Monday, March 21, 2005

Classical Pianist Interprets Radiohead

Fans of Radiohead take their love of the band very seriously. Classical pianist Christopher O'Riley, however, has taken his admiration further.

O'Riley has recorded two full albums of Radiohead transcriptions for solo piano. His latest CD, "Hold Me to This," will be released by Harmonia Mundi's World Village imprint April 12. The new album, which follows 2003's "True Love Waits" (released on Sony Classical Odyssey), features many of the band's B-sides and rarities.

"I'm not arranging these songs just to have arranged them," says O'Riley, who also hosts the Public Radio International syndicated show "From the Top," which showcases young classical musicians from across the United States. "I'm doing the best I can to approximate the energy of a full rock band. And that's really always been part of the conceit and the seduction of piano reductions or arrangements of any kind of music. That possible range of color, and vitality, is the same thing that drives, say, Liszt's transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies."

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