There's Peter, Never Mind the Wolf
The Golden Hornet Project turns Prokofiev
By Wayne Alan Brenner, 4:34PM, Thu. Jan. 19, 2012
Most of us can thank or blame
that last-century man called Walter Elias Disney
for first bringing the cromulent composer's name
into our consciousness – all hopelessly entangled
with cartoon images of woodland creatures
traveling through some dark Russian forest.
Thanks, now, to Graham Reynolds & Peter Stopschinski
of the classically oriented Golden Hornet Project
for re-arranging some of Prokofiev's other work
for performance by modern musicians.
We're talking here about Prokofiev's Fugitive Visions,
which will first be played in their entirety, in their original version,
by jazz master Dr. Jeff Hellmer of UT's Butler School of Music
working his fingers with sparkling skill on solo piano.
So you can better grok what these Golden Hornets hath wrought
by way of re-envisioning (or maybe re-enlistening?) the series.
Because those new arrangements will be performed
by a live band of seven musicians ready to rock you like a Russian hurricane.
But – why those Fugitive Visions, specifically, in the first place?
"Because they're amazing as is," says Graham Reynolds,
knifing a thick smear of Bertman's Ballpark Mustard onto a pretzel,
"but they also lend themselves to arrangement.
It's easy to make something rockin' for a band
when the piano original rocks all on its own."
If you've ever witnessed what Reynolds himself does with a piano,
you know the term something rockin' isn't to be taken lightly.
But, now, old Prokofiev wasn't exactly creating anthems for an arena ?
Reynolds shakes his head, munches pretzel. "These pieces go all
over the place," he says, "from ethereal and dreamlike impressionism,
to playful bouncing, to driving intense rhythms. They're some of my favorite
pieces of music. Between these and Stravinsky's Rite of Spring,
the early 20th-century Russians have taken up two spots on my Desert Island.
Only eight spots left."
We're not sure how many spots are still left for this fierce sonic event,
but we reckon you might want to reserve yours soon.