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Masterworks Reworked: Remixes for a New Generation

Masterworks Reworked: Remixes for a New Generation

Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news. And spread the word to Bach, Puccini, Ravel, Schubert, Rodrigo, Grieg, Dvoràk, and


Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news. And spread the word to Bach, Puccini, Ravel, Schubert, Rodrigo, Grieg, Dvoràk, and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well. All outraged, thrashing around in their mausoleums, caskets, and crypts. But maybe not. The cover art for this CD includes several fanciful depictions of a bewigged 18th century composer type either standing ready at the turntables or listening thoughtfully in a Louis XIV chair while some dude from the 'hood gives him a turntable education. Humor is the operative work throughout this collection, as 11 remixers fabricate witty, skillful distortions of musical warhorses such as "Bolèro," "Moonlight Sonata," "Swan Lake," "Flight of the Bumblebee," and so on. And while some classical music enthusiasts won't be able to take the joke, these remixes demonstrate far more creativity and style than the typical synth orchestra's ersatz homage to the classics, where a misguided reverence usually turns gold into new age iron pyrite ("fool's gold" to the uninitiated). This CD, on the other hand, can be loaded into the changer to amaze (and perhaps dismay) your friends, but it will give broadminded listeners some real delight. The two Bach pieces (one by Zigo, one by Maya F.S.) capitalize on the highly rhythmic nature of Bach and Baroque music in general. Likewise, the popularly named "Moonlight Sonata" (more accurately, Beethoven's Op. 27/2), has its own built-in hypnotic groove, and of course, Ravel's "Bolèro" is so relentlessly rhythmic in its original form that it was regarded by contemporary music critics as an aberration and a monstrosity. Today it just sounds like techno minus the beatbox, which Jazzelicious ably supplies (along with a touch of vibes and a nice bit of trumpet). Tangerine D'Or's schizophrenic remix of the Rodrigo piece "Concierto de Aranjuez," alternates between several almost literal reproductions of the guitar's lovely melody line and contrasting choked, sputtering sequences where only tiny fragments of the melody manage to emerge. Classical pieces of a traditional romantic sensibility generally have wide variations in tempi (lots of expressive rubato, etc.), and so the remixers employ different strategies for the likes of Tchaikovsky, Schubert, and Dvoràk. "Anita's Dance" (from Grieg's "Peer Gynt") occupies a middle ground, with remixer $Kathie Talbot using the source material's rhythmic energy as best she can, but grounding it with a steady Latin beat over which she cuts and pastes motifs from of the original. Schubert's "Kyrie (Piano Mass No. 6)" is represented by an ascending, two-chord orchestral phrase and several recurring choral fragments. (Given its overtly religious source, this remix certainly qualifies as the least reverent of an irreverent group, with its bouncy techno rhythms, turntable scratching, and vocalized "yeahs" and "get its"). Morgan Page's remix of Dvoràk's "Symphony No. 9" makes economical but telling use of another two-note ascending motif that will be instantly recognizable to anyone familiar with the original. And the Tao of Groove switches between a straight operatic rendition of "Nessun Dorma" from Puccini's "Turandot" (with funky beatbox accompaniment, of course) and a rapper's approximation of the original lyric's romantic musings. Twelve tracks -- 12 cheeky, cheesy, clever, and affectionate desecrations of the classics. ~ Bill Tilland

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Janos Sandor   Conductor
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields   Performing Ensemble
Mitch Manker & His Brass Section   Trumpet,Horn
Neville Marriner   Conductor
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Bela Banfalvi   Conductor
Adám Medveczky   Conductor
Helmut Winschermann   Conductor,Soloist
Roy Shakked   Piano
Budapest Strings   Ensemble
German Bach Soloists   Ensemble
Rithma   Track Performer
Tao of Groove   Ensemble,Track Performer
Jesse Stern   Fretless Bass Guitar
Jenö Jandó   Piano
Hans Vonk   Conductor
Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Evelyne Dubourg   Piano
Kathie Talbot   Track Performer
Jazzelicious   Track Performer
Morgan Page   Track Performer
Zigo   Track Performer
Dakesh York   Track Performer
Hungarian State Opera Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Zoltan Tokos   Guitar
Adam Fischer   Conductor
Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Martin Haselböck   Conductor
Hungarian State Opera Chorus   Choir, Chorus
Wiener Akademie Orchester   Performing Ensemble
Jared Faber   Ensemble
D.   Track Performer
James Sandor   Conductor
J-Radical   Track Performer
Tangarine D'or   Track Performer
Mitch Manker   Trumpet,Horn
Sarah O'Brien   Cello
Hugo Distler Choir   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Ludwig van Beethoven   Composer
Edvard Grieg   Composer
Giacomo Puccini   Composer
Maurice Ravel   Composer
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov   Composer
Joaquín Rodrigo   Composer
Franz Schubert   Composer
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky   Composer
Johann Sebastian Bach   Composer
David Armitage   Producer
Roy Shakked   Producer,String Arrangements,Remixing,Concept,Melody Arrangement
Jared "Blind Lemon" Faber   Producer
Etienne Stehelin   Producer,Remixing
Kathie Talbot   Producer,Remixing
Jazzelicious   Producer,Remixing
Morgan Page   Producer,Remixing
Zigo   Producer,Remixing
Dakesh York   Producer,Remixing
D.   Producer,Remixing

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