Höstsonaten: The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Chapter One

Old Romanticist, remixed in Italy.

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Well read, cultured and erudite though the Prog readership is, we’d wager that the majority have managed to resist the delights of The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. However, eschewing literary source material from closer to home, Italian Fabio Zuffanti has chosen to set English writer Samuel Talyor Coleridge’s epic 18th century poem to music. It’s tempting to characterise Zuffanti as Italy’s answer to Steven Wilson.

The Genoa-born musician is a prolific multi- instrumentalist and leading light of the enduring Italian prog scene, with around 40 albums to his name. He leads a dizzying array of bands and projects, through which he explores varying facets of his musical personality, among them the pleasing progressive pop of his duo Aries, the more experimental Finisterre and the Quadraphonic solo project.

Zuffanti certainly doesn’t lack ambition, as The Rime ably demonstrates. Over the last 15 years Zuffanti has employed the Höstsonaten brand for some of his most expansive work and The Rime continues that pattern.

Musically the album packs few surprises, nevertheless its symphonic tableaux do justice to the rich source material he has appropriated.