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Kotebel Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble album cover
4.08 | 271 ratings | 8 reviews | 34% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2012

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble (42:59) :
- i. Adagio Maestoso (12:03)
- ii. Lento Cantabile (7:13)
- iii. Vivo Scherzando (9:22)
- iv. Allegro Moderato (14:21)
2. The Flight of the Hipogriff (Part 1) (4:53)
3. Dance of Shiva (6:58)
4. The Flight of the Hipogriff (Part 2) (4:35)
5. The Infant (bonus track, 2008) (7:12)

Total Time 66:37

Line-up / Musicians

- César García Forero / guitars (electric, acoustic, Spanish)
- Carlos Plaza / keyboards
- Adriana Plaza / grand piano
- Jaime Pascual / bass
- Carlos Franco / drums, percussion

- Francisco Mangas / saxophones (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Adriana Plaza

CD + DVD Musea ‎- FGBG4874 (2012, France) Bonus DVD with Video "The Making of"

Digital album

Thanks to Cesar Inca for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KOTEBEL Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble ratings distribution

(271 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(34%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (22%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

KOTEBEL Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
5 stars The title of that cd left me worry because of his first part. I said, is Kotebel are becoming a classical band? But when i listened to samples, i was relieved that it's still the same band, only that they added piano to their sound. Their music is a kind of fusion sound that mix together prog, avant-garde, classical and jazz. All the compositions are top notch with complex parts, but not difficult to get the grip on. The songs are well developed in a very interesting atmosphere, and a attention to the quality of the arrangements and the production are clear on this cd. All instruments including xylophone and saxophone create some beautiful sounds with the rest of the usual rock instruments.

I was touched specifically with " Dance of Shiva" , who starts with techno effects and change in a beautiful atmosphere of a kind of soundtrack, peaceful and intense song coming from a Sergio Leone movie. The use of xylophone and chants are lifting the melody to a higher level.

This is a instant classic cd for me that already enjoy instrumental music, this band don't stop to amaze me with the quality of their music.

Review by J-Man
4 stars Though its title may indicate that we're dealing with a cross between classical music and Kotebel's usual style of instrumental progressive rock, Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is much more than what you may initially expect. Rather than tacking classically influenced piano sections onto their already solid sound, Kotebel manages to masterfully integrate this new dimension into their approach in a coherent and delightful manner. Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble sounds very much like a Kotebel album in almost every way - those who enjoyed the zany avant-garde madness and lush symphonic soundscapes on albums like 2009's Ouroboros should not expect anything radically different this time around. Rather, Kotebel expanded even further upon their already eclectic sound, resulting in an excellent example of a band that manages to successfully evolve while still staying true to their core sound.

Kotebel is a Spanish progressive rock band, and although they've only been brought to my attention recently, I've taken quite a liking to their unique approach to modern prog. Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is a fully instrumental album that, for the most part, stays true to the progressive rock pioneers of the seventies' - with that said, however, Kotebel blends the ideas of so many old school prog bands into one coherent mix that they sound totally unique. Acts like Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, Frank Zappa, Renaissance, Le Orme, Gentle Giant, and King Crimson are referenced quite a bit throughout the course of this lengthy observation, but Kotebel never sounds particularly like any other single band. They are their own beast, and on Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble this is more true than ever before. Adding in numerous classical piano bits over their intriguing mix of symphonic prog, avant-garde, and jazz fusion makes for one hell of a listen in my opinion!

This is simply a stunning tour-de-force of impeccable musicianship, clever arrangements, and well-composed instrumental progressive rock, and I'd highly recommend that all fans of eclectic prog check out Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble. Although it will probably take a few listens to sink in due to the decidedly inaccessible nature of these lengthy and complex compositions, the gorgeous melodies and stunning displays of high-quality musicianship make this album well-worth the price of admission. If you haven't listened to Kotebel yet, Concerto For Piano and Electric Ensemble is not a bad place to start!

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I fell in love with Kotebel with 2006's Omphalos (one of my Top Ten favorite albums of the Naughties). At that time the band had, IMHO, the finest female vocalist in modern prog music (Carolina Prieto) and arguably the greatest flutest ever in prog history (Omar Acosta). By 2009, with the recording and release of Ouroboros they both had left the band (or, perhaps, they were not asked back). Thus my expectations for Ouroboros were quite low and were, accordingly, duly rewarded. (The music just couldn't draw me in.) Now for 2012's Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble I was willing to give them another chance; I figured that six years is long enough for such creative and virtuosic artists to compose something fresh and mature. And how right I was! This is an amazing album of melodic jazz-rock constructed within classical symphonic structures. The pianist, Adriana, daughter of band founder Carlos Plaza Vega, while no Hiromi, stands quite strongly with the rest of the band and within the setting of the four-movement 43-minute Concerto does quite well both leading the ensemble as well as supporting it in an orchestral way. In song after song drums, bass, electronic keyboards, and a great variety of guitars (pleasantly, a lot of wonderful acoustic guitar playing) together weave the fabric of wonderful music. At times I find myself reminded of ELP, King Crimson, Return to Forever, Weather Report, SBB, Nil, and After Crying.

While I absolutely love the "Concerto," the "Hippogriff" series takes one on a very nice journey. Part 1 takes off at top speed--to the point of reckless abandon in which the players often feel as thought they are just on the edge of losing control, losing their coherence. Then "The Dance of Shiva" and "Part 2" carry one into more tranquil, visual sonic soundscapes using lots of synths and space to tell their story.

