Wurtemberg - Rock Fantasia Opus 9

Year of Release: 2002
Label: Musea
Catalog Number: FGBG 4401.AR
Format: CD
Total Time: 37:49:00

Wurtemberg is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist and craftsman, Alain Carbonare. Craftsman because the traditional instruments used on the album were made by Carbonare, and, as the liner notes indicate, Wurtenberg is his proving ground. Those instruments include lyre, tenor-bass psaltery, dulcimer, classical guitar, among others. Rock Fantasia Opus 9 was originally released in 1980 and Carbonare was joined by Bernard Maître on keyboards, dulcimer, and metallophone, Michel Richard on guitar and soprano psaltery, Jean-Pierre Garbin and Jean-Marie Hausser on drums, Alain Demeusy on bass and Giless Michault-Bonnet on flute and sax.

The music the band creates using these instruments is a mix of classical, folk, and rock music. There is a lot going on in any given piece, with the opening track "Rockopus 7" seemingly having all of the instruments playing lead ? piano, flute being at the forefront of those. The effect is that no one instrument seems to be taking the lead lead. This comes across to me, at times, as a bit chaotic. It's well played, and I think it has more to do with balance production than anything. This problem seems to be corrected after this track, however.

One of the highlights of the album is the new agey "Préfixe Et Danse ? Faîtes L'Humour." But saying new agey shouldn't lead you to think of the more syrupy examples of that genre. I'm thinking more of David Lanz, especially where Carbonare's piano work here is concerned. It is a mid-tempo piece, as energetic as it is beautiful. Carbonare's playing is not given a soft focus or synth sheen, but because it is a real piano, with a very nice tone, the notes come out sharp and clear, strident without being stuffy. It does, at the outset, also remind me of some of the mellow, keyboard lead soft rock of the 70s, sans vocals.

Of the pieces here, the title track seems the most "progressive rock" of them all, being very much in the vein of Italian and French progressive rock. This is not played in an acoustic setting but an electronic one, with a symphonic feel. It flows easily from mid-tempo passages to more dynamic and energetic passages ? flute/piano led to keyboard led. This 7-plus minute opus is the other highlight of the album.

If "Rockopus 7" was chaotic, then "Concerto Pour Un Minot" is quite eccentric, being a mix of classical and Americana (Copeland's "Hoedown" comes to mind). It does eventually settle down, which makes one wonder at the playfulness of the first and last portions. "Sous-Titre," which immediately follows "Rockopus 7," is a mellower, more cohesive and balanced piece, an acoustic guitar based piece. "Berceuse Gratinée ? Faîtes Le Mur" is mellow as well, with a strong medieval feel, light flute carrying the voice.

Two bonus pieces, recorded in 1986, were added to this Musea re-release, Bach's "Jéses Que Ma Joie Demeure ? Cantate 147" ("Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring") and Beethoven's "Neuvième Symphonie ? Extrait" ("Ninth Symphony ? Extract") and each are very well played by Carbonare, which he recorded and mixed in his home studio.

Rockopus 7 (5:39) / Sous-Titre (2:10) / Berceuse Gratin?e ? Fa?tes Le Mur (2:24) / Pr?fixe Et Danse ? Fa?tes L:Humour (3:32) / Allemandes (2:21) / Concerto Pour Un Minot (5:37) / Invitation ? Vous Avez Bien Trois Minutes?? (3:04) / Rockopus I (7:13) / J?sus Que Ma Joie Demeure ? Cantate 147 (3:54) / Neuvième Symphonie ? Extrait (1:51)

Alain Carbonaire - keyboards, guitar, lyre, tenor-bass psaltery
Bernard Ma?tre - keyboards, dulcimer, metallophone
Michel Richard - guitar, soprano psaltery
Jean-Pierre Garbin - drums
Alain Demeusy - bass
Jean-Marie Hausser - drums
Gilles Michault-Bonnet - flute, saxophone

Rock Fantasia Opus 9 (1980)
Rock Fantasia Opus 10 (rec. mid-80s, rel. 2002)

Genre: Various Genres

Origin FR

Added: March 24th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 683
Language: english


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