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Beggars Opera - Act One CD (album) cover


Beggars Opera


Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 193 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Beggar's Opera was an obscure Scottish prog rock act, that managed to stay under most's radar back in the day. Their debut album shows strong classical aspirations in conjunction with heavy psychedelic rock and a bit of jazz influences, all sounding very intelectual. Alan Park, the classically-trained keyboardist is on fire here! His playing can closely be compared to that of Keith Emerson, Jon Lord or Dave Stewart on Egg's debut album. Ricky Gardiner's playing is something rare in progressive rock. It can vary from wild, Hendrix-esque riffs to something we can imagine as a guitarist treating his instrument like a philharmonic musician treating his violin or cello. All in all, a very versatile solo section. All supported by an incredible rhythm section that can go from pumping to light jazzy touches. In Beggar's Opera every instrument works like a Swiss watch - very accurate and rather pleasing. The key track and a highlight of this album is "Raymond's Road" - a compilation of well-known classical compositions like "Turkish March", "Karelia Suite", "Fugue in D-minor" and some more. All this based on a fast rhythm, reminiscent of "Sabre Dance" by Khachaturian. This best showcases fantastic musicianship of Beggar's Opera. Other tracks are also very classical-based, perhaps with more jazz influence and phenomenal British sense of humor.

Beggar's Opera "Act One" will make a great album for all fans of old progressive rock and classical music. This is an especially important album, which shows the face of early prog. A true gem!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |


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