Malmsteen, Yngwie: Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra (DVD)
Yngwie Johann Malmsteen has long been a revered name in the world of Rock and Metal guitar. From the day people first heard him in Steeler and Alcatrazz and then solo with Rising Force, his skills and technique on the instrument were nothing short of amazing. The playing style that Yngwie employed was always very classical in nature and in his earliest of interviews he would recall being influenced by the era and its greats. This DVD takes this classical based style of playing that Yngwie is so known for and partners him with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Filmed in 2001 this performance is something that the US fans have never had the chance to own until now. I am sure bootlegged copies exist but now fans are able to own an authentic copy. The concert itself does not hold much on the visual side with the exception of some great close ups of Yngwie and his guitar technique. You are essentially watching a live performance of an Orchestra and that is always more about the music and its delivery than the visual overtones. Musically this DVD is very interesting as we see Yngwie almost as the front person for an orchestra so to speak. As a matter of fact this release offers those who are fans of all the existing "classical orchestra meets rock musician" releases a little more authenticity. The others like this have been interesting but it was usually the orchestra performing their hits with the musicians behind them. We saw this in Metallica and at times the band was overpowering them. I think it is great that bands are bringing this unique performance to the table but I feel Yngwie has succeeded the most with this one. He showcases more classically based material all of which was written and produced by Malmsteen himself and this works well under the aspect of an Orchestra accompaniment. Assisting Yngwie in this production was keyboardist David Rosenthal who counts among his accomplishments the fact that he was a touring member of Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, and currently with US prog rock legends Happy the Man.
There are a number of highlights in the DVD and I recommend it be watched from beginning to end. I enjoyed this DVD for it was like watching a concert symphony (if it was led by a guitar god) but have to say if sitting and watching this kind of thing bores you that you should pass on it. If you are not and instead intrigued then this is a fine purchase. Yngwie J. Malmsteen is one of the greatest guitar performers in the business. This DVD adds to that and shows us how diverse and unique he is.
1. Black Star Overture
2. Trilogy Suite Op. 5
4. Icarus Dream Fanfare
5. Cavallino Rampante
7. Prelude To April
14. Presto Vivace
17. Far Beyond The Sun
Added: November 7th 2005
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Yngwie Malmsteen Website
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|Malmsteen, Yngwie: Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra (DVD)
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-11-07 05:49:27
Impreccably performed by both Yngwie Malmsteen and the New Japan Philarmonic, Concerto Suite for Guitar and Orchestra in e flat minor fuses hard rock and classical the way it probably should be done. In fact, this is essentially an orchestra playing the songs of Malmsteen, with the guitar god adding his blazing solos and melody lines. Fans of the guitarist who just drool over his technique and songs will no doubt love the close up shots on the DVD of the axe virtuoso's hands as they rip up and down the fretboard, flying through one arpeggio after another. However, if you really enjoy Malmsteen for the hard rock fury and active stage show that he generally puts on, this concert might be a bit of a snooze fest for you. The classical enthusiast who couldn't give metal the time of day though might definitely find this of interest, as Yngwie's more classically inspired instrumentals get the spotlight here, and this is as far from rock & roll as you can possibly get.
There are lots of highlights, but some of the more gorgeous moments are when Malmsteen pulls out the Ovation classical guitar, like on "Prelude to April" and "Toccata", which just breathes with a haunting brilliance. Of course, who can also not like the blitzkrieg "Far Beyond the Sun", perhaps the guitarists shining moment, and a hard rock tune that really works well with the orchestration behind it.
In summary, a DVD that will be a must for Malmsteen fanatics, although the casual fan might find it a tad longwinded and lacking in enery. Classical fans though who dabble in a little rock might get a kick out of this talented Swede blazing alongside this sophisticated orchestra.
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