Penitent - Maestro Beethoven - 2000


Penitent is the personal project of a young man called Karsten Hamre, which has sought to join his artistic sides as a musician and a poet inside the project Penitent. The music of Penitent has always been strongly influenced by classic elements –overall from Baroque - to which Karsten has contributed very pessimistic and romantic lyrics and concepts.


After a quite extensive discography ("Melancholia", "The beauty of pain", "As life fades away", "Roses by chaos spawned"), and other works in the field of poetry ("The essence of soul") and videotape (Fragments of neoclassical art), Karsten intends now to make a homage to one of his mentors and main influences, Ludwig Van Beethoven.

Those of you not used to listen too much to classic music, that think that everything in this life has begun with rock should be aware that 99% of music currently being created derives to a extent of classical music (Baroque, neoclassical, contemporary, etc.), and inside the field of Gothic and progressive rock those influences can be clearly noticed (from Lacrimosa (Mozart, Chopin) to ELP (Rimsky-Korsakov)).

Well, in "Maestro Beethoven" Karsten displays his exquisite taste to recreate some of the most universal and immortal pieces of the deaf genius. Even if you have not heard Beethoven in your life, all (or almost) the pieces that will appear along the CD will be familiar to you. From the glorious beginning with "Moonlight Sonata" (with which Saviour Machine begin their shows), going into "Für Elise" (a gift to the one that has not listened to it before), the almost 13 minutes of "Coriolan Overture", the tremendism of "Ode to joy" (the "Hymn to happiness" of Miguel Ríos. Really, we are ashamed to have contributed this tremendous musical crime from Spain) that, is also the hymn of the European Union, (didn't you know it?), the sacred solemnity of "Consecration of the house" or "Egmont overture", the fragile beauty and the mystery of "Symphony in E, slow movement", the epic poetry of "The creatures of Prometheus", or the final sonata (a la Bach) "Sonata in F major". All the instruments -incredibly - are played with synthesizers and very faithful to the originals (you will not meet here with guitars, bass or drums), although the lack of a real orchestral sound is noticed.

Which is "Maestro Beethoven’s" problem?. In fact none for those are not familiar with the recordings of Deutsche Gramophon. In fact, I congratulate Karsten since thanks to this CD many will be able to know and admire the epic and power of European classic music. Evidently those of us with an open mind, will always prefer any recording of Herbert Von Karajan or Claudio Abbado to appreciate classic music with an orchestra of a hundred musicians before listening to "Maestro Beethoven" and we will always prefer Karsten to continue with his promising career that, after this CD, could be of a more lyrical style.


Before concluding, just tell you that Karsten is a huge follower of Devil Doll (something that honors him), he writes in different E-zines and that, despite his youth, his name will be repeated many times in the coming years. I have only listened to "As life fades away" and I believe that, if he evolves along that road, here we have another Mr. Doctor

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - February 2001 -   - Memento Mori