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“Beethoven’s Last Night” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “Beethoven’s Last Night”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 4/11/2000
Genre: Symphonic Rock
Rating: 8/10

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has proven the depth of their skills by releasing “Beethoven’s Last Night” as their third outing. The album is not one with a Christmas or Holiday theme but instead a walk steeped in the Classical influences of both Beethoven and Mozart. The group’s founder/creator Paul O’Neill also manages to work up a very different and much darker tale for this one, as we find ourselves bearing witness to the last night in Beethoven’s life. The tale is about what perhaps happened on that night and brings us to believe that Fates and the Devil were all vying for his Soul. It’s an interesting tale and when you listen to this CD especially you feel as thought you are listening to a Broadway Musical soundtrack rather than Symphonic Rock. The cast for this release are Jody Ashworth (Beethoven), Jon Oliva (Mephistopheles), Guy Lemonnier (young Beethoven) and Patti Russo (Theresa) as the main singers of the piece. There are also some great vocals by Savatage 2nd singer Zak Stevens. The musicians for the piece are Robert Kinkel, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, Johnny Lee Middleton and Paul O’Neill. Essentially the cast of players gives you a piece of music that includes all of the members of the “Wake Of Magellan” era Savatage. As a result there is a certain heaviness that comes to the front on the instrumental numbers. Let’s face it the music of Beethoven was powerful as it is and under the control of the TSO is given a new and rocking feel. Fans of the other instrumental tracks that the band had done will most likely enjoy these ones as well for in “Requiem (The Fifth), “A Last Illusion” and “Mozart/Figaro” we find stellar musicianship and execution at its best.
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