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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Queen Symphony
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
I bought this cd after hearing excerpts from it on the radio. I do not regret doing so, I am a long time fan of Queen and this symphony based around some of their best works is superb. It is not a direct copy of their music, it is more like variations on the theme of the originals.
Some of the movements are a little strident perhaps, but these only serve to make the listener sit up and take notice. Plus the vocal elements are quite beautiful and are haunting in their intensity.
If you are a fan of Queen's music or just like classical style music that is a little bit different then you will enjoy this album for many years to come.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 14 January 2003
If you are a fan of Queen and Classical music then this is for you. Beautifully orchestrated it brings the music by Queen into a whole new dimention. If you were a fan of the music before you'll experience it in a whole new light whether a fan of classical music or not.
It was given as a Christmas present and enjoyed by all.
Superb!!
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Relaxing on Saturday night, I wanted something different in the way of classical music and picked this work up on a whim.
Oh, am I so glad I had that whim.....
As an out and out Queen fan, I could not fail to love the work if only for the itself, but the reworking of these long known melodies was masterful, superb,fantastic... the adjectives become less easy to find.
I heard Borodin, Bizet, Wagner,Mozart and Handel in this work - superbly reworked using the original Queen scores, Kashif has produced a classic that will surely become a Rock lover's clasic.
The music runs parallel with Queen's own work, but it interweaves with the most emotive and best known styles and musical phraseology known and worshiped by classic purists.
My suggestion? Buy this work, pour a large measure of something gold and glinting, and travel away into a world where music certainly is the food of love.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2002
As Queen's Brian May says in the liner notes "Anyone who's expecting to hear mere orchestral arrangements of Queen songs is in for a big shock!!!" Kashif's composition is a symphony in six movements based on thirteen of Queen's songs... in a rather more complex way than the Track Listings here suggests. Here's a full breakdown:
- I. Adagio misterioso - Allegro con brio - Maestoso - Misterioso - Allegro (Radio Ga Ga - The Show Must Go On - One Vision - I Was Born To Love You)
- II. Allegretto - Allegro scherzando - Tranquillo (Love Of My Life - Another One Bites The Dust - Killer Queen)
- III. Adagio (Who Wants To Live Forever - Save Me)
- IV. Allegro vivo - Moderato cantabile - Cadenza - A tempo primo (Bicycle Race - Save Me)
- V. Andante doloroso - Allegretto - Alla marcia - Moderato risoluto - Pastorale - Maestoso (Bohemian Rhapsody - We Will Rock You - We Are The Champions - Who Wants To Live Forever)
- VI. Andante sostenuto (We Are The Champions - Bohemian Rhapsody - Who Wants To Live Forever)
(Sometimes the source is obvious; sometimes obscure!)
I've been a Queen fan at least since my eighteenth birthday when I was given a copy of "Jazz" (represented here by 'Bicycle Race') . I have all their studio albums. I know many of the songs pretty well. So it's difficult to come to this work and review it on its own merits.
In fact it can be quite frustrating that the melodies often don't develop as you expect them to, or suddenly segue into a different song altogether. But that's why this is different from previous "mere orchestral arrangements". And the more you listen to this work, the more it takes on its own identity.
The first movement takes the "All we hear is radio ga ga" phrase from Roger Taylor's 1984 song, but the melody that first emerges is from Freddie Mercury's 1991 'The Show Must Go On' - a very poignant piece foreshadowing Mercury's death later that year and one that lends itself to an orchestral treatment. The movement ends on a more optimistic note with the melody from Mercury's 'I Was Born To Love You' (from his solo album, and re-worked as a Queen song after his death for the "Made In Heaven" album). This reminded me of early Sibelius... "Kullervo", perhaps?
The second movement starts with Mercury's 1975 'Love Of My Life' with a harp carrying the melody, rather more up tempo than the Queen and Extreme/May versions. Motifs from John Deacon's 1980 'Another One Bites The Dust' and Mercury's 1973 'Killer Queen' intrude in brash opposition... reminiscent of Strawinsky's "The Rite of Spring".
