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Tony Banks - Seven - A Suite For Orchestra CD (album) cover


Tony Banks


Crossover Prog

2.75 | 74 ratings

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3 stars Being a professional of classical music, and an old-date Genesis fan at the same time, puts me in a difficult position in judging this work. Modern so-called "classical music" is in no way associated with what you can listen to in this issue. If I did not know it was by Mr. Banks I'd say it was by Rimsky-Korsakov, Prokofiev, Glinka, Waugham Williams, Michael Tippet or John Williams, from time to time. In a few words, it seems to have been written some one and a half century ago. No "classical" (if this term still means something) living musician would write music like that for an orchestra, except soundtrack authors. This does not mean it is worthless, it is just completely anachronistic. It would be embarrassing for any symphony orchestra to include this piece in a concert programme keeping Mr. Banks' true birth date. The only way would be to write in the concert sheet: Seven. Suite for Orchestra by Anthony Banks (1823 - 1911) hoping that no one in the audience would know his real career (and the things he did in the past, which I love so much). This piece is quite well written, even if somehow bombastic, and often very well orchestrated, following the principles explained in Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestration manual. And if the orchestration has been realized by Tony Banks and not from another musician, than I have to say that it shows a good craft I did not suspected. Furthermore Mr. Banks is (as we all know) a very talented melody thinker and gifted harmonist, but it takes much more than this to write something that can really say something new in the perspective of 500 years of "classical" music, or at least outstand a bit from the ocean of music composed until now. But maybe this was not his goal, however. In fact I cant get rid of the suspicion that Banks just wanted to play with a new toy, being now 50 and, I imagine, somewhat bored by the last 15 years of Genesis music, which, we have to admit it, is much less demanding (and less satisfactory to the ears) than the former one. It would have been much more interesting if he had turned his efforts to writing something real new, including electronics AND classical instrument, voices, lyrics, noises, even remaining in the field of iper-tonal music, like he did: that is something that nobody has made yet and it needs a sensibility for pop and rock culture that often academic composers simply do not have. Only Zappa made something similar, as far as I know, and his works have been perfomed by Boulez and his Ensemble Intercontemporain during the most academic occasions. All in all I'll wait for Bank's next work, hoping it will not be another historical novel.
| 3/5 |


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