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SYMPHONIC PROG

A Progressive Rock Sub-genre


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Symphonic Prog definition

Symphonic is without doubt the sub-genre that includes†the most bands in Progressive Rock because for many people it's almost synonymous classic Prog, something†easy to understand being that†most of the†classic and/or †pioneer†bands†released music that could be included in this sub-genre, except JETHRO TULL and PINK FLOYD (who still blended some symphonic elements), even KING CRIMSON who very soon expanded their horizons to more experimental music, made their debut with a Symphonic album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" which is a cornerstone in the development of the genre.

The main characteristics of Symphonic are the ones that defined all Progressive Rock: (There's nothing 100% new under the sun) which among others are:
  • Mixture of elements from different genres.
  • Complex time signatures.
  • Lush keyboards.
  • Explorative and intelligent lyrics, in some cases close to fantasy literature, Sci Fi and even political issues.
  • Non commercial approach
  • Longer format of songs

In this specific case the main characteristic is the influence of Classical music (understood as Orchestral works created from the late Gothic to Modern Classical) using normally more complex structure than other related sub-genres like Neo Progressive (That's why sometimes the borderline that divides Symphonic from Neo is so unclear being that is based mostly in a degree of complexity rather than in an evident structural difference)..It is easy to find long keyboard solos reminiscent of Johan Sebastian Bach or melodic works that could have been written by†Handel.

As in any other genre, different Symphonic bands had different approaches to Classical music, for example YES and GENESIS are mainly influenced by the Baroque and Classical periods, while EMERSON LAKE & PALMER has a predilection for post Romantic and modern authors like Mussorgsky, Rimsky Korsakov, Bartok or Ginastera, being†that†their sound†is less melodic and more aggressive.

The peak of the genre starts in 1969 and lasts until the mid/late 70's† (more precisely until the release of A Trick of the Tail), when the genre begins to† blend more mainstream influences that took to the birth of Neo Progressive (a new approach for a new decade).


It†is important to remember that even though the creative peak of Symphonic Progressive†ended before the 80's,†we can find†a†second birth†in the 90's coming from the Scandinavian countries (specially Sweden with ANGLAGARD or PAR LINDH PROJECT) and even bands that still in the 21st Century recreate music from this period like SPOCK'S BEARD or ECHOLYN.

Before ending this short description I feel necessary to say (In order to be strictly accurate) that the term Symphonic is not 100% exact, because†these†bands†very rarely†played symphonies and was†probably used because the music that influenced the genre was†performed by Symphony Orchestras, but†it is†so†widely accepted†by the Progressive Rock community that†would be absurd and futile for†anybody to†attempt a change after so much time.

IvŠn Melgar Morey, Peru 2006



Symphonic Team

Current Team as at 09/07/17

IvŠn Melgar Morey (IvŠn_Melgar_M)
Anton Fritz (SouthSideoftheSky)
RdtProg (Louis)

Symphonic Prog Top Albums


Showing only studios | Based on members ratings & PA algorithm* | Show Top 100 Symphonic Prog | More Top Prog lists and filters

4.66 | 4030 ratings
CLOSE TO THE EDGE
Yes
4.63 | 3755 ratings
SELLING ENGLAND BY THE POUND
Genesis
4.60 | 3264 ratings
FOXTROT
Genesis
4.44 | 3180 ratings
FRAGILE
Yes
4.42 | 2839 ratings
NURSERY CRYME
Genesis
4.40 | 2372 ratings
MIRAGE
Camel
4.38 | 2032 ratings
MOONMADNESS
Camel
4.36 | 2743 ratings
RELAYER
Yes
4.38 | 1553 ratings
HYBRIS
ńnglagŚrd
4.35 | 1167 ratings
SI ON AVAIT BESOIN D'UNE CINQUI»ME SAISON
Harmonium
4.29 | 2676 ratings
THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY
Genesis
4.29 | 2570 ratings
THE YES ALBUM
Yes
4.29 | 2065 ratings
THE SNOW GOOSE
Camel
4.27 | 2311 ratings
A TRICK OF THE TAIL
Genesis
4.31 | 1048 ratings
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES
Renaissance
4.32 | 775 ratings
DEPOIS DO FIM
Bacamarte
4.24 | 1877 ratings
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER
Emerson Lake & Palmer
4.25 | 967 ratings
VILJANS ÷GA
ńnglagŚrd
4.25 | 921 ratings
HAMBURGER CONCERTO
Focus
4.22 | 998 ratings
LEFTOVERTURE
Kansas

