mellotron and guitar always in evidence with the rhythmic section, with Moreno's pulsating and nervous bass to underline the frenetic drumming of Golzi and where Galifi softens the atmosphere for a few moments before the usual jazz rock assaults. The equally beautiful "Dell'Eterno Ritorno" closes the album, an eclectic prog track with the typical Mediterranean sound.

Conclusion: There are so many outstanding melodies and themes on this album that it's not without reason that "Zarathustra" is considered one of the milestones on the Italian prog rock scene in the 70's. The band dedicated itself to the powerful and rocking version of symphonic rock music, where they managed the balancing act from rough, hard rock to more intellectually shaped, complex rock with flying colours. In fact, it's almost a definitive example. Here you have the big keyboards, organ and Mellotron, a passionate and strong vocalist, a drummer who's clearly a jazzier and compositions that are both dramatic and rocking at once. Hardly any other work can develop such a harmony between hard guitar riffs and soft Mellotron carpets. Wrap it up in one of the finest covers of the era and you have a perfect package. "Zarathustra" is, undoubtedly, one of the universally recognized masterpieces of the Italian prog rock scene.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Live in Tokyo by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Live, 2014
4.26 | 19 ratings

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Live in Tokyo
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Live In Tokyo" is a Museo Rosenbach's live double album that was recorded at Club Citt, Kawasaki, Tokyo on April 26, 2013 and released in 2014 on the independent label Immaginifica. Unfortunately, it's the final act of the line up featuring Alberto Moreno (keyboards), Giancarlo Golzi (drums, percussion), Stefano "Lupo" Galifi (vocals), Max Borelli (guitar, vocals), Sandro Libra (guitar), Fabio Meggetto (keyboards) and Andy Senis (bass, vocals). In fact, after the passing away of drummer Giancarlo Golzi in 2015, the band decided to stop. It's a real pity...

The sound quality is absolutely good, thanks to the help of recording engineer Sinpachiro Kawade and live recording producer Masa Matsuzaki, and allows you to experience all the energy of a band perfectly fit and up to the task, musicians that play with great precision and passion giving new life to the old pieces and presenting the new ones with the right feeling.

The first CD offers a live version of Zarathustra performed in front of an enthusiastic and respectful public that galvanizes the musicians. The order of the tracks is the same of 2012 Zarathustra Live In Studio. The second CD presents all the tracks from Barbarica, although "Fiore di vendetta" is included only as a bonus track and was recorded during a rehearsal in Italy at Rosenhouse Studio on February 10, 2013. "La coda del diavolo", "Abandonati", "Il respiro del pianeta" and "Il re del circo" are all worth listening to, as their studio versions...

On the whole, an excellent document of a great performance.

 Barbarica by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.61 | 92 ratings

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Barbarica
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The same line up that recorded "Zarathustra Live In Studio" worked on its 2013 follow up, "Barbarica", that was released on the independent label Immaginifica like its predecessor. The result is gorgeous and reflects the successful efforts made by the new line up to update vintage sounds with a new millennium taste. The beautiful art cover by Monica Di Rocco in some way expresses the connection with the previous work...

The opener "Il respiro del pianeta" (The breathing of the planet) is a brand new suite that deals with environmental issues and takes over the baton from Zarathustra trying to describe the difficult relationship between man and nature. There are many changes in rhythm and atmosphere as the music and lyrics evoke with powerful, colourful images the spirit of the Earth and its smothered, pulsing beating. Crows and eagles flying over the horizon show paths, currents and rituals to admire the uncontaminated face of the planet while the shades of a thick, impenetrable forest hide the words that bring the storm in its deepest secrets...

"La coda del diavolo" (The devil's tail) is another brand new track that deals with the consequences of war. It's a complex piece that begins softly, by a reflective part where the vocals play the role of a man escaping from the horror of war, in search for peace and harmony. The protagonist has lost his friends and if he opens his heart there's no one left to listen to him. His voice soars like a heartfelt prayer. Then an aggressive electric guitar breaks in, the rhythm rises, the atmosphere becomes heavier as the music and vocals describe with visionary poetical force a valley thundering with bombs where harmony is torn apart by weapons. Blind hatred, desperation and a senseless fury lightens the smile of a merciless stone giant...

