Top positive review
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Great Music, Enchanting Story
on August 15, 2013
I have been a Trans-Siberian Orchestra fan for quite a while now, and have always enjoyed their Christmas music (as well as their non-holiday album, Night Castle). My aunt performed as a singer with the group until a few years ago, and I loved going to watch their concert every year. My favorite part was always the narrative half of the show, which was when they would alternate between a song and a narrator telling the part of the story that each song belonged to. It was similar to a musical, in a sense. Eventually I began to appreciate the connection that TSO's rock opera style had to traditional classical music; many of their songs pay tribute to such brilliant masters as Mozart, Tchaikovsky, and of course, Ludwig von Beethoven. I noted the Beethoven-inspired song "Moonlight and Madness" on Night Castle especially, and I recognized the similarity because the composer's "Moonlight" sonata is one of my favorite pieces to listen to.
Somehow, I didn't discover Beethoven's Last Night, Trans-Siberian Orchestra's first non-Christmas album, until recently. I listened to some of the songs on YouTube, and then decided to buy this mp3 deluxe version, which came out in 2012 (twelve years after the original album release). This new edition contains not only the songs, but also the narration that would precede each track in a concert performance.
This album completely lived up to my expectations, which are set pretty high based on my previous experience with TSO music. The music draws inspiration from the music of the ingenious (though deaf) composer, such songs as "Fur Elise" the Sixth Symphony, and his "Moonlight" sonata. As far as the music goes, TSO's composers effortlessly blend voices and instruments to tell the story, as always, with classical, rock, and operatic influences.
The narration also added to the storytelling aspect of the album a lot; with just the songs you can understand more or less what it's about but the narration (which is carried out very well) makes it easy to "get" the story behind the song. And although there are some ambiguous historical references, particularly in reference to Beethoven's lover Teresa, the storytelling is very engaging.
In all, this is a great album and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates both classical and more recent music. I would say it's a guarantee that someone who, like me, is already a TSO fan, will enjoy this.