Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Baroque Beatles Book
Genres: Pop, Classical
Musiciologist-conductor-pianist Joshua Rifkin's The Baroque Beatles Book is a milestone from the early days of Nonesuch Records. It began as a marketing concept-cum-youthful prank: How about writing Baroque-era arrangement... more »
Musiciologist-conductor-pianist Joshua Rifkin's The Baroque Beatles Book is a milestone from the early days of Nonesuch Records. It began as a marketing concept-cum-youthful prank: How about writing Baroque-era arrangements of the Fab Four's Top 40 hits,as if Lennon & McCartney were contemporaries of Bach & Handel? Beatlemania and the Baroque were both in fashion with their respective audiences, and the disc became a crossover hit at the height of the 1965 holiday season. But The Baroque Beatles Book was no mere novelty item; over the years it has gained downright legendary status among Beatles fans, classical enthusiasts and those who have followed the remarkable evolution of the Nonesuch label. Newsweek declared the collection 'inspired'; the Boston Globe called it 'brilliant.'
William Sommerwerck | Renton, WA USA | 02/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was not quite ready for classical music when "The Baroque Beatles Book" was released. The bits of it I heard made no sense to me, not having the background needed either to appreciate them, or simply laugh.
Rifkin did a first-rate job transposing Lennon/McCartney across two centuries. It's more than merely "professional" -- it verges on inspired. This is not a sloppy spoof, but a carefully constructed pastiche.
Nonesuch had initially wanted Peter Schickele -- who'd already made his mark discovering the long-forgotten works of P D Q Bach -- but he was busy with other projects. Schickele might have done a "better" job, in the sense of creating a greater sense of parody, in both directions. (He certainly would have gone for more-obvious humor.) We will never know.
I should warn audiophiles that the sound is not so hot, even by the standards of 1965. It is overly dry, and seems to have been clumsily multimiked. Some sections are so bad that they sound like mediocre late-40s recordings (but in stereo). And I need not add that, not only did Nonesuch wait 20 years too long to reissue this recording on CD, but their charging full price is unforgiveable. It is yet another example of Nonesuch's failure to properly exploit its outstanding catalog."