"Abbandonati" (Abandoned) is a new version of piece from Museo Rosenbach's second studio album, Exit. The music and lyrics depict with their visionary force a country ravaged by war, starving children desperately trying to escape from a divided nation, scared eyes behind the barbed wires, forgotten heroes dead in vain. The new version, in my opinion, is far better than the previous one. The first part of this piece on Exit, "Tuareg", was cut off and the second part developed with a different, convincing arrangement, evoking the silent pain of the refugees who are desperately trying to find a better way of life...

The epic "Fiore di vendetta" (Revenge flower) is an excellent new version of a piece originally released on the 2003 Colossus Musea themed album Kalevala. It tells of a dramatic story of war and vengeance. A beautiful girl is one of the few survivors of her people, annihilated by the enemy that made of her a slave. The girl bides her time while the seed of revenge grows in her soul, ready to blossom like a terrible flower...

"Il re del circo" (The king of the circus) is another piece that was originally released on Exit and that finds here a new life with the great interpretation of Stefano "Lupo" Galifi in the role of a crazy, merciless sniper shooting at the civilians in the streets of Sarajevo during the war in the ex Yugoslavia and a more aggressive arrangement that emphasizes the surreal horror of a rain of tears and bullets...

On the whole, an excellent work!

 Zarathustra - Live in Studio by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Live, 2012
4.02 | 37 ratings

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Zarathustra - Live in Studio
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This live in studio version of "Zarathustra" marks a new start for Museo Rosenbach. In fact, the band came to life again in 2012, after a long hiatus and a first ephemeral reunion in 1998. It was released on the independent label Immaginifica with a line up featuring founder members Alberto Moreno (keyboards), Giancarlo Golzi (drums, percussion) and Stefano 'Lupo' Galifi (vocals) along with Max Borelli (guitar, vocals), Sandro Libra (guitar), Fabio Meggetto (keyboards) and Andy Senis (bass, vocals). The recording of this album was a way to warm up for new concerts and projects and the artwork by Rudy Camponovo underlines the intention of Museo Rosenbach's to go back to their roots without renouncing to update the old sound with the help of the new technologies...

The track list follows a different order from the original album. A brand new section opens the first track, 'Intro - Dell'eterno ritorno' (the 1973 closer) and from the very first notes you can perceive that the interaction between old and new members is perfect and the sound quality brilliant. 'Degli uomini', 'Della natura' and the long suite 'Zarathustra' follow without weak moments and everything works. The new line up worked hard to find the right balance re-arranging the old material with the due respect but without a philological approach. The final result is excellent and I think that this album can be considered a wonderful calling card for the new incarnation of the band.

 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Argentinfonico

5 stars This could be the representative album of the RPI! The magnitude as a concept album exceeds the limits of the mundane and elevates the spirit to a very high degree of inner strength and motivation. A piece completely dedicated to a part of Nietzsche's work.

The 20-minute, 5-part opening suite Zarathustra occupies the entire first side of the disc, and by far the most entertaining and powerful side of the album. Everything about this piece is wonderful: the lyrics and their transcendental meaning, the conjunction of the instruments, the growing euphoria provided by the thrusts of the drums and the keyboards... The only poor thing about the album is the production, but in the face of such majestic compositions, it really doesn't matter. In fact, it's likely that the sonic unevenness and over-equalisation (cave sound) were deliberate.

Side 2 is a state of grandeur just like side 1. It begins peacefully with "Degli Uomini", a light and airy song in comparison to Zarathustra, with a passing mellotron and a sound closer to classic rock.

"Della Natura" works perfectly as an intermediary between "Degli Uomini" and "Dell'Eterno Ritorno" (the next song and the one that closes the album). This song is twice as long as the previous one and maintains the frenzy with a lot of power and rage. Let's not forget that the lyrics are a very important aspect of this album. All this instrumental vehemence (especially from the organ) is in constant growth during the beginning and middle of the song until then it all dies down and the vocals play a deep and sentimental role.

