A necessary admission; I was at school with Tolga Kashif and
heard him play the piano a number of times, when he managed
to still several hundred very naturally rowdy boys through his
playing. The school wasn’t noted for musical talent -
so he stood out. That said, he undoubtedly wouldn’t remember
me, so I can press on in a spirit of objectivity.
Rob Barnett has already reviewed The Genesis Suite and also
The Queen Symphony (see review),
which I’ve also heard and enjoyed. I shan’t reprise
his comments, except to note that my thunder has been well and
truly stolen, so this may be thought to be the ‘last knockings’
Yes, I too sense a Carmina Burana influence in the opening movement
of this ingenious suite, and a hint of Enya as well. The writing
here is filmic - hints even of The Terminator music of
Lord of the Rings - with its soaring chorus and percussion-proud
passages. I agree as well regarding The Piano where one
feels a kinship between Nyman and Kashif - it’s the treble
runs, perhaps, that do it, adroitly negotiated by Freddy Kempf.
Kashif ensures that things aren’t too mawkish however.
Some of the orchestration sounds a touch French, especially
the wind writing, though there are distinctly Rachmaninovian
moments - try from 6:55 in this second movement. The third movement
of this seven movement suite is called Mad Man Moon,
a ‘fantasia concertante’ for solo violin, played
by the LSO’s leader, Tomo Keller. This is a soaring and
passionately high piece, richly textured and lovely to hear.
Follow You Follow Me is - to me at any rate, but I have
to admit I’m no follower of the group - one of the best
known of the band’s songs. Kashif turns it into a slow
love song for violin, and cello (Caroline Dale, always fine)
that reaches the effulgence of a show tune. Some cadences in
the fifth movement, Fading Light, put me in mind of Georges
Delerue (that French input again). There’s a fiesta feel
at the mid point of the finale though things slowly dissolve
into a kind of raptness and end in quietude.
Strongly engaging music-making here. Kashif has taken the music
of Genesis as a point of departure for his own richly textured
writing and has again avoided all the tired clichés of
Rock Classics and the like. One final thought; don’t order
this online late at night and/or after a few drinks. You might
end up ordering The Genesis
Suite (1945) with contributions from Shilkret, Tansman,
Milhaud, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Toch, and Stravinsky. Now that
really would confuse you.
see also review by Rob