The Music of the 2005 Rock Opera by David Zade of "Dracula" was Composed by the Italian Progressive Rock Band Pfm, who Did the Same in 1997 for a Production of "Ulysses". The Four Members of the Band Franc Mussida, Franz Di Cioccio, Flavio Prewharves and Patrick Djivas Worked Diligently with Lyricist Vincenzo Incenzo to Produce What Has Been Hailed as One of the Best Albums in their Catalog of Recorded Works. One of the Highlights of the Selections is the Song "un Destino Di Rondine", which is Sung by Italian Singer Dolcenera.
listeners (not for the prog fans only!!), of course with the same mood of a musical, even
though I can not say it's equal to the 70's majestic opera rocks, such as "Jesus Christ
Superstar for example or the good work by Who entitled "Tommy"...nevertheless it's
suitable for a thrilling music event live on stage (as foreseen in the next concert
programme of 2006), starring the whole old line up of PFM, plus a few guest stars, as well
as a young talented female singer called "Dolcenera", singing in the final track "Un Destino
di Rondine"... the good and the evil living together, the perfect representation of Dracula,
this latter character already represented in the cinematographic masterpiece by F. Ford
Coppola and here helped by the orchestral sections and the symphonic chorus as well,
really delightful ; it's strange that it's the second concept album only, after the
controversial (and quite disappointing too) "Ulisse" dated 1997, as They try to be involved
in the development of a famous story and this time reaching their goal in a lot of
circumstances: in fact the style of PFM is inspiring both in the accessible classic rock genre
and in the symphonic breaks-through as well, close to a kind of classic music and with a
certain creativity which is often remarkable. The lyrics by Vincenzo Incenzo are clever, thanks also
to the melodramatic passages (think of the overture): of course it's not a
prog masterpiece nor strictly a progressive concept album, but their music taste is always
pleasant, being able to represent the various dramatic and romantic moods!! It should be worth a "3 stars" righter score in comparison to their best albums ...long live PFM, anyway!!
An album that I truly enjoy, even though it's not recorded as well as it could, which unfortunately is pretty common with PFM. Dracula in my opinion is not recorded or mixed as good as the (great) content would deserve.
Sure, this is not the very elaborate prog of the seventies, with long tracks and unexpected shifts and everything, but the whole thing is pretty darn well done and the inspiration that seemed to lack in some previous works, is right back. These guys have fun playing together and exploring new avenues (they're working on another funny project as we speak), and it can be felt at every turn.
Premoli's influence is evident, definitely moreso than in the last recordings. He also sings a lot more than what we were accustomed to, and he does sings well, so his singing is a good thing. Di Cioccio is the other "main" singer on this album, and Mussida does the rest.
Quite possibly PFM's best work since Chocolate Kings, as one poster has already mentioned. Just like Serendipity, it's on the rock side of things, more electric than acoustic, but some complex and very refined rock, brilliant and ecstatic at times, just as these guys can do. (This opus is far better than Serendipity though IMO.)
Oh and by the way, I have had the chance to see PFM live 2 times last summer, and boy are they still good. Absolutely fantastic.
Dracula would deserve 4.5 or even 5 stars if the sound was better.
"Dracula Opera Rock" is the music for a rock opera version of the "Dracula" story to be staged in Rome in 2006. The music is designed for theater rather than a rock concert presentation, so it sounds different than a rock album. There's orchestration on several tracks, a theatrical chorus shows up on a few, and the arrangements are gaudier and glossier than a normal PFM album. The end result is somewhat overblown, at a level somewhere between a Meat Loaf album and Andrew Lloyd Webber. The band is made up of four of the five PFM members from the '70s: Guitarist Franco Mussida, keyboardist Flavio Premoli, drummer Franz Di Cioccio, and bassist Patrick Djivas. The first three split the lead vocal duties.
After a half dozen listens, there aren't any melodies I can remember after the CD ends. (By comparison, several "Serendipity" songs were stuck in my head at this point.) The melodies of half of the songs are pretty weak by PFM standards. But weak melodies are standard for musicals these days. There is a lot of solid playing by the band. And while I can't remember them afterward, I enjoy "Terra Madre", "Il Castello dei Perche", and "Non Guardarmi" every time I hear them. On stage, "Un Destino di Rondine" may make for a rousing climax. There's an unlisted finale number that's banded on the CD as being part of "Un Destino di Rondine". I don't speak Italian, so I don't know how good the lyrics by Vincenzo Incenzo are. There's plenty of discussion of "Il Bene e il Male", which I think means "Good and Evil".
It's hard to know who to recommend this album to. American fans of musical theater aren't likely to ever hear of the album in the first place. Most old-time PFM fans don't like any of their new stuff, and this is the least accessible of their recent albums for rock fans. The most receptive audience for the album may be fans of progressive rock bands that have a theatrical side, such as Glass Hammer. Some moments, like the opening of "Non Guardarmi", would fit right in on Disk 2 of GH's "The Inconsolable Secret". This is a 3 and a half star album. I'm enough of a PFM diehard that it's growing on me -- your mileage may vary.
(1=poor 2=mediocre 3=pretty good 4=very good 5=phenomenal)