The last song "Dell'Eterno Ritorno" is, for me, the highlight of side 2. The album closes as it has to close! An instrumental blast with a lot of British flair (I'd say 30%). There's not a second where that euphoria is lost. The closing is subtle and at the same time very correctly powerful.

In short, it's an album to listen to dozens of times and squeeze all its genius out of it until you don't want to listen to it any more (although I doubt that will happen to you). When in less than 40 minutes there are hundreds of ideas implemented with such intelligence, it means that it is a musical work worthy of great respect. Straight into a top 3 of italian prog albums!

 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Museo Rosenbach has only released one album, this one. Because of the Years of Lead that Italy lived through (red and black terrorism), the cover inspired by Nietzsche and depicting the face of Mussolini resulted in great repulsions for this group, considered as fascist. In those years (1973) in Italy any difference in political views could degenerate into violence and the left movement to which prog music belonged did not accept Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra. It didn't help to specify that the cover was a provocation and that the concept album had existentialist lyrics, Museo Rosenbach was boycotted by the underground movement that had launched Pfm, Banco, and Area, and preferred to disband before producing their second. album. It was a real shame because this group of talents was really very gifted and could have churned out even more masterpieces.

Side A

1. Zarathustra: - a. The Last Man (3:57) Beginning in crescendo on an epic theme, the music stops and the singing of Stefano Galifi arrives in the distance who, shortly after, sings a second verse (existentialist symbolic text) at a higher volume, until the initial epic theme restarts with a grandeur effect due to the use of mellotron.

- b. The King Of Yesterday (3:12) After the bombastic epic theme, Pit Corradi's piano outlines a horror film theme that then dissolves into a pastoral, melancholy motif (we're listening to excellent music) with a crescendo of Farfisa. Galifi's voice can be heard again in the distance but towards the end of the movement the music explodes and the lyrics prepare the advent of the superman ("Love your land, in the womb of him God will form"). Last jazzy notes that bridge with a tempo change for the next movement.

- c. Beyond Good And Evil (4:09) Whose name refers to another work of Nietzsche ("The man alone, far from God, cannot build his own morality ... From the morality that You have created nothing will rise")

- d. Superman (1:22) On a jazz tempo Galifi sings "The superman is alive". His voice, slightly hoarse, is sung with a lot of power and anguish, at times like an opera singer, and at times with an almost shouted voice, with an uncommon impetus in prog (present for example in Roger Chapman of the Family).

- e. The Temple of the Hourglasses (8:02) After the slowdown following the previous piece, the new movement continues with a math rock march. Golzi's drums in evidence in this piece and the Rosenbachs are keen to show that they know how to juggle every element typical of prog. Towards 6 minutes the rhythm stops, the Hammond organ plays the intro emphatically which brings us back to the initial epic theme of the first movement.

Masterpiece. Suite rating 8.5 / 9

Side B

2. Men (4:01) Slow start with the organ, then hard-rock electric guitar riffs (Enzo Merogno) which creates a grandiose and epic atmosphere. Changes of pace, accelerations in the style of British prog, it seems to listen to an assault on horseback. Slowdowns, and finally the voice of Stefano Galifi, the "wolf", who in fact seems to howl at the moon. Pause, the music stops, voice and Farfisa remain on a delightful background which, however, inexplicably fade out suddenly. Truncated song, it seems unfinished. It's a pity. Rating 7+.

3. Of Nature (8:24) Start with a frenzied pace, very daring. Then, as often happens with Museo Rosenbach, the music stops, and Galifi's strangled, very bluesy singing arrives, which almost always expresses a sense of existential anguish. Great syncopated instrumental piece, with frenzied rhythm and tempo changes. There are perhaps too many tempo changes between percussion and vocals, too many stop and go. Around 4 minutes a jazzy rhythm arrives (great work by Golzi and Corradi) characterized by onomatopoeic sounds. "Dawn comes from the virgin thirst of his mantle", Galifi sings almost desperately in a blues ending marked by Merogno's guitar. Rating 8.5.

