Guitar God Yngwie J. Malmsteen adds the title of "Guitar Maestro" to his resume in the magnificent "Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra". Filmed in 2001 with The New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Malmsteen mel... more »ds his guitar prowess with some of the finest classical music composed in this concerto written by Yngwie. This DVD has been a sought-after program by Yngwie?s American faithful for years, and is available for the first time in North America. Tracklisting:
Jeff Arenson | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 11/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in the mid 1980's, when Yngwie first burst onto the scene, Yngwie Malmsteen said that a dream of his was to compose a concerto for Electric Guitar and Orchestra. After hearing "Rising Force", I always thought that it would be great to hear "Black Star", "Far beyond the Sun" and "Icarus Dream Suite" played with the depth of an orchestra in the background instead of rock instruments. At the beginning of this millenium, the dream was realized with the release of "Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra" on CD. Now that same Suite is available on DVD. This is not a typical working of a rock band and orchestra which has been done by everyone from Elton John to Metallica. Yngwie wrote every note for every instrument and even for a full Choir. His understanding of music theory is far superior to any previous attempts at orchestra and rock.(Except for Keith Emerson) Proof of this can be heard on the "Black Star Overture" which features the orchestra playing melodies from 'Black Star' in an overture style. This really shows how Yngwie's classical style can stand out on its own without him playing over it. The Concerto Suite is aptly named as it doesn't follow the typical 3 movement format of a romantic period Concerto. Instead, this is a real classically styled Suite with an electric guitar replacing a violin. The Concerto Suite is divided into eleven parts. All of the parts have their own defined melodies and style. The Concerto Suite will not disappoint fans of Malmsteen's technique as all of the string skipping, Sweep Picking and alternate picking styles of Yngwie are played over some orchestrated melodies. The orchestration might not be on par with Bach, Vivaldi or someone of the actual Classical Era but it is far better than any Avante Garde period orchestration. The orchestration is diverse enough to sound like it could belong to the Classical or Romantic period. It would be great to hear Yngwie compose Baroque Period Counterpoint like his idol J.S. Bach, but that might be on the second Concerto Suite. As previously stated, the guitar playing by Yngwie has never been better. He lets loose on all of the parts of the suite and plays some amazing acoustic guitar on "Prelude" and "Tocatta". He is truly enjoying himself and the guitar playing shows it. Also on this DVD is the "Icarus Dream Fanfare" which is a piece based on the main theme from 'Icarus Dream Suite". This piece also is amazing and the greatness of the main theme is accentuated even when Yngwie does his thing over it. No overplaying by Malmsteen on this one. There are also great orchestrated versions of "Trilogy Suite", "Blitzkrieg", "Evil Eye", "Brothers" and "Far Beyond the Sun". All of these are superior to the versions with a rock band. The version of "Far Beyond the Sun" is simply incredible, and I wish that Yngwie would do more of this on the next Concerto Suite. His ability to compose classical influenced melodies and to play guitar like a violin are much more clear with an orchestra and not with a rock band. I highly recommend this to fans of Yngwie or to anyone who wants to hear something so original it defies previous conventions. The wait for true Classical Rock is over. Yngwie's realization is better than the dream."
Sensational, the milestone of genius.
Alex Vox | Winnetka, IL | 11/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, it is not just a another guitar concerto, it is nothing short but out of this world performance. But is is even more then that. Malmsteen eventually found himself , he found his form, he freed his melodies from pointless rock noise and demonstrates what could be guitar music! For those who after watching it dare to say "the same leeks, the same scales": learn listen to great music, learn to discern and segregate. This concert nailed Malmsteen as an indisputable genius and if would performed here in Chicago I would buy a ticket for not matter what price. The orchestra sounds open, innovative , clear. The fascination by music permeates everything: from audience to singers. I think this DVD is a treasure it is a rare artifact of real musician who had found himself. His guitar sounding not only leading but sometimes very lyric, the culture of voicing is enormous, every note, every lick, every intonation. Guitar has a different character that is difficult to unite with tonality and coloration of orchestra but what had been done here is plain unbelievable. Malmsteen is not a "sportsman" he is musician I can't express enough of how amazing polyphony he created is. Take this DVD, it is like nothing else, it is a milestone of genius, it is manifestation of ingenious great music. I'm absolutely fascinated and thrilled by it."
Malmsteen at his best, and an extraordinary DVD.
Dave M | 04/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Words that come to mind while experiencing this performance are fabulous, magnificent, breath-taking. A previous reviewer said this is out-of-this-world - it really is. Seeing Malmsteen's ability on electric guitar flowing so naturally with an orchestra makes one feel like it's a different world, a fairytale come true, which in some ways it is.
