Paul McCartney

Biography

Born: June 18, 1942; Liverpool, England  
Sir (James) Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England. At the age of 11, Paul auditioned to sing in the Liverpool Cathedral Choir, but was rejected. As a teenager, with no formal musical training, Paul taught himself guitar. He wrote his first pop song at age 14. By age 22, in 1964, Paul was an internationally famous rock star with the biggest band in history, the Beatles.

After the Beatles broke up in 1970, McCartney formed the band
Read more Wings with his wife, Linda, which continued until 1981. He then began a solo career. Critics dubbed most of his post-Beatle pop songs as light and melodic, but lacking true substance. Still, many were great commercial successes, even though these songs were never considered on a par with those of the Lennon-McCartney era.

Paul's roots were in Liverpool, and it was in 1981 that he visited his old school, the Liverpool Institute, and saw that it needed restoration. McCartney began a fundraising campaign to restore the building. The purpose of this was to found a music school, the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, which was established in 1995.

This was not Paul's only continuing link to Liverpool. In 1990, the city sought a way to commemorate its 150th anniversary. Composer Carl Davis worked for a year with McCartney on a commissioned piece called The Liverpool Oratorio. With McCartney's genius for melody and words, and Davis' classical training and knowledge, they put together a 100-minute piece for orchestra, choir, and several soloists. The oratorio is loosely about Paul's life growing up in Liverpool, his schooling, marriage, and family life, and, as is often the case with an oratorio, about God. The choruses are lovely, their harmonies reminiscent of some of the great classical choral works written for the church. The lyrics describe everyday life. The oratorio was premiered at the Liverpool Cathedral and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir, the same choir from which McCartney had been shunned at age 11. Many critics praised the work, and it has been performed in countries throughout the world. The album topped the classical charts in the U.S. and Britain.

Although pop projects were undertaken throughout the early 1990s, McCartney continued his classical composition in 1995 with a work for solo piano, A Leaf. It premiered at St. James' Palace, with the Prince of Wales in attendance.

In 1997, McCartney released the symphonic poem, Standing Stone. Full of lush harmonies and dissonances, this 75-minute orchestral and choral work is a huge achievement for McCartney. The piece is in four movements, and is based on Celtic myths relating to the beginnings of mankind. Paul worked with composer Richard Bennett, who did much of the arranging while McCartney wrote all of the themes. Magnificent in orchestration, ethereal in nature, Standing Stone reached No. 1 on the classical charts in both the U.K. and the U.S.

McCartney released Working Classical in 1999. With its orchestral and string quartet versions of previous McCartney songs, the album seems more on the semi-classical side. Paul includes arrangements of songs written for Linda McCartney, who died of breast cancer in 1998.

A Garland for Linda (2000) consists of classical choral pieces by various composers, including Paul, who wrote Nova. The work asks, "Are you there?" and answers, "I am here in every song you sing." Proceeds are donated to a charity for cancer research.

Countless musical groups and singers have also recorded McCartney's pop songs in classical form.

H.M. The Queen knighted Paul McCartney in 1996. Read less
Browse 76-92 of 92 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    For The Stars / Von Otter, Costello
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 469530 Release Date: 04/10/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elvis Costello,  Declan MacManus,  Kate McGarrigle,  Örjan Högberg  ... 
    Performer:  Elvis Costello,  Anne Sofie von Otter,  Bengt Forsberg,  Steve Nieve  ... 
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  • 77.
    Beatles Baroque I / Les Boréades
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22218 Release Date: 02/13/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Harrison,  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Les Boréades Montreal
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  • 78.
    Kein Schöner Land / Weyand, Knabenchor Capella Vocalis
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 98360 Release Date: 11/07/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Karl Marx,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Werner Gneist,  Gottfried Wolters  ... 
    Conductor:  Eckhard Weyand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Vocalis
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  • 79.
    Bassoonatics / Caliban Quartet
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 5011 Release Date: 10/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Johannes Brahms,  Jean Sibelius,  Mitchell Clarke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caliban Quartet
    CD: $21.49
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  • 80.
    From Yesterday to Penny Lane / Goran Sollscher
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 459692 Release Date: 09/01/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Lennon,  Paul McCartney,  George [20th C.] Martin,  Leo Brouwer
    Performer:  Göran Söllscher,  Per Arne Glorvigen
    Conductor:  Mats Rondin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Göran Söllscher
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  • 81.
    Sir Paul Mccartney's Liverpool / La Flűte Enchantée Quartet
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 2137 Release Date: 05/09/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney
    Performer:  Chantal Hébert,  Josée Poirier,  Chantal Dubois,  Jean-Philippe Tanguay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Flűte Enchantée Quartet
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  • 82.
    The London Double Bass Sound / Karr, Simon, Et Al
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 110 Release Date: 12/07/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  Paul Desmond,  Victor Young,  Vincent Youmans  ... 
    Performer:  Gary Karr
    Conductor:  Geoffrey Simon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Double Bass Sound
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  • 83.
    Paul McCartney - Working Classical / Foster, Quinn
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56897 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney
    Performer:  Myron Lutzke,  Joanna Hood,  Anca Nicolau,  Krista Bennion-Feeney
    Conductor:  Andrea Quinn,  Lawrence Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Loma Mar String Quartet,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 84.
    Pure Passion / José Carreras
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 27305 Release Date: 10/19/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Paul McCartney,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Roderick Elms,  José Carreras,  Dave Hartley
    Conductor:  Simon Lee
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capital Voices,  London Musicians Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Tenors On Tour / Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 62886 Release Date: 03/04/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Eldo Di Lazzaro,  Arturo Buzzi-Peccia,  Cesare Andrea Bixio  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Andrea Griminelli,  Peter Hofmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Luis Cobos,  Emerson Buckley,  Roland Heck,  Richard Österreicher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 86.
    Cello Submarine / The 12 Cellists Of The Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 10012 Release Date: 11/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon,  George Harrison
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
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  • 87.
    Manuel Barruecco Plays Lennon & Mccartney
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 55228 Release Date: 08/08/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul McCartney,  John Lennon
    Performer:  Manuel Barrueco,  David Tanenbaum
    Conductor:  Jeremy Lubbock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 88.
    Julia Migenes Sings
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90047 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Paul McCartney,  Claude Debussy,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  Julia Migenes
    Conductor:  Johannes Fehring
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Austrian Radio Big Band
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  • 89.
    The Domingo Songbook
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 48299 Release Date: 03/10/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jule Styne,  John Kander,  Ernesto Lecuona,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo
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  • 90.
    Perhaps Love / Placido Domingo, John Denver
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 37243 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tony Renis,  John Kander,  John Denver,  Jule Styne  ... 
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  John Denver
    Conductor:  Lee Holdridge
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