- Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Recording information: Hook End Manor, Checkendon (03/2011-04/2011).
The title of classical violinist Nigel Kennedy's album of original compositions The Four Elements may recall his recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, but the sound of the disc is much closer to another of Kennedy's previous recordings, The Kennedy Experience, in which he presented his variations on the music of Jimi Hendrix. The four elements are, of course, earth, air, fire, and water, but before he gets to them, Kennedy begins with an "Overture" the theme of which owes something to Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" and also has something of the fusion jazz sound of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Air" probably wouldn't have been possible without a familiarity with Hendrix's "Angel." And, of course, "Fire" borrows something from Hendrix's song of the same name. Kennedy accentuates the similarity by playing an effects-laden violin that often sounds like an electric guitar, notably on the progressive rock of "Earth." "Water" and the "Finale" subside into near-ambience, and Kennedy ends the album with the comic "Encore (It's Plucking Elemental)," on which his cockney singing seems intent on bringing Ian Dury back to life. If none of this sounds like classical music, it isn't. Kennedy has always been a genre-defying maverick, and on The Four Elements he is staking his claim to move into some of the more esoteric areas of rock and jazz, even if he is doing so with a distinct sense of humor. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Works DetailsKennedy, Nigel [Violin] : The Four Elements, for violin & orchestra
- Performer: Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
- Running Time: 58 min. 57 sec.
- Period Time: Contemporary