Concept-album, Fusion, Instrumental, Symphonic
"Excellent compromise between classical music, film music and rock, "Symphony N°1 : Cupid & Psyche" is probably the best Höstsonaten album to date."
CORTO1809 (15.06.2016)  
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Höstsonaten (literally "Autumn Sonata") is not, as its name might suggest, a band from Sweden but from Italy. For a long time the project of one man, Fabio Zuffanti, having named it after the eponymous title of Ingmar Bergman's film (hence the Swedish name), Höstsonaten is today a two-headed entity, Zuffanti having decided to join forces with his compatriot Luca Scherani (La Coscienza di Zeno) for this eighth studio album entitled "Symphony n°1: Cupid & Psyche".

In fact, the two men have known each other for a long time, Scherani having already written the string and woodwind arrangements for many of Zuffanti's compositions: "Merlin - The Rock Opera" in 2000, "Double Reign" by Aries in 2010, "La Foce del Ladrone" in 2011 and especially "Summereve" (2011) and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (2012), two albums by Höstsonaten on which he also plays keyboards.

For "Symphony No. 1: Cupid & Psyche", the collaboration intensifies. Scherani not only writes the arrangements for a string quartet, brass and woodwinds, but also offers his melodic ideas to enrich the score written by Zuffanti. A score whose ambition is to be played collegially by a classical orchestra and a rock band and to serve as music for a ballet, no less!

Zuffanti has always liked to mix rock and acoustic instruments on Höstsonaten's albums and his compositions have often borrowed neo-classical finery (his "four seasons" being a strong wink to one of his most illustrious compatriots) not avoiding at times certain lengths. Breaking with the tone of his last opus to date, at the same time more rock and for once sung, Höstsonaten returns to an album entirely instrumental and more neo-classical than ever, populated with beautifully arranged melodies.

The osmosis between rock and acoustic instruments is perfect, the passage from one to the other, their juxtaposition or superimposition taking place in a natural way. The score is written like that of the great classical works, each instrument playing an independent melody, all contributing to an overall theme, and allows one to enjoy the play of violins, flutes, oboes, sax, bassoon and other trumpets but also guitars, basses, drums and all kinds of keyboards in which Scherani excels.

The music is a succession of themes, often very cinematic ('Love Scene', 'Unmasking'), borrowing as well from rock ('Zephyr', 'Underworld') as from classical music ('Entrapped', 'The Awakening') and even allowing itself short incursions into the world of jazz ('Sheep and Water') or improbable western tunes ('The Sacrifice'). Alternating between upbeat and more romantic movements, it gives off a communicative pleasure tinged with a touch of the most pleasant poetry.

One must certainly have a certain taste for film music and classical music to fully appreciate this album, pure "rockers" might be confused, but "Symphony n°1: Cupid & Psyche" is a record where one is never bored, without mawkishness or length, both modern and classical. Probably Höstsonaten's best album to date.

More informations on

01. The Sacrifice (04:41)
02. Zephyr (03:46)
03. Love Scene (04:11)
04. Unmasking (06:03).05. Venus (1st Trail) (04:03)
06. Entrapped (2nd Trail) (03:48)
07. Sheep and Water (3rd Trail) (03:16)
08. Underworld (4th Trail) (04:38)
09. The Awakening (02:53)
10. The Ascension (05:53)

Fabio Zuffanti: Bass Pedal
Luca Scherani: Claviers
Alberto Repetto: Invité / Cor
Alessandra Dalla Barba: Invité / Second Violon
Chiara Alberti: Invité / Violoncelle
Daniele Sollo: Basse / Invité
Federico Curotto: Invité / Trombone
Ilaria Bruzzione: Invité / Alto
Joanne Roan: Invité / Flûte
Laura Marsano: Guitares / Invité
Luca Tarantino: Invité / Hautbois
Marco Callegari: Invité / Trompette
Maurizio Zofrea: Invité / Saxophone Ténor
Paolo Tixi: Batterie / Invité / Percussions
Sofia Bartolini: Invité / Basson
Sylvia Trabucco: Invité / Premier Violon
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