Various Artists

Classical Beatles

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There's something for almost everyone on this two-disc EMI set called Classical Beatles. For the operatic fan, there's soprano Lesley Garrett's highly dramatic accounts of "Let It Be" and "For No One." For the guitar fan, there's Manuel Barrueco and Tanenbaum's sumptuous performance of "She's Leaving Home" and Xuefei Yang's sensuous reading of "Michelle." Those who go for piano duets will get a kick out of Rostal & Schaefer's faux player piano take on "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and their mock-heroic account of Rutter's The Beatles Concerto, while those who prefer their Beatles done à la Baroque will have their needs met with Richard Edlinger's delightful "Yellow Submarine" and charming "Penny Lane." Anyone who likes scintillating vocal ensembles will be pleased because this collection features not only the King's Singers' bossa nova arrangement of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" and the Swingle Singers' haunting version of "Fool on the Hill," but, as a treat, the Vienna Boys' Choir's synthesizer-accompanied performance of "All You Need Is Love." And for incorrigible fans of Christmas music novelty numbers, there's Arthur Wilkinson's witty arrangements of seven Lennon & McCartney songs orchestrated in the style of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite. Though the sound is understandably variable given its wide range of sources, the overall quality is certainly a match for the performances.

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