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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Klaus Schulze

Ballett 3 & 4

Review by Gary Hill

The opening track of this two CD set is massive one hour and fifteen minutes plus cut. It has a blend of classical music, electronic and space sound. That serves in some ways as the blue-print for the entirety of the two CDs. This is probably not progressive rock, but it is progressive music. There is a decent amount of range although a lot of it only evolves glacially, really. However you slice it, though, this is cool.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
Track by Track Review
CD 1

My Ty She

Coming in atmospheric, this turns quite classical to move forward. The melodies created along this road and very pretty. Some bits of space music seem to rise up a bit around the five minute mark, but the classical elements continue to hold the reins. The two things seem to share custody as the piece continues to grow. Around the 14 minute mark we get some world music styled vocals coming over the top. It drops back to the earlier space music meets classical stuff after the vocals leave. Well, technically it never moved from there. The vocals just came over the top of it. As vocals return around the 17-minute mark, they are not world music based so much. It kind of reminds me of Curved Air. The space classical sounds remain beyond that vocal section. Vocals are back around twenty four minutes in an almost plaintive, soaring angelic way. The piece gains a bit of energy a couple minutes later as layers of vocals continue. This works forward with the vocals remaining. At times they lean toward the world end of the spectrum. At other points they seem almost more mellow prog rock like. The vocals don't really drop away until around the 33 minute mark. The music takes a turn toward more pure classical in some ways after that point. Vocals return by around the 37 minute for a bit of a folk prog turned classical space sound. More world music is heard by around the 40 minute mark. We get some classical soloing after the vocals exit again. Eventually working toward more spacey stuff, it gets more intense and vocals return. It doesn't get a lot louder, but it does get a bit more rock oriented by the time a flute comes over the top in the 53 minute range. It gets a bit mellower after the vocals drop away Vocals do come back as it gets around the one hour mark. Some violin creates some noisy bits of drama after the vocals are once again gone. Vocals dance over the top later as the whole thing gets a bit more intense. As it continues it works toward a bit crazed. After working up to near crazed territory, the piece drops back by around the one hour 13 minute mark. It turns toward more purely classical sounds with much of the space music dropping away. That's the basic concept that takes it to its end over an hour and 15 minutes after it started. I suppose you don't get much more epic than that.

Schauer der Vorwelt
There is literally a scream in this that seems to be a loop because it sounds the same on every iteration. This is much more of a straightforward electronic piece.
CD 2


Electronic symphonic music is the basic concept as this starts. I love some of the melodies that are heard as it works forward. The blend of classical and electronic progressive music on this is classic as it evolves. The are definitely some middle-Eastern styled progressions at times on this. This is more classical music than it is anything else, but it's also quite strong and still has an electronic element at play.

It's kind of crazy that a song that's half an hour long is incredibly short compared to the opening piece of the disc. This one feels more like that epic. It has a lot of that space electronic meets symphonic vibe to it. It has a good balance between stuff that's dropped way down and stuff that reaches upward in intensity. I love the section that emerges around the nine minute mark. It's not a huge change, but in some ways it's perhaps closer to something like Vangelis. There are some world music vocals later, and the violin gets quite intense as the piece continues to evolve. More space rock like stuff emerges later. As the space rock elements keep driving the piece, there is some great violin work over the top. There are some world vocals that are heard in the closing moments of the piece. Overall, this is a slowly evolving piece of classically tinged space music.
To B Flat
Coming in a bit weird and trippy, there are spoken voice bits along with lines of violin. It works down after a while to a sparser arrangement allowing the violin to really create the textures and pathos of the piece. There are some weird processed spoken vocals on the cut as a flute solos over the top. It takes a turn to world music later along the road. It seems to wander into some sparse territory beyond that point. There are some weird bits of spoken voices (like soundbites) that emerge later as the cut takes a dark and trippy turn. The various elements seem to get turns in command and also play off of one another as this evolves.
Eleven 2 Eleven
Coming in much more pure electronic prog, this is a ride that's a bit like Vangelis meets Tangerine Dream.


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