Search - Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, Claude Debussy :: Firebird Suite

Firebird Suite
Bela Bartok, Aaron Copland, Claude Debussy
Firebird Suite
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

This astonishing work turned the steel guitar community on its ear when it was released in 1997. It features early 20th century classical works with a U-12 pedal steel playing most of the parts. Tracks include: — 1. Fanfare...  more »

      
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Product Description
This astonishing work turned the steel guitar community on its ear when it was released in 1997. It features early 20th century classical works with a U-12 pedal steel playing most of the parts. Tracks include:

1. Fanfare for the Common Man (Copland)
2. Prelude No. 2 (Gershwin)
3. New Year's Song No. 4 (Bartòk)
4. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Debussy)
5. Le Petit Nègre (Debussy)
6. Gymnopèdies No. 1 (Satie)
7. Polka (Shostakovich)
8. The Maid with the Flaxen Hair (Debussy)
9. Firebird Suite (Stravinsky)
10. Good-bye Pork Pie Hat (Mingus)
 

CD Reviews

Classical Pedal Steel Masterpiece
Bob Lee | Cloverdale, CA USA | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Mike Perlowin's landmark recording has been controversial in the steel guitar world since the day it was released. Those who consider the pedal steel a country & western instrument are outraged by the selection of classical material. But Perlowin is a great player, and this multilayered studio wizardry may well become the benchmark by which all future classical pedal steel recordings are judged.

There is not one country steel "lick" on this CD. Instead, the listener is treated to unusual arrangements of familiar pieces picked carefully from the modern classical repertoire.

The title track, "Firebird Suite", places most of the orchestral instruments as various timbres of the pedal steel. Some of the voices sound like an electronic synthesizer. The density of this pedal steel layering rivals that of a live symphony orchestra. The effect is quite striking.

In contrast, some of the pieces are arranged to highlight the simple beauty of the instrument. For example, Debussy's popular "Maid with the Flaxen Hair" is played as a strightforward pedal steel duet. It's wonderful to hear some of the world's greatest music arranged properly for this unusual instrument.

Perlowin makes careful, studied use of the pedal steel's characteristic glissando effect. He takes the view that the composers would probably have added glisses to their melodies if they had been writing for the pedal steel. I'm not sure I would agree, but since Perlowin's arrangements remain faithful to the spirit of the compositions I can forgive his enthusiasm.

I give this CD a 5 star rating. It belongs in the collection of every modern classical music fan, and every musician. It effectively breaks the pedal steel stereotype. It also refutes the traditionalist notion that music must be "live" to be listenable. I carry this CD in my car and listen to it often. I can't recommend it highly enough.

I notice that Amazons' description didn't include the track list, so here it is:

1. Fanfare for the Common Man (Copland)
2. Prelude No. 2 (Gershwin)
3. New Year's Song No. 4 (Bartòk)
4. Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (Debussy)
5. Le Petit Nègre (Debussy)
6. Gymnopèdies No. 1 (Satie)
7. Polka (Shostakovich)
8. The Maid with the Flaxen Hair (Debussy)
9. Firebird Suite (Stravinsky)
10. Good-bye Pork Pie Hat (Mingus)"
A different experience
Tajalli Moonstar | USA | 06/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you let go of all expectations you may have for classical music and the interpretation of classical music you are in for a special treat. Mike Perlowin is a genius arranger and player of the Pedal Steel guitar and you can hear the passion he put into this outstanding one-of-a-kind recording project. It must have taken him years to record this album. Defenitely a collectors item!!! The original release is out of print, but fortunately it was reissued by Mike himself. Bravo Mike!!!"