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TRACK LIST: 1. The Adoration of the Earth 14:51 2. The Sacrifice 16:36 Composed by Igor Stravinsky in 1913. Arranged by John Ringer in 2003. SOLO PILOT: John Ringer - electric guitar & bass; percussion Produced & engineered by Ringer. Mastered by H. Brooks.
Prolusion. "The Rite of Spring" by the famous Russian composer Igor Stravinsky is widely regarded as one of the most important musical works of 20th century. Subtitled as "Concerto for guitar, bass, and percussion", John Ringer's rendition of "The Rite of Spring" is his debut on a progressive scene. The CD is available online directly from John and at CD-Baby (check Related Links below the review).
Synopsis. Well, one of the most brilliant and innovative works of Classical Academic Music rearranged and performed by dints of guitar Art-Rock and Prog-Metal. Those of you dear readers who, like me, love >Mekong Delta's amazing interpretation of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", which I find even better than that done by ELP, will certainly want this album by John Ringer. There is much in common between these two, or, to be precise, between John's effort and the first version of "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mekong Delta, which, unlike the second one, was performed without orchestra (both are presented on one 71-minute CD). Don't be confused by of the fact that this is a one-man project. The album has a full-band sound, which is practically as dense and 'convincing' as that on the first half of the CD by the German popularizers of Russian classics, where they appear as a trio. John doesn't play an acoustic guitar on this recording, but there are a lot of solos that sound much like those of the said instrument, which is because the musician sometimes doesn't use any guitar pedals but "Delay" or, maybe, "Compressor". The parts of drums are also extremely complex and virtuosi, and while listening to them, I wondered whether it's possible to tune up a drum machine in such a way that it would sound like a big electric drum kit with a highly-skilled drummer behind it. Some 'real' electric guitar solos are so unusual that I wouldn't dare to even try to describe them. Generally, the music is so extraordinary, impressive, etc (a lot of the other positive epithets follow here) that, in my honest opinion, no true connoisseur of Prog will remain indifferent about it.
Conclusion. John's unique approach to transforming the classic, "The Rite of Spring", into the work of Progressive Rock, may be used as a training aid for the musicians moving in the same direction in their creation and making Academic Music-related works accessible for a wider audience. Which is an essential stage for any Prog-head in the further comprehension of more and more complex forms of progressive music, right up to a dodecaphony and the other manifestations of Avant-garde Academic Music, which, though, still have to be discovered. Recommended.
VM: March 22, 2004
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