Symphonic Prog overlooked and obscure gems albums new


Random 4 (reload page for new list) | As selected by the Symphonic Prog experts team

POLLEN
Pollen
SAECULA SAECULORUM
Saecula Saeculorum
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DAY
Exodus
L'ARBRE-CIMETI»RE
Maldoror

Latest Symphonic Prog Music Reviews


 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.30 | 36 ratings

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Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Han

4 stars The musicly masterbrain Anthony Kalugin has done it again! His child Karfagen grew and grew and reached the point of being adolescent. What a fine album this has become. Ive seen Anthony play live wirh Kargagen/Sunchild at the Progdreams V festival at culuurpodium Boerderij Zoetermeer, Netherlands. Line-up Focus, Mastery, Dave Kerzner, District97 and others. Mindblowing live performance, great musicianship by all members of the band. They deserve to be headliner someday! If you like instrumental prog this new album is a must have. Listen and close your eyes and drift away into a world of messages from afar and make first contact with Karfagen.
 Foxtrot by GENESIS album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.60 | 3264 ratings

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Foxtrot
Genesis Symphonic Prog

Review by FalconBleck

5 stars #7 Review

This album came to me as a surprise, when i first heard Genesis, i jumped straight over this album for some reason, and when i was able to listen to it... i wasn't really fond of it, the intro was nice, but everything else i ignored for some reason, then lightning struck and a signal from heaven came to show me a Supper's Ready video live performance, and i was amazed...

1.- Watcher of the Skies 8/10 This score might be seen as low for this song, but my problem is that the bass and guitar repeat too much the same parts, it's still an impresive song, the lyrics are aweosome and well executed, the Mellotron is doing it's job, i want a Mellotron mostly because of this song. The song starts to change little by little and comes into an impactful conclusion, really nice song, i just wished that they went with the song mostly like the last part, more changes.

2.- Time Table 8/10 Good lyrics and a really pretty song, it's really peaceful, a song that i would listen in a restaurant while looking at the sea with a woman that has a head of a wolf? But i remove 2 points because i feel like the song lacks more moments to make a difference.

3.- Get 'em Out by Friday 8/10 Really impresive at the start and then it goes with a really nice rythm that feels really industrial but the instruments make it feel natural in its own right, then it goes passive, back to chorus and back to pasive, this song doesn't move me that much because at some parts the lyrics get to theatrical, like they're being read instead of singed, but that's a minor part, then the song gets a little repetitive. The flute solo near the end is good tho.

4.- Can-Utility and the Coastliners 10/10 This is the song that made me listen to this album in the first place, it's absolutely well done, every member of the band shows their capacities in some time, and the song sounds pretty sweet. Songs like these show the talent of Genesis, and this also shows that the band could've used more Steve Hacket's talent!

5.- Horizons 10/10 And in the topic of Steve Hacket, here it is, pure talent, a song completely made and played by him, his own space in this album and maybe in the entire career of the band, playing like a piano on guitar, it's pretty nice to play it on the piano too, but in guitar is a completely different story. And i said, when i die, i want this song to be played at my funeral.

6.- Supper's Ready (in general) 10/10 Where do i start? I remember hearing that the band was afraid of doing more suites because of this majestic song that left the bar really high... this song is that epic! Majestic play by Tony Banks on the 12-string guitar? Yes, he was all this time the one that made that incredible first section, and then he goes into the piano and plays 4/4 while the band is on 9/8? He does all of that and more, and the rest of the crew are here at their best. This love song than suddenly turns into a happy song about war (?) then gets absolutely depresive, then crazy, then infernal and finally pretty emotional, in an epic finale. There is not another song like this anywhere, this is Genesis.