4. Of the Eternal Return (6:15) More reflective piece than the previous one, which Galifi tells the sunset of Zarathustra. Corradi's Hammond conducts the piece together with Golzi's drums. "I die without hoping that something will be born, something will change, the road that I will know leads where man stops and where eternal return reigns". Galifi alternates moments of resignation with moments of desperate anger. Instrumental finale. Rating 8+.

Total Time 39:22

We are facing an ambitious concept album, with extraordinarily committed and serious lyrics, which outline the path of Nietzsche's superman. A compact disc also musically, guided in particular by Corradi's keyboards and mellotron, by Golzi's drums and by the very expressive and ductile voice of Galifi who, together, sign a composition of epic melodic rock, which alternates reflection with anger and desperation, in an almost expressionist way. The quality of the second side is slightly lower than the first but without falls, the only mistake is the brevity of the first song. Maybe some solos are missing, the group prefers the team game.

Small masterpiece. Rating 9. Five Stars.

 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by boa

4 stars This is soooo good! It did take me a while to really get into it though. I had read so many good things about this album, so when i first heard it, i was a bit disappointed. Then after perhaps 3-4 listening, i noticed i began to sing the songs to myself while outside walking, and i figured "maybe there's something here after all". And it really was! It's the kind of music which need to sink in, which for me often is the best kind. The listening experience and enjoyment seems to "last longer" for some reason in such cases. The keyboards, drums and vocals are specially fantastic. The guitar sounds a bit muddy and heavy, so it's a bit acquired taste perhaps, but all over just really great! Lovely melodies, and interesting compositions.
 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars I read quite many reviews here for this album and got hungry to listen to this album after several years again. This is supposed to be the Italian prog at its best and it has all the needed ingredients - right balanced sounds with mellotron, moog and guitars, great Italian singing, emotions, memorable melodies and enough of instrumental moments. The music is serious, symphonic and ambitious. I like massive keyboard textures and deep bass guitar. Let's also highlight the vocalist whose voice perfectly suits the RPI style of progressive rock, it can be mellow but also rock dynamically. Despite several listenings, the album didn't grow on me so much that I would give it 5 stars. It didn't disappoint me either, on the contrary - it proves the rule that one shouldn't quickly judge the one-album bands. Excellent addition to RPI fans but also any progressive rock fan of the 70's.
 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by softandwet

5 stars "Vivo el superalbum!", Friedrich Nietzsche, 1889 (at least, if he had listened to it, I'm pretty sure that he would have said that)

Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra is indeed a concept album taking the great ideas of Nietzsche's Also Sprach Zarathustra and its construction is, de facto a reference to it : the long eponymous epic suite, Zarathustra, is composed of several movement and each recalls a notion of Nietzsche's philosophy :

a. L'Ultimo Uomo (3:57) : the last man, for Nietzsche, the man who does not evolve and remain static all his life, the man who has no will to power (another Nietzsche's concept)

b. Il Re Di Ieri (3:12) : another very complicated Nietzsche's idea and I won't spread it here because it might misunderstood.

c. Al Di La Del Bene E Del Male (4:09) : this one is the nihilistic part of Nietzsche's philosophy and is about morality and the State.

d. Superuomo (1:22) : the superman, the most infamous and disliked Nietzsche's notion and this is partly why Museo Rosenbach got boycotted, but we'll talk about it later.

e. Il Tempio Delle Clessidre (8:02) : a totally instrumental part without any lyrics but by the title, I would connect it to the Nietzsche's concept of the "most quiet hour", when the man tries to choose between good and evil, but doesn't achieve it.

Aside from this piece on the B-Face, we get these 3 songs that, again, recall for Nietzsche's philosophy:

2. Degli Uomini (4:01) : "Of the Humanity" : the "of the" construction is a reference to the way that Nietzsche organise his aphorisms on his books and especially on Zarathustra.

