Montréal’s Les Boréades are back with their second Beatles Baroque album, a collection of Beatles tunes on early instruments.
New York-based conductor and continuo player Eric Milnes has arranged some of the Beatles’ most enduring hits (All You Need is Love, Hey Jude, Strawberry Fields, The Long and Winding Road, among others) for period instruments including recorder, baroque violin, viola da gamba, and harpsichord. The result is an astonishingly fresh take on the musical and lyrical genius of the world’s most famous band. Beatles Baroque III (ACD2 2351) is available in retail outlets across Canada starting October 2, 2006.
Conductor/arranger Eric Milnes set out to reconstruct these Beatles songs as if they were written three centuries ago. “All throughout the 1960s musicologists were extolling the virtues of the Beatles’ music, with references to qualities which resonated with echoes of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries”, Milnes says. “This was often scoffed at. And yet, the echoes remain. So many of the songs remind me of Dowland, Purcell, Handel and Bach”.
Although just seven years old at the time, Milnes remembers vividly the single release of Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane as a neighbour ran across the street waving the Capitol 45rpm disc. But it wasn’t until his high school years that his exhaustive study of the complete works of the Beatles began, coinciding with his serious study of classical music at the piano, harpsichord and organ.