BWW Album Review: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER: SYMPHONIC SUITES Celebrates Art and Creativity

These iconic melodies played by an 81-piece orchestra is sure to bring joy.

By: Nov. 13, 2021
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BWW Album Review: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER: SYMPHONIC SUITES Celebrates Art and Creativity

Andrew Lloyd Webber's scores have remained among the most beloved and most commercially successful music to emanate from the depths of orchestra pits across the world. In a new love letter to the celebrated composer and his enduring music, Decca recently released Andrew Lloyd Webber: SYMPHONIC SUITES. The lush album features an 81-piece orchestra conducted by Simon Lee, and is a true treat for any fan of Lloyd Webber.

Featuring three symphonic suites, one each for EVITA, SUNSET BOULEVARD, and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, this album dazzles with its filmic qualities. Spinning up the record, listeners will instantly find that these grandiose melodic arrangements from the brain and soul of Andrew Cottee are rich with ambience and emotion. Moreover, the expert production by Peter Cobbin and Kirsty Whalley pristinely capture the warmth and lively reverb of the West End's largest stage, the newly-restored Theatre Royal Drury, with such precision that it sounds as if listeners are actually in the auditorium with the orchestra. The album was recorded from that very stage in April 2020 and following COVID-19 protocols.

The suite for EVITA is lively, exuberant, and magical. It's impossible not to hum along and sing clips and phrases of the lyrics during each of the movements. SUNSET BOULEVARD's suite leans into the rich turbulence and emotional darkness of the score. It highlights the undulating and mysterious noir-esque motifs. Lastly, the suite for PHANTOM OF THE OPERA is atmospheric, grand, and full of foreboding romance. Again, listeners will find themselves humming and singing along. Played from beginning to end, each of the individual suites feels like a thrilling overture on steroids. Played together as an album, the experience feels like a true celebration of Lloyd Webber, musical theater compositions, musicians, and the sublime whimsies of imagination and creativity.

Decca's Andrew Lloyd Webber: SYMPHONIC SUITES is magnificent in its scope, and the sheer artistry, talent, and skill present on the record make it worth every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears that went into making it. If the pandemic related lockdowns got you down and you haven't been able to find something that reminds you of why art is so essential, give this album a try. Hearing so many iconic melodies rearranged for a stunning 81-piece orchestra is sure to bring you back to the light


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