Wonderfully striking and eloquent guides that will have you spicing up your harmony in no time!
Sometimes, cheesy rock bands take on the classics. With synthesisers. And the results are chiefly superb.
Isao Tomita – Arabesque No. 1
This incredibly whistly version of Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 is a close neighbour to Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds - but altogether more tranquil. Japanese composer Isao Tomita wrote this in 1974, as part of a whole collection of Debussy numbers called Snowflakes Are Dancing.
Wendy Carlos – Brandenburg No. 3
The great Wendy Carlos and her double-album Switched-On Brandenburgs should be mandatory listening for everyone. Samples of the album should be issued alongside birth certificates and passports, such is its parp-y synth genius.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Copland's Hoe Down
The great ELP were famous for their versions of Aaron Copland's idiosyncratic Americana compositions. They were also famous for their non-period-specific medieval costumes.
And here's their version of 'Fanfare for the Common Man':
Sky - Toccata
J.S. Bach features again, this time with Sky - who can count among their number none other than legendary classical guitarist John Williams. Bonus mention for the ludicrously ostentatious prof drum kit.
William Orbit – Barber's Adagio
Bringing us bang up to date (well… the '90s, anyway), William Orbit has a pop at Samuel Barber's iconic Adagio for Strings. The results, strangely, have dated far more than the original.
Tangerine Dream – Largo from Handel's Xerxes
This rather faithful and stately reworking of a famous Handel snippet features a bit of Jan Garbarek-esque soprano saxophone.
Craig Leon - Bach to Moog
The latest person to use the humble synthesiser to take on the greats of classical music is former Blondie producer Craig Leon - here he is with a little bit of Bach's Violin Sonata No. 4 in C.