Early 2009, it was exactly 500 years ago that King Henry VIII of England was crowned. For Rick Wakeman, a long wished-for dream could finally be fulfilled: to perform his famous album The Six Wives of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace. It was the first time he ever performed the album integrally. Off course, Rick was accompanied by The English Rock Ensemble, consisting of guitarist Dave Colquhoun, bass player Jonathan Noyce (Jethro Tull) good old Tony Fernandez on drums, Adam Wakeman on additional keyboards, percussionist Ray Cooper and Pete Rinaldi on acoustic guitars. The English Chamber Choir and Orchestra Europa conducted by Guy Protheroe completed this fantastic performance. The funny and typical English actor Brain Blessed acted as a narrator.
Compared with the original album, three new tracks have been added: Henryís Fanfare Tudorture, Defender Of Faith and Tudorock Tudoture 1485. From the start until the end itís an impressive musical show. Not only the music is excellent, but also the registration of the performance is overwhelming. Who doesnít want to see a symphony orchestra playing together with the virtuoso pianist Rick Wakeman with a beautiful mediaeval castle in the background? As far as Iím concerned, I donít have any complaints or criticism whatsoever about this fine DVD. I havenít got any favourites either as all the tracks are unique. This DVD provides you the ultimate Rick Wakeman Wizard Show. Heís playing on more than ten pianos, synthesizers and Moogs! Besides, he plays a majestic church organ in the track Jane Seymour.
In the last 15 minutes of the DVD you got an entertaining interview with Rick and his band members during the rehearsals of the show. If you like orchestral rock, instrumental or romantic music for piano, this really is an excellent choice.
****+† Cor Smeets (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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