Through the Prism (2007): Tribute

Musicians:

Tracks 1, 8, 12, 13
David Davidson: first violin)
Todd Mark Rubenstein: other instrumentation

Tracks 2, 5, 9, 14
Todd Mark Rubenstein: cello, bass
Paul Tobias: violin, viola
Patricia Tobias: violin, viola
Andre Janovich: cello
Barry Sines: violin
Dan Furmanik: violin
Thomas Saunders: bass

Tracks 3, 6, 10
Dave Keen: violin
Brian Knox: harpsichord, pipe organ
Jim O’Gara: French guitar
Joe Ferry: bass
Eric Helmuth: drums, percussion

Album Tracks:

2112 Overture

Xanadu

Closer to the Heart

Red Barchetta

The Spirit of Radio

Witch Hunt

Subdivisions

2112 Presentation

Freewill

Distant Early Warning

The Trees

2112 Solioquy

2112 Grand Finale

Jacob’s Ladder

An Attractive but Limited Sonic Vision

This is a retrospective of Vitamin Records’ four classical tributes to Rush: Exit . . . Stage Right (2002), Baroque Tribute (2004), Rush’s 2112 (2005), and Piano Tribute (2006). The company specializes in tribute albums and it’s being a little clever by linking the graphic design of its retrospective, which features images of the previous albums on a museum wall, to the Rush retrospective series, which does the same thing. The visual mimicry is a bit of a metaphor for the whole tribute concept.

That said, if you like the way Vitamin Records has translated Rush’s popular record staples Like “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight” into the classical format, then you might find this compilation valuable if you haven’t already bought the previous tributes. I say might, because one of the problems with the previous tributes is the limited variation in instrumentation and arrangement. The pieces start to sound claustrophobic after a few listens, because you get the same violin-cello combination over and over again. Even with the piano and baroque tributes, which move away from that violin-cello arrangement, the sonic signature of the albums sounds very much the same. That has to be attributed to the way the albums were produced, recorded, and engineered. It would have been better to either bring in different musicians or different producers for the albums, so the treatments sound fresh. After all, Rush wrote the songs, so the only thing a tribute album brings to the pieces is its imagination in presenting them. If that imagination is limited, then what’s the point?

The classical approach to Rush’s popular music is valuable, and the pieces are enjoyable to listen to. It can certainly be said that the classical approach puts the complexity and musicality of Rush’s work in sharp relief. If you appreciate the classical approach to the band’s music and don’t already have one or more of others, this compilation is the way to go.—Rob Freedman, Rush Vault

Rush songs with multiple tributes

Back to Tribute Albums

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~ by rvkeeper on April 23, 2011.

 
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