Anthony Phillips

Private Parts & Pieces, Vol. 5: Twelve

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This instrumental recording, featuring Phillips on solo classical guitar, is one of the more daring offshoots of the whole progressive rock movement. It takes a lot of skill and perhaps even more confidence for anyone to sustain a recording like this across more than an hour, but Phillips pulls it off. Twelve consists of that number of tracks, each devoted to one of the months of the year. Each is different in character and content, incorporating varying measures of dissonance and highly distinctive tempos and timbres -- "February" even opens with a passage that recalls "Neptune" from Gustav Holst's The Planets; "April," by contrast, is impressionist in content. It's all interesting, assuming that the solo classical guitar is your interest, although Phillips has done more accessible work in other idioms.

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