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Of all the Italian symphonic prog groups, Celeste is maybe the one that relies most on ambiances, the most delicate and certainly ranks in my top five along with QVL and PDP (even if the last ones are definitely more jazzy) and is all too often overlooked by many. This multi instrumentalists quartet recorded two album in the mid-70’s with their debut being the better-known. The very white (and bland) cover (even if the inside gatefold illustration is more evocative) contrast heavily with the superb calm classically influenced music on the disc. The mood is very much romantic, pastoral and mellotron-ladden. I find that Celeste does not sound like your typical Italian prog group, but in many ways, Principe Di Un Giorno is probably the album that comes closest to Harmonium’s Si On Avait Besoin D’une Cinquième Saison.

Indeed, this album came out roughly a year after Harmonium, and most likely was heard by the Italian group, but if the influence is obvious, there is nothing shocking and one can’t call this a carbon copy or derivative. And in some ways, Celeste’s debut album betters the ambiances, and adds a little more to Harmonium soundscapes. Whether this is a more Latin feel or more classical music leanings is rather hard to determine, but this album is just as enjoyable as Harmonium’s and there is a bit of Gensis in it in the form of Seven Stones. For me to give you a preferred track is very hard, because Celeste is more even in their songwriting (and taking less chances as well), but they also do not reach the absolute peaks that their Quebec counterparts do. But in Celeste’s defense, they do not have tracks that can almost ruin the album (such as Dixie on Fifth season). Flutes, sax, spinet, xylophone, chimes, violin are among the instruments sprinkled throughout this delicious slice of wax.

An absolute gorgeous piece of music that would deserve top ratings if it had come before a certain Quebecois album, but nevertheless is highly recommended.

-Sean trane,



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