Released on Nonclassical Recordings in 2009, the album features the complete work alongside eleven inspired remixes that twist and contort Prokofiev’s work using modern production techniques. Remixers include Heavy Deviance, Monster Bobby (from The Pipettes), Li’ll Bo Tweak (aka Trevor Loveys), Medasyn and the composer Gabriel Prokofiev himself.
Ensembles and DJs who have performed the work include Beni G (of the Mixologists) with Royal National Scottish Orchestra, DJ Madhatter with Present Music Ensemble in the USA and 3x DMC World Champion DJ Switch with Heritage Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the 2011 BBC Proms and most recently with Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra of Venezuela at Simon Bolívar Hall, Caracas.
Conceptualised nearly seven years ago, the Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra was born out of a passion for two seemingly disparate strands of music; hip hop and classical.
Throughout the rich history of western classical music however, there has always been a cross-pollination of sound between art music and folk/dance idioms; be it in the Partitas and Suites of J S Bach or Bartók’s in-depth study of folk song. In fact there was not a distinction between art and popular music up until the nineteenth century.
Therefore drawing on the rhythms, colours and energy of hip hop, the twenty-first century’s most prolific sound, and more specifically its instrument of choice, the turntable, acknowledges and builds on this tradition, adding an urban timbre to a structure that has evolved over the last 300 years.
In 2005 Chimera Productions conceptualised and commissioned composer Gabriel Prokofiev to write the Concerto for Turntables & Orchestra and brought together DJ Yoda and the Trinity College of Music Contemporary Music Group, initially staging a preview performance to a capacity audience at Blackheath Halls.
The work was subsequently scaled-up for larger orchestral forces and the official premier took place at Scala in 2006 as the featured event of the Audi TT Remastered campaign, this time with DJ Yoda and Heritage Orchestra. An invite from the BBC to record at Maida Vale led to broadcasts on BBC Radio 1, 4 and XFM.
“The stark, uncompromising integrity of the piece was certainly a refreshing antidote to the patronising blandness of so many classical 'fusion' projects. Audi's TT Remastered, a project dedicated to the reinterpretion and remastering of classic music, this was one of the most exciting musical premieres I've seen in a long time.” Guardian
“4/5 – It’s magnificent” Time Out, Chicago
“***** - The Concerto is a terrific piece; inventive, inherently musical and so provocative” Musical Opinion, December 2009
‘4 Stars, Relishing his role as concerto soloist, DJ Switch’s takes on the classical show-off cadenza were breathtaking in their dexterity' Guardian
*Winner of Best Contemporary Classical Album 2009, Independent Music Awards*