The finale, "The Infant," establishes itself kind of slowly with a piano sound/melody/feel similar to early TOTO. The rhythm section eventually informs the listener that this is no TOTO (fine group that they were) but a much more classically-oriented band. But, wait! The jazzy sax seems to draw us back into a more cinematic place. Crossing genres so seemlessly, effortlessly is what makes this album, IMO, a sure fire masterpiece of progressive rock music. Well done Kotebel! This will be a tough album to beat for 2012 Album of the Year!

P.S. Just curious: Does anyone know where Carolina Prieto and Omar Acosta are now?

Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble' - Kotebel (7/10)

Classical music has been an integral part of progressive rock since its inception, not to mention one of its greatest influences. For a band like Spanish veterans Kotebel, a "Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble" is not such a far stretch, despite the surprise and shock this artistic shift seems to have instilled in their fans. Although Kotebel are best known for the virtuosic skill of their flutist and Carolina Prieto's vibrant vocal skill, "Concerto" has neither, instead opting to reinvent the band's sound anew. The result is surely impressive, although some aspects most loved about Kotebel seem to have been lost in the transformation.

Although I've certainly never known enough about this band to write a doctoral thesis regarding their contributions to the progressive rock sphere, I have known enough to respect what they have done, and also to know that "Concerto" is a bigger departure than I would have expected from this approach. As far as the 'classical music' angle is concerned, Kotebel do not tread into the sort of full-blown orchestration that one might expect from a symphony, nor do they actually use many classically-oriented instruments. Instead, as the title suggests, things are built around the piano, an instrument that Kotebel have never used so profusely before. Although the handful of songs that follow the main course pursue more eclectic ends, the forty-odd minute epic is a keyboard tour-de-force, with other instruments performing a supportive role. Adriana Engelke is the most important part of this concerto, and while the electric guitar occasionally gets a chance to pull off a solo, a listener had better get used to having the piano in charge. From a compositional viewpoint, Kotebel skirts the border between classical bombast and jazz chords, with the occasional jump into avant-garde dissonance. There are constant shifts in tempo and mood, and the music is performed brilliantly to boot. Engelke is a gifted pianist, and though the production does not capture the full resonance I would hope for in a grand piano, there are no major complaints regarding how this ambitious effort has been executed in the studio.

Kotebel have certainly accomplished something quite complex and in-depth, although I cannot help but feel something meaningful is missing from their melting pot. Specifically, it is the sense of melody that has suffered the band's ambition. Of course, Kotebel have always been about this more composition-oriented prog rock, but "Concerto" runs the risk of becoming monotonous, despite its brilliant writing and arrangement. The interplay between instruments and work with harmonies is excellent, but there is not a moment- not even on the song-based second half- that instantly stands out as being memorable. "Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble" does bear fruit to a listener with enough patience to see it through, but it would have been nice to hear some recurring themes, or hooks involved in it, not so much that they lose the class and sophistication of such an ambitious project, but enough to keep the music engaging without begging a listener to sit intently and focus on every note.

"Concerto" won't appeal to all listeners despite its ambition and complexity, but patient listeners will reap the rewards that come with several listens.

Review by Progulator
3 stars Kotobel's Concerto for Piano and Electric Ensemble is a fierce and elegant trip into progressive territory. While the piano is given the sufficient number of moments to justify this as a piano concerto, the prog band definitely does not just hang out in the back. The arrangements are at times pulverizingly heavy and aggressive (in the prog sense, not the 'metal sense) and at times mesmerizingly gorgeous. One thing that immediately caught my attention was the very in your face approach of the album in the way drums, bass, and dissonance are used to create an effect. Kotobel tends to lean a bit towards the dark side of prog, but includes a variety of influences, including both jazzy and avant-garde moments. This is a recording that doesn't leave you behind or allow you to daydream as you listen. Carlos Plaza Vega's composition does not only solicit your attention, it demands it.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Spain's own KOTEBEL have released seven studio albums since 1999 with those first three generally being regarded as sub-par but since then this band has brought the "wow" factor. Classically driven music for the most part they have changed the flavour on each of the last four studio records. The first of those with the soprano female vocals and flute just didn't click with me, more of a taste thing but then they dropped both on "Ouroboros" which I call their "Rock" album. This is followed by the album I'm reviewing today which while being a band effort all the way, is piano driven.

Their latest from 2017 "Cosmology" is my favourite and their most consistent in my opinion but it doesn't hit the highs of this one. It's those UNIVER ZERO-like piano sections which don't pop up a lot that excite me. Great musicians though one and all and I love the upfront bass. Grand piano leads the way but the other keyboardist brings mostly atmosphere to the table. The opener and the final two tracks are my top three and while I have no complaints per se the way they stretch things out at times for prolonged time periods doesn't always work for me.

But this is a very solid 4 star record that most feel is their best or second best.

Latest members reviews

5 stars I don't really remember how I got to this album, but I can't really say that I ain't glad for this discovery. It is a magnificent album, spanning 61 minutes of almost pure perfection. It is made of 4 pieces. The first one is the concerto itself, while the next three are much shorter and not even ... (read more)

Report this review (#1335011) | Posted by Thai Divone | Friday, January 2, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The first thing I have to say about Kotebel´s last release is that is my favourite album from 2012. The concerto, regarding composition, is as complex as the finest classical music pieces and is by far superior to 99% of the prog we can find these days (i'm trying to be objective and I state that no ... (read more)

Report this review (#780806) | Posted by waghler | Sunday, July 1, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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