The final score is... 90/100, so it is obviusly an essential 5 star ranking.

 Messages from Afar: First Contact by KARFAGEN album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.30 | 36 ratings

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Messages from Afar: First Contact
Karfagen Symphonic Prog

Review by Cylli Kat (0fficial)

4 stars Okay, my bad... (Really, really, really bad)... Usually, I will ALWAYS adhere to the listen and delete after 24 hours rule...

Four days later... This is still blaring through my stereo... I think (correction: KNOW) I'm going to have to shell out the money for this... Think: Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason Part II... But, decidedly different... There are some guitar and compositional bits that so remind me of David Gilmour, Steve Hackett, and then, some bits that remind me of Steve Howe... The album starts of with a vibe of "Learning to Fly", and moves on almost into a mid-period Yes... I'm much better with a guitar than words... All I can tell you is that this is a high quality album, and well worth your time..

I'm a guitar player, and a horrible reviewer of albums... (Sorry)... BUT: I know what I like; and I love this!!! If you can find it, give this a test run...

Well worth the time and money...

As always, your actual mileage may vary...

Grace and peace, Cylli (Jim Calistro)

4.62 on the progarchives score I love this, you may not...

 From Silence to Somewhere by WOBBLER album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.57 | 177 ratings

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From Silence to Somewhere
Wobbler Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'd be very surprised if this isn't the album of the year for 2017 on most Prog sites and on my particular list. I really feel that they've gone that extra mile this time going into ANEKDOTEN and ANGLAGARD territories. Mind you the previous four studio albums are all incredible in my opinion. The debut still has this mythical feel to it for me. I remember back in 2006 taking my oldest daughter to a friend's place, they lived in this little village on the mountain and I played "Hinterland" for our journey. Memorable music.

Since they hired a new vocalist for the "Rites Of Dawn" album there is a YES vibe because he does sound very much like Jon Anderson. Even instrumentally I felt YES was an influence at times on that "Rites Of Dawn" album but not nearly so much here, in fact hardly at all except for the vocals. I'm a little sad that the list of instruments that Lars Fredrik Froislie plays isn't listed on here, maybe because it's a paragraph long. Here it just says keyboards and backing vocals. How about organ, mellotron, clavinet, electric piano, synths, keyboards, zither and grand piano but there's actually even more details to this. Impressive!

"From Silence To Somewhere" is the 21 minute opener and we get a guest appearance from Ketil Vestrum Einarsen playing flute and he's from JAGA JAZZIST. He also guests on the closing track with flute as well. Atmosphere builds before a full sound kicks in quickly. Love that in your face bass and the distorted organ starting before 2 minutes. A beautiful calm arrives just before 3 minutes. The synths and atmosphere bring YES to mind but when the vocals arrive well this sounds like YES during their classic period. Mellotron before 4 1/2 minutes then it starts to build a minute later as the mellotron becomes more prominent. It then picks up with flute over top then the vocals return. A calm with mellotron, acoustic guitar and more after 6 minutes. It kicks in again before 8 minutes with flute over top and vocal melodies. The guitar starts to solo before 8 1/2 minutes. It steps aside as the vocals return. An experimental calm then kicks in sounding amazing before 10 minutes. Love the huge bass lines and old school keyboards. Another experimental calm then the keyboards and bass return before it kicks into an insane soundscape where it's every man for himself(haha). The flute is back then it's the guitar lighting it up as it grinds away before the mellotron returns before 13 1/2 minutes. An almost silent calm after 14 minutes as some sparse drums then vocal melodies join in. Acoustic guitar takes over ala GENESIS. Atmosphere then rolls in. It kicks back in before 17 minutes with mellotron storming the soundscape reminding me so much of ANEKDOTEN. Passionate vocals follow. A calm after 18 1/2 minutes as reserved vocals join in. What a beautiful way to end it.

"Rendered In Shades Of Green" is a 2 minute instrumental with piano leading the way at first. It's melancholic as other sounds join in on this sad piece.

