Pieces in a Modern Style

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Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
While co-writing and co-producing Madonna's pop-electronica hit Ray of Light, William Orbit was hard at work on his own solo debut album, Pieces in a Modern Style. Unlike Wendy Carlos, whose electronic versions of Bach's music remain true to the original scores, Orbit completely transforms these classical works. Aside from the opening track, a faithfully austere realization of Barber's Adagio for Strings, Orbit's ambient adaptations often go beyond interpretation into the realm of re-composition. Drawing on music from across the classical spectrum -- from the baroque era to the 20th century -- he creates an hour-long program that's remarkably coherent in style ...
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02/22/2000 CD Enhanced AAA SERVICE! ! ! ITEM IS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION SHIPPED DIRECT FROM OUR WAREHOUSE. CASE AND INSERTS MAY HAVE SOME MINOR WEAR...BEFORE SHIPPING USED DISKS ... ARE INSPECTED AND POLISHED AS REQUIRED USING OUR PROFESSIONAL POLISHING EQUIPMENT WHICH POLISHES THE DISK SURFACE TO PERFECT CONDITION....FAST SHIPPING AFTER YOUR ORDER IS RECEIVED! ! ! ALL PURCHASES 100% GUARANTEED! ! ! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE! ! ! Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Andrew Farach-Colton
While co-writing and co-producing Madonna's pop-electronica hit Ray of Light, William Orbit was hard at work on his own solo debut album, Pieces in a Modern Style. Unlike Wendy Carlos, whose electronic versions of Bach's music remain true to the original scores, Orbit completely transforms these classical works. Aside from the opening track, a faithfully austere realization of Barber's Adagio for Strings, Orbit's ambient adaptations often go beyond interpretation into the realm of re-composition. Drawing on music from across the classical spectrum -- from the baroque era to the 20th century -- he creates an hour-long program that's remarkably coherent in style and mood. Orbit says his original intent was merely to record something "to chill out to," and listeners unfamiliar with these works will undoubtedly find the result to be a sonic balm for the soul. But if you've heard any of these pieces before -- or are inspired to seek out the originals -- Orbit's transformations are even more beguiling. Check out the opening of Ravel's "Pavane pour une Infante Défunte," for example, in which the gentle electronic wheeze of the accompaniment has an organ-like quality that gives the music spiritual overtones. Or listen to the slow movement from the Triple Concerto, in which Beethoven's melodies are disembodied, made to hover like ghosts over a strange landscape that rumbles, shivers, and rings. Classical purists may be horrified by such creative liberties, but in fact, Pieces in a Modern Style is most effective -- and affecting -- precisely when Orbit is most free.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After years of making his own esoteric ambient albums and paying for them by doing dance remixes for pop acts, William Orbit hit the big time in 1998 by co-writing and producing Madonna's Ray of Light album. With his own debut solo album on Madonna's label, he returned to his esoteric pursuits, programming a variety of calm classical pieces into his computer and rearranging them to one extent or another. Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings" came off relatively unscathed, but by the time he got to "Ogives Number 1" by Erik Satie, Orbit was mixing in the sounds of a helicopter, as if he were Francis Ford Coppola doing sound design work on Apocalypse Now with the Doors' "The End." Handel's "Largo from Xerxes" remained recognizable, but Beethoven's "Triple Concerto" was largely transformed. No matter whose music he was reformulating, however, Orbit worked gently, creating an album that, if it technically belonged beside Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach, actually was more reminiscent of Brian Eno's Discreet Music. It may seem surprising, then, to note that "Adagio for Strings" landed on the U.S. and U.K. dance charts, but that was only in Ferry Corsten's remix actually, an entirely different version, full of the usual thundering percussion, which was included along with an ATB version on a separate CD with the album. Though Orbit was already at work on the new Madonna album at the time that Pieces in a Modern Style was released, from the sound of it you'd have thought he was really angling to get film scoring jobs.
Rolling Stone - Stephanie Zacharek
The pieces drift by, cloudlike, accented by wind chimes, the rush of helicopter blades and other effects - these are songs that sound made for lying on a grassy hill, watching the sky go by.

The pieces drift by, cloudlike, accented by wind chimes, the rush of helicopter blades and other effects - these are songs that sound made for lying on a grassy hill, watching the sky go by.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2000
  • Label: Maverick
  • UPC: 093624759621
  • Catalog Number: 47596

Album Credits

Performance Credits
William Orbit Primary Artist, Track Performer
Damian leGassick Keyboards
Technical Credits
Samuel Barber Composer
William Orbit Arranger, Programming, Producer
Mark Davies Legal Advisor
Rob Dickins Executive Producer
Damian leGassick Programming
Geoff Pesche Mastering
Andrew Kipnes Management
Sean Spuehler Programming, Engineer, Digital Editing
André Tanneberger Producer, Remixing
Ferry Corsten Producer, Remixing
Tracy Heselden Co-Coordinator
Mark Beaven Management
Statham Gill Davies Legal Advisor
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