Steve Lieberman Thrashes Tchaikovsky!

Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture – often slammed for being a patchwork of bombastic clichés – is in fact a tautly crafted and immensely exciting piece for large orchestra, cathedral bells, and muzzle-loaded cannon. The work makes use of Russian and French anthems and a folk hymn. The overture is best known for its climactic volley of cannon fire, ringing chimes, and brass fanfare finale was conducted by Tchaikovsky himself in 1891 at the dedication of Carnegie Hall. The 1812 Overture went on to become one of Tchaikovsky’s most popular works, along with his ballet scores to The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake.

Many otherwise serious and sophisticated listeners consider it the premier fun piece of concert music. The schizophrenic tendency and bombast of the work, makes it yet another appetizing vehicle for Steve Lieberman the Gangsta Rabbi, and his set of thrash guitars, basses, alto, tenor and bass trombones, alto recorder, flutes, trumpet, clarinet, Bb French Horn, tenor tuba, melodica and beats.

“THE GANGSTA RABBI’S THRASH OPUS-YEAR 1812 SOLEMN FESTIVAL.OVERTURE IN Eb MAJOR” consists of eight pieces of music in Steve Lieberman’s signature style. Melody and dissonance clash in a festival of symphonic thrash, black metal and punk soundscapes. Opening with “OPUS# 43-1st SOLENNELLE”, the work sets about reimaging the story which depicts the Russians as bucolic, peaceful folk upon whom is suddenly thrust a war of aggression at the hands of the invading conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Lieberman let’s his imagination run wild and his instrumentation even wilder. Fragments of the original music can be heard but rather than the melodic orchestral music, Lieberman uses blunt instruments and savage thrusts. The work erupts into successive passages of angry conflict and repetition of bits of themes among shattered fragments of bone-crushing music suggesting the random violence of war.

Eventually, a stirring fanfare of crushing guitars call forth the monstrous cadenza of “OPUS #44- RUSSIAN FOLK SONG” which swarms over the work before bursting into an incredibly expansive “OPUS # 45-2ND SOLENNELLE”, which in turn then joins with the portentous arrangement of  “OPUS #46-THE BATTLE oF BORODINO”, to complete the first half of the recording. The work plays out effectively by maintaining the pace to build tension and energy.

Even though the work evolves in its own sonic lane, far removed from Classical or Orchestral music, it contains the same emotional vectors found in Tchaikovsky’s music, and leaps to life in properly realized original performances.

Ensnared by Steve Lieberman’s blunt instrumental charm on OPUS #47-3RD SOLENNELLE” and OPUS 48 THEMA AUS OVERTURE”, listeners will be reeled in with interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s music that swells with dramatic ardor.

“OPUS #43,48-9-BATALLION CLOSER /FANFARE” and finally, “YEAR 1812 FESTIVAL THRASH OVERTURE IN EbMAJOR ALL OPUS”, offer more crackling, grandiose musical renditions roaring with excitement.

“THE GANGSTA RABBI’S THRASH OPUS-YEAR 1812 SOLEMN FESTIVAL.OVERTURE IN Eb MAJOR” thrusts about with lilting rhythm and glitters brilliantly with the full force of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral mastery. Maybe a few notches louder than any symphony orchestra could ever play, and a lot more dissonant than Tchaikovsky himself may have expected from the 21st Century.

Though he transcended stereotypes of classical music, he obviously had no idea of the forthcoming existence rock guitars, and more importantly, the fact that some Jewish kid by the name of Steve Lieberman would eventually have the courage to fuck around with the sound of trombones, flutes, and clarinets to this extent!


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