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Mike Oldfield - The Orchestral Tubular Bells CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.54 | 203 ratings

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Luke. J
2 stars Mike Oldfield's ''Tubular Bells'' was a groundbreaking record for the music world. Many elements of different genres were combined to construct something which was more a modern symphony but a rock/pop album. What made it so special, was that at times more than 20 instruments were involved, from every realm of music. The rock-typical electric guitars, bass guitars, glockenspiel, tubular bells (believe it or not!), mandolin, piano, accoustic guitar and many others. When a tune is written for an instrumental section full of different sounds, what will happen when it is played by an orchestra? The diversity is heavily lacking here. There is no doubt that the music is written excellent, the orchestra is talented, the performance is good, but it simply does not work well. Many other tunes could be interpretet in an excellent way with an orchestra, yet ''Tubular Bells'' is not a simple tune. The fascination is in the diverse range of instruments, and this can not be interpreted with an orchestra only divided in smooth strings and pompous brasses, with an occassional solo play. No matter how great orchestral music is, it has to be arranged cleverly, and stand on its own. This does not stand on its own, it is an interpretation, like it is supposed to be. However, in this interpretation the melodies which are carried by various instruments on the original, on this sound like one instrument played in three octaves, like one and not like many. To repeat it once again: the mixture of this many made ''Tubular Bells'' special.

Last, I would like to admit that ''The Orchestral Tubular Bells'' sure was better if the right classical arrangements, the right notations and some differences from the orioginal piece. That does not mean I liked a re-release of ''Tubular Bells'' with another title, but that I find the orchestral interpretation rather disappointing. Secondly, some string arrangements hurt my ears. Giving two stars makes me feel sorry for this could have been a great record, maybe suffers from comparison. I am not saying that this is horrible album, just below average. This is feally for collectors/fans only.

Luke. J | 2/5 |


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