Various Artists

Steinway to Heaven

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An interesting concept -- an album of classical piano pieces performed by rock keyboardists -- is nicely realized on this compilation. While the star power of prog-rockers like Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman, and Patrick Moraz doesn't hurt, the other tracks are rounded out by an assortment of talented session players and bandsmen. Moraz's track, an overly jerky rendition of Chopin's "Military Polonaise," and is the only real disappointment of the lot. Wakeman contributes a gentle "Pathetique," and Emerson rightly takes top billing with an octave-bouncing roller-coaster ride through Ginastera's "Dance Creole." Aside from some tasty jazz improvisation by "Brian Auger" over Faure's "Pavane," though, the performances here are surprisingly restained and conservative. For classical listeners entering rock, or vice-versa, it's a pleasant introduction to some of the finest works and musicians in these respective fields.

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