Various Dead Guys + Young Guys
This disc should be emblazoned with a photograph of a dumbbell, it’s so laden with irony. The concept of taking well-known classical music and setting it to a dance beat is not new — I’m thinking of Walter Murphy’s disco-era hit “A Fifth Of Beethoven” here — but it’s interesting to hear how the approach changes over time.
On Masterworks Reworked, we are treated to interpretations of such instantly recognizable compositions as Ravel’s “Bolero” (by Jazzalicious), Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” (Dakesh York) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee (J-Radical). More interesting are the slightly obscure choices from Dvorak (Symphony No. 9, Morgan Page) and Grieg (“Anita’s Dance,” Kathie Talbot). Puccini’s “Nessum Dorma” is given a twist, as Turandot‘s Prince does vocal battle with rapper Two B. — not exactly what you’d expect to hear in the midst of one of the most dramatic opera pieces ever, but interesting in its own right.
This isn’t exactly what I’d consider a good way to expose yourself to classical music. For one, anchoring these compositions to a digital beat robs them of the subtle shifts in cadence and tempo that a real orchestra can achieve. For another, abbreviating these to a maximum of six minutes and change required some serious surgery to their arrangements. However, as something to put in the background to accompany candlelight, it’s perfect.
Groove Gravy Records: www.groovegravy.com