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The Classical Connection 2

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Album Review

Like the first Classical Connection album, this one is designed to highlight the classical side of Wakeman's playing — the cover of "Eleanor Rigby" is "arranged in the style of Rick's 'hero composer' Prokofiev," according to the liner notes. Unlike its predecessor, this album features synthesizers as well as piano, and covers and new compositions along with re-recordings of Wakeman's older pieces. Fans will want this for the vintage track "Farandol," recorded during the Six Wives of Henry VIII sessions with Steve Howe, Chris Squire, and Bill Bruford. There are a couple of good new piano pieces as well. But this is not one of Wakeman's stronger albums; as with the first Classical Connection, the playing is not always top-notch. The electronics sometimes seem intrusive in this context, and regarding the re-recordings here, the originals were better.


Born: 18 May 1949 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Born in Perivale, Middlesex, England, Rick Wakeman's interest in music manifested itself very early, and from the age of seven on he studied classical piano. At the age of 14, he joined a local band, Atlantic Blues, the same year he left school to enroll in the Royal College of Music. He had his eye on a career as a concert pianist, but Wakeman was dismissed from the college after it became clear that he preferred playing in clubs to studying technique. By his late teens, he was an established...
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