Today, we’re going to talk about Trent Gardner’s (Magellan) Leonardo – The Absolute Man! This 66-minute prog rock opera is split into 18 parts on the record, of various length. It’s a story based on Leonardo da Vinci’s life, hence the title. There are a lot of guest musicians in there, including the well-known James Labrie and Steve Walsh!
It is heavy on classical influences, and has a pretty unique prog rock sound to it; one that I haven’t heard anywhere else. Some parts are monologues, others are dialogues, and others still include choir vocals from various singers. It really sheds a particular light on Leonardo’s life, story, and achievements. Moreover, it also puts quite some emphasis on his relationship with women and academic colleagues, which is really interesting to me since I knew almost nothing about these.
Even though it has some great moments (Apprentice, Reins of Tuscan), there are some more awkward ones. I feel the “Aria for Italy” is just weird, and unworthy of the classic appellation of “aria”. Also, “The Heart of France” is way too long and repetitive, and closing track “End of a World” sounds to me as a weird composition to end this epic on, but maybe that’s just me.
There isn’t many places on the Internet to listen to this record, and if you’re curious I say your best bet is to buy it, it’s certainly a thing worth possessing, even more so if you’re the same kind of obscure-music collector as I am. I’ve chosen the link below to share with you because you can listen to samples of the songs, but I haven’t found the complete songs anywhere on the web, sorry about that!
Post originally published on the Prog Talk FB page on 23/08/2015 by ~Frog.