Yngwie's guitar playing fits perfectly into this situation, as does his guitar tone. It's an excellent example of a more sophisticated use of the electric guitar than in the typical rock context, and seems to fit so naturally that, after the novelty wears off, it feels like a wonderfully organic and graceful combination of new and old, and not in the slightest bit out of place.
Yngwie is often criticised for over-playing. In my opinion this is not the case on this DVD, with the exception of a couple of parts - I do not personally like his treatment of Albinoni's "Adagio", which is also strangely sloppy compared to the rest of the DVD. However, I think the problem some people have is that as soon as they see him playing quickly they think he's showing off, hence the "ego trip" comment from the bizarrely negative review some way below.
Face it - he has nothing to prove.
Instead, one should listen to the general feel of his playing and the wonderful textures produced by the flurries of notes - arpeggios cascade like waterfalls, his rapid lines sometimes stand out angry and aggressive and sometimes melt into the background supplying a general tonality to the rest of the orchestra. Playing without feeling? Rubbish.
It should perhaps again be pointed out that this is not a classical performance of rock music - it is an entirely classical score that just happens to feature a solo instrument often used in rock.
One reviewer (the same mentioned previously) complained about the acoustic parts - rubbish in my opinion. I think they are sublime. The guitar tone here is unusual but not unpleasant.
Aside from the Concerto Suite itself, Yngwie starts and finishes with orchestral renditions of some of his better known songs, but these are more intros (or outros) to the main pieces. His performance of "Far Beyond The Sun" is absolutely extraordinary, the orchestra really taking it to a new level entirely.
This is the only music disc I have where I really enjoy every track, and find myself wanting to listen to the entire length quite regularly. At the low price here at the time of writing, this DVD is extremely good value and well worth getting if it piques your interest.
Malmsteen at his best, and an extraordinary DVD."
YNGWIE IS SIMPLY AMAZING WITH FULL ORCHESTRA
Patrick Michels | salinas, ca United States | 11/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Yngwie Malmsteen plays like a Wild Beast possessed of Satan himself on Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor LIVE with the New Japan Philharmonic!! I cannot remember having witnessed such emotional and technical precision as I did on this DVD! Watching it, you are struck with images of seeing the unbelievable. Is this a man like myself, or a god? And if a man, how could he play so well? Surely he must've sold his soul to the Devil in order to play in this advanced manner. I've never seen such a mind boggling display of mastery over one's instrument. Nicolo Paginni himself would have a hard time keeping up with Yngwie this time around. Beginning with he Black Star Overture and then going through the entire Concerto score by memory including several bonus songs, with note-for-note perfection is such a joy to hear. It sounds so full and alive; soulful. Technically, the tone on his vintage Stratocaster is full and warm with plenty of sustain. The volume of his guitar blends in great with the orchestra and seems to get louder as the concert gets going. The orchestra is very good; they compliment Yngwie extremely well and never falter. This is so good that I wouldn't be surprised if it is shown on PBS one of these days. The only thing I didn't like was the tone of his acoustic guitar which he used on a couple of the songs. It has nylon strings and in my humble opinion, couldn't handle the speed and attack of Yngwie's playing. The audience could care less as it roars its approval after every song. You won't be disappointed when you see him playing the chops, sweeps and runs that have made him famous. The camera angles are good with a great many closeups of Yngwie's fingers on the fretboard. You won't miss a thing. The orchestra is shown periodically as is the audience which added a nice touch. All told there are eighteen songs which includes bonus material and lengthy interviews of Yngwie, including his entire chronological history. Yngwie, this is your Magnum Opus as far as I'm concerned. You have done what every other rock act has attempted to do since Deep Purple in 1969, combine rock with classical. You have discovered the Philosophers Stone; the Holy Grail. With alchemy at your fingertips you have turned everything you touch into gold and silver. If this were the 1600's you'd probably be stoned for being so damn good. I salute you Yngwie Malmsteen."
Gator | Palm Bay, FL, USA | 03/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Interestingly enough, Yngwie, in the special features expresses this concert as the defining moment in his career. I couldn't agree more. It is pure classical and quite refreshing. I was particularly happy to see some old favorites included in this show such as "Far Beyond The Sun" and "Evil Eye" two of my favorite Malmsteen compositions. A truly flawless performance by Yngwie and the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. The production is amazing, both audio and visual. The editing keeps the show moving at a nice pace. In the special features interview, Yngwie promises another orchestral show with new compositions. I can only imagine how amazing it will be as Yngwie will only get better and better at his pure classical endeaver! I look forward."