"Fermented Hours" builds right from the start and I really like this. A vocal melody follows then it kicks in heavily with keyboards over top. Vocals just before a minute in this uptempo section. Check out the bass! Some guest spoken words before 2 minutes and later on too. The singer is back signally a return to that uptempo and fiery instrumental work. A calm with keys, a beat and picked guitar follow as the mellotron helps out. Man this section starting before 3 1/2 minutes really sounds like IQ. It's building after 5 minutes with those guest spoken words. Love the mellotron and bass that follows. The vocals are back after 6 minutes followed by a mellotron storm after 6 1/2 minutes. Organ before 8 minutes as it settles right down. Here we go again! Not worthy!

"Foxlight" is the stunning closing track. It actually reminds me of CHICAGO's "Wishing You Were Here" classic until the vocals arrive. The flute flutters as the picked acoustic guitar and atmosphere continue. Some piano too as the vocals come and go. This really sounds good. Crumhorn too. It suddenly kicks in quite heavily with organ, drums, bass and more. Oh my! The vocals arrive as the bass leads the way into battle. Flute to the fore after 5 1/2 minutes then the vocals return. Back to the heaviness. So good! Check out the bass, drums and mellotron 7 minutes in as the vocals continue. Powerful is the word. Intricate sounds follow as we get a lighter but more beautiful section. Distant almost spacey vocals arrive before 9 minutes as it turns melancholic and mellow. Mellotron rolls in as the vocals step aside. Suddenly it all brightens as these upbeat vocals kick in with a catchy rhythm. Nice chunky bass and vocal melodies too. It's like a happy ending! I like happy endings.

I will be shocked if this isn't my favourite album of 2017. Got several more to get to yet.

 Musiciens - Magiciens by ATOLL album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.52 | 88 ratings

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Musiciens - Magiciens
Atoll Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

3 stars 3.5 La France gave birth to some of its main prog acts in 73-74, although it already had great grandpas in GONG. I have to admit I don't like French singing in prog, well, I generally don't like singing at all, but French is got a strong accent that distracts even more of the music. The coetaneous band Ange had this problem, even aggravated. Modern prog French groups are less aggressive in this, such as LAZULI or the impressive GENS DE LA LUNE. The vocals in ATOLL are more restrained too. The music is complex, with clear Yes and some jazz influences. To note, the album is coetaneous with YES first and more brilliant epoch, but it is not a copycat band anyway. Probably, the musicians were more mature than ANGE's, though the style is rather different. Spite of the pleasant listening, I miss some highs. It reminds me of some modern bands also following YES, they treasure great musicianship but they lack the genius composition. At least not in this one. The most accomplished tracks are the epic Le Baladin Du Temps and the closing Je Suis D'Ailleurs.
 August In The Urals by DELUGE GRANDER album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.04 | 140 ratings

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August In The Urals
Deluge Grander Symphonic Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

4 stars OK, i have to admit that my mind is in the gutter because every time i read this title it translates as "August In The Urinals" which makes me think of unthinkable stinkiness on the streets of San Francisco freshly excreted by the burgeoning homeless population. But wait! I digress before i even get started! Thankfully when Dan Britton left Cerebrus Effect, he didn't waste any time taking his passion for progressive oriented rock and taking it to the moon and back and this album in reality is the exact antithesis of that misconstrued mistranslation. The debut album by DELUGE GRANDER is a triumph in the one, two punch that the 90s provided in the prog revival scene with bands such as Anglagard and Dream Theater leading the way. The correct title of the album, ah hem, is AUGUST IN THE URALS and debuted in 2006 but despite its release well into the 21st century, this band was in love with not only the usual suspects of the past but also the lesser known prog acts such as Cathedral, Kenso, Maneige, Miriodor, Semiramis, Asia Minor, Kotebel and Crucis. This rich palette of influences gives this music a true classic feel although the complexity meter is turned up to 11 and counting.

