Friday, September 2, 2011

Nigel Kennedy and Electro-Vivaldi

The Telegraph had a story on Nigel Kennedy yesterday talking about his upcoming plans. I don't want to pick on the much-beloved English violinist, but parts of the article are worth comment. Mr. Kennedy became famous with his recording of the Four Seasons of Vivaldi.

Good stuff. Kennedy catches the lightness and sheer fun of Vivaldi. You can see why he is popular. But he also does stuff like this:

Ah, that sounds like a Mantovani arrangement with Stephane Grapelli taking the solo. Later on, it sounds more and more like Shaker Loops by John Adams. Then there is this:

...which sounds a lot as if David Harrington from the Kronos Quartet wandered into the wrong studio...

This works pretty well:

The first thing I have to admit is that in my career I just didn't have the common sense to do stuff like this. Obviously lots of people like this kind of thing. This is how to be popular and build an audience. In the article I linked to at the top it says:

Kennedy has recruited drum programmer Damon Reece, who has worked with Massive Attack and Goldfrapp, to rearrange Vivaldi’s familiar furniture.

“Damon was a real inspiration for us in the studio, and we’re going to get him to do some beats and vocals with lyrics and stuff on the Vivaldi, so it won’t just be Kennedy coming back with his 5,000th appearance of The Four Seasons. It’ll be a bit more contemporary, I hope.”
 Well, ok. I probably wouldn't be any more fond of it than I am of this:

I just have one question for Nigel. If this is such a great idea, why doesn't he do it to the Bach Chaconne?


Elsie said...

Give him time, Bryan, give him time !

Bryan Townsend said...

Heh, heh, heh.

Anonymous said...

..Then of course there's always *this*

Bryan Townsend said...


My ears! My eyes!