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The Significance of Rick's Work


Many people spoke and wrote about Rick van der Linden’s arrangements. Many did so, accusing him of Sacrilege of the Holy Temple of Classical Music. In my opinion the expression sacrilege is undeserved, many classical composer arranged the work of their colleagues to compose their own, just like Bach did on church organ with a violin concerto by Vivaldi.

Rick van der Linden presented classical themes and instruments in a form which appealed to the youngsters of those days. Weren't the originals deadly dull and mere representatives of a sacred arrogance of high culture? And didn't a church organ sound much better in pop music than in the stately improvisations during the offer­tory in church at sundays?

In those days only foreigners did such a thing, with Keith Emerson in The Nice and Emerson, Lake and Palmer as the best example.

Listening to Ekseption, I did notice how well written classical music often is: I became interested in the originals behind the arrangements. Ekseption became the starting point of excursions to Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Chaikovski, Moussorgsky, Vivaldi and all those others. Consequently my classical record collection is much larger than the pop music one.

That has been Rick van der Linden’s meaning for my musical education, his well-made arrangements unerringly showed the way to the original, the cultural heritage which survived the ages. Later generations will decide of Rick's own work will go that way, but that’s not up to me.

Now for me Rick is a memory, tightly embedded in a set of adolescent memories. I will remember him as an artist and a great musician.