THE WINTER OF CONSTANTINOPLE
CD: Cold Spring Records CSR56CD 
Fall Of Constantinople
Hopes Die In Winter
A New Rome
was the first word that came into my head whilst listening to "The
Winter of Constantinople" for the first time. Epic indeed. A glorious
grandiose mixture of military / neo folk and classical music all rolled
tightly into one complete whole. Uplifting yet morose. Stirring anthems
and solemn passages recounting the turbulent events surrounding the 1453
siege of Constantinople which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and
brought the dawn of the Ottoman reign. 150,000 Turks besieged the city
from 5th April to 29th May when the city finally fell. Death, defiance
and despair the poetic inspirations behind this sumptuous recording by
H.E.R.R, which was first released on the Cynfeirdd label, here expanded,
enhanced, changed and re-recorded in parts. The final full visionary piece
at last complete.
I was first acquainted with the music of H.E.R.R through their contributions
to the "Carpe Noctem Festival 1" and "Hopes die in Winter"
releases, where they easily outshone all the other participants. Michiel
Spapé and his band of merry cohorts blowing everyone away both
lyrically and musically. "The Winter of Constantinople" reinforces
their growing stature. Taking in elegant string arrangements, pounding
martial drums, disconsolate piano pieces, stimulating vibrant orchestrations
and Eastern tinged samples the music, powerfully yet slowly, building
allowing the vocalists to fully employ their distinctive emotive ranges
to fullest effect. Gravitas and Emotion. That is the key to "The
Winter of Constantinople". Highly charged passion brought out and
given life by the music and English lyrics. Only the hardest of hearts
would fail to dissolve in awe at the delivery of the inspirational all-embracing
beautiful music. Epic in every sense of the word.
This care and attention to detail, the search for near impossible perfection,
is further evident with the lavish accompanying 6 panel booklet with its
pictures of various stoic sculptures and full lyrics complimenting the
music. "The Winter of Constantinople" is a breathtaking endeavour.
A history lesson put to glorious uplifting music which I doubt will ever
be bettered. Michiel and friends have earned their plaudits. I for one
can only reinforce my belief that "The Winter of Constantinople"
is a release that no self respecting music lover should be without.
/ [Cold Spring]
Die In Winter]
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