3. Della Natura (8:24) : "Of the Nature"

4. Dell'Eterno Ritorno (6:15) : "Of The Eternal Return" The eternal return is a very complicated idea set up by Nietzsche which could be interpreted as the eternal evolution and the cycle of life.

After explaining this part we can now move on what is the most important on this forum, the music! The music of Museo Rosenbach is very influenced by all that was happening at the time in Italy : multiple English and German- speaking bands coming there and a lot of young men (and girls, who know?) being interested in this new rock current : something more complex, more fetched, more intelligent! Indeed, it generated a lot of bands that, at the time, were releasing one album enthusiastically and were then leaved suddenly by their labels wanting to create the Italian GENESIS or ELP, because most of the time, sadly, their music was not very commercial nor easy-listening and independent labels could be counted on the fingers of a hand. All this cocktail, exciting and cruel at the same time, ended up having TONS of bands releasing one LP and disappearing in nature. Museo Rosenbach is, in fact, one of these bands, but, alongside with ALPHATAURUS, MAXOPHONE, LOCANDA DELLE FATE, IL BALETTO DE BRONZO and a lot of others, their only album was a magnificent one still praised today in a lot of places in the world by a lot of prog lovers. Inspired by KING CRIMSON, VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, YES and their local OSANNA they made a very signature prog with a heavy use of the Mellotron, The Moog and the Hammond C-3 accompanied by an heavy distorted guitar that recalls OSANNA's one. Their ELP influence is no longer needing to be proven and if you want one, just listen to Al Di La Del Bene E Del Male, the third movement of Zarathustra, you will understand what i mean. Musically as lyrically, you could often hear me compare YES' Close To The Edge and Museo Rosenbach's Zarathustra because of their philosophical dimension and the fact that both album uses almost the same instruments and this is why i think that Zarathustra is in the end a RPI's Close To The Edge. KING CRIMSON also has to be considered as a notable influence, the heavy use of the Mellotron in Zarathustra reminds the KING CRIMSON's song In The Court Of The Crimson King for its great Mellotron overture, same as Zarathustra.

Other than that, this album is definitely mastered, nothing more to say other than it is nothing but a masterwork that cruelly needs more recognition among Symph' prog fans. 5/5, a f-ing BOMB!

 Zarathustra by MUSEO ROSENBACH album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.32 | 956 ratings

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Zarathustra
Museo Rosenbach Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Montrose31

4 stars Italian progressive rock has always fascinated me, as its elegance and dreamy tones tend to stand out from other schools of thought in the genre. While I may not speak Italian, the lyrics resonate with me in a way that ordinary English progressive rock does not, and I have always found myself coming back to select Italian prog albums for this very reason. The lyrics act almost as wordless vocals, as the beautiful Romance language makes for a more audibly appealing sound than the dreary, harsh, and irregular English language. Italian prog also has a propensity for giving rise to a myriad of "one-shot wonders"; bands who would release one masterful album, then disappear into the abyss, never to be heard from again. One such band, and perhaps the best example of this phenomena, is the group Museo Rosenbach, aka "Rosenbach Museum" in English. While the band has released a few new studio albums in the twenty- first century after reforming, the band's heyday from 1971-74 is of great note, with the group releasing a sole studio album in 1973, which is considered to be a "cornerstone" of the Italian prog subgenre.

Museo Rosenbach is relatively well-known in prog circles, although they are by no means the flagship of Italian prog bands. Premiata Forneria Marconi released far more albums, many of which were seminal in their own right. However, Rosenbach's 1973 standalone effort "Zarathustra" is in my opinion superior to any PFM album, even the illustrious "Per un Amico" which is held in very high regards in its own right. A concept album based on the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche and his book "Thus Spake Zarathustra", it contains extremely dark elements and undertones, wonderfully capturing the essence of nihilism in musical terms. Side one is a 19:11 epic, split into five parts. I would not go as far to say that there is a story to be told here, but rather the album is a collection of songs which are based around Nietzsche's philosophy, which in its own right can be interpreted in many ways. For example, Rosenbach invokes the "Superman", or Ubermensch, a central tenet of Nietzsche's worldview. There are a few songs which are more introspective outlooks on nature and mankind on the second side, but perhaps the crowning glory of the album is the epic title track.

In general, I have always found Italian prog vocalists to be rather generic and uniform. However, the vocalist on this album is a little bit different in that his voice is gruff; he is not necessarily a great vocalist but his tone fits the mood of the album very well. If you are a fan of the mellotron, then this album is for you. The band relies heavily on this instrument, and it features an incredibly prominent central theme in the title track. Rosenbach has well-defined images, those being Pink Floyd, Genesis, and King Crimson. At this time those aforementioned bands would have already released the albums "Meddle", "Supper's Ready", and "In the Court of the Crimson King" respectively, and those influences are deeply felt in the band's music. However, I would not go so far as to say that Rosenbach is an unoriginal band, as their sound is very unique in its own right, and I mainly attribute this to the band's tones. Genesis has always struck me as a triumphant-sounding group, and while Pink Floyd and King Crimson have explored pessimism, I feel like this band goes beyond that, greatly applying the tones of nihilism into music. However you may want to interpret Nietzsche's concept of nihilism, it is pretty obvious that the music on "Zarathustra" is ominous, yet stoic. Even the album artwork is undeniably scary, with an inhuman collage of what I perceive to be an image of Christ perforated with various images and individuals, the most notorious of which being the late Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Given that the 1970's featured a minor social upheaval which in turn brought Italian prog to fruition, as well as led to the idolization of Nietzsche's work by neo-fascists, the album was banned from radio airplay, and could be the reason why the band never took off in the way that more successful contemporaries such as PFM and Banco del Mutuo Soccorso did.

All politics aside, "Zarathustra" the title track is one of those epics which passes by very quickly, and leaves a lasting impression on the listener. This is not uplifting music, yet it is artsy. It serves as an antithesis to the generally optimistic nature of music without making an explicit sociopolitical statement in the way an ITCOTCK did back in 1969. No band member is obscenely prominent, and the group works as a unit - this makes for a sound which is "Museo Rosenbach" as opposed to "Lupo & Co.". Much of the second side is unremarkable, but fans of this sound will likely rejoice at the prospect of having the album explore more than just the epic. Side two is not required listening by any means, and its arrangement only seems to cast it aside as unimportant in contrast to the leviathan on the first side. Furthermore, the production of this album is incredibly gruff; there is major lack of depth in the bass, and the vocals are obviously not mastered properly, but that is to be expected out of an obscure 1970's prog band which was not signed to a major label. In fact, the original LP is extremely rare, and a first edition will set you back thousands of dollars, similar to that of Leaf Hound's "Growers of Mushroom" over in the hard rock camp. Obviously collectors have already had their sights on this band, but fortunately with the advent of the internet and a few remasters, this album is pretty much available to everyone now. The band even came back with a remastered updated version of the album in 2012, which features the original vocalist and pretty much features the same arrangement, although the track layout has been reversed, with the aforementioned second side tracks going first, which I feel was for the better given it is a bit of an appetizer for the listener in preparation for the epic.

In conclusion, "Zarathustra" is a quintessential album of Italian prog. Its eclectic nature puts it into contention with the finest PFM and BdMS albums, and is one of the greatest albums to emerge from the "one-shot wonder" camp of Italian prog outfits. With albums like this, we should feel gracious that the internet has allowed us to delve back into what is essentially an endless sea of obscure classic prog albums which were previously lost in time. However, to call "Zarathustra" a masterpiece is a bit of a stretch; there are wonderful motifs of sound and an amazing concept which the band works with, but only half of this album can be considered truly seminal. With that said, this is an excellent album that is a top five in terms of Italian prog. To put things in comparison, the other four albums in my Italian prog top five are "Per un Amico", "Darwin", Il Rovescio della Medaglia's "Contaminazione", and "Photos of Ghosts".

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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