Can you see what Emerson, Lake & Palmer did to me?
Yes, courtesy of budget labels MFP (Music for Pleasure) and (I think it was) Hallmark, I stuck my proverbial toe in the murky waters of classical music, snapping up Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition“, Dvorak’s “New World Symphony” and Tchaikovsky’s magnificent “1812 Overture”
It would be years later before I expanded my ‘classical tastes’ further – courtesy of, strangely, my accountant who listened to no other genre – but for a 16-year-old with a musical sense for ‘all things” I don’t think I did too badly for starters did I?
The Mussorgsky purchase was most certainly based on my love for ELP and their interpretation of “Pictures…”. I guess I needed to hear the source of Mr Emerson’s inspiration?
I think the New World Symphony came about because it was featured in “Soylent Green“, a film I had seen the previous summer. Specifically the scene where old-timer Sol (a stupendous acting performance by Edward G Robinson) – in what has otherwise become a desolate world – offers himself up for euthanasia and before ‘departing’ is treated to great food, pretty visuals and a soundtrack of his choosing.
As for the 1812, I have no idea why it may have fallen across my radar in 1974. Maybe it was played at a TIBS meeting? Whatever the reason it remains a stunningly broody piece of music, culminating as it does with those booming canons.