Classics Rock! – the new album by Pete Downes – which features famous classical themes with classic grooves – will soon be available for digital download through itunes, Amazon and other leading streaming and download services. A short run of CDrs will also be available. Audio samples will be available soon.
Prelude no. 1 in C Major Ave Maria
Based on J.S. Bach’s opening Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier. Part of Gounod’s Ave Maria theme is incorporated. However, improvisation allowed me to keep Bach’s original structure.
Based on the J.S. Bach’s Bourrée from Lute suite no BWV996, given a modern rock treatment.
Moonlight Sonata Reggae
Beethoven’s opening movement always suggest to me an undercurrent of 4/4 time cutting across the triplets – as in a reggae feel!
Prelude no. 2 in C minor Disco
Yes! An arrangement inspired by Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean of Bach’s second Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier.
From Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, the Lacrymosa suggested to me a classic Blues feel with its 12/8 time signature.
Chopin Chops (Waltz in C# minor)
I’ve always wanted to play this Chopin tune. However, it’s not a natural guitar piece and its ebbing and flowing tempo meant much experimentation in finding a tempo which rides through all sections. Played with a jazz waltz feel.
Swan Lake Swing
Tchaikovsky’s simple yet beautiful melody given a jazz ballad treatment.
Partita in E Major
Famous as a violin solo piece, this was also present in Bach’s Lute Suites BWV 1006a. . This was from a live video take by PD3 (Pete Downes Trio) and was previously released on their album Song for Sophia. To check out the video by PD3, Google PD3 Partita.
La Catedral Rock
The first movement from the Augustin Barrios piece as an introspective ballad.
Here are some clips of some of my favourite musicians – past and present.
Here playing with the band Focus. This guy inspired me to play guitar. Akkerman mixed jazz licks with a rock sound and managed to avoid every cliche in the book. He was shredding before the word was used!. They also did Sylvia, released in UK around the same time. Quality musicianship and humour!
Pat Metheny Wonderfully lyrical guitarist and composer
Great string bender fusing blues, rock and jazz.
Wonderful classical player who started very young, playing ‘La Catedral’. First movement is in the Grade 8 curriculum, and an earlier performance where the guitar is bigger than her!
Miles Davis with John Mclaughlin
Check out how liquid the 3rd of the scale is:Major, minor and everything between. I discovered the symmetrical diminished scale thanks to this track (s,t,s,t,s,t,s,t).
I learned vibrato and string bending listening to and working out his solos with the band Free. Great expressionist playing. Also with paul Rogers: one of the finest rock vocalists ever in my view. Great blues rock feel. Simple and effective. Big sound for a trio.