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Holland Release


  1. Summer Haze (3:11)
    (Original Arr. Hill/V-Mae)
  2. Storm (3:43)
    (Original Arr. Hill/V-Mae)
  3. Retro (3:57)
    (Hill/V-Mae, Chrysalis/PolyGram)
  4. Bach Street Prelude (4:25)
    (Original Arr. Hill/V-Mae)
  5. Leyenda (6:32)
    (Hill/V-Mae, Chrysalis/PolyGram)
  6. (I) Can, Can (You?) (3:40)
    (Original Arr. Hill/V-Mae)
  7. Happy Valley (6:32)
    (Hill/Nicholson/V-Mae, Chrysalis/PolyGram)
  8. A Poet's Quest (For a Distant Paradise) (4:30)
    (Hill/V-Mae, Chrysalis/PolyGram)
  9. Embrasse Moi (You Fly Me Up) (5:03)
    (Hill/Page, Chrysalis)
  10. Aurora (4:56)
    (V-Mae/Wherry, PolyGram/Mautoglade)
  11. I'm a Doun (4:28)
  12. I Feel Love (6:62)
    (Summer/Moroder/Bellotte, Gema/Warner/Charp)
  13. Hocus Pocus (3:14)
    (Van Leer/Akkermann, Stemra, IMN LTD)
  14. The Blessed Spirits (8:16)
    (Hill/V-Mae, Chrysalis/PolyGram)

A Review by Vpa
Classical Music of STORM

STORM is a techno-acoustic fusion album and many people don't know that it even has any classical music on it. But actually it has a very heavy classical influence, much more so than THE VIOLIN PLAYER or THE ALTERNATIVE.
"Summer Haze" and "Storm"
(Also known as Vivaldi's "Opus 8 No. 3 RV 315 Concerto for Violin, String Orchestra, & Basso continuo in G minor", but most commonly known as "Summer" of Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons")
These two songs are an electric version of "Summer" in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. A program music about a thunderstorm is an inspired choice of classical music to do an electric version of. It is a program music about a hazy summer afternoon: starting with a languid mood of a hot day, then various bird songs, then gradually increasing winds, then climaxing in a summer thundershower. "Summer Haze" has a short intro which Vivaldi lacks, of electronic birdsongs, then the beginning parts giving the mood of a summer haze and the birds, and, towards the end, the north wind which is a preview of the coming thunderstorm. "Storm" is the end part, called "Summer Storm" by Vivaldi. Vanessa-Mae's version is two songs rather than one because she skips the middle part and because the background music is done differently in the two songs. Both follow Vivaldi closely though with different instruments, more so than "Toccata and Fugue" followed Bach. Anyway, they are really improvements over Vivaldi's classic and work very well. "Storm" especially gives a much stronger mood of being in a thunderstorm than the original does because Vanessa-Mae's electric violin gives a much better impression of lightning than an acoustic violin and orchestra can, especially with her lightning-fast playing. Also, the electronics are used very well and contribute to the mood and sound effects rather than being a distraction. Summer Haze/Storm is a great techno-acoustic version of a great piece of classical music. She managed to perform a song written in 1725, completely faithful to the spirit of the original, and made it sound like 1990s music.
Composition Credits: I'm annoyed that the liner notes claim that the two songs are "original by Andy Hill and Vanessa-Mae", without the slightest mention of Vivaldi anywhere. Antonio Vivaldi could sue them for plagiarism, were it not for the fact that he died in 1741. What could possibly have been going through their minds when claiming that they wrote Vivaldi's Four Seasons? After all, we are not talking about passages taken from fairly obscure classical works, but rather a fairly straightforward performance of one of the most famous pieces in classical music. Surely they didn't expect that nobody would notice. To the contrary, maybe Vanessa-Mae thought it so obvious that it didn't need to be mentioned, having been raised with classical music almost since birth. Most likely, marketing people didn't want to have the names of classical composers on a pop album, for fear of scaring away buyers. Or, it could be that they deliberately wanted to provoke controversy to get publicity. In any case, this is highly questionable morally and showing a lack of respect to the dead composer even though no legal issues are involved.
Some people have claimed that some of the other songs on this album borrow heavily from other pop performers, without proper credit being given.
"Bach Street Prelude"
This song is the Prelude for Bach's Pardida No. 3 with the addition of a clock-like drum-machine beat and silly sound effects such as voices and banging pans in the background. Vanessa-Mae played a straight, solo violin version of this piece on Track 1 of CA1. I don't care for Bach Street Prelude personally, but many people like it very much.
Repeats from other albums
The version of "Happy Valley: 1997 Hong Kong Reunification Overture" on STORM is identical to that on CHINA GIRL. The version of "I'm A Doun for Lack O'Johnnie" is identical to that on CA1.
Promotion, Singles, and Tour
STORM was possibly intended as a vehicle for Vanessa-Mae to break into the mainstream of mass-market pop music. The single "I Feel Love" is not crossover classical music, it is mainstream female pop vocals competing directly with Madonna, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, etc.. But it seems like the sales are disappointing so far. See the FAQ section. There was a Storm World Tour, which by-passed North America.
Three editions
STORM has at least three versions: European, Asian, and USA. Each has a different cover and some different artwork and photos in the inlay book, as well as a different design printed on the CD itself. But the music is the same for all three. Some other Vanesssa-Mae sites (see Links) will show all three covers but I'm too lazy. The one above is the European edition.


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