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Thread: FEATURED ALBUM: Hostsonaten - Winterthrough

  1. #1
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    FEATURED ALBUM: Hostsonaten - Winterthrough

    Is Fabio Zuffanti the Steven Wilson of Italia or is that just a click-bait question? Hostsonaten is one of Zuffanti's many projects and Winterthrough was part of an ambitious "season cycle" concept that spanned 4 albums. I personally felt a little fatigued when listening to the final two that were released, but Springsong and Winterthrough both had very interesting and memorable themes. Winterthrough is now 10 years old. Are people still listening to Zuffanti's music or has he been buried under the snow?



    Review from ProgArchives
    Wintertrhough is the third part of the season cycle suite, a musical celebration in four parts thought by Fabio Zuffanti as the magnum opus of Hostsonaten. The band is going backwards from the fourth and final part (Springsong released in 2002) to the future project planned as it follows: Autumnsymphony (part two) and Summereve (part one).

    The album is mainly instrumental-based despite only two pleasant episodes of recitative warm vocals in italian language, as it happened also in the previous record.

    Musically the new album is very similar to the previous one but less celtic. The general mood is darker, still pastoral, romantic and sad with many crescendos from slow hypnotic fragments of dark/light to full melodic symphonic prog and hints of jazz and ethnic music. Excellent (and curious) the addition of brass section which makes the sound more passionate and plentiful.

    The opener Entering the Halls of Winter (10:13 mns) is really beautiful: it starts off with liquid whispering piano then introduces delicate bass playing and repetitive drums' patterns. Hypnotic for sure. Then, (not) surprisingly enters the mightly mellotron with its fluent dreamy waves. Brass also takes the scene until the song turns into a more conventional sympho prog for a while, within an electric guitar solo but... suddenly another change... soft classic piano and gentle harp...clarinet also for a romantic pastiche. Wonderful 'till the end the strong crescendo lead by clarinet and majestic choir- mellotron... hornes also...what a pleasure!

    The other highlight is the fantastic closer Rainsuite (12:42) that follows a similar formula. Its ending part (To the Open Field) is the reproduction of the opener from Springsong (In the Open Fields), a perfect conjunction between the two seasons albums of winter and spring.

    Other tracks are shorter (total timing is in fact about 46 mns) but very interesting because go from soft to slightly harder interludes (Snowstorm). Crystal Light is about 6:46 mns and it's another gem for its sad and romantic atmosphere. Special mention for the delicate soprano sax playing.

    The dull and darker atmosphere gives this new work from Hostsonaten a stronger appeal. It's a must have for the fans of contemporary italian prog bands like LA MASCHERA DI CERA and FINISTERRE. Sparse use of choir- mellotron makes the whole work sparkling. If you like the previous Springsong, this one will certainly appear as a moderate improvement. Excellent. - Andrea Cortese



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  2. #2
    I enjoy Hostsonaten's four seasons. Spring my least favorite. Fabio Zuffanti certainly captured the feel of each season. Recently, I've been listening to Winter and Autumn. No surprise there.

  3. #3
    Member since March 2004 mozo-pg's Avatar
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    I have not heard this one. I saw the band at FMPM in Quebec City a few years back. They were impressive. Samples above sounds decent.

  4. #4
    It's a damn, fine album I say. I really like the atmosphere pervading the album from start to finish. No fillers, no deviations. Cohere stuff.

    The narrative parts work very well towards that direction.

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    Nice album, with the closer "Rainsuite" being my favorite track. The funny thing is that I was listening to that track in my car while driving past a snow-covered park in Denver. So while the song is about the transition from snow to rain as winter ends, I always picture snow.

  6. #6
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    I have the first 2 or 3 Hostsonaten albums and like them ok... been years since I played them but the clips above are better than what I remember...

    must investigate further
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

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    I love all four seasons. Sadly they are the only Fabio-related records I've enjoyed.
    Prog's Not Dead

  8. #8
    While I think this is the best Höstsonaten release overall, Zuffanti's finest achievements by far (IMO) have been with La Maschera di Schera and his very own, largely overlooked solo album 'proper', La Quattra Vittima from a few years back. I can hear echoes of everything he's ever done in parts of the latter, but there are also many other and quite different assets present. Zuffanti has been going with his thing for 25 years now, the Finisterre days long since forgotten by most, it would seem. While there's certainly some stuff in his roster which I don't particularly appreciate, I still always thought he should have been a bigger name. He deserves to.

    But then again, that's the usual story.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  9. #9
    The four seasons series were great. On the contrary, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner and Cupid & Psyche were not so memorable. I agree with Richard that La Maschera di Schera is his best project (Le porte del domani is masterpiece of modern prog). And yes, he should have been a bigger name (at least in comparison with the "King").
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  10. #10
    Member TheH's Avatar
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    Zuffanti is rather busy with writting books at the Moment.

    Some of his older bands are reactivatet (even for just a concert or two).
    So R.U.G.H.E. and Finisterre seem to be active again.

    Cupid & Psyche was very different because of a large involement of Luca Scherani in the writing of
    the Album.

  11. #11
    One of my favorite album I usually have it on my play list during the winter.

  12. #12
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    While I think this is the best Höstsonaten release overall, Zuffanti's finest achievements by far (IMO) have been with La Maschera di Schera and his very own, largely overlooked solo album 'proper', La Quattra Vittima from a few years back. I can hear echoes of everything he's ever done in parts of the latter, but there are also many other and quite different assets present. Zuffanti has been going with his thing for 25 years now, the Finisterre days long since forgotten by most, it would seem. While there's certainly some stuff in his roster which I don't particularly appreciate, I still always thought he should have been a bigger name. He deserves to.

    But then again, that's the usual story.

    One of my favorites is the overlooked LaZona album from 2002. When the vanilla lovers go on about how boring it is because it's not formulaic, you know you're onto something.
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  13. #13
    I have all their albums and love them too bits

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