Listening to arrange albums is always an interesting experience. Having a group of artist arrange another musician’s work can produce fascinating results, especially when said artists have very different styles of music arranging. Monaco: The Gentleman’s Private Collection is an album featuring arrangements of Austin Wintory’s soundtrack Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine. In addition to arrangements, the album includes some unused pieces by Wintory that didn’t make the cut for the OST. The trickiest thing about reviewing an arrange album like this is that you’re bound to find a track in a genre that you have little knowledge about or that doesn’t particularly resonate with you. So inevitably, there will be tracks that you will prefer due to preferences for certain genres. With that said, I’d highly recommend giving a listen to all of the tracks on the album. You will easily find something that suits your tastes.
A majority of the arrangements focus on the main theme,”What’s Yours is Mine”, from the original soundtrack. Tina Guo, the featured solo cellist from Journey, and The Vederi String Quartet take drastically different approaches to arranging the piece for strings. Guo’s “The Dark Heart of Monte Carlo” is a slow and somber approach to the material, featuring some wonderfully expressive cello playing. Meanwhile the Vederi String Quartet’s “A Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing” sticks with a tone similar to that of the original soundtrack, switching suddenly from an energetic pace to slow and stealthy tempo before speeding back up for the finale. Chis Gale’s “Song Of Banque” and Tomoki Miyosh’s “The Gentleman’s Partita” take a simpler approach to covering the track, using the ocarina and violin respectively for the melody with a simple piano accompaniment in their arrangements. (more…)