Exposé Online banner

Steve Hackett with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra — A Midsummer Night's Dream
(Camino CAMCD22, 1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1997-10-01

A Midsummer Night's Dream Cover art

Here I am beset by another serious classical work by guitarist Steve Hackett on the new classical label, Angel (which also released Jon Anderson's Change We Must and Ian Anderson's Divinities). Written and performed on nylon string guitar by Steve with supportive accompaniment from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the music is directly based on the written work of Shakespeare making this project even more highbrow and even (here's that dreaded adjective) pretentious! But all grandiose descriptions aside, this disc is chock-full of beauty, grace and elegance. String arrangements have been thoroughly worked to provide adequate support for the lead instrument without choking the songs to death (very common in work of this kind). Steve's emotive guitar phrases brush through several courses within the 18 songs. At times several of the pieces are very lush, with support from brother, John Hackett on flute. When compared to his other solo guitar works such as Bay of Kings, this release compares favorably, but there is no melody or chord change which distinctly rings in my head when trying to recall the passion inherent in this work. I'd say the disc is blurry but rigidly focused on themes of Puck, and gaiety in the fairy kingdom. The nonsense inherent in the great bard's oratory has been transcribed into a non-vocal interpretation without few signposts to relevant parts in the story. Also as part of the disc packaging is another distinctly exceptional artwork from Kim Poor graces the front of the disc. Play it when you invite your grandma over for tea if you still have one!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 13, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): John Hackett, Steve Hackett

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Vander / Top / Blasquiz / Garber - "Sons" Document 1973 - Le Manor – With the relase of AKT I - Les Voix de Magma, Christian Vander launched his new label to release live and unreleased studio material to all the eager Magma fans around the world, following the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues