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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

CATALIN: First Breath (1999)

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

A good 45 minutes of a great sensitivity where the musician shows an immense talent as melodist in the vein of Vangelis...

1 Opening (First Breath) 8:27

2 Zulu Spirits Call 6:03

3 Iceberg 4:06

4 Synthetic History 6:38

5 Nandana - Paradise of Indra 5:57

6 Cross Faded Memories 5:41

7 Treasures of the Deep 6:04

8 Postlude 1:44

(CD/DDL 44:51) (V.F.)

(Cinema, Orchestral, Melodious)

Catalin Marin is this artist who totally enchanted me while listening to the Best of… AD Music. I found there a varied sound with intense orchestral arrangements, between Vangelis and Mannheim Steamroller. In all, 3 titles from FIRST BREATH have appeared on these compilations; Iceberg, Nandana-Paradise of Indra and Postlude, suggesting a pleasant album to listen to. And that's exactly the case!

The opening with Opening is spectacular. A synth blowing an ethereal wind is seized by a Gregorian choir with voices that blend into a discreet violin. The voices transcend a romantic and nostalgic music on a solitary violin which waltzes in a sound garden where the coils of harps defy bells and beefier arrangements. A great opening which changes into a more modern rhythm, with well-felt percussions, on violin strata, always in harmony with the multiple celestial choirs. Opening takes full advantage of its 8 minutes in a skilful mix of Baroque and modern, including Gregorian chants and the dense orchestrations of Vangelis crossing the celestial eddies of Enigma on an ethnic tribal background. This charming and astonishing mixture deviates on the dense zones of Zulu Spirits Call which is a tribal quest power with inspired voices and excellent percussions playing. The voices are powerful on a lively and hammering rhythm which swaps them for a superb magic flute. The playing of percussions gives off a force and a desire to move towards more intense and progressive movements, taking the listener through various musical spheres with multiple ethnic and tribal essences. Synth, cello, violin, guitars, harpsichords, choirs and percussions ... Catalin Marin fills our ears to the rim with a strong appetite for rhythms that are guided by theatrical impulses of which the dramatic rolls of bass drums and huge orchestral violins bring towards astonishing chants with nice and sensitive diversity. Iceberg, Synthetic History and Nandana-Paradise of Indra are titles of a good artistic amplitude which have nothing to fear from the shadows of the first 14 minutes of FIRST BREATH. Synthetic History is as good and melodious with a soft piano passage that melts in the ears. Like Iceberg and Nandana, further strengthening my conviction that Catalin Marin develops superb harmonies like Vangelis knew so much how to do. Cross Faded Memories invades our ears with a piano-violin duet on superb arrangements and harmonies. A nice title that charms and surprises with its melodious beauty. Treasures of the Deep ends this album, before Postlude which was already reviewed, on a lively note and ethnic rhythms as well as fluid and refreshing orchestrations' ideas, like island music.

FIRST BREATH is a very nice Catalin album. A good 45 minutes of great intensity and sensitivity where the musician from Romania shows an immense talent as a melodist in the vein of Vangelis and David Wright styles of composition. An excellent composer who offers us a great first album full of arrangements to give goosebumps, so much Catalin Marin plays on the strings of our emotions.

Sylvain Lupari (February 2nd, 2007) *****

Available at AD Music

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