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Classical Music Review

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Music from the Ethereal Side of Paradise


Composer: John A. Carollo
Conductor: Stanislav Vavřínek
Performed by: Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 October 2018

John A. Carollo’s fourth Navona Records release, Music from the Ethereal Side of Paradise, is a musical journey through the world of desire, with Carollo making an impassioned plea for the power of romance...

I'm not sure whether the original release date of this album has been changed (as we originally reviewed it early in the year, in March (2018), but this album has been reissued (?) this October.

As soon as I heard this album's opening track I thought I was in for a treat. 'Awakenings for String Orchestra' is a beautiful piece of conventional Classical music and I was very much hoping that the rest of the album would be in a similar vein.

Unfortunately, for me, this wasn't the case. To be fair to Carollo, you have to applaud the sheer diversity on display here. But this is an album, I would argue, that will be most welcomed by those who enjoy modern classical music with a hint of improvisation.

The album contains 15 pieces (57 min, 27 sec) and there were only really two tracks that I'd be happy to listen to over and over again. The aforementioned 'Awakenings for String Orchestra' and the closing 'Brig', which is in a similar vein.

To my ears, 'Awakenings for String Orchestra', sounded very much like John Barry and Howard Shore at their finest, most romantic - slow and meandering, delivering much beauty.

While it's an interesting musical journey this won't be to everyone's taste.


Darren Rea

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