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Ekseption - Air CD (album) cover



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4 stars This single, in its original Mono release in October 1969, had two very good musical pieces arranged by Ekseption (as is credited in the original single`s labels, although in some compilations the credit for both arrangements was for Rick van der Linden, the keyboards player of the band). With their very characteristic use of piano, organ, harpsichord and mellotron, "Air" (or also titled "Aria" in some compilations) is one of the best arrangements for a classical music theme that the band recorded, being this time a composition by J.S. Bach. The band really played very well most of the musical pieces that they recorded from Bach, and I think that he was one of their favourite composers because they recorded several arrangements of his compositions (this even happened after van der Linden left the band in 1973). "Air" has very good keyboard solos (piano and harpsichord) and in general all the members of the band played very well. With "Siciliano" (also from Bach but recorded in 1972) and "Ave Maria" (by Bach and Goundod and recorded in 1971) "Air" is one of my favourite musical arrangements from Ekseption. I don`t know if it was a hit in Holland and in Europe, but "Air" even was released in my country in a Mono E.P. in 1969 which also had "The Fiftth", "Sabre Dance" and "Ritual Fire Dance", all from their first album which maybe also was released then in my country (my late father only bought the E.P. then and maybe "The Fifth" was played in the radio in my country because he maybe listened to it then and later bought the E.P.).

"Concerto", in the B-side of the original single from 1969, at that time was only released as a B-side of this single, and it is also a very good arrangement from an excerpt fo Tchaikovsky`s first piano concerto which also includes some excerpts from other musical works by other composers. It even has a brief guitar solo. This musical piece was released in their second album titled "Beggar Julia`s Time Trip" in 1970, and due to the inclusion of a guitar solo one can think that it really was recorded with the line-up of their first album (which had two part-time guitarists who also played wind instruments) but was not released in their first and self-titled album from 1969.

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Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Review Permalink

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