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Genesis For Two Grand Pianos

Genesis For Two Grand PianosI have been highly critical in the past of so-called tribute albums and not without justification.  The two main reasons for this is a) the band whose work is being honoured (loose term) is invariably still strutting its stuff on a reasonably regular basis, and b) the tribute does not usually offer anything other than a second or third rate copy of the original.  However, here we have selected Genesis (now defunct) tracks arranged for and performed on two grand pianos in the Concert hall at the Norwegian Academy of Music.  A new approach at last – great.

The pianists (and arrangers) are two Norwegian chaps, Yngve Guddal and Roger T. Matte, obviously admirers of Tony Banks work as the CD is dedicated to the ex-Genesis keyboardist.  Right from the start of the first track it is clear these guys have classical training.  I listened to the CD on a Sony CD Walkman first and the clever interaction of the pianos created sounds of other instruments, guitar in particular.  I wonder if that was just my mind filling in so to speak as I am so familiar with the music?  This impression was not recreated when played on hi fi equipment or in the car so maybe listening via headphones is the answer.

The tracks chosen for this CD are not, perhaps, the obvious choice, and they work well.  There is a problem where the melody is taken from the vocals as it sticks out like a sore thumb.  Fortunately, the majority of the music was originally instrumental and this is where this CD shines.  Unlike David Palmer’s We Know What We Like – The Music of Genesis album of London Symphony Orchestrated Genesis, Genesis For Two Grand Pianos does not come across as so contrived.  It really does fit into the ‘classical’ genre as against the ‘music for pleasure’ category.

I enjoyed Genesis For Two Grand Pianos not least because it is a clever and interesting interpretation of progressive music, which shows that is possible to create a classical ambiance without tinkering with the original time signatures.  The CD is available from Steve Hackett’s website for under a tenner.

Track Listing:

The Fountain of Salmacis

Can-utility and the Coastliners

One for the Vine

Down and Out

Duke’s Travels

Evidence of Autumn

(Total running time 41:34)

 Jem Jedrzejewski


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