Britton explains that the DELUGE GRANDER debut album was a work of passion that lasted 8 months right after he finished grad school and before he found full employment. Inspiration occurred in the sleepless cycles where he would labor away in 26 to 30 hour cycles and catch a nap whenever time would permit. This frame of mind in this period of his life explains the labor of love which resulted in a staggeringly complex behemoth of prog that nearly hits the 71 minute mark. While this was the period of time when Britton admits he didn't have a lot of musical equipment and even incorporated on this album an old analog Univox synthesizer that he found lying outside his apartment complex all covered in snow. While the money and equipment may have been in short supply, the passion and inspiration were clearly not lacking. This is the type of album where every single stroke of the key and pluck of the string is cleverly crafted and adroitly animated in a serious never-ending stream into the prog universe.

The album begins with the monstrosity near 27 minute long "Inaugural Bash" which slowly begins with a simple keyboard and guitar riff that ratchet their way into a complex web of sonic subtleties and compositional prowess that ebbs and flows like a never-ending stream wending its way through a lush verdant vale in some bucolic setting. This piece is mostly instrumental with only scant few vocals poking out of the moody mist of layered synthesizers and irregular time signature workouts with bass and drum marching along like a jazz-addicted clown on Bourbon Street in New Orleans after a few drinky-poos circulating in the old blood stream. While the grooves and melodies are all over the place, there are some that recur for an anchoring effect but mostly, this one drifts off in a musical march that takes you on a ride that you never want to disembark. The title track is only about half as long but still at a near 16 minute time run is another prog behemoth that continues the symphonic bombast with tender and heart-felt melodies fluttering into your ears and directly into your center of prog sensibilities. This one has a lot of interesting guitar workouts performed by Dave Berggren that are sort of flamenco-esque yet very unique and frenetically displaying a rotisserie of complex time signature workouts. While musically this is another beauty of a prog standard on steroids, one of the weakness of the band occurs with Britton's vocals much like the same style of vocal tracks on his debut Birds and Buildings album. While not unlistenable in the vocal department, the style seems to be substandard for the type of vocals that such dynamic music seems to be calling for. Nevertheless, the title track is another winner of proggy yumminess guaranteed to win a high place in the prog museum on that far away world that only exists in a Roger Dean album cover.

The third track "Abandoned Mansion Afternoon" is yet another behemoth track that slightly exceeds the 12 minute mark and ushers in yet more moody symphonic laden prog rock workouts that shuffle time sigs, dynamics and tempos into a mystifying blender of spits them out in incremental deliveries. This is another vocal track that sounds most like the title track with Britton's baritone and detached sounding vocals that cruise along in a rather monotonous manner residing on a lower octave. The quirky bass lines and guitar riffs meander and wander aimlessly at times into completely new pastures but always result in extremely precise and bizarre instrumental interplay. The final two tracks "A Squirrel" and "The Solitude Of Miranda" are all instrumental and show more varied tempos with emphasis on some of the more energetic passages on the album. Without the vocals keeping them on the leash, the individual instruments are allowed to run free range and conjure up whatever mojo they can muster up and with keyboard riffs run amok, bass slaps and guitars whizzing up and down the scales, we get a satisfying ending of prog workouts to end the album.

AUGUST IN THE URALS is a contumacious display of unbridled prog that knows no limitations and provides the utmost efficacious pomp and awe that many a modern act is incapable of dishing out in such lofty doses. This is one of those albums that is just so grand in scope that its intransigent serpentine flow of ambitiousness will surely leave even the most hardened progger having to gasp for air. While the melodies and grooves are rather airy and light-hearted, there are just so many twists and turns that it's almost impossible to grasp upon first listen. This is one truly for those who love it dense and complex as possible and in that regard DELUGE GRANDER deliver the goods in an unapologetic procedure of symphonic prog overload. This is exactly the type of music that floats my boat the most. This is a brilliant album slightly bogged down only by the vocal parts that don't do the music justice but even on those parts, AUGUST IN THE URALS is a splendidly well constructed album that displays all the passion and devotion that went into it. Excellent debut!

