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Home » Classic in Field » PERLOWIN, MICHAEL: Firebird Suite

Every once in a while something comes along that mightily stirs my enthusiasm. This is one of those. Pedal Steel guitarist Mike Perlowin paid his dues in bars and clubs, dong what the instrument is famous for doing. But for his own project, released on his own label, he chose to attempt a set of transcriptions and arrangements of C20 compositions by Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Copland, Satie, Shostakovich, Gershwin and Mingus. So far so interesting - the greatness is in the result. With Les Paulian savoir faire, Perlowon has multi-tracked and - on occasion - vari-speeded to get the job done - that is to say, to do the music justice. These are inspired arrangements and great performances and they work brilliantly in their own right as musical objects. They reinvent the music they embody. One expects the Firebird to be prodigious - because of the complexity involved in any half-way accurate realisation of it using only an orchestra of pedal steels (and some lap-steel, mandolin, autoharp, banjo and bass; plus minimal percussion) - but then the rest of the CD is pitched at the same level of perfection: swooningly microtonal and still perfectly articulated; contrapuntal, multilinear, transcendently exquisite. The Pedal Steel, always a glorious instrument, is here, at last, made to show that its greatness transcends the limits of its usual narrow application, that it can be an interpretive instrument of the highest subtlety and sensitivity in any context. The other pieces are: Fanfare for the Common Man, L'Apres Midi D'un Faun e(which is made to reveal its structure in a way even the original doesn't.), Prelude No.2 (which might have been written for pedal steel), Gymnopedies, Le Petit Negre, Polka, The Maid with the Flaxen Hair (stunning; I would say better than the original piano version) and Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. I know the territory has been broached before, but not like this. This is a gem.L

Only available at this price as part of the ReR Sale Offer (minimum) 4 titles)

Code: PM0362-2
Price: £5.00