Near the year 2000, co-founder / director of Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), Paul O'Neil, created stimulating fiction, which was driven by Hard Rock / Metal variables, about one of the greatest composers of all time: Ludwig Von Beethoven. Within Beethoven's character, O'Neil enrolled TSO and the listeners into a sort of hallucination world of the famous composer. This world involved the completed manuscript of the Tenth Symphony and the trading of Beethoven's soul to the clutches of Hell.
This year, under BMG & Tonpool, TSO's third album, Beethoven's Last Night, was resurfaced as a reminder of a great classic musical piece in the vein of several theater acts as The Who's Tommy, Queen's Mama Mia and Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera. However, in contrast to those other prominent theatrical monuments mentioned, you are talking here about a rather Metalized release, which involves some figures from the Metal world, including ex-members of the late Savatage. That is why the re-releasing this album was so important -- it should have received a lot more attention the first go-around.
Throughout the theatrics, it is hard not to experience suspense, even though most of the stories regarding the bargaining of the soul with the Devil ends up in the hero's favor. This tale is filled with interactions and intrigues between the main characters: Beethoven (young & old), the evil Mephistopheles, Twist, Fate, The Muses, and Theresa. Every single interaction or solo act of thoughts and emotions were performed by the singers as if they are actors, and all were followed by well-suited musical passages. The result was astounding. Although the music itself, especially the guitar riffs, are pretty simple, you can't ignore the amount of energy devoted to the keyboards and orchestra. In the end both electric and classical instruments fulfilled some of Beethoven's greatest works.
It is very hard to pinpoint something that what was bad in this release, because you can't discourage any effort that was made here. But like in every release, no matter how strong it is and how close it is to perfection, not every track here is outstanding. Beethoven's Last Night is filled with the dramatic nature of great tracks such as "The Moment", "Vienna", "Misery", "Mozart / Figaro", "The Dreams Of Candlelight", "What Is Eternal", "A Last Illusion", "Requiem (The Fifth)", and "I'll Keep Your Secrets". With such finesse and talented composing, you can't argue. Whoever longed for a Metal opera, and not of the kind Avantasia would do, you will find a new comfort zone here.
4. What Good This Deafness
6. What Is Eternal
7. The Moment
9. Mozart / Figaro
10. The Dreams of Candlelight
11. Requiem (The fifth)
12. I'll Keep Your Secrets
13. The Dark
14. Fur Elise
15. After The Fall
16. A Last Illusion
17. This Is Who You Are
19. Mephistopheles' Return
21. Who Is This Child
22. A Final Dream
Robert Kinkel - piano and keyboards, strings arrangements
John Oliva - piano, keyboards and bass guitar
Al Pitrelli - lead, rhythm and bass guitars
Paul O'neill - rhythm and acoustic guitars
Jeff Plate - drums
Johnny Lee Middleton - bass
Chris Caffery - guitar
Dave Wittman - drums, guitar and bass inserts
Tood Reynolds, Paul Woodiel, Mary Rowell, Laura Seaton-Finn and Denise Stillwell - violins
Mark Wood and Mark Ferris - violas
Garo Yellin, Jonas Tauber and Dorothy Lawson – cellos