Ray, you're really good, now stop trying so hard
Bertrand Stclair | new york, new york United States | 08/11/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Philip Glass and his reputation notwithstanding, this is quite dreadful, unless you do not know the original, or do not care for classical music. The best thing that can be said for it is that it is not a tortuous attempt at a place in "serious music" usually embarked upon by wanna-be's such as McCartney. In fact, it positively exudes genius: naturally, since it is one of the most famous masterpieces of the twentieth century, only by Carl Orff, not by Ray Manzarek. I don't believe that excellent adaptations are not possible, be it in music or theatre, but I do know that they are few and far between, and this is not one of them. Here and there, there are glimpses of what it might have been, if properly thought out: clear, atmospheric piano playing by Manzarek--whose abilities at the keyboard are not disputed--with very few frills around it; listen to "Sunrise," for example. However, when everybody kicks in, the derisive excesses of 60s prog rockers come to mind; Keith Emerson --remember him? -- was also a brilliant keyboardist, but what he did with his talent often sounded like a musical equivalent of Roy and His Tiger Stun Las Vegas. Fortunately, Manzarek never gets quite that awful. But he tries.
You could argue that Orff himself made a huge leap in tradition when he set seven hundred years-old (rather blasphemous) texts to what is essentially late romantic music, some of it very bombastic (you might recognize the opening theme from such Goth movies as Excalibur, where it fits very nicely). However, if good ideas were all it took, we'd all be richer. But you either hit the nail on the head or you don't: Orff did, Manzarek didn't.
This is the Philip Glassish version
Ronald L. Kline | Northumberland/Rehoboth Beach | 09/12/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One must realize members of the Philip Glass Emsemble are performimg here. True it has somewhat a disco feel at times. It is colorfull and upbeat. It has repetative framework that I think works well here. Because it follows closely to the original piece the Glass minimalism is incorporated within the music instead of controling it. I wished it had a bit darker and brooding soundscape and had say Fripplike guitar for example.( King Crimson- The Construction Of Light - to me that track sounds like Fripp meets Glass )Anyways, I managed to find this a few years ago on import after extensive searching. Now I see it is much more easily available. This was one of those albums I had that I was not happy till I found a cd version. Personally I love this."
Superspike | Melbourne, VIC AUSTRALIA | 02/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album is an excellent electronic rendition of Carl Orff's classic tale. Inspired keyboard work by Ray Manzarek, along with brilliant performances by the rest of the crew, make this cd well worth a listen!"