Höstsonaten – Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche (AMS Records, 2016)
Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is the latest album by Höstsonaten, one of the various progressive rock projects developed by the great Italian musician and composer Fabio Zuffanti. The current incarnation of Höstsonaten is a partnership between Zuffanti and Luca Scherani (La Coscienza di Zeno).
Höstsonaten is the most symphonic of Zuffanti’s projects, mixing classical music with progressive rock instrumentation. Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is an instrumental symphonic suite. This musical work is also envisioned as music that can also serve as ballet music, as great composers such as Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky did in the past.
Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is inspired by Roman-era writer Apuleius’ “Cupid and Psyche”, which is part of the “Metamorphosis”. Zuffanti came up with a set of musical ideas appropriate for such a suite. He gave this material to Luca Scherani, who arranged it for string quartet, woodwinds and brass, sometimes using Zuffanti’s ideas and at times writing new arrangements of his own.
The final result is an album that beautifully brings together classical music and rock. In addition to the classical music orchestra instruments, such as violins, bassoon, and trumpet, Zuffanti and Scherani added powerful bass, drums, epic guitars and lots of keyboards, including Moog, mesmerizing mellotron, organ and piano.
In addition to classical influences and well-crafted classic symphonic progressive rock, Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche contains engaging jazz elements and avant-garde moments.
The line-up on “Cupid & Psyche” includes Luca Scherani on keyboards; Fabio Zuffanti on bass pedal & devices; Paolo “Paolo” Tixi on drums & orchestral percussion; Laura Marsano on guitars; and Daniele Sollo on bass.
Formus String Quartet:
Sylvia Trabucco on first violin; Alessandra Dalla Barba on second violin; Ilaria Bruzzone on viola; and Chiara Alberti on cello;
Joanne Roan on flute; Luca Tarantino on oboe; and Sofia Bartolini on bassoon;
Marco Callegari on trumpet; Alberto Repetto on horn; Federico Curotto on trombone; Maurizio Zofrea on tenor saxophone.
“Cupid & Psyche” is the first of a series of rock symphony projects that Fabio and Luca would like to work on in the future.
The “Cupid & Psyche” suite and ballet will have its live debut on October 22, 2016 at the Teatro Govi of Genoa under the direction of choreographer Paola Grazzi.
Symphony #1: Cupid & Psyche is a masterful symphonic rock suite by two of the most talented musicians in the current progressive rock scene.