Rick Wakeman sheds his synthesizers for the simplicity of a piano on The Classical Connection, reconstructing some of his most famous pieces with a softer, more elegant approach. Once again proving that he is a virtuoso of any style of keyboard, Wakeman sculpts alternate musical themes to works that were famous for their frenzied attack of multi-synthesized suites. The album's ten tracks are pleasant examples of his artistry, especially the classically colored version of "Merlin the Magician," which usually involves an outpouring of Mellotron and Moog applications, replaced here with Wakeman's genteel fingering. Likewise are tracks such as "Catherine of Aragon" and "Catherine Howard," and while they sound like typical piano pieces at first listen, they do begin to reflect their original forms, given enough attention. The Classical Connection is one of the best places to investigate Wakeman's more refined manner of keyboard playing, proving that he can manipulate his instrument in any genre.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne