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CELESTE

Rock Progressivo Italiano • Italy


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Celeste picture
Celeste biography
Founded in Sanremo in 1972 - Disbanded in 1977 - Refounded in 2016

Very rare band from Italy, CELESTE's music features not by virtuosity or intricate compositions, rather, by melodic lines and dramatic passages. PFM could be underlined as a strong influence.

With its majestic Mellotron passages and restrained power, "Principe di un Giorno" (aka "Celeste") is one of the best so called "pastoral" albums in progressive rock, along with GENESIS's "Trespass" and PFM's "Per Un Amico". RECOMMENDED!!!

See also:
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- HERE

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CELESTE discography


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

4.16 | 305 ratings
Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
1976
3.15 | 41 ratings
Celeste II
1991
2.87 | 30 ratings
I Suoni in una Sfera (OST)
1992
3.64 | 52 ratings
Il Risveglio Del Principe
2019

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

CELESTE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

4.24 | 22 ratings
1969-1977: The Complete Recordings
2010

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

CELESTE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Squire Jaco

4 stars Typically, I prefer my progressive rock to be a mix of clever, exciting, and interesting songs performed by the very best at their instruments. That doesn't mean that I can't enjoy quiet and pastoral songs or sections of songs - I just lose a little patience when the whole album is comprised of such.

And there lies the drawback (for me) in this cd by Celeste. It has some beautiful moments, and it's nicely performed. But I'll probably only play it as background music while I'm reading (as opposed to while I'm driving too fast on a back country road ;-). This is a pretty mellow (and mellotron-ish) album. Nice vocals and flute playing too, along with some nice melodies. It might have been a nice contrast to include drums more often, or a little more "meat" in spots? Too bad it's only 37 minutes long, too. (Was that the stated standard for Italian prog album durations in the 1970's?!)

If you're off on an adventure into the Misty Mountains with Bilbo Baggins, you probably want to have "Close to the Edge" on your headphones. But if you're just hanging out at the old hobbit's place, smoking a pipe, and enjoying the sunset, this Celeste cd will hit the right spot! You need to be in the right mood for this one - I'll give it a mood-appropriate 4 stars. (And now I have this mysterious urge to listen to Zep IV...)

 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by zeuhl1
Collaborator RPI Team

3 stars This one is definitely hyped in RPI circles, but I am not completely sure why. Is it pretty good? Definitely yes. What sets it apart for many I'd guess is that it is so different from the voluminous output of Italian prog bands of the 70's. This is low key to the point of almost being background music (a thing often said about Il Paese dei Balocchi), yet there is a quiet dynamism lurking in here that begs repeated listens. ,

Very few drums here, they occasionally intersperse with the dominating themes: heavy flute, Mellotron and acoustic guitar passages. (look for the mellotron passage that nearly exactly quotes the first King Crimson album). Delicate and pastoral throughout, it can bear close listening, but is excellent as a background to quiet activities. This sounds like a complaint, but is actually a compliment on how Celeste can function on more than one level.

For point of reference: think quiet Gryphon, Genesis and early King Crimson all in acoustic mode. Like Alusa Fallax, a little bit of the first Long Hello album might be a good comparison. Maybe a tad of Moody Blues in there from time to time. All filtered through the Italian lens of course.

Excellent sounding pressing on vinyl, recommended if you can find one. Not a masterpiece, but an important piece of Italian rock history. 3.5 stars

 Il Risveglio Del Principe by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.64 | 52 ratings

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Il Risveglio Del Principe
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars UPDATE INTERESTING NEW PROG

In the Nineties more and more Italian labels (like Mellow Records and Viny Magic) started to put (often hard to find) vinyl Sixties and Seventies Italian prog on CD, from Il Balletto Di Bronzo, Citta Frontale and Museo Rosenbach to Metamorfosi, Alphataurus and Alusa Fallax. How exciting to listen to all that adventurous and captivating Italian prog, often an unique blend of several styles, with hints from ELP, Genesis, Jethro Tull and VDGG, but with on own musical identity. Between many dynamic and bombastic Italian prog bands Celeste sounded very laidback. This band was founded in 1972 and released its eponymous debut LP (aka Principe Di Un Giorno) in 1976. The music is often described as pastoral prog: very mellow compositions with some medieval and jazzy influences, embellished with a lush instrumentation (acoustic guitars, flute, saxophone) and topped with wonderful Mellotron layers, like early King Crimson and The Moody Blues. In 1991 Mellow Records released Celeste II (with songs written just before the band call it a day in 1977) and in 1992 I Suoni In Una Sfera (1974 material, meant as a soundtrack). In 2016 Celeste was refounded as a four piece formation, featuring multi-instrumentalist Ciro Perrino (keyboards, shamanic percussion, glockenspiel, lead & backing vocals) as the only original member. This line-up released its new album Il Risveglio Del Principe in 2019, this review is about that new album.

During my first listening session I quickly conclude that Celeste still makes pastoral prog, but superior to its Seventies music. Because it sounds more elaborate and varied, fans of Anthony Phillips, Gandalf and the mellow side of early Genesis and The Moody Blues will be pleased with this wonderful and tasteful prog featuring pleasant Italian vocals. And again embellished with an even more varied instrumentation: from acoustic guitars, flutes, saxophone and flute to piano, violin, harpsichord, glockenspiel, and, last but not least, an omnipresent Mellotron, wow, I am Happy The Man! The soaring Mellotron violin section can be heard in its full splendor, especially during the intros of several tracks. In Fonte Perenne it even sounds like ITCOTCK from King Crimson, what a beautiful tribute, goose bumps! This album is released on LP and CD, the latter contains the bonustrack Porpora E Giacinto (5:50).

My rating: 3,5 star.

If you are up to a very laidback sound : the pastoral prog boys are back in town!

 Il Risveglio Del Principe by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.64 | 52 ratings

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Il Risveglio Del Principe
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars "Celeste" is an RPI band from Sanremo, Italy that formed in 1972. The band put an album in 1976, disbanded in 1977, and reformed in 2016. There were 2 other albums, one released in 1991 that featured tracks from 1977 before they disbanded, and 1992 which was music for a soundtrack released in 1974. Since then, they have reformed the band with mostly new members, and in January 2019, they finally released a new album called "Il Risveglio del Principe" with new material.

"Qual Fior di Loto" starts with some nice atmospheric effects and a child reciting spoken word vocals. The child is actually singer and founder of the band Ciro Perrino's son. When the music starts, it is quite pastoral and lovely with a childs choir singing wordless vocals. The rhythm starts and a nice acoustic guitar, piano, flute and other soft instruments play a nice melody. Vocals begin with both male and female singers, the lyrics are in Italian, but the vocalists are great singers and fit the music quite well. "Bianca Vestale" starts with mellotron and bass joined by guitar later. This is a prog lovers dream, especially lovers of great Rock Progressivo Italiano. The music is very reminiscent of pastoral progressive rock of the 70s, but it doesn't sound like it is trying to hard to sound that way as the sound just comes natural. A few violins join in when percussion starts and later the sax also joins. As the track continues, the music gets a nice gypsy and folk vibe to it. Love it!

"Statue di Sale" begins with acoustic guitar, violin and piano. Later, this turns to violin and synthesized strings giving it a small orchestral feel. Percussion comes in giving flow to the track. Vocals don't come in until after 4 minutes, and when they do they are accompanied by violin and flute. The vocals are led by Ciro with female harmony I believe is done by guest Elisa Montaldo. When the vocals stop, the sax becomes the focal instrument. "Principessa Oscura" begins with mysterious sounds and wordless vocals from Elisa. The feel is dark and mysterious until the band starts to add in instruments which are led by violin. The feel of the track brightens as the melody is established. Vocals start at 3 minutes. The instrumental break features flute, mellotron some guitar and a small brass section.

"Fonte Perenne" begins with a heavier sound with drums, electric guitars and mellotron. When the vocal begins, things mellow back down to the pastoral feel that is the rule for this album. There is a sax solo followed by violin later. A female choir comes in later and then more sax and violins. "Giardini di Pietra" starts with solo mellotron later joined by bass, piano and percussion. This is the shortest track at 4 and a half minutes, and is an instrumental where different instruments get short solos.

"Falsi Piani Lontani" begins with meandering piano, bass and percussion giving their pastoral sound a jazzy feel. The meandering finally gets a rhythm and vocals pop in later. A Hammond organ makes an appearance as the vocals turn wordless. This is a nice touch. The melody gets taken over by the various instruments as the song builds a bit. There continues to be jazz undertones to this track. "Porpora e Giacinto" is the last track, but is not included on the vinyl version. A violin plays a sad solo interrupted by piano and the sound of laughing children. Soon, the drums start with mellotron, flutes and acoustic guitar. Things intensify as brass joins in, but soften again for a piano solo accompanied by mellotron and bass.

This is excellent Italian Prog that has a lot of classical influence and undertones of folk music and jazz. The music is mostly pastoral, but it is anything but boring. It is quite beautiful and relaxing and it never seems to get cliché or stale. The music is very professional and in many places, original. I am very surprised at how great this is. Once again, 2019 has delivered us another excellent album. Yes, the music sounds simple, but it is a lot more complex than it seems on the surface and has plenty of surprises to keep you listening. Very nice! A very strong 4 star album that could even become 5 stars.

 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An excellent album by this very obscure Italian band. I found out about them just a few days ago when a friend showed me this CD. It seems they were a studio band and did not last long. However, the music here surprisingly good for such an unknown work. With obvious influences of early King Crimson and (surprise, surprise!) PFM, it is a very pastoral, calm and mostly acoustic album. Nothing bombastic or epic, but, make no mistake, it is very creative and captivating in their quiet and tranquil way. All four members are multi-instrumentalists and there is great use of analog keys, specially mellotron, acoustic guitars and flute. There are some fantastic saxes too, courtesy of keyboardist Leonardo Lagorio. This is a mostly instrumental album, with some sparse, but nice, vocals.

It´s hard to say if my copy was a remastered one, because it does not have the bonus track of the 2010 version, but the sound is crystal clear. There are no weak tracks and I listen to it from beginning to end with great joy, the experience being enhanced by every new spin. If you are into RPI then this is a must have. A nice surprise.

Rating: 4 strong stars.

 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by nikitasv777

5 stars Very rare band from Italy. Celeste's debut album Principe Di Un Giorno (1976) - one of the classic Italian albums. The music is mellow, full of mellotron, flute, piano, violin, alto & tenor sax, spinet, xylophone and nice acoustic guitars, it makes you feel better when you listen to it, simply beautiful.

Lack of drums doesn't take away too much from the music due to the increased interaction between flutes, acoustic guitars, piano and mellotron. This is probably the most "beautiful" album I have ever heard. The arrangements are impeccable. A true masterpiece of music. 

Is a masterpiece. Highly recommended to any fan of beautiful pastoral prog, fans of the flute and mellotron. Be prepared to listen to something soft and beautiful. Enjoy!

5/5

 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by Mr. Mustard

4 stars Celeste's debut album is no doubt one of the more pastoral albums of prog, borrowing much of its sound from PFM. But make no mistake, this obscure Italian band has its own formula, and it works extremely well. Instead of the relentless energy and intensity streaming from many Italian groups, Celeste manages to focus on a sound filled with uplifting melody and serene atmospheres.

Lovers of mellotron, flute, and synth will find some satisfaction in this album, as it there is no shortage of either. They manage to build a deep symphonic and folky atmosphere throughout much of the songs. This, combined with the myriad of appealing melodies more than makes up for the lack of intensity. I would even venture to say this is one of the albums I find easy to get lost in, sort of like Dark Side of the Moon. But let this not take away from the diversity of the album, as there are plenty of dynamic changes throughout the album to keep it interesting.

Those who like the softer side of prog should love this album, especially fans of PFM, Harmonium, and early Genesis. Despite being homogeneous in its beauty, I believe this to be one of the best albums to come out of Italy.

9/10

 I Suoni in una Sfera (OST) by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.87 | 30 ratings

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I Suoni in una Sfera (OST)
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In February 74' Celeste recorded another work, intended to become the soundtrack of a movie by Enry Fiorini, entitled ''I suoni in una sfera''.All tracks were composed by Ciro Perrino, while Celeste were helped by Marco Tudini on sax, flutes and percussion.No reference about the movie around net indicates that this film was never published, propably this was the reason the album of Celeste also never saw the light at the time.However it was released in 1992 on the established Mellow Records label of Mauro Moroni and Ciro Perrino, which counted just one year of life at that point.

This was another beautiful and ethereal offering of pastoral Italian Prog by Celeste, where the light Classical melodies are surrounded by dreamy folky references, sometimes quite close to PANGEA's ''Invasori'' album.The original soundtrack appears to consist of the first nine and very short tracks of ''I suoni in una sfera''.Instrumental, mellow and symphonic oriented Progressive Folk, characterized by nice acoustic textures, calm sax leads and smooth flute melodies, that often becomes very dramatic with the clever use of synthesizers, harsichord and some more dark keyboard soundscapes.The only vocals around are a couple of emotional choir lines, but the music will reward the listener with plenty of intense and atmospheric moments.The last three tracks appear to have been composed by Perrino, Schiaviollini and Lagorio, propably as bonus material and not originally intended to become part of the movie's soundtrack.Stylistically though these are on par with the rest of the album, maybe a bit closer to PREMIATA FORNERIA's MARCONI unique vibes.These feature long acoustic passages with tremendous flute parts, a great sax and violin solo and strong keyboards lines in evidence, resulting to three pieces of relaxed, jazzy Italian Symphonic Rock for fans of atmospheric soundscapes.

This originally unreleased album of Celeste just strengthens the image of the group, which should have been one of the most consistent and professional acts of the time.Propably a bit lightweight for fans of more energetic listenings, still ''I suoni in una sfera'' has its own power through this ethereal, instrumental approoach.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

 1969-1977: The Complete Recordings by CELESTE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2010
4.24 | 22 ratings

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1969-1977: The Complete Recordings
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, now... Sometimes you simply go overboard with things. I wanted "Principe d'un giorno" but couldn't resist this box set of all the albums made by Celeste and St. Tropez. Besides being an extremely beautiful box, all white and very classy, it's content is very pleasing indeed. You get both the english and italian version of "Principe..." which is quite fun. For me, who does not speak italian by any means, appreciate the chance to grasp the lyrics. If I have too choose, though, I'll go for the italian version. I have always found that the charm with RPI is strongly connected to the language.

Not everything on here is worth four stars but the point is this, the music is gorgeous and collected in this way it gives you, the listener, a wholeness which I like very much. Strictly not an essential buy by any length but if you do get the chance to get hold of it, please do. It fits in well with the rest of the RPI in your collection and visually it is stunning. Beauty and grace, both musically and visually.

 Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno] by CELESTE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 305 ratings

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Celeste [Aka: Principe Di Un Giorno]
Celeste Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I bought the boxed set of Celeste albums by chance and I am quite fond of it. Especially so when it comes to "Principe..." The music on this particular album is very dreamy, gentle and soothing. It flows by quite gracefully. Melodiuos and well played, with that typical RPI sound. On the other hand I find there's also a hint of the british sound, which I really enjoy. There are lots of keyboards on here, something deeply appreciated by me.

Although the album is very enjoyable and relaxing I find myself void of any real memories of the music after playing it. The music is, like Jade Warrior's "Waves", beautiful but not too memorable. I listened to it again this morning. Outside he sun shone, making the snow glisten. It was all very tranquil and peaceful. Lovely. And I do like the album, it's good. It simply fails to make any lasting impression. That is why I reward this album with a solid three stars. There's no shame in that, now is there?

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

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