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The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table
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BANDA SINFONICA JOVEM DO ESTADO DE SAO PAULO The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table CD
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
1/20/2005-Isn't it interesting that Amazon has now changed the title to "The Myths and Legends of King Arthur...". This was not the title when I bought it and left this review. Are they purposely trying to deceive the public?
I had the good fortune to sit in the front row at Wakeman's concert of this epic in 1978. (Gary Wright opened for him and Wakeman singlehandedly blew Wright's 3 keyboardists off the stage with his opening notes). Wakeman flitted between 12-15 keyboard instruments, sometimes playing 3 or 4 at a time, while flawlessly and spectacularly executing the "Myths and Legends'" complex arrangements. It was really something to witness.
This album is a cover of "Myths and Legends", performed by a Brazilian youth choir and orchestra. These guys were painstakingly faithful to the original recording... at times this CD sounds like a newly remastered version of the original recording, rather than a cover. The playing is tight, expressive, and sometimes even better than the original. The orchestra, vocals and choir sound nearly identical to the original, and the synth parts sound exactly like the vintage Moogs, Mellotrons and Hammond C3 that populated the original.
So why buy this one instead of the original? I'm not really sure, except that sonically, using modern recording equipment and technique, this is a superior recording. The Brazilians nailed the performance, making this a more than adequate replacement for the original.
If you love 70's progressive rock, this one's a keeper.
I am so glad I did. A masterpiece. Immediately makes you realise that here is a body of work that deserves to be performed, say in 200 years time, as a genuine 'classical' piece of music in its own right, with or without the ghost of his Rick-ness. Done properly, as here, it will surely blow people away in a future generation.
What a tall order to faithfully reproduce the stunning, complex, exacting original, but these students (and a few pros?) pull it off in my opinion - and I'm surprised to hear myself say it, because I was always going to be a harsh critic with something so dear to my heart. 'Arthur' deserves to be big, bold, and brash, and it sounds like half of Brazil are involved here - just as it should be.
If I am to quibble slightly I think they could have got away with an English narration to top and tail it, instead of Portuguese(?). However the tone is spot on, as it is with all the contributors throughout. Also there is just one small spot where I feel that the student orchestra (or conductor) might have bottled-out of the exact replication of a passage that must be incredibly difficult to execute properly, even by the studio-based Brit pros back in 1975: Namely the last 30 seconds of 'Merlin' when the whole orchestra goes into that frantic, dizzying, awesome, stupendous torrent of semi-demi quavers. On this recording it sounds as if the synth partly relieves the acoustic musicians of that burden. Shame. Maybe the next orchestra brave or foolish enough to attempt Arthur will manage to surmount that pinnacle.
But there are many, many pluses. The tempo is just right, never lagging, pumping the excitement along nicely, perhaps aided by the frisson of a live audience; and never out of control either. The character of the solo vocalists could have been irritating and off-putting if they weren't just-so, but to my ears they tick the box absolutely. Having nit-picked their Merlin, I have to say the openning piano prelude to that track is beautifully observed - even better than Rick, dare I say. Here and there you might detect one or two individual variations in expression, such as the lead guitar solo in Guinevere. But to me that is good, it speaks of integrity and feeling, like a new recording of any classical work ought to have.
I might have awarded 4 1/2 stars but for the ridiculous review that has written it off with one - that's just plain wrong. So this should help restore a correct balance. (BTW I am not an ELP fan, so the bonus track is a bit superfluous for me. Rick's Judus Iscariot would have been fab as an alternative!)
On the credits I would like to have seen Will Malone's name mentioned. I suspect on the original he probably translated Rick's basic ideas into all the thousands of dots and squiggles on the multiple manuscripts. I hope music history remembers his name. I am sure the brilliance of Arthur must stem significantly from him. It should really say 'Wakeman-Malone' on the tin.
Basically Banda Sinfonica capture the energy, verve, excitement, subtlety, and nuances of this prog meisterwerk. I would far rather listen to this rendition with all its bombast and enormity than RW standing at a synth with just a couple of lone backing players (sorry Rick, even though you've got ten fingers on each hand). Arthur needs to be about as big as Brazil to do it full justice. ...et voila. How could anyone even dream of taking on Arthur and win? Amazing.