Exposé Online banner

Exposé Online

Not just outside the box, but denying the existence of boxes.
Covering music from the fringes since 1993.


Celeste — With Celestial Symphony Orchestra
(Mellow MMP 556, 2022, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-12-16

With Celestial Symphony Orchestra Cover art

Most bands, when they team up with an orchestra, recap the songs they already know with the orchestral accompaniment, like Procol Harum’s Live - In Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, to cite a classic example where the integration of band and orchestra worked extremely well. That’s what I expected this new release from Celeste, With Celestial Symphony Orchestra, would be, but in fact there is none of the old or pre-existing material utilized on this release. The thirteen tracks that make up the album are completely new compositions created explicitly for the band, augmented by a seven-piece string ensemble, four-piece brass section, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, English horn, and three additional vocalists (one female and two male). That’s all in addition to the regular five-piece band which includes Ciro Perrino (Hammond, Mini Moog, ARP 2600, Solina, Eminent, Mellotron, lead vocals, and all compositions), Mauro Vero (acoustic and electric guitars), Marco Moro (flutes), bassist Francesco Bertone, and drummer Enzo Cioffi. The opener “Blu Genziana” introduces the band, orchestral concept and vocalist Ines Aliprandi, with a warm enriching melodic sensibility that encompasses everything Celeste. Elements of classical, folk, and jazz mix freely with rock throughout the album, purportedly five years in the making. Aliprandi follows to the second cut, “Nuove Galassie,” which rocks a bit more in a soundtrack-ish sort of way, with blasts of strings, horns, Mellotron, bass, and more taking front and center. One of the most beautiful cuts on the album comes next: “Angeliche Prospettive,” which is enriched by strings, bass clarinet, and English horn as the piece proceeds along a somewhat folky path. The lyrics of all the songs at hand are in Italian, although there are a number of purely instrumental tunes included in the set. Some other standout tracks include “Echi” (Echoes), a somewhat dark sounding piece which makes good use of the woodwind section and piano, with a jazzy sounding flute solo backed up by Mellotron and strings; “All Passegere” presents a slow piece based on piano with all the other instrumentation making entrance as the piece proceeds, featuring alternating lead vocal by both Perrino and Aliprandi; the intoductory section of “Maurice” features flutes and other winds presenting a melodic theme vaguely recalling an East Asian style, though the pace changes numerous time over the six-minute duration, informed by rock and jazz as it goes. Acoustic guitar introduces “Boschi e Lanterne” but soon the whole of the orchestral section is involved, backing a beautiful melody delivered by Aliprandi. The album clocks in at a full 70 minutes and every track is powered by beautiful symphonic rock of the highest order. As I write, the download of With Celestial Symphony Orchestra is available via the Bandcamp link below, and by mid-December the CD edition will be available from ciroperrino1950@gmail.com; the double LP edition will be available from the same address by mid-February.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Celeste

More info


What's new

These are the most recent changes made to artists, releases, and articles.