 ...En Al-Hakim by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1989
3.58 | 15 ratings

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...En Al-Hakim
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

4 stars 4.5 actually! Ten years from their debut, MA underwent major lineup changes that will define the rest of their career. This band began in a soft rock style with some flamenco airs, mostly the voices, and will come (they are still going) to a standard heavy-metal band headed by a flamenco-rumba singer. This album is their best achievement. Here they pick up the glittering star left by TRIANA, the godfathers of Andalusian prog. This trail they should have never quit, because they finally hit. Strikingly, the recruitment of hard-rock oriented guitar player Paco Ventura meant their best prog mark. Probably, the presence of giant flamenco guitar player Vicente Amigo in the album fastened the composition to a Flamenco-Rock, which is progressive by own nature. The music is sweet and tragic, with great guitar work, nice layers of keys, beautiful catchy melodies, and sufficient play with tempo to keep the interest high. Nearly all tracks are excellent, except for a filler-rocker for live shows. Special mention to the tracks OtoŮo and La Guitarra, both the official and their acoustic versions in bonuses. Check also El Destino, with nice flamenco guitar play in the front and a soft rock guitar envelop in the background, thrilling. I think these guys lost the opportunity to become really great. Hard rock is such a crowded road, people!
 Medina Azahara by MEDINA AZAHARA album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.56 | 37 ratings

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Medina Azahara
Medina Azahara Symphonic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars Born in the trail of the Andalusian Rock wave by the end of the 70's, in a still lazy musical scenario in Spain, just a few years after the cultural dessert passed away officially with the dictator, some bands were taking revenge exploding in heavy metal, later than the rest of Europe in which Punk had already taken over. But Punk has no sufficient music elements to express the anger and the hanger, and the kids were eager to demonstrate they could play. This band is strongly after the giants TRIANA, a major act that opened the secrets of flamenco to a young audience that was fascinated by heavy. Medina later evolved to a hard-edge heavy sound and even practiced a curious blend of Heavy Metal and Rumba. Anyway, for the time being, the pulse for music was strong and Andalusian guitarists came out of the blue to have some fun in live concerts and changed the claps for a drum set, and the Spanish guitar for an electric one. This first album by MA is not prog. Actually, this band may not belong to PA. It has some soft rock line with standard rhythmic section, no variations, no tempo changes, just some guitar and organ solos here and there, irrigated by the flamenco-like singer. In this album the band still sounds a bit immature and the track composition is somewhat naif, except for some good guitars here and there. The tracks are well crafted though; some are very interesting as the closing Recuerdos del Ayer. Not for prog fans. Otherwise it could go with 3 stars.
 Two Sides Of Yes by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.65 | 42 ratings

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Two Sides Of Yes
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

3 stars Originally released as two separate volumes in 2001 and 2002, 2016 saw a reissue of both sets as a double CD set (missing only a 'bonus' video which was originally on Volume 1). The reason it is indicated as 'Two Sides' is not for the number of discs, but rather there are two totally different approaches to the music contained within. Some of the interpretations feature just Rick on piano, while others feature Alan Thomson on bass and long-time collaborator Tony Fernandez on drums. Now, I have been a fan of both Wakeman and Yes for well over forty years and have managed to see both in concert twice, although unfortunately not on the same stage at the same time. To me this is a lost opportunity, in that the band versions don't always add a great deal to the original, and sometimes are less. The first time I played Rick's version of 'Going For The One' I straight afterwards went to the original and played them back to back, with Rick's sadly lacking in comparison.

But, they are pleasant enough even if they're not essential, but the piano pieces are a revelation. Here classic numbers have been stripped, and then provided with totally new arrangements yet still staying true to the original. These are superb, and if these two discs were comprised solely of Rick providing piano variations of classic Yes numbers that this would be essential. As it stands, it is interesting to those like me who have followed both careers with interest for longer than they would really like to admit, but not as important as it could be.

 Christmas Variations by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.30 | 13 ratings

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Christmas Variations
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Having already released an album of variations on hymns, it was suggested to Rick that he record variations on Christmas carols. Originally, he deferred, but finally relented and the end result is an album of variations on ten classic carols. When I say "classic" I mean exactly that, as everyone in the Western world will recognise these, and even sing along (even if it is just inside their head). I have long felt that Rick is often at his very best when he allows himself to go deep inside the music and let his hands do the talking through his piano, and that is definitely the case here. It's not all piano-led, there are plenty of synths as well, but they tend to be played as if Rick was still sat at a harpsichord or piano.

The only word to truly describe this album is "beautiful", and at this time of year I can't imagine a more tranquil and wonderful way of getting into the Christmas spirit. This isn't an album that will be played in shops with all the plastic razzmatazz where they attempt to persuade everyone that the true spirit of Christmas is how much you spend on gifts, but rather is a thoughtful and contemplative approach to the season. There has been a great deal of thought and care put into these variations, and I can "see" Rick with his eyes closed (as normal) falling deeper and deeper into the music, taking the simplicity and giving it more meaning and love. If I have to suffer carols at Christmas, then truly this is the only way to do it.

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Symphonic Prog bands/artists list

Bands/Artists Country
21. PERON Turkey
5BRIDGES Netherlands
7 OCEAN Belarus
ABBHAMA Indonesia
ABSTRACTION LAYER Brazil
ACCENT Romania
ACHE Denmark
ACUITY United States
AD ASTRA United States
ADVENTURE Norway
AETHER Brazil
AFTER CRYING Hungary
AFTER THE FIRE United Kingdom
AGNUS Argentina
AGNUS GRAAL Brazil
AIRLORD New Zealand
AJALON United States
AKACIA United States
ALAMEDA Spain
ALASKA United States
ALBATROSS United States
ALMS Spain
ALPHA CENTAURY France
ALPHA III Brazil
ALTER ECHO Sweden
LEON ALVARADO United States
SERGIO ALVAREZ Argentina
AMAGRAMA Argentina
AMENOPHIS Germany
AMOS KEY Germany
ANABIS Germany
ANCIENT VISION United States
ANDERSON BRUFORD WAKEMAN HOWE United Kingdom
ANDERSON/STOLT Multi-National
ANGE France
ANGIPATCH France
ńNGLAGŇRD Sweden
ANIMA Argentina
ANIMA DOMINUM Brazil
ANIMA MORTE Sweden
ANIMA MUNDI Cuba
ANOXIE France
ANTARES Germany
ANYONE'S DAUGHTER Germany
APH…LANDRA France
APHRODITE'S CHILD Greece
APOCALYPSE Brazil
AQUAPLANAGE United Kingdom
ARABESQUE United States
ARACHNOID France
ARCABUZ Spain
ARION Brazil
ARS NOVA (JAP) Japan
ART IN AMERICA United States
ASA DE LUZ Brazil
ASIA MINOR Turkey
ASTRň United States
ASTURCON Spain
ATILA Spain
ATLANTIS PHILHARMONIC United States
ATLAS Sweden
ATMOSPHERA Israel
ATOLL France
AUTUMN United Kingdom
AUTUMN BREEZE Sweden
AVIVA (AVIVA OMNIBUS) Russia
AXCRAFT United States
AZABACHE Spain
BABYLON United States
BACAMARTE Brazil
BANAAU Italy
BANANA Argentina
BANZAI Belgium
ZELJKO BEBEK AND PODIUM Yugoslavia
BEGGARS OPERA United Kingdom
ROBERT BERIAU Canada
ED BERNARD Canada
BLACK SEPTEMBER United States
BLAKULLA Sweden
BLANK MANUSKRIPT Austria
BLEZQI ZATSAZ Brazil
BLUE SHIFT United States
TOMAS BODIN Sweden
BONDAR & WISE United States
BOX OF SHAMANS United States
BRIMSTONE United States
BURNING CANDLE Germany
BUSKER Canada
CAFEINE France
CAI Spain
CAIRO United States
CAJA DE PANDORA Mexico
CAL Spain
CAMEL United Kingdom
LOS CANARIOS Spain
CANNABIS INDIA Germany
ALEX CARPANI BAND Italy
CAST Mexico
CATHEDRAL United States
CELLAR NOISE Italy
CHAKRA United States
CHALCEDONY United Kingdom
CHAOS CODE United States
CHRONOS MUNDI Brazil
JOS… CID Portugal
CINEMA Japan
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