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Millennial Support Group

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Karen Bespalov
Karen Bespalov

London Symphony Orchestra - Tommy-The Rock Opera 2009.rar.rar ((FREE))


Prokofiev's orchestral children's story was once very popular with schoolchildren and recounts a young boy named Peter and his animal friends who spent a day by his grandfather's pond when a wolf attacks him however Peter outsmarts the wolf with the help of his cunning bird friend and captures the wolf which ultimately ended up in a zoo. The music is roughly based on the original score but mostly is interpreted in a funky jazz-fusion style of progressive rock.This 1975 release featured a prog rock interpretation of this tale with an amazing all start cast that included Jack Lancaster, Bill Bruford, Gary Brooker, Julie Tippett, Keith Tippett, Stephane Grappelli, Brian Eno, Alvin Lee, Gary Moore, Cozy Powell and Manfred Man amongst others. The album is probably most famous for featuring all the members of what would become the first lineup of Brand X which included Phil Collins, John Goodsall, Percy Jones, Jack Lancaster and Robert Lumley.Due to the narration parts of Viv Stanshall which loosely recounts the tale in spoken words and then interpreted by the musicians, the album was released in several languages therefore in Germany the album was released as "Peter und der Wolf," in France "Pierre et le Loup," etc. The album very much comes off as some sort of rock opera with most tracks sounding like the early formations of Brand X only in an easier to digest funk fueled style of jazz-fusion in the vein of Herbie Hancock's "Headhunter" however a few tracks are more of their original classical styled presentation. "Rock and Roll Celebration" is very much the standout and sounds more like an Electric Light Orchestra tune in the vein of the early years such as "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle."While an interesting quirk of the gift that never stops giving 1970s, in the end this version of PETER AND THE WOLF is a pleasant little album that features some top notch musicians delivering the goods but also doesn't feel like it reaches it potential. In other words this is an idea that is loftier than its final results. While not bad in any way, it just feels like the album should've been crafted better. To my ears the whole thing sounds a bit monotonous and i'm not sure why funky jazz-rock was deemed the appropriate musical style to convey the story since it is not nearly as all-encompassing on the emotional spectrum as the traditional classical score. While hardly something to shell out large amounts of money which may be tempting since the original vinyl featured a 12-page illustrated booklet with the story text, from a musical point of view this comes off as competent and engaging but rather incomplete at the same time.The Cast: - Narrator / Vivian Stnshall - Peter / Manfred Mann - Bird / Gary Brooker - Duck / Chris Spedding - Duck / Gary Moore - Cat / Stephane Grappelli - Wolf / Brian Eno - Pond / Keith Tippett - Grandfather / Jack Lancaster - Hunters / Jon Hiseman, Bill Bruford, Cozy Powell, Phil Collins Additional Musicians: - John Goodsall, Pete Haywood, Alvin Lee / guitars - Percy Jones, Andy Pyle, Dave Marquee / bass - Robin Lumley / keyboards - Cozy Powell & Phil Collins / drums - Bernie Frost, Julie Tippetts, The English Chorale / vocals3.5 rounded down social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Saturday, December 18, 2021 Review this album Report (Review #2653365)




