About a year ago an album was released of re-workings of a number prog standards called ‘Playing The History’. It was principally the work of Marco Lo Musico, an Italian organist and composer, Carlo Matteucci of Dancing Knights, an Italian Genesis tribute band, and John Hackett. In the liner notes to the CD of the project, the three artists say that ‘the core of our idea is to give a place of honour to progressive rock music on the same level as the works of the great classical composers’, and in order to achieve this they have produced fresh instrumental interpretations, without vocals or drums, of a number of progressive pieces.
The arrangements are based around flute, bass guitar and organ or piano, with the addition (on the CD) of further guitars from Giorgio Gabriel (The Watch) & Steve Hackett and saxophone from David Jackson (VdGG), and feature works by ELP, Genesis, King Crimson, Van der Graaf Generator, Pink Floyd, Anthony Phillips, Rick Wakeman & Steve Hackett, as well as original material by John & Marco. The sound is lyrical and haunting in places: Marco’s arrangement of Steve Hackett’s ‘Horizons for piano and flute particularly stands out, as does the re-working of King Crimson’s ‘I Talk to the Wind’, and one of the new pieces – ‘Bilbo’s Dream’ (come on, it wouldn’t be real prog without some Tolkien references!) is, I hope, destined to become a classic. (Check out the link below) Indeed, John Hackett writes in the liner notes: “With Bilbo’s Dream Marco Lo Muscio has written a masterpiece – it deserves to be heard in concert halls throughout the world alongside the few really good pieces for solo flute such as the JS & CPE Bach A minor sonatas and Debussey’s Syrinx.”
I beleive this is a highly commendable piece of work, and one that shows the durability and timelessness of many of the classics of progressive rock. The album is available from www.hacktrax.co.uk