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Rodulfo, Raimundo: The Dreams Concerto

It's not everyday that you get to hear a recording that is just dripping with so much beauty that it almost brings tears to your eyes. This "concerto" from musician Raimundo Rodulfo is a lush, gorgeous amalgam of progressive rock, South American classical motiffs, and folk, that succeeds on all fronts.

Broken down into three movements, The Dreams Concerto has huge sweeping melodies, punctuated quite liberally by Rodulfo's excellent acoustic and electric guitar work. The first 28-minute movement is perhaps the most striking and symphonic in nature, and no doubt will appeal the most to progressive rock listeners. Rodulfo's electric guitar playing is particularly riveting here (yes, the guy has chops aplenty!), and he is complemented by keyboards, harp, woodwinds, and violin. Perhaps the biggest contribution though is from female vocalist Beatriz Rivas, who has a stunning voice. Her range and tone adds a majestic quality to this awesome mixture of rock and baroque signatures. The piece ends with a lovely acoustic section that quiets things down a bit and allows you to get ready for the next part.

The second movement starts off with a very Gentle Giant sounding prog rock workout, with nimble guitar/keyboard lines and soaring violin. A jazz touch is added complements of Pablo Gil Rodulfo, whose screaming solo eventually gives way for brutal electric solos from Raimondo and violinist Cesar Romano. The guitarist then launches into a gripping electric jaunt, filled with echo and various effects, that really shows off his experimental rock side.

The final movement allows the guitarist to strut his skills on classical guitar, and the results are a thing of beauty. Surrounded by violins, flute, assorted percussion, clavier, and flugelhorn, this is baroque infused progressive folk at its finest. The full band kicks in for the grand finale, a wild mix of chamber and symphonic rock with the obvious classical overtones. See if you can hear some references to the band Kansas on this one, especially in the violin melodies.

This gets my highest rating possible. Filled with heartbreaking beauty and awesome technical musicianship, Raimundo Rodulfo has put together a wonderful extended piece of music that is never boring, and succumbs the listener effortlessly into all its worldly pleasures. Oh, and the packaging is just superb, filled with lots of live photos, notes on each track, musician listings, and fascinating paintings.

Added: January 6th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Raimundo Rodulfo Website
Hits: 3166
Language: english

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