A dazzling combination of the sensitivity and melodic style of great Baroque music with the modern drive of rock. All powered by Les Fradkin and his virtuoso performance on the Starr Labs Ztar- a revolutionary MIDI Guitar controller.
Les has recreated the entire orchestrations of the original Baroque masterpieces and combined them with rock arrangements featuring the Ztar in the lead.
About "Baroque Rocks!":
1. "The Myth Of El Cid": Based on themes from Vivaldi "Concerto for Oboe, Strings and Continuo in D Minor" RV454. The Ztar plays the Arturia Modular Moog V and the Vienna Solo Violin while the background orchestrations feature Vienna Chamber, Mellotron and the MOTU Baroque Harpsichord. A Spanish and Castille flavor with Castenets A dramatic opener.
2. "Handel Rocks": Based on Handel's Concerto Grosso Op6 No.2. Handel's music takes on a whole new dimension with this rocking version of his classic concerto theme without sacrificing any of the Baroque authenticity. Main lead sounds triggered from the Ztar are the Arturia Moog Modular,the Vienna Strings and several Mellotrons.
3. "All The King's Men": Another Vivaldi Concerto forms the basis of this flashy piece. Lead sounds are the Arturia Moog Modular, the Vienna Violins and Les' special distorted guitar sample, previously heard in his version of Steve Vai's "Liberty" on "One Link Between Them".
4. "Spring"- the first of four selections from Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons. This famous work now, takes on a whole new sound. Moog and lead guitar face off with Mellotron to give this Vivaldi timeless classic a whole new vibe.
5. "Summer"- Moving at hyper speed, this "Four Seasons" excerpt shows a new rock arrangement for this seasonal perennial. Dual shredding from the Ztar between Moog and Vienna Violins with Mellotrons galore.
6. ""Autumn"- A previously light composition from the Four Seasons now wears rock clothes and evolves as a "conversation" between Moog, Mellotron Flutes and the B3 Hammond Organ. The Mellotron Strings break near the conclusion offers an oncoming look at "Icy" Winter days.
7. "Winter"-Using an "Eleanor Rigby" styled arrangement, Vivaldi's famous "Winter" theme from The Four Seasons shows the many great sonic subtleties that a Moog can provide. Backing by the Vienna Strings and Harpsichord. The Vienna Strings passing thru arpeggiators and the Moog filter provide additional tricks near the end.
8, "Classical Gas"- the Mason Williams smash hit single done as a modern synthesizer and orchestra meets classical guitar approach.
9. "Canon In D": Les does an extreme makeover on the Pachelbel all time classic. With a brand new lead guitar melody in conversation with the Pachelbel melody and harmony played by the orchestra and the moog and Mellotron, the Canon In D breathes with new life.
10. "Air On A G String": Les's all new sonic take on the Johann Sebastian Bach legendary classic from his Orchestral Suites. The lead sound is a soprano sax Moog patch which, when played from a Ztar, offers a new level of personal emotion and sweet expressiveness. An acoustic bass is added to give the bottom end additional support.
11. "Baroque and Roll": Les chimes in with his own original composition as a sonic dedication to Antonio Vivaldi, George Friedric Handel, Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and the Electric Light Orchestra. Oboes, chamber strings and Rickenbacker 12 string guitar all combine for two minutes of magic.
12. "Anthem For All Nations": A lovely Minuet theme from George Friedric Handel, is rearranged and modernized as a commercial but stately 3/4 anthem. In the style of the Procol Harum classic "Grand Finale" from "In Held Twas In I", the finale of "Anthem For All Nations" features FOUR Mellotrons and is music fit for a King, Queen, President and all the peoples of the Earth.
Les Fradkin Bio:
Les Fradkin has been on the cutting edge of Guitar Synthesis since the dawn of MIDI back in 1983. But his experience with synthesis and sampling strtches even further back to 1970 when he began a long and distinguished career as an Artist, Composer, Producer and session Mellotron and Guitar player in New York City and London.
He's a Guitar Synthesizer Virtuoso and 21st Century music innovative composer on the Starr Labs Ztar. He was an original member of The Broadway Show- "Beatlemania" when he portrayed George Harrison and played lead guitar in the hit Broadway musical from 1977 through 1979. He found success as a recording artist, composer and producer with MGM Sunflower, ESP-Disk', Bell, Arista, RCA, and Laurie Records. Les was discovered by John Hammond Sr. and Tony Orlando and originally signed to Columbia Records and April-Blackwood Music back in 1969. Les has written the well known French hit "La Chansons Des Souvenirs" ("Song Of A Thousand Voices") for the famous Mireille Mathieu.
In 1976, Les was selected over thousands of other auditioning guitarists to appear in the original cast of the smash hit Broadway musical "Beatlemania" playing lead guitar and the part of "George Harrison" in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Running for two and a half years from May 1977 thru October 1979, every show (including over 1200 in New York alone) was sold out and the musicians quickly became celebrities with magazine cover stories ("Newsweek","Time", "People", "Rolling Stone") and many major television show appearances. With his guitar-playing in the international spotlight from the show, Fradkin developed a cult following that has avidly followed his career and made him a celebrity among guitar fans.
In the early 80's, he pioneered the introduction of tapeless recording with the SynthAxe, Roland Guitar Synthesizer and Yamaha DX7 and TX816 synthesizers recorded with the Yamaha QX1 sequencer and Synclavier 3200 in soap opera music. He also composed and programmed numerous successful jingles and movie soundtracks as well as many game show themes. He worked for Score Productions and ABC TV in New York City, wrote many national jingles (for such products as Cheerios, Campbel's Soup, Nestle's, Crisco,, American Express), 4 movie soundtracks and co wrote, programmed and played on all the music for the soap Opera "One Life To Live" for ABC-TV from 1984 thru 1988. He was the first composer to record entirely "Direct-To-Disk" in New York City. His sonic innovations at that time with the SynthAxe, Synclavier, Yamaha DX7, TX816 Digital Synthesizers and the Yamaha QX1 Sequencer earned him great accolades in the TV industry and established him as "Dr. MIDI." His dramatic ability with Scoring Cues as well as full blown themes blazed a trail that he continues today.
He has enjoyed chart success on the net as well with his songs reaching mp3.com's 1 position 16 times! New Gandy Dancer Rock Magazine named Les' CD "A Day At The Beach" it's 2004 Album Of The Year. In addition, Les has performed with The Ventures as 2nd Lead Guitarist. Nokie Edwards of The Ventures has performed with Les on several occasions and is a featured guest on his "While My Guitar Only Plays" CD. In fact, Les has been acknowledged as a guitar virtuoso for over 30 years and he has been featured in issues of 20th Century Guitar Magazine, Pipeline and New Gandy Dancer Magazines.
Today, Les has released 20 solo CD's on his RRO Entertainment Indie label and has had over 340,000 downloads bringing him several substantial hits on Apple iTunes and other download sites across the Internet.