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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace (DVD) CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 59 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Long live King Rick

Something I accepted with hesitation is the new image of RICK WAKEMAN in his DVD'S, of course his musical performances were always impeccable and even the new arrangements were good enough, but there was something missing, when playing with the ENGLISH ROCK ENSSEMLE, his music was too Rock oriented, loosing that Baroque atmosphere I enjoyed so much, and the piano DVD's were correct, but I always missed his excesses and the pomp his first releases had.

Well, "The Six Wives of Henry VIII - Live at Hampton Court Palace" is not only Rick's dream made real, but the dream of every long time fan. From the moment I saw him entering to the Palace court dressed with a royal cape, followed by six women in the role of Henry's wives, I knew the Cape Crusader was back, of course looks older, more calmed, but it was a trip to the 70's and at last the chance to see a concert with all the abusive exuberance he displayed almost four decades ago.

The music is simply delightful, he managed to keep the original spirit of the album but at the same time make some additions that don't affect the atmosphere we all expect from his masterpiece.

The new songs like "Henry's Fanfare" and "Tudorock" could easily have been part of the original album, but the best moments are when he plays "Kathryn Howard" and Jane Seymour", just perfect as in his best days.

His performance of Jane Seymour on a Church Organ, (placed on a higher level because the pipes and tubes usually go in the basement of the churches) is simply delightful, and the moment when he changes the red for the famous golden cape is a touch of nostalgia from the original album's photo.

As usual, THE ENGLISH ROCK ENSEMBLE, THE ENGLISH CHAMBER CHOIR and THE ORCHESTRA EUROPE conducted by Guy Protheroe, were perfect for the show, and the general atmosphere was incredible, everything was almost perfect.

And I say almost perfect because RICK has always selected great narrators, David Hemmings of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" was extremely correct and Patrick Stewart in "Return to the Centre of the Earth" even better, but the veteran actor Brian Blessed was a mistake, a good narrator enhances the story, doesn't steal the show, and this guy with his jokes and shouts kills the atmosphere.....thanks God for the skip button.

If it wasn't for the narration, I would had gone with 5 stars, but I will have to go only with 4, due to the fact that because Mr. Blessed, it's no longer a perfect masterpiece.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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