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Anthony Phillips - Anthony Phillips & Harry Williamson: Tarka CD (album) cover

ANTHONY PHILLIPS & HARRY WILLIAMSON: TARKA

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

3.49 | 50 ratings

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proghaven
5 stars A realm of beauty. Fifty minutes of joy. Fantastic in any respect. Besides that, the album is a unique example of a crossover genre which must be considered innovative.

The history of concerto for an instrument and orchestra started more than two centuries ago. Concerti for piano, violin, viola, cello, even contrabass, flute or French horn and orchestra are wide known and quite habitual. The rock era brought concerto for group and orchestra (though Lord's first and only experiment never developed into a tendency and still remains one-of-a-kind). But, at least to my knowledge, there was no concerto for acoustic guitar and symphonic orchestra before Anthony Phillips and Harry Williamson. Their Tarka was the first ever.

Though maybe it should be better classified as a hybrid of concerto for guitar and orchestra and symphonic poem, due to not so leading role of acoustic guitar which is totally missing in Movement Three; apart from that, Tarka is structured not quite according to the classical model by Haydn and Mozart. Movement One is not an allegro, Movement Two is slow but neither aria-like nor divided into three parts. Only Movement Three meets the classical requirements being a theme with variations in fast tempo. In addition, there's a sort of post scriptum in the end, The Anthem, a slow composition of 'song without words' type.

So, Tarka is a derivative version of concerto, with atypical soloing instrument (acoustic guitar), strong elements of symphonic poem, and symphonic orchestra playing what a rock band should rather play (some moments of Movement Two and Movement Three). I don't know who of the two authors (Phillips or Williamson) played major role as composer and arranger, but anyway the result is top.

proghaven | 5/5 |

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