London Symphony Orchestra - Tommy-The Rock Opera 2009.rar.rar



As a huge fan of Ayreon, Avantasia, Kompendium, and Nikolo Kotzev's Nostradamus, I am a sucker for this type of multi-singer productions, so I was really looking forward to sinking my teeth in Gardner's magnum opus. Alas, although there were a couple of tasteful bites here and there throughout the 63+ minutes of the album, overall the experience left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. Given the quality of the line-up, there is obviously nothing wrong with the musicians' performances, which are all of high quality. The music itself is also generally pleasant. Unsurprisingly given that Gardner is the project's mastermind, the songs are very much keyboard-driven and filled with lush and spacious orchestral arrangements, but they do not lack bite and the music can rock too, when necessary. This gives the album an overall musical-like flavour, which I find suitable for this type of productions. However, differently from many Broadway musicals, the music here is much more complex, both in terms of songwriting and arrangements. Gardner often chooses the untrodden path when it comes to deciding how his compositions should progress, although at times he can also let the music open up into beautiful melodies, like on the chorus of "Reins of Tuscan", on the soulful ballad "Mona Lisa", on the grandiose "First Commission" and "This Time, This Way", and the initial part of the piano-driven ballad "Shaping the Invisible". Sometimes, however, there is a sense of over-indulgence in the sheer amount of technical complexity and cleverly-constructed arrangements that permeate the 18 songs of the album. I have the impression that, by trying to showcase his progressive chops, Gardner at time completely lost sight of the song itself, leading to overly difficult episodes such as "Apprentice", "Inventions" or - perhaps the most notable example - the second-half of "Shaping the Invisible", a song that starts beautifully with a soulful performance by LaBrie accompanied by the piano, before progressing to a dreadful, messy crescendo that approaches cacophony, completely ruining the atmosphere of the song. I was also mildly disappointed by the vocal parts. It is not about the singers' performances per se, which are all good (special praise goes to LaBrie, Walsh and the two female singers Michelle Young and Lisa Bouchelle). Rather, my issue is about the way the vocal parts integrate with the music. There are two problems, in my view. First, as with the musical background (and perhaps because of it), I sometimes felt that the vocal melodies were overly difficult, sacrificing immediacy and euphony in favour of technicality ("Heart of France", "Apprentice"). Second, many of the singers involved in the project have a rather similar timbre and it is really hard to tell them apart. This is a major shortcoming, in my opinion, as one of the things I appreciate the most in this type of multi-singer projects is the variety of the vocal performances. This is almost completely lost here, with only Steve Walsh possessing a distinctive timbre that sets him apart from the rest of the male vocalists. In truth, Leonardo feels a lot like a LaBrie-dominated project, with many other singers that sound a lot like LaBrie extras. Overall, although there are a few moments of brilliance (above all, the two male-female duets "First Commission" and "This Time, This Way"), Leonardo was a mildly disappointing release for me, with too many dull moments and shortcomings. If you, like me, are a fan of multi-singer rock/metal operas, it may still be worth to give this album a try, as the objective quality of the musicians involved is high and there are a few standout episodes here and there throughout the 60+ minutes of the record. However, anyone else would do better by trying some of the other rock/metal operas that exist out there, like anything by Ayreon or, if you want something less metal, the awesome Nostradamus record by Nikolo Kotzev. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Saturday, July 31, 2021 Review this album Report (Review #2582453)


Degrees:D.M.A. - University of North TexasM.M. - Southern Methodist UniversityBTech - Tshwane University of Technology, RSACourses Taught:Applied VoiceVoice ClassMusic HistoryMusic Theory (Aural)Christian Bester made his professional debut as Schaunard in La Boh me for Pro Musica Theater in South Africa in 2005. European performances include the role of Zaremba in Nedbal's Polen Blut for Americke Jaro Festival in the Czech Republic, Papageno and Armed Man in Die Zauberfl te for Amalfi Coast Festival in Italy. Other favorite opera and operetta roles include: Robert Schumann in Clara, King Pellinore, King Arthur (understudy) in Camelot, Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Belcore in L'elisir d'amore, Marcello in La Boh me, Germont in La Traviata, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Bob in Old Maid and the Thief, Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte, Escamillo in Carmen, Prince Moritz Popolescu in Countess Maritza, Basil in Der Graf von Luxemburg, Gianni Schicchi and Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, among others. A recent concert tour through South Africa included performances at: National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, Unisa Foundation Concert Series, Hermanus FynArts Festival, Stellenbosch University Concert Series, Friend of Music Society in Durban, and University of North West Concert Series. As a soloist Dr. Bester recently partook in Songfest, the prestigious Van Cliburn Concert Series as well as Texas Christian University's Festival of American Song, featuring songs of American composer Ricky Ian Gordon. Other concert series include: Santa Fe Concert Association Concert Series, singing the role of the King [no.7] in Conrad Susa's opera Transformations; East Dallas Christian Church Concert Series, and Lovers Lane United Methodist Concert Series. Dr. Bester was a member of the Emerging Artists for Dallas Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera's Young Artist Program, and Ash Lawn Opera's Young Artist Program. Dr. Bester, a sought-after soloist with symphony orchestras, recently collaborated with Fort Worth Symphony, Manitowoc Symphony Orchestra, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Allen Philharmonic Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra League, UNT Symphony Orchestra, and Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Concert work includes: Mark Hayes's Requiem, Brahm's Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Schubert Mass, Faur's Requiem, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Tippett's A Child of our Time.As a recitalist, Dr. Bester frequently performs throughout the United States, Australia, Wales, and South Africa. In addition to performing, Dr. Bester maintains an active teaching and researching career. Dr. Bester recently presented at the NATS National Conference in Las Vegas, the Sixth Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities in Japan, as well as at the Texoma Regional Conference in Kingwood. Further, his article Pauline Bredelli South Africa's Elusive First Prima Donna, was published in the Journal of Musical Arts in Africa (JMAA). Dr. Bester's students repeatedly place at Texoma NATS and DFW Chapter NATS. Dr. Bester has served Visiting Assistant Professor of Voice at Lawrence University, the UW Oshkosh, and Baylor University. Currently, Dr. Bester serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah Oklahoma. Dr. Bester holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, along with the Artist Certificate from the University of North Texas. The Master of Music degree in Voice, he received from Southern Methodist University, and the Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Tshwane University of Technology.


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