Tag Archives: trans-siberian orchestra

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

“Ghosts Of Christmas Eve” [DVD] by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 11/13/2001
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 7/10

The Holiday Extravaganza that is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra have given fans their very first DVD movie. Now before you go any further please be aware that this is not a full live concert performance but instead a stand alone film that features the group and its music. Entitled “The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve”; the DVD is perfect family fare and can easily stand alongside any Christmas program collection. It was filmed in a restored theatre in Jersey City, NJ and tells the tale of a runaway girl (Allie Sheridan) who comes upon a closed theatre for shelter. Inside she meets The Caretaker (veteran actor Ossie Davis) who takes her on a magical journey into the world of Christmas and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Ossie also provides some narration as the film plays out. It is well-done and very heart warming for both its message and spirit for the Holiday Season. Primarily featuring the music from the first two TSO albums the film is enjoyable to watch from start to finish. Joining the TSO are Atlantic Recording Artists Michael Crawford and Jewel who contribute their fine vocal styles and add a level of star power to the release. Crawford is outstanding in his delivery of “O Holy Night”, but you really cannot expect any less of a singer of his caliber. Before this was issued on DVD it was aired on television around holiday time and by having the popular singers would have guaranteed more viewers.
Continue reading “Ghosts Of Christmas Eve” [DVD] by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

“The Christmas Attic” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Title: “The Christmas Attic”
Label: Lava Records
Release Date: 10/13/1998
Genre: Holiday Rock
Rating: 7/10

The second release that Paul O’Neill has created with his Holiday Orchestra is entitled “The Christmas Attic”. The release follows the astounding “Christmas Eve & Other Stories” with a combination of holiday inspired instrumentals and often moving vocal pieces. As I listened I admit that I found this a little harder to enjoy as much as I did the first release. Perhaps it was because of the overall quality of that CD and the impact that it not only had on music but for its effect on the holiday season in general. Once again, O’Neill weaves a story that captures your interest and heart as he revisits the Angel from the last tale and sends him on his next mission. He is building a wonderful theme with these stories and they make for a good read even without the music to go along with it. The instrumental numbers like “Boughs Of Holly” and “Appalachian Snowfall” are clearly highlights right off the bat. As most know, O’Neill was also a core-writer on many Savatage classics with Jon Oliva. As a result of this partnership you will find a very Savatage like vibe to be very present in much of the meatier numbers that the Orchestra does. In the vocal based numbers there are some very good ones as well such as “Christmas In The Air” and “Music Box” (sung by Katrina Chester) as well as it’s more soulful variation “Music Box Blues” (performed by Daryl Pediford). “Christmas Canon” is a soft piece that clearly belongs on a mass-released Holiday compilation of some sort to reach an even larger audience. Once again members of the band Savatage perform on this recording as well as a number of Broadway level talented singers. It is an interesting mix to say the least. For reference sake the key players on this CD are Robert Kinkel, Jon Oliva, Al Pitrelli, Chris Caffery, Jeff Plate, John Middleton, and Paul O’Neill.
Continue reading “The Christmas Attic” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Trans-Siberian @ Madison Square Garden (12/27/2004)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Venue: Madison Square Garden NYC
Date: 12-27-2004

For several years now, I have made the music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra a Holiday tradition. It is a show that I look forward to each time it makes it’s way to New York. In the past, the scene had been the Beacon Theater but this time it would be the famous Madison Square Garden. A sold out show with just over 13,000 fans in attendance. I wanted to point out that they always start out with a donation to a charity based on $1 from every ticket sold. An admirable act and one worth mentioning. This year would hold the most visible changes for the TSO as “Diamond” Darryl Pediford had passed away just before the tour was to begin. In addition, two other male vocal leads would not be present. On the upside, this year marked the return of Alex Skolnick on guitar and Mee Eun Kim on keyboards.
Continue reading Trans-Siberian @ Madison Square Garden (12/27/2004)

Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Beacon Theater (12/10/2003)

Logo - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Artist: The Trans-Siberian Orchestra “Christmas Eve & Other Stories Tour 2003”
Venue: Beacon Theater, NYC
Date: 12-10-2003

Every Holiday Season, The Beacon Theater in New York City has been the place where the power symphony known as Trans-Siberian Orchestra makes its home for a couple of nights. This year will mark the 5th Anniversary of such performances. The venue itself holds a little over 3,200 people and every seat in the place is terrific. On top of excellent views, one cannot mistake the quality of the sound in the room. Among the best acoustics I have ever experienced. This will be my 4th year in a row attending a Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance (The TSO for short). It is officially a Christmas Tradition for my Friends and I. Each year it’s a spectacle that gets bigger and better each time.
Continue reading Trans-Siberian Orchestra @ Beacon Theater (12/10/2003)