rock versions of monumental works

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Introvox, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Introvox


    May 21, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    has any bands done rock versions of monumental works (classical) like symphonies or concertos?
  2. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    a lot of yngwie malmsteen's work has passages directly from bach, paganini, and vivaldi. He doesn't usually play the entire bach piece the whole way through note for note, but rather just uses part of a piece as a theme within the context of a related melody and song structure. If you want to hear someone playing bach note for note on electric guitar, Alex Masi has an album called In the Name of Bach. The Great Kat does abbreviated rock/guitar shred versions of famous classical pieces on her cds. Uli Jon Roth has done some arrangements of beethoven and mozart on his "trascendental sky guitar" album. Hopefully this is the type of stuff you were looking for, if not then let me know. This is one of my favorite genres of music.

    Actually, if someone knew of any bassists who were doing rock/shred versions of classical pieces I'd love to hear about that. I haven't heard nearly as much of that done on bass as I have on guitar, I'd be real interested in hearing it on bass.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    First thing that comes to mind is Emerson, Lake & Palmer doin' Mussorsky's Pictures At An Exhibition.
    I would think Rick Wakeman did something along those lines, too...I'm drawing a blank.

    A friend of mine is a pretty decent '70-style Rock guitarist that's into Classical + he reads pretty good, too.
    Anyway, he once played me something he arranged for 3 guitars, bass, & drums off some Classical score. I can't recall the exact piece but it was definitely well-played & well-conceived(total time = 3-4 minutes).
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    It usually winds up sounding like cheese. I remember Manuel Barrueco did a recording of duets called "Nylon and Steel" with a bunch of electric players (Steve Morse, Andy Summers, Al DiMeola) guesting. The less said about that one, the better.

    Stu Hamm includes impressive versions of Debussy's piano exercise "Dr. Gradus Ad Parnassum" and Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on his first CD. John Patitucci does a rendition of the Prelude from Bach's First Cello Suite on "Heart of the Bass."
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    When ELP did their take on Mussorsgky they skipped many of the sections of the piece, added lyrics and even tossed in sections they wrote themselves...all in all pretty well bastardized. Keith Emerson did a number of things like that over the years (both with the Nice and ELP) but "Pictures" was the largest scale piece he attempted.

    A few other prog bands dabbled in small scale classical adaptations (King Crismon did "Mars" from Holsts's "The Planets" for instance).

    There's an interesting recording done back in 1973 of Wiiliam Russo's "Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra - Op. 50" which matched the Siegel Schwall Blues Band with the SF Symphony conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

    Frank Zappa wrote a few extended pieces for rock band mixed with orchestras, most notably "Music for Guitar and Low Budget Orchestra".

    In a similar vein, Deep Purple's Jon Lord wrote two long works for band and orchestra, one was recorded under Purple's name and one under Lord's name.

    Classical ensembles doing rock fares better to my ears than the other way around. Stuff like Apocalyptica, Kronos Quartet, etc.
  6. punk rock band The Vandals have their own version of "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies" which is kinda fun. A bit short and not exactly a monumental work, but it might be what you're looking for.