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CD REVIEW: Helmut Lotti – “Pop Classics in Symphony”
By Stacey Board - 07/18/2004 - 03:39 PM EDT

Artist: Helmut Lotti
Album: “Pop Classics in Symphony”
CD Review: Holy Cow! The first strains of the CD sound like a giant soundtrack to a movie with swelling strings and symphony accompaniment. It’s a clever and interesting opening for Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. So the title is pretty self-explanatory.

Lotti has an expressive voice capable of handling each of the songs he has chosen here. Although you may know the songs, you can’t really anticipate exactly how they will be treated until you hear them.

Some of the songs are obviously more suited to the big string arrangements and some are more of a challenge to be translated. Lotti was smart to mix up the intensity because an entire song or CD full of full throttle oomph gets to be too much. He wisely brings down the intensity with numbers like “Whiter Shade of Pale”.

Lotti chose some challenging songs to arrange with symphony but he makes it work here. They are never ‘shlocky’ sounding or elevator music. Each song is full of energy and top-notch performances.

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