Listen to an excerpt from Blade featuring violinist Charlie Siem
Naxos is proud to release the second classical recording by Tony Banks. Founder member of rock band Genesis, Banks has already written a much admired orchestral work called Seven (8.557466), which was praised for its ‘genuine melodic gift’ (Gramophone). His new work consists of six songs without words which may evoke in the listener ideas of seduction, journey, hero, quest, decision and goal. Two of the pieces feature solo instruments – alto saxophone on Siren and violin on Blade – played here by elite soloists, which mesh into Banks’s orchestral tapestry with bewitching effect. The remaining pieces reveal his outstanding lyrical gifts and total command of musical narrative.
Listen to an exclusive podcast published by The Independent, in which Tony Banks talks to Edward Seckerson about his musical journey:
About the Composer
Tony Banks is a founding member of Genesis along with Mike Rutherford, Peter Gabriel and Anthony Phillips and, after a few incarnations, the band evolved further with the introduction of Phil Collins, and with Steve Hackett who replaced Phillips. Genesis became one of the major exponents of progressive rock music in the early seventies, and after Peter Gabriel left the band in 1975, they went on to become one of the most commercially successful bands of the 1980s and 1990s with albums such as Duke and We Can’t Dance. Tony Banks has pioneered many unique keyboard and synthesiser sounds throughout his career. Music historian Wayne Studer referred to him as “the most tasteful keyboardist of prog rock”.
Tony Banks composed the soundtrack for The Shout (1978) (with Mike Rutherford), starring Alan Bates, Lorca and the Outlaws (1984), and Quicksilver (1986), starring Kevin Bacon. The music from these two latter films ended up on an album entitled Soundtracks (1986). When Michael Winner invited Tony Banks to write the score for his film The Wicked Lady (1983), starring Faye Dunaway, it gave him the opportunity to work with an orchestra, which he had not experienced before. In 2004, as a result of that experience, Tony Banks was inspired to record his first orchestral album Seven: A Suite for Orchestra with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, for Naxos.
About the Performers
Throughout 2009 Charlie Siem’s reputation as one of the brightest new classical artists grew with prestigious concerts in Paris, London, Oslo, Bergen and Basel. He has since enjoyed a very successful career, appearing with major orchestras and at festivals around the world.
Martin Robertson began his solo career in 1986, and has since performed as a soloist with the Berlin, Los Angeles and London Philharmonic Orchestras, BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Ensemble Intercontemporain.
As well as being an orchestrator, Paul Englishby has composed award-winning and critically-acclaimed scores for film, TV, dance, theatre and the concert hall. Among his film credits is the Oscar-nominated feature An Education, scripted by Nick Hornby and directed by Lone Scherfig.
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was founded over sixty years ago and features predominantly Czech classical and jazz musicians, with guest players selected from musicians studying at the Conservatory in Prague.
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