Following the resounding success of their first two Beatles Baroque albums, Montréal’s Les Boréades are back with their latest in the 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.
The inside scoop on the Beatles Baroque phenomenon:
"As the geriatric member of the group, I fondly remember dancing to She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah the day it came out on a 45 rpm vinyl disc". – Susie Napper, cello, viola da gamba
"I played Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper’s and The White Album so many times that they completely wore out my old turntable". – Sylvain Bergeron, baroque guitars
"Every Beatles release was an excuse to throw a party that would last all night"!– Margaret Little, viola
"If I had been told that I might one day play The Beatles on my baroque violin, I would surely have thought myself under the blaze of Lucy’s diamonds". – Hélène Plouffe, baroque violin