Erich Kunzel & Cincinnati Pops Orchestra perform Music of The Beatles, feat. King’ Singers (2011)
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DST 64 2.0 & 5.1 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 54:26 minutes | Scans included | 3,7 GB
or FLAC 2.0 (converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 1,08 GB
From the moment Arthur Fiedler lifted his baton in 1964 to lead the Boston Pops in a wild, surprisingly effective arrangement of “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” symphony orchestras have tried to include Beatles music in their “pops” song bags. The trouble is, the Beatles’ brilliant original recordings are so indelibly embedded in our collective mental hard drives that they are a tough act to follow — despite the high quality of the songs on their own merits, despite the good intentions of those who pay them homage. So it is with Erich Kunzel, the Cincinnati Pops and the British early music/classical/pop vocal sextet The King’s Singers — an undoubtedly sincere labor that gets it all wrong. From this album, a visitor from Saturn would get the idea that the Beatles’ music was all about pretty tunes and satin-smooth harmonies. Yes, but … The orchestral arrangements — some of which are actually credited to Beatles producer and catalyst George Martin, others to in-house arranger Steven Reineke, Paul Hart and Andrew Pryce Jackman — may inflate the sound, yet they reduce the colossal impact and free-thinking guiding spirit of these songs to hum-along background music. The King’s Singers’ approach is, unfortunately, too prissy, too deliberately cute, too sentimental, or too impeccably smooth to do justice to any of them. There are two takes of “Eleanor Rigby that sum things up — an overweight one for orchestra that opens the album, the other an a cappella treatment by the King’s Singers — both of which miss the terse, emotional fervor of Martin’s string octet backing on the original Beatles record. Not even the sumptuous, deep, DSD-derived sound can save it.