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Beethoven's Last Night

4.5 out of 5 stars 355 customer reviews
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Audio CD, March 31, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Trans-Siberian Orchestra now steps forward with the remarkably compelling BEETHOVEN'S LAST NIGHT. Helmed by the same creative cast that has accounted for the sale of some one million albums in the U.S. alone, this third Lava/Atlantic set employs a combination of the majesty and beauty of Beethoven's best loved compositions with original music and arrangements. The result is a fresh sound with the power and emotion of rock and the dramatic reach of Broadway classics. The narration tells of power and emotion of rock and the dramatic reach of Broadway classics. The narration tells of Beethoven's last night on earth as he unwittingly stands on the primal battleground of good and evil. Highlighted by vocal performances from a number of Broadway veterans, the album is perhaps the most multi-dimensional and impactful TSO recording to date.

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Trans-Siberian Orchestra's first two recordings, a pair of late-'90s Christmas albums, hinted that some day TSO might evolve into a latter-day ELO or even an ELP. Instead, this overwrought concept album shares more common ground with ALW (Andrew Lloyd Webber) or Meat Loaf. TSO, in fact, aims to retrace a path once traveled by producer Jim Steinman, the mastermind behind the theatrical, over-the-top rock opuses that briefly transformed Mr. Loaf and Bonnie Tyler ("Total Eclipse of the Heart") into mass-audience favorites. TSO ringmaster Paul O'Neill (once a guitarist in Broadway productions of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair) here ditches the holiday themes and instead scores a simple-minded fairy tale (whose text spans a 32-page CD booklet) that involves Beethoven's soul, the devil, and an imaginary Symphony No. 10. Too often, the music is the servant of the project's thin plot, and the rock-classical instrumental bravura that initially attracted public attention to TSO (at times, the group sounds like a symphonic Boston) is obscured by overheated vocal rantings. Meanwhile, the guitar-driven rendering of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony ("Requiem") is mundane. Yet, one vocal track, "After the Fall" with singer Patti Russo, jumps off the record as a Tyler-esque knockout, raging with emotion and melodic luster. It doesn't save the album, but it helps. --Terry Wood

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Digital Booklet: Beethoven's Last Night
Digital Booklet: Beethoven's Last Night
Album Only

Product details

  • Audio CD (March 31, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: April 11, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lava Records
  • ASIN: B00004S7LI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 355 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,386 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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