Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia finds the singer/songwriter turning his 1973 rock opera into a full-fledged opera. Enlisting his partner Rachel Fuller to adapt the album into a classical piece, Townshend found a sensitive, simpatico collaborator who manages to retain the oversized dramatic sweep of the piece. Similarly, conductor Robert Ziegler leads the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through the piece with gusto, mirroring the majesty of the Who if not the mayhem. Generally, that's the curious thing about Classic Quadrophenia: it is recognizably the album in its form but not quite in feel. Some of that is due to this not being a Who record, of course, but shifting the piece into the classical realm ratchets up the melancholy that runs throughout the opera, making it less an explosion of teenage angst and more of a bittersweet reflection.
Pete Townshend's Classic Quadrophenia Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine