An orchestral version of any musical composition is always a detour into more heightened territory. As big and loud and as slight and quiet as an album can be, with an orchestra to boot, the majors and minors become sharply amplified in a spectacular and delicate way. It is, in effect, the same body of work, but with an exaggerated reimagining of the arrangement, new meaning can be derived, and indeed, a new experience of the music can be had.
With Performing Parades, Efterklang have achieved a similar effect, revamping their 2007 album Parades with the mighty weight of orchestral muscle as arranged with the help of composer Karsten Fundal. It’s a grander version of their critically applauded album, an extravagance brought by the plethora of instruments intensifying what would otherwise be taken for granted sounds.
It is not, however, a one sitting album by any stretch of the imagination, and consequently, it struggles to fully hold your attention. For that reason – in contrast to the original version- this is more suited to the dramatic acoustics of finely crafted concert halls than anywhere else. It’s a celebratory album, but like any festivities, there are moments where you switch off. When that starts to happen, press pause and pour yourself a drink. The rest becomes a breeze.