Banks: Six Pieces for Orchestra
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Throughout 2009 Charlie Siem's reputation as one of the brightest new classical artists grew with prestigious concerts in Paris, London, Oslo, Bergen and Basel. He has since enjoyed a very successful career, appearing with major orchestras and at festivals around the world. Martin Robertson began his solo career in 1986, and has since performed as a soloist with the Berlin, Los Angeles and London Philharmonic Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
responsible for writing most of the band's material. He developed a
career in film scoring beginning in the 1970's, and after the turn of
the century he also turned his attention to writing purely orchestral
music. Six Pieces for Orchestra, released in 2012, is his second
orchestral album, the first being Seven: A Suite for Orchestra, from
2004. Here Banks is joined by composer and conductor Paul Englishby,
who contributed to the pieces' development and orchestrated them.
Banks' evocatively-titled works are melodic and warmly Neo-Romantic,
with a broad, cinematic sweep. Violinist Charlie Siem and alto sax
player Martin Robertson each have a track on which they're featured
soloists. Englishby conducts the City of Prague Philharmonic on this
Naxos release. --AllMusic, Stephen Eddins
Over the 40+ year career of the band Genesis, members of the British progressive rock group have crossed over into other endeavors with great success. Former singer Peter Gabriel is a rock icon, who does much to popularize world music. Phil Collins plays big-band jazz and, (like Mr. Gabriel) enjoyed a chart-topping solo career. Recently, keyboardist Tony Banks, a life-long (and founding) member of the group, has successfully launched his career as a composer of classical music.
'In Genesis, in the early days we played with form a lot more,' he says in a telephone interview with Superconductor. 'In the later years we were writing more conventionally in terms of how the songs were structured.'
Mr. Banks has a new CD out. Six Pieces for Orchestra is his second venture into the classical stratosphere, a collection of orchestral instrumentals and 'songs without words.' He adds, 'I wanted to throw all structure out the window.' --super-conductor.blogspot.com, Paul Pelkonen
Top Customer Reviews
Thankfully, Tony Banks has returned this year with "Six Pieces for Orchestra", which, as the title suggests, has one less composition than its predecessor. Banks joked recently that if he hangs around long enough he might just make it to Zero. Jocularity aside, "Six" happens to be even more musically adventurous than its predecessor. Banks' compositional style outside of classical often involves unique chords and complex arrangements. With "Seven," when he applied these complexities, he noted that often the results, while pleasing, were more straightforward than he had expected. As a result, with "Six", he decided that he could take the orchestra even further compositionally, which results in a more adventurous result on every track. The orchestra turns out to be the perfect palette for Banks, and the end performance on this album is directly from his composition and not the expansive musings of an orchestrator vigorously extrapolating a simple melody (which is unfortunately a frequent occurrence for many crossovers into the classical genre).Read more ›
The album opens with the most melodic and interesting work of the six. In "Siren," Banks employs saxophonist Martin Robertson (who has actually recorded sax on some of Banks' solo albums) to handle soloist duties. Robertson's solo playing is very well paced and nicely compliments the orchestra. I call it the most interesting work because it seems alto sax (or indeed any sax) is largely overlooked in classical music. It was nice to hear it front and center in this work.
The other work for soloist on the album is "Blade," featuring violinist Charlie Siems. While this up-and-coming musician is largely known to British audiences, Siems playing on this work is very impressive indeed, and should be a fine introduction to an American audience. The crashing chord at the beginning of this work certainly catches your attention, anticipating greater things to come, and Siems does not disappoint. Banks notes in his liner notes "Blade" could have worked as a rock song. While there are hints of that flavor present, the piece still holds up nicely as classical fare.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another set of fantastic pieces by Banks. If you enjoyed Seven, you'll find this enjoyable as well.Published 12 months ago by Zubair Aslam
Very pleased with delivery and disc. Ordered Seven Pieces For Orchestera.Published 13 months ago by musicman
Heard about Tony's classical compositions from the Genesis documentary. Wonderful music!!Published 13 months ago by Nich Anthony
Genesis' keyboardist Tony Banks has his second go with an orchestra on Six Pieces for Orchestra. He has grown from his experience from the previous release Seven. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Robert Fitzgerald
Mostly forgettable. Very bland. Competently enough orchestrated and performed, but it really didn't speak to me in any kind of emotional way.Published on July 5, 2013 by Treb Orf
After hearing "Sirens" on the air (WGBH/Boston), I searched for and found this album. I'm not a student of classical music, but I did enjoy this album thoroughly. Read morePublished on March 25, 2013 by Greg G.
Tony Banks did not disappoint with his latest orchestral work. His success as a writer already speaks for itself with Genesis. Read morePublished on January 23, 2013 by Daniel Vitco
To me, this was not as good as "7", which I thought was more "classical". Perhaps I should not have expected more of the same. Read morePublished on September 29, 2012 by wdhspg
I've been a big fan of Genesis since I was a young kid, many, many years ago. I always thought Tony Banks was THE sound of Genesis. Read morePublished on July 21, 2012 by Martin-Francois Parent