KEITH EMER­SON’S MU­SIC REWORKED

Clas­si­cal con­duc­tor ful­fils his Abbey Road al­bum prom­ise to the late key­board star.

Prog - - Intro -

Keith Emer­son’s best-loved ma­te­rial has been re-recorded with an or­ches­tra for re­lease on what would have been his 74th birth­day. Beyond The Stars is out on Novem­ber 2 via Si­max Clas­sics/Grappa. The record­ings are led by Three Fates Project con­duc­tor Terje Mikkelsen and re­visit works show­cased at last year’s trib­ute con­cert at Birm­ing­ham’s Sym­phony Hall.

“When I was mas­ter­ing the Three Fates Project at Abbey Road [in 2011], Keith said, ‘I never recorded in Abbey Road,’” says Mikkelsen. “I told him we would take the best Lon­don or­ches­tra we could find and record the mu­sic. It was at that Birm­ing­ham con­cert [A Mu­si­cal Cel­e­bra­tion Of Life] I re­alised I needed to keep my word to Keith and do this.”

Prior to his death in 2016, Emer­son had been work­ing on a num­ber of new ar­range­ments so the con­duc­tor had plenty to choose from. He con­tacted the world-fa­mous cham­ber or­ches­tra, Academy Of St Martin In The Fields, who were so im­pressed by the qual­ity of the ma­te­rial that they agreed to record the tracks that make up the vinyl’s A-side.

“They were en­thu­si­as­tic and so sur­prised by Keith Emer­son’s mu­sic – they found it so del­i­cate and well­com­posed,” he says. “When I first met Keith [around 2006], I re­alised how much he knew about clas­si­cal mu­sic and I could have a re­ally pro­fes­sional con­ver­sa­tion with him, which is un­usual with peo­ple from the rock’n’roll world. He wanted to be more of a com­poser but he never had the chance to be recog­nised as that.”

Join­ing the Academy Of St Martin In The Fields are soloists Rachel Flow­ers, Three Fates col­lab­o­ra­tor Marc Bonilla, and Emer­son’s tal­ented 13-year-old grand­son

Ethan who per­forms on The Dreamer. The B-side of Beyond The Stars fea­tures five pieces, in­clud­ing ELP’s Fan­fare For

The Com­mon Man, recorded by the Keith Emer­son Band and the Mu­nich Ra­dio Or­ches­tra, which didn’t make it onto the 2012 sym­phonic al­bum Tarkus Con­cer­tante.

“If the fans re­spond well to this, we would like to fol­low it up with more mu­sic. There’s a lot that’s been or­ches­trated that has never been given a clas­si­cal treat­ment and I feel that do­ing this keeps Keith’s mu­sic alive,” says Mikkelsen. “I fully sup­port Prog read­ers vot­ing him the num­ber one key­board player of all time and my wish is to con­tinue his legacy.” NRS

“Do­ing this keeps Keith’s mu­sic alive and my wish is to con­tinue

his legacy.”

KEITH EMER­SON (RIGHT) WITH TERJE MIKKELSEN.

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