The third movement is a faithful development of May's 1986 'Who Wants To Live Forever' from the soundtrack for "The Highlander". This was (partly) an orchestral piece from the beginning, arranged by May and Michael Kamen, and performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Here violin and cello share the haunting melody.
The fourth movement is perhaps the most interesting, a frenzied development Mercury's 1978 'Bicycle Race' with piano and brass in a style reminiscent of Gershwin's "Prelude for Piano no. 2" or Berstein's "Symphonic Dances...". May's 1980 'Save Me' provides the calmer moderato.
The fifth movement starts with Mercury's 1975 'Bohemian Rhapsody', following the piano introduction and "operatic" segment fairly faithfully. In place of the "heavy rock" segment, Kashif rather abruptly brings in May's 1979 'We Will Rock You' on timpani, then returns to the final piano segment before seguing to a subtle interpretation of Mercury's anthemic 1979 'We Are The Champions'.
The final movement carries on directly from the fifth, inteweaving the three main melodies from '... Champions', '... Rhapsody', and '... Forever'.
Does it succeed as a symphony? A "a usually long and complex musical composition for symphony orchestra typically of three or four movements in contrasting forms and keys"? Brian May says "It breaks most of the 'rules' of symphonic form." To my mind, it is more a suite than a symphony, perhaps most like Bernstein's "Symphonic Dances from 'West Side Story'". Perhaps it would be best described as a "symphonic suite".
Nevertheless, I think Kashif can be commended for rising to the challenge.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 20 March 2003
After Freddie Mercury's death,Queen has accomplished many projects and Queen Symphony is the latest of all.Contrary to what a person might expect,Queen Symphony is something extraordinary.Tolga Kashif takes you to a world where you cannot even image what's going to be next.I really loved the DVD and I wish I were at the concert.Besides the special footage the DVD also has the audio versions of the songs.Queen will live forever in our hearts.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2005
This album has been exceptionally created based on the one and only band which, in my opinion, truly keeps on living thought the decades it has been created.
Once again, 'refitted' to the classical aspect of music, it blends beautifully with the themes selected and mastered by Tolga Kashif.
For me being not such an enthusiast for classical music (only liking the great composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Straus etc.) it was an album which managed to give me Goosebumps when hearing such music featuring the greatest ever hits composed by Freddie and Queen.
A real album any Queen fan and Classical music lover should buy, and make treasure of.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2007
Listening to most late 20th century makes me feel either entertained or bored. Listening to the music of Queen is an entirely different sensation. It's the one I get when I listen to classical music. This is best listened to without the "spot the tune" attitude, though for most Queen fans this is fairly impossible! Instead, it's best to submerge in the glorious music that has been woven from the unique and splendid creations of Freddie Mercury et al as though it is entirely unconnected to modern music. If you have a real appreciation of the subtleties of classical music then you will admire just how much has been done to the songs. Each phrase is not quite the same as you will remember, and I've come to love that.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2002
Whether you are alover of Queens music or not, this collection is breathtaking, thoroughly enjoyable. The first movement in particular is excellent, I would highly recommend this CD to anybody and everybody. Queen fans will love it as well as neutrals. If you enjoy both Queen and classical music as I do, then this is perfect. Top Dog!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2004
The Queen Symphony by Kashif is a superb interpretation of Queen's larger than life musical creations. Kashif stays true to the sprit of Queen's music, although he is composing it in a classical format rather than a rock format. However the music loses nothing by this transposition: in fact it gives the music added dimensions. I would thoroughly recommend this CD. The third movement of "Who Wants to LIve Forever", from the score of Highlander, is my particular favourite track. It's a beautiful poignant track which has the power to move me deeply.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 14 August 2008
I heard a snatch of the Queen Symphony on Classic FM and bought it as soon as I could afterwards. I realised that it would not be a simply re-playing of the music of Queen by a 'big band'... otherwise I wouldn't have bothered.
I agree with another reviewer that at times the piece is a little strident - the piano and forte are difficult to control effectively in a fast moving car.
I wasn't sure about the piece, to be truthful, on first hearing. However, after three or four plays, I am totally sold. An excellent composition with some stunningly moving parts.
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