Novalis was one of many symph bands to surface in Germany, like Eloy, Grobschnitt, Ramses, etc. They took their name from an 18th century poet whose pen name was Novalis. Sommerabend, released in 1976 on the green Brain label (one of the last titles on the green label, as 1976 was the year Brain turned to the more familiar orange label). This was their third album and often considered their high point. One thing worth noting is nothing on this album will blow you away. The music is pretty tame, no heavy aggressive passages, or Gentle Giant-like quirkiness here. What you have is a more laid-back version of the Eloy sound. The major difference here is the band chose to sing in German, which benefits them greatly (figuring out that singing in English on their 1973 debut, Banished Bridge didn't quite work out). So while people like Frank Bornemann from Eloy and Stefan Danielak (Wildschwein) of Grobschnitt frequently get criticized for their heavily accented English vocals, the two guys handing the vocals on Novalis on this album (that is guitarist Detlef Job and bassists Heino Schünzel) had totally avoided the criticisms of their English-singing counterparts. The opening cut, "Aufbruch" is the album's only instrumental cut. It's the album's shortest piece at over 9 minutes (there are only three cuts on this album). Nice organ and guitar work, the cut also features the occasional electronic effects. "Wunderschätze" features lyrics written from Novalis (the poet), but as I don't know German, it's hard telling what the poetry is about. Then the album closes with the side-length title track. For the most part, the music sticks in that Pink Floyd-like mid-tempo, with lots of spacy Roland string synths. It's only the fourth movement, "Ein Neuer Tag" that the tempo picks up with an energetic rocker, and is the only part of the title track where Lutz Rahn didn't use the string synths. But for the string synth passages, I find them quite pleasant, as I have always been a fan of the string synth. Nice album, but because it's a "play it safe" prog album, it doesn't reach the very top of my prog favorites, but it's still quite a worthwhile album.