Having mainly European musical influences I love when rock bands incorporate European classical elements in their music. So using classical forms, compositional techniques and orchestration (in the broadest sense) is always a fascinating combination.
This is no more true than when a rock band plays with an orchestra. Steve Hackett’s music is so well suited to this kind of symphonic landscape. The dynamic range that an orchestra can achieve can rarely be matched by a rock band, but Steve Hackett is a total master in this scenario. So when he played his songs and some Genesis songs with an orchestra the result was immense.
Rather than just gratuitous mundane string parts the orchestral parts were very well prepared to complement Steve Hackett (and Genesis) songs. Songs like Supper Ready and Firth of Fifth, The Steppes and Shadow of the Heirophant (which are all superb tracks in their own right without orchestra) took on a whole new lease of life with freshly created and superbly crafted orchestral parts.
From the quietest acoustic guitar note to the full blast of a ‘tutti’ orchestra and band with Taurus bass pedals the sound was clear, thunderous and powerful. I just sat mesmerised in the fullness of the sound of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall with such climaxes like Hierophant, Apocalypse in 9/8, El Nino
Once again Steve Hackett shows his innovative approach, fearlessness about incorporating all sorts of influences playing skills and that he is a true master of composition and orchestration – literally.
I try to incorporate the very same values in my own music………. I gotta keep trying and learning from a true master.