This is my second review of this month about musicians from Venezuela. The composer is Raimundo Rodulfo and after his debut album “Dreams” out of the year 2000, this second effort from 2002 has the title “The dreams concerto”. The CD consists out of three long movements (28:11 + 16:43 + 33:03). The album has a fantastic package with beautiful artwork of Peter Rodulfo.
Raimundo Rodulfo – classic, acoustic and electric guitar; mandolin, bass, slide, talking guitar, acoustic and electronic percussion, backing vocals, Mathematic modeling, DSP design, programming, composition, orchestration and production.
(this long listing is a new record in progVisions history!)
Andrés Briceño – Acoustic and electronic drums, flugelhorn; Linda Briceño – flugelhorn; Pablo Gil Rudolfo – saxophones; Pedro Castillo – vocals; César Romano – first and second violins, viola, electric violin; Lermit Martinez – keyboard, piano, organ, clavier; Alejandro Socorro – acoustic and electronic percussion; Manuel Rojas – flute; Carlos Orozco – harp; Carlos Rodriguez – acoustic bass; Euro Olivero – maracas; Beatriz Rivas – vocals; Ricardo Furiati – bass, backing vocals; César Hernández – backing vocals.
The “First movement” (28:17) has two parts; “Sueños” (Dreams - 24:14) and the coda “Esperanza” (Hope - 4:03). The first is a modern symphony based on the suite “Baroque” from the “Dreams” album. That work was inspired on and a homage to Rodulfo’s favorite music period. The music has mainly a classical atmosphere with lots of acoustic instruments but you can also hear drums and electric guitar solos. As you can read in the booklet Rodulfo found that the final impression of the composition could be one of sadness. So he wrote the second part in which the melodic line of the main theme has an atmosphere of happiness which would provide an optimistic finale. He used Venezuelan acoustic instruments like folk harp and maracas to provide a Venezuelan flavor. The music has a lot of variation and some great moments but I can’t stay concentrated during the full length of the piece. But the electric guitar solo in the end is great and is played with a lot of passion.
The “Second movement” (16:43) is the most experimental track of this album. The booklet is full of mathematical statements and formulas to explain the rigid rhythmic patterns and free improvisations. Rodulfo developed a mathematical model of timing for this project. Well I will ignore these dry details, and concentrate on the music. The up-tempo parts sound difficult and complex. This is the most prestigious movement. It’s all very cleverly done but it is not my cup of tea.
The “Third movement” (33:03) is my favorite track. It includes fantastic work on classical guitar and it reminds me somehow of the classical album Anthony Phillips made together with Enrique Berro Gracia. But at the same time the high speed guitar playing reminds me of one of my guitar heroes; Al diMeola. This movement radiates more warmth and beauty than the previous one. This first part of the movement is called “Baroque” (15:01) and it is a suite for classic guitar and chamber orchestra. The second part “La gran epopeya de la Música y las Ciencias” (17:52) is a suite for guitar, group and chamber orchestra. Next to the warm sounds of the classical guitar we can hear also some freaky electric guitar solos.
I have mixed feelings with this album. There are beautiful parts with acoustic instruments like classical guitar, violins, flutes and harp. Also you can find some beautiful melodic guitar solos. But on the other hand there are brilliant parts which in my opinion miss the warmth that the other pieces have. The more complex pieces are more compositions for musicians than for the general music lover. It is a good album, but I would like to advise you to listen to some samples first.