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Hamburger Concerto [Original recording reissued, Import]

Focus Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: 11.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
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Hamburger Concerto + Moving Waves + Focus 3
Price For All Three: 34.40

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Jan 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Import
  • Label: Red Bullet
  • ASIN: B00005B7E8
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,939 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bright sunset 14 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
A sunset never blazed so brightly – the penultimate Focus album was their most perfectly achieved statement, a beautifully composed and produced celebration of the Akkerman/van Leer partnership at a creative, if not social, peak. A real synthesis of their musical strengths – crunching riffs, memorable tunes, classical motifs, whimsy, humour, and those carmine Akkerman guitar runs threading the whole thing together. Brief lute & flute appetiser Delitae Musicae is followed by Harem Scarem, a buoyant jeu d’esprit with a nice boogieish piano riff and clipped, sparky guitar. La Cathédrale de Strasbourg is a lazy evocation of youthful van Leer camping holidays, a sweet vaguely choral melody and an atmosphere of churchbell summeriness. Birth is a powerful flute-led trip into a melting pot of Akkerman’s musical influences, and the long concluding suite Hamburger Concerto blends more great tunes than you can shake a plectrum at into a rich, resplendent panorama of the group’s intermeshed interests and skills.
Well, the watery, dispirited Mother Focus album was to follow, and the colourful scrapbook Ship of Memories, but Hamburger Concerto was really where an intriguing musical journey came to an end on the rocks of agitated egos: both Akkerman (especially) and van Leer (occasionally) were to go on to produce interesting work, but little with such joyous coherence.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Focus 6 July 2001
By Andy Millward VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Another classic from my mid-70's vinyl collection! There are so many good moments from this album, it's astonishing it became buried in obscurity. For the uninitiated, it's very much what you'd expect from Focus - high quality virtuoso instrumentals centring on Ackermann's dazzling guitar and van Leer's atmospheric organ and flute solos, plus the odd bit of pompous and whacky vocal improvisation thrown in for good measure.
At their best, Focus write funky songs with catchy hooks and neo-classical touches that betray their musical upgbringing. Listen to the guitar/flute interplay on Birth and Hamburger Concerto. Great stuff!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest guitar solos on record 13 Mar 2010
By John Ferngrove TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was reminded of this classic album just recently when I made the delightful discovery that the opening theme of the side-long title-track, Hamburger Concerto, was in fact a straight lift of a piece by Haydn, known as St Anthony's Chorale. I discovered this by virtue of the fact that it provides the theme for Brahms' Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op.56a, as heard on my newly acquired Brahms: The Symphonies etc. Needless to say Focus and Brahms take the theme into radically distinct territories, but such is my affection for the Focus version that I would not wish to be pressed to choose which of these musical marvels to be without. If we accept that the essence of the prog project was the attempt to import into the evolving rock idiom the methods, and perhaps even some of the values, of the grand classical tradition, then Focus provided one of the few examples of genuine and authentic success in that effort. Even at the time one could feel that this was a swansong effort, with moody and restless guitar ace, Jan Akkerman, clearly having lost interest in the collaborative composition process with his flute and keyboard virtuoso counterpart, Thijs van Leer. Despite this growing rift however they left us with an album of terrific quality, having perfected a studio sound that could move easily between amazingly heavy and ethereally clean, and including, for me at least, two clear moments that rank among the finest in prog history.

The first of these moments appeals to me as a guitarist, who as a boy sat for hours in his bedroom attempting to decipher Akkerman's themes and licks from the records of their
... Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album From Mid-70's Focus Line-up 18 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Having been a Focus fan from their early years until the present, I am in the process of purchasing their albums on CD to save any further wear on the original vinyl LP's. This 1974 album sounds fine on CD with Thijs Van Leer's classic compositions "Harem Scarem" and "La Cathedral De Strasbourg" among the highlights. The current Focus line-up still plays these tunes live. Jan Akkerman's "Birth" is a heavier offering with a thundering backbeat provided by British drummer Colin Allen who had just replaced Pierre Van Der Linden. "Hamburger Concerto" itself, rather like the earlier "Eruption" on "Moving Waves" took up the whole of side 2 on the original LP and showcases all the Focus trademarks of stinging guitar, haunting flute and organ solos. There is the additional bonus track of "Early Birth", a slimmed down version of "Birth" which adorned the B-side of the shortened "Harem Scarem" single which unfortunately wasn't a hit. All in all, classic Focus, and my only reason for not giving 5 starts is the CD packaging. Surely Red Bullet could have included some sleeve notes, interviews with band members or at least the original band photos which were on the inside of the original album jacket.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Their best CD in my view 26 Nov 2013
By dave99
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Their best CD in my view, I had the LP but not having a record player anymore I had to get this CD. ITs great!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamburger Concerto
Got this album on vinyl years ago when I was a little chap and I've loved it ever since, love at 1st listen. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. I. M. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars DUTCH Prog Rock
Having heard this album many years ago, I knew it was class and thought it time to revisit one of my favourite bands from the seventies. Read more
Published 10 months ago by MR M P MARSAY
4.0 out of 5 stars A great discovery
This was a great discovery. I bought it on the strength of knowing the earlier Focus albums very well, and after reading other people's reviews. Read more
Published 12 months ago by DG
5.0 out of 5 stars Focus at their best.
Based on the works of Bach and Hayden,beautiful organ and guitar work along with a top rhthym section.If its this or Moving Waves......get both.
Published 18 months ago by concerned shopper 1
3.0 out of 5 stars Technically very good, but only for die hard fans
Having read the other reviews, I was expecting to be swept away on a tidal wave of progressive excellence, but these must be from harden Focus fans, looking through their rose... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Metalstar
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music
The opening track "Delitae Musicae" is a kind of celtic medieval song, which I very like. Songs such as "Le Cathédrale de Strasbourg" and the title track "Hamburger... Read more
Published on 29 Sep 2011 by Lord Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars tighly played, tightly arranged, stgrong melodies
While much of the earlier Focus music was framed around improvisation, in Hamburger Concerto the music is much more tightly arranged, more classical in approach than jazz, even... Read more
Published on 16 Sep 2011 by Leslie Firbank
5.0 out of 5 stars THEY DON'T MAKE ALBUMS LIKE THIS ANY MORE!
I was very pleased to find this CD on Amazon. My original album is in the loft! Such a fabulous composition: I doubt many so-called rock bands of today could compose such a... Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2010 by Susan M. Bryett
3.0 out of 5 stars Their swansong
Studio album #4, following Live at the Rainbow (of which, to this day, I've never heard a note), this was the last of them before the final disintegration of the Akkerman / Van... Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2008 by Julian Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars Properly Progressive Rock
Like (I suspect) a lot of people, I was really put off Focus in the 70s by the spectacularly hideous 'Hocus Pocus'. Read more
Published on 7 April 2007 by BeanDog
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