CITY OF PRAGUE PHILHARMONIC, PAUL ENGLISHBY, CHARLIE SIEM, MARTIN ROBERTSON
Tony Banks: Six Pieces for Orchestra (Naxos)
Founding keyboardist for the progressive rock band Genesis, Tony Banks ventured into the classical orchestral world in 2004 with Seven. This well-performed set covers a diverse range of moods within its six pieces, two of which have solo roles for violin (Charlie Siem) and saxophone (Martin Robertson).
Banks' lyrical bent is sincere and his sounds are comfortably plush, if a bit benign as far as harmonic suspense is concerned. He doesn't develop his material very well, relying on modestly varied counter-statements to fill out each piece, which results in a fair bit of directionless rambling. Much of this feels like underpinning for a lyric, dramatic happening or visual imagery. By itself, the music sounds more like characters looking for an author than sustained musical argument.
This disc is currently a big seller in the U.K. Fans of Genesis might want to investigate it. 'Ö'Ö1/2
-- James Manishen