Reviews for "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: 'The Monkees'" (2015)
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* "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra: 'The Monkees'" Premiere (Orchestra Kentucky - January 2015)
While Beatlemania was all the rage in the 1960s, the lesser known musical commodity, The Monkees,
was striving for duplicate success. Created in 1965, the four-man pop/rock band paved their own way
with a niche following that shadowed under the better-known Brits. Grammy Award winning Dick Tunney
recently created a three-movement symphonic arrangement with the help of Orchestra Kentucky’s conductor
Jeffrey Reed and pianistic skills of Jeffrey Biegel. If someone wants to jump back into time for a
quick retro-flashback set against a classical beat, Tunney’s Concerto will surely bring
The music is a condensed virtual run-though featuring some of The Monkees’ most memorable songs for
television and screen. Tunney’s modernistic framework, akin to Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor,
possesses richly developed orchestration and reminds one of Canadian composer, David Foster. Jeffrey
Reed instantly commands attention in tutti orchestra with a soon-to-follow Gershwin-like entrance to entrée
Jeffrey Biegel's earthy, organic portrayal. The music propels unabashedly with excitement, delight and ebullience.
Seldom do we hear a fluency on the level of Jeffrey Biegel's. Don’t let this diminutive album fool you, for Mr.
Biegel can be regarded as one of a handful of pianistes extraordinaires who transitions with
pliancy and flexibility as a cross-over artist (see earlier reviews:
"Life According to Chopin"
and "A Grand Romance".)
Mr. Reed's reading of The Monkees' 'best' is adroit and pleasantly punctuated, featuring such favorites as
Hey, hey we're The Monkees, Last Train to Clarkesville, I'm a Believer and Steppin' Stone. Sentimental
renditions of Daydream Believer and I Wanna be Free weave their way into the score and a more pensive
The Porpoise Song is culled from the band's movie, Head.
The music which Dick Tunney has created is quite emotional with clauses of vivid ornamentation that will
harken back to the likes of Korngold and Copeland. A concise interpretation of this pithy little-ditty
will make anyone a believer of The Monkees. A beautiful tribute.
By Christine Grimstad - ConcertoNet.com - July 8, 2015