Rodulfo, Raimundo - The Dreams Concerto

Year of Release: 2002
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 78:24:00

I regret that this CD has waited so long for review because it is absolutely stunning. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Dreams Concerto is the second CD from Venezuelan musician Raimundo Rodulfo. Lavishly packaged in a 19 page booklet and slipcase, both featuring the artwork of Peter Rodulfo, the music inside is a mix of classical and rock. Rodulfo developed a mathematical formula to map out the structure of the music, allowing room for improvisation ? the maps and charts of the formula also included in the booklet.

The The Dreams Concerto, a concerto for guitar, group and chamber orchestra, consists of three movements. This is a work of such scope that I don't know really where to begin. It is amazing and beautiful, encompassing varying moods, styles and colours? Rodulfo is a fantastic guitarist (rather, multi-instrumentalist), surrounded by equally talented folks on a variety of instruments. Some sections feature vocals (Beatriz Rivas and Pedro Castillo), but overall it is an instrumental work. The concept behind the concerto is a "tribute to the unswerving spirit of the human being in his endeavors to fulfill his dreams and discern his surrounding universe."

In Rodulfo's guitar work you will hear elements of both a Steve Hackett and a Steve Howe influence, though suggesting that any of the music here sounds like Genesis or Yes would be misleading. Though, of course, the latter's experimental spirit is certainly here ? that sense of what if? that which makes progressive music progressive. It is of Hackett that I think of at about the 14 min mark of "First Movement: Sueños" and later in the CD of Howe, especially in Rodulfo's acoustic playing. You might think of early Genesis however at the 18 minute mark of this same track? and I must make note of the sweet sax solo that Pablo Gil Rodulfo (no mentioned relation) plays at the 20 min mark. This is by no means the only highlight ? Rivas is a powerful vocalist who can hit the high notes with aplomb. Add into the over all mix on the piece violins, violas, flugelhorn, harp, flute, piano? well, it is quite an intoxicating mix without being heady. It can be both heavy and light.

Rudolfo mentions in his essay in the liner notes that he found that the conclusion of "Sueños" was too melancholic, and so added the coda, the more hopeful "Esperanza." This shorter piece is certainly lighter, the latin-tinged acoustic arrangement almost inviting one to dance? More than almost. Rodulfo's playing is finely textured accompanied by flute, harp, drums and percussion, and maracas.

Once past the darkly intriguing intro of "Matemática y Arte II" ? I can't really describe it other than as a deep, cool blue ? Rodulfo impresses again on guitar, bringing to mind the for really the first time Howe, and more specifically Yes. Echoes of the solo work in "Roundabout," though this piece doesn't sound like "Roundabout." The crisp percussion at the 2:50 mark (or so) is so? real and close sounding, it sounds live. So live it sounds as if it were being played in an open air theater. Though Rodulfo's darker, slightly angry guitar phrases are very much evident, it is the percussion that has the lead here, throbbing bass filling the gap. A moment later? man, I love the sound of a sax played well, and again Pablo Gil Rodulfo delivers. This piece is given three subparts ? "I. Modelo Inexacto de 7!," "II. Modelo Exacto de 7!" and "III. Modelo Inexacto Traspuesto de 7!" The "inexacto" and "exacto" refer back to Rodulfo's structure. This piece rocks. Fans of Yes' rockier moments will love this. I love it ? high energy without losing texture.

The colours are darker in "Muestreo Al Azar," the second part of the "Second Movement," a suite for electric guitar, group, and DSP (Digital Sound Processing). Here Rodulfo paints with a flurry of guitar notes that are simply amazing ? The fifteen minute "Baroque" brings back the acoustic guitar and is placed in an old world setting. The music is bucolic, light and airy, bringing forth images of the Italian countryside. Violinist César Romano plays an especially sweet phrase, matched a moment later by Manuel Rojas on the flute ? The last piece and second part of the "Third Movement" is "La Gran Epopeya De La Música Y Las Ciencias" (The Grand Epic Of Music And Science), a tribute to folks like Copernicus and Galileo on the science side and to Mozart on the music side. There is a passage at the 14 minute mark that for a brief moment will have you thinking of Rush ("Spirit Of Radio"), before it launches itself into a playful, near romp hinting more at Copeland's "Bolero" than heavy rock. Of course, this shows that amongst all the seriousness, Rodulfo and company can have a bit of fun. In fact, there were a few times where I could almost identify some referenced phrases. At the end, I was reminded of some of the scores heard in films from the late 40s-early 50s? no one movie in particular, but just some style and sound that I associate with classic film.

The Dreams Concerto is a thoroughly stunning and epic work that is a pleasure to listen to. Varied enough that you will discover something new upon each listen, but not so varied as to be disjoined - everything flows seamlessly together with a measured ebb and flow. Seek this one out.

First Movement: (28:17) Sue?os/Dreams (24:14) / First Movement: CODA: Esperanza/Hope (4:03) / Second Movement: Matem?tica Y Arte II/Mathematics And Art II (8:01) / Second Movement: Muestreo Al Azar (9:17) / Third Movement: (32:53) Baroque (15:01) / Third Movement: La Gran Epopeya De La M?sica Y Las Ciencias/The Grand Epic Of Music And Science (17:52)

Raimundo Rodulfo - classic, acoustic, and electric guitars, bass, mandolin, slide, talking guitar, acoustic and electronic percussion, backing vocals
And?s Brice?o - acoustic and electric drums, flugelhorn
Pablo Gil Rodulfo - saxophones
Pedro Castillo - vocals
Beatriz Rivas ? vocals
C?sar Romano ? first and second violins, viola, electric violin
Lermit Martinez ? keyboard, piano, organ, clavier
Alejandro Socorro ? acoustic and electronic percussion
Ricardo Furiati ? bass, backing vocals
Carlos Rodriguez ? acoustic bass
Carlos Orozco ? harp
Manuel Rojas ? flute
Linda Brice?o ? flugelhorn
Euro Olivares ? maracas
C?sar Hern?ndez ? backing vocals

Dreams (2001)
The Dreams Concerto (2002)
To LIVE A Dream (2003) (internet album)
To LIVE A Dream 2 (2003) (internet album)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VE

Added: April 6th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 905
Language: english


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