Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kashif - The Queen Symphony - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (flac)

Kashif - The Queen Symphony - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (flac)
Symphonic | Eac, flac, cue | log, cover | 1 CD, 245 MB
January 7, 2003 | EMI | FileFactory

Kashif spent two years composing the Queen Symphony. He conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in its debut on Wednesday 6 November 2002. It was performed in the Royal Festival Hall and broadcast on ABC TV to a wide European audience. That night, it received a standing ovation from over two thousand people. This concert was attended by Jer Bulsara - Mercury's mother - drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. They "very much enjoyed it" and they said it was "very moving indeed". Queen Symphony was nominated Album of the Year in the 2003 Classical Brit Awards. In 2003 Kashif directed the Northern Sinfonia in UK tours with Lesley Garrett. He conducted the Turkish première of Queen Symphony at the International Izmir Festival. He also directed the piece in Australia in two sold-out performances at the Sydney Opera House with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. These was broadcast on ABC Classic FM.

In 1974, Freddie Mercury said that he would "like people to put their own interpretation" on his own songs, and Kashif did just that. It is a work comprising of six movements - Adagio Misterioso, Allegretto, Adagio, Allegro Vivo, Andante Doloroso and Andante Sostenuto. It is based on around a dozen well-known melodies from the rock band Queen. These include "Bohemian Rhapsody", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Who Wants to Live Forever", the latter including a performance by Nicola Loud. Some critics have compared the overall effect with the work of John Williams, notably his Star Wars score. Others have considered the choral elements of the Queen Symphony to be a nod to the rock band's own lavish tendencies, in addition to Kashif's spell as musical director of the London Amadeus Choir. The piece has been performed regularly and in 2004 received US and Dutch premières.

In preparing an album of classical music based on rock songs, a measure of the project's success depends on how compatible the music is to the classical milieu. Past collections that have recast into classical styles such groups as the Beatles and the Police turned out well in part because these groups had a little "classical" in them. Perhaps an album "classicizing" AC/DC would not be as successful; a project involving similar treatments of music by the Rolling Stones proved so weak it provided fuel for an argument against the validity of this entire genre. Queen, on the other hand, probably had more "classical" in it than any other major British rock group. Queen was also able to creatively absorb in its magnum opus Bohemian Rhapsody influences drawn from the most un-rock like classical form of them all: opera. Composer Tolga Kashif has embarked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on a quest to bring Queen's music into a wholly classical realm and The Queen Symphony is an entirely satisfactory result. Rather than realizing direct treatments of specific Queen songs, Kashif has remodeled several related numbers into six movements making up a "symphony." In approach, it bears a distant resemblance to the symphony that Philip Glass fashioned out of the second side of David Bowie and Brian Eno's Low, but it is far more dramatic and themes change over a bit more rapidly. There is also a full chorus, which results in some "Hollywood"-type scoring that may be a bit over the top for some. Nonetheless, The Queen Symphony is excellently well done; beautifully recorded; and has an attractive, well-annotated package that includes a late, formal studio shot of Queen.

01 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 1. Adagio Misteriso, Allegro Con Brio (10:42)
02 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 2. Allegretto (07:39)
03 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 3. Adagio (07:23)
04 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 4. Allegro Vivo (09:54)
05 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 5. Andante Doloroso, Allegretto (12:54)
06 - Tolga Kashif: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Kashif: The Queen Symphony - 6. Andante Sostenuto (09:11)

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