The Millennium Bell
Andrzej Maslowski

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These are not Tubular Bells IV. I want to make it clear, because I can still notice some sarcastic smiles on the faces of people who just cannot stand the incredible expansion of Oldfield's music which has brought him glory and fame for all these years. They usually own and respect Tubular Bells, but most of them slighted Tubular Bells II from the start, because it was a piece of music which was very similar in structure. It did not matter to them it was a beautiful one. However, when Oldfield recorded another Tubular Bells sequel (third part) last year, it resulted in loud outbursts of laughter on the part of those pseudo-enthusiasts who did not even care to listen to it.

    And now The Millennium Bell !!! Not only will he be hot news again but might lose all the respect of the „casual-listeners" as well. It is merely irresistible not to mention Mike's words spoken in the 1974 interview for Melody Maker: „I'm different to musicians who quote others, because I quote myself".

    The Millennium