Music of the Spheres [Bonus CD]

Music of the Spheres [Bonus CD]

by Mike Oldfield


The legendary British composer will always be most identified with his breakthrough long-play composition "Tubular Bells" and the way it was used to illuminate fear in The Exorcist. The happy truth is that since then he's amassed an incredible catalog of over 20 albums featuring just about every instrumental form but jazz: pop, classical, new age, world music, computer game, film soundtrack, etc. The title of his 2008 45-minute classical-influenced opus Music of the Spheres is a reference to the prolific and eclectic composer's feeling that all music should aim to represent the spiritual or otherworldly elements of life -- something beyond the mundane and everyday. He accomplishes that via the sheer hypnotic beauty of the gentler passages and the percussive drama of others, both of which characterize the multi-movement opening track, "Harbinger," which lives up to its title as a preview of the overwhelming, ethereal joys to come. Mike Oldfield is a highly accomplished film composer and it would be easy to imagine gorgeous, sweeping pieces like "Animus" and "Silhouette" behind pastoral romantic scenes, and action-packed, percussively dense expressions like "The Tempest" building some heavy suspense for some nail-biting plot. Completely recorded by an orchestra at Abbey Road studios and featuring Oldfield himself on guitar, Music of the Spheres -- which features guest performances by world-renowned young soprano (and Decca labelmate) Hayley Westenra and classical piano phenom Lang Lang -- is huge in scope yet at heart simple and emotionally direct on a purely melodic level. While the piece was entirely conceived, produced, and written by Oldfield, he turned to popular modern classical composer Karl Jenkins to translate his ideas into traditional classical notations arranged for orchestra -- a great departure from the artist's usual array of studio-only wizardry. Jenkins, who once played oboe on a live BBC recording of "Tubular Bells" in 1975, gets a co-production credit, and with good reason. Oldfield scored his music via a computer program called Logic, while Jenkins used Sibelius to create the musical notation. Oldfield recorded an elaborate demo using orchestral samples, then handed it over so that Jenkins could add the human touch by re-recording it by an orchestra of classical musicians. It's a rich, heartfelt collaboration that breaks new ground for both men. Oldfield had no trouble declaring that he was almost moved to tears while listening to Music of the Spheres come alive at Abbey Road. It's a primitive spiritual and emotional response that every listener would later relate to. [The 2008 edition included a bonus CD.]

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2008
Label: Universal Uk
UPC: 0602517853485
catalogNumber: 1785348
Rank: 67509

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mike Oldfield   Primary Artist,Guitar,Classical Guitar
Mae McKenna   Background Vocals
Enrique Ugarte   Conductor
Heather Cairncross   Background Vocals
Karl Jenkins   Conductor
Gary Kettel   Percussion
Nicole Tibbels   Background Vocals
Sam Walton   Percussion
Mary Carewe   Background Vocals
Vincent Green   Viola
Stephen Henderson   Timpani
Paul Clarvis   Percussion
Peter Francomb   Horn
Edward Vanderspar   Viola
John Thorn   Viola
Jeremy Morris   Violin
Sarah Eyden   Background Vocals
Chris Worsey   Cello
Lang Lang   Piano
Louisa Aldridge   Violin
Neil Percy   Percussion
Gillon Cameron   Violin
Simon Wills   Trombone
Fay Sweet   Viola
Gemma McCrisken   Violin
Hayley Westenra   Vocals
Jeremy Watt   Bass
Gareth Small   Trumpet
Joe Walters   Horn
Chris Fish   Cello
Jacqueline Barron   Background Vocals
Emma Owens   Viola
Rachel Robson   Viola
Holly Butler   Viola
Sato Kotono   Violin
Jo West   Violin
James Adams   Trombone
Evgeny Chebykin   Horn
Euskadiko Orkestra Sinfonikoa   Performing Ensemble
Bilbao Choral Society   Choir, Chorus
Gareth Davies   Flute
Tristan Gurney   Violin
Emma Parker   Violin
Nick Ellis   Clarinet
David Tollington   Horn
Jenny Chang   Violin
Ben Trigg   Cello
Ben Griffis   Bass
Amy Cardigan   Violin
Alex Kidston   Tuba
Kylie Davis   Bass
Juliette Bausor   Flute
Judith Tempplemann   Violin
Johnny Byers   Cello
Joanna Watts   Violin
Joanna McWeeney   Violin
Hugh Sparrow   Bass
Holly Maleham   Violin
Harriot McKenzie   Violin
Frances Casey   Bass
Elizabeth Neil   Violin
Edward Pascal   Trumpet
Dick Stuff   Violin,Leader
David Lyon   Violin
Chris Richards   Clarinet
Lucy Hartley   Violin
Louise Chapman   Bassoon
Nicholas Levy   Violin
Morwenna Del Mar   Cello
Miriam Teppich   Violin
Lucy Payne   Cello
Vladimir Naumov   Violin
Verity Harding   Cello
Tom Watson   Trumpet
Tom Piggott-Smith   Violin
Steven Reay   Bassoon
Sophie Appleton   Violin
Sian Hicks   Bass
Sarah Chapmen   Viola
Sarah Cartner   Violin
Sally Pandelbury   Cello
Rosie Jenkins   Oboe,Cor anglais
Rob Collison   Bass Trombone
Rachel Dyker   Viola
Peter Camble-Kelly   Violin
Olly Burton   Viola
Roy Carter   Oboe

Technical Credits

Mike Oldfield   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Enrique Ugarte   Director
Karl Jenkins   Producer,Orchestration
Richard King   Engineer
Simon Rhodes   Engineer
Richard Stutt   Orchestra Leader

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews