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Steve Hackett - Hungarian Horizons (DVD) CD (album) cover


Steve Hackett


Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 32 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars The best of acoustic Steve Hackett

If you only want one of Steve Hackett's Classical, acoustic releases (which is all the average Prog fan really needs) I would strongly recommend to get a live release. And comparing the two all acoustic live releases by Steve Hackett that I'm familiar with, this DVD called Hungarian Horizons and the 2CD album There Are Many Sides To The Night, Hungarian Horizons is the most diverse and the overall more satisfying. A major part in the added diversity compared to other Hackett Classical releases is the strong presence of Steve's brother John Hackett and Roger King on flutes and keyboards respectively. Even if I love Steve's acoustic guitar playing, I can find it difficult to sit through a whole album of just that. But with the strong participation of flute and keyboards the sound mostly remains interesting throughout the long show. Roger King and, especially, John Hackett are allowed space to shine on their own and this performance is often that of a trio rather than a solo performance with two backing musicians.

The production vales are high and the performance is excellently filmed and recorded. From a visual standpoint, the three musicians here might not be the greatest of showmen; Steve sitting down for the entire performance wearing his dark sunglasses (he looks really cool!). But there are plenty of close ups on his fingers moving across the fretboard. This surely will delight guitar fans.

The style of music involved in this performance is by no means Prog, but it is nonetheless strongly Prog related due to Steve's decade spanning Rock career and the inclusion of several acoustic versions of classic Genesis, GTR and solo Hackett songs from the 70's, 80's and 90's. Prog fans will certainly recognize the Hackett signature piece Horizons, the eternal solo from Firth Of Fifth (not listed on the box and cleverly incorporated into the Classical Bourée/Bacchus), Hairless Heart from The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway and the acoustic intro to Blood On The Rooftops. These are some of Hackett's finest Genesis moments and are all excellent choices, here performed instrumentally and acoustically (apart from the keyboards).

Further songs that fans of Steve Hackett's Rock career will recognize are the wonderful intro to Imagining from the underrated GTR album (that band Hackett had together with Steve Howe in the 80's), the sublime Walking Away From Rainbows (written by Steve about walking away from Genesis), a very interesting acoustic version of two songs that originally were progressive Rock songs; Jacuzzi and Overnight Sleeper, as well as Kim, Hands Of The Priestess and Ace Of Wands from Steve's earliest days as a solo recording artist.

In addition there are several original pieces from Steve's Classical guitar albums Bay Of Kings, Momentum and A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as several pieces by Classical composers such as Satie, Vivaldi, Bach and Debussy.

The art work of Hungarian Horizons is similar to that of the Somewhere In South America DVD. While that DVD features Steve's electric show, Hungarian Horizons features his acoustic show. Somewhere In South America is extremely recommended but Hungarian Horizons surely constitutes a nice companion piece to that fantastic DVD. If you are a fan of progressive Rock make sure you get at least one of Steve Hackett's several excellent electric DVDs (the three best ones being Somewhere In South America, Once Above A Time and Tokyo Tapes) before you move on to his Classical career. But if you are interested in the Classical, acoustic side of Steve Hackett's career, Hungarian Horizons is an excellent introduction to this side of Steve Hackett. And if you get this DVD there is really no great need for you to get Hackett's Classical albums Bay Of Kings, Momentum and A Midsummer Night's Dream unless you are a collector or have a strong special interest in Classical music.

I was initially somewhat hesitant to give this DVD four stars mostly due to the fact that it is not really Prog and also that there are a few moments in the middle of the show where I feel that it tends to drag slightly. But the overall high quality of the music, the performance as well as the high production values convinced me - this is an excellent addition to a Prog collection (in addition to at least one of Steve Hackett's Rock DVDs)

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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