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Thirty-Year Retrospective (Live)

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Album Review

The concept is a little self-celebratory, but then again there is plenty to celebrate in this astonishing double-CD package. Recorded live in the recently completed concert hall at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, these trio and quartet performances combine pristine sonic quality with spirited, technically precise execution. No one track stands out from the others, yet each is a gem in its own right. Every arranged unison or harmonized passage is deftly played, without so much as a single clinker or imprecise articulation, at every tempo. On looser ballads, such as "Midnight Interlude," the group accompanies Mark O'Connor's meticulously phrased line with uncanny empathy. The repertoire is drawn, as the title suggests, from throughout O'Connor's career, which spills across all kinds of boundaries, from bluegrass through "hot" jazz, classical, and permutations too complex to label at all. None of this throws any of these players: Chris Thile, best known for his work with Nickel Creek, and session heavyweights Bryan Sutton and Byron House breeze over every challenge like stones skimming across a pond. In the end, Thirty-Year Retrospective achieves even more than might be expected; not just a chronological milestone, it takes its place among the very best of O'Connor's catalog, which is itself among the most imposing in contemporary instrumental music. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Customer Reviews

top notch all the way !!!

This is by far one of my favorite albums of all time. It took some listening to understand , but now that I do, the music is captivating. All the musicians are at the top of their game, but I personally think Chris Thile is the most amazing musician on the planet, and this album is Exhibit A to back my feelings. Anyone looking for an album they can sink their teeth into for a couple of months , this is it !!


Born: August 5, 1961 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Classical

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

Mark O'Connor is an astonishingly versatile American violinist and composer who has had exceptional success melding various genres of music -- country and bluegrass, jazz, and classical -- into his own unique style and voice. This has resulted in two Grammy Awards; dozens of his own albums; collaborations with a diversity of other musicians, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Renée Fleming, James Taylor, Chris Thile, Alison Krauss, and Marin Alsop; and a playing method program widely used by string students....
Full Bio