Various Artists

Global Journey: Classics for Tranquility

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Guitarist Keith Halligan's collection Classics for Tranquility offers a promising lineup of some of the most familiar mellow pieces in the classical repertoire, but the performances, in which he is accompanied by pianist Shelley Beaumont and by considerable overdubbing, are anything but tranquil. The selections include the "Elvira Madigan" theme from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21, The Swan by Saint-Saëns, Clair de lune by Debussy, and the first movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata in arrangements that are amateurish and abrasive and that take advantage of none of the subtlety the instruments are capable of. Halligan's loud and twangy attacks are practically earsplitting unless the volume is turned down far below normal listening level. Both he and Beaumont play most of the pieces with square and plodding vehemence, without nuance or any sense of phrasing. The album has little to recommend it, either as an aid to relaxation or as a passable rendition of the pieces selected.

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