Studio album, 2000.
Progressive Rock sung in Italian? Well … why not?
I used to associate this language with bel canto, the huge shape of Luciano Pavarotti or with the well-known pop song, ”Senza una donna” (Without a Woman) by Zucchero Sugar Fornaciari.
Nevertheless, “The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.” * Having listened to Faust I reject the above mentioned stereotype.
Faust is the most famous play of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). This is a classic tale about humanity’s search for the meaning of life and the struggle against destructive desires (the main character- Dr Faust sells his soul to the Devil-Mephistopheles for power over physical world).
Goethe’s masterpiece inspired many, incl. Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven and …Minstrel.
This Italian band comprises:
Mauro Ghilardini (vocals, piano and keyboards), Michele Savoldelli (guitars), Marco Fiorina (bass), and Gianpaolo Pasini (drums). Several guest artists also appeared on the album: Giuseppe Peracchi (clarinet), Mario Bertasa (narrator), Davide Ferrari (Mephistopheles), Giorgio Sala (Pater Ecstaticus: The Ecstatic Father), and Silvia Semperboni (Margaret).**
Musically, the style presented on this album can be labeled as Progressive Rock Opera. Rock operas, as you remember, were born in the late 60s and flowered in the 70s. The most famous works of the genre are: The Who, Tommy (1969); Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Jesus Christ Superstar (1971); Genesis, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974); and Pink Floyd, The Wall (1978).
The text of this rock opera, so called libretto, is an adaptation of Goethe’s masterwork divided into two parts, a Prelude and a Finale.
The music contained on Faust creates an emotional, intriguing and uneasy atmosphere being more than relevant to the dramatic events.*** Returning musical themes emphasize the action perfectly. The production is very good. Lots of long instrumental passages, passionate, harmony vocals, impressive guitar solos and outstanding keyboard work also characterize this album. Moreover, beautiful and catchy melodies make the music quite accessible. However, if you are not accustomed to Italian, the CD needs to be listened to several times to fall in love with it. It's difficult to choose favorite tracks here as I get pleasure from listening to the album as a single entity.
Overall, an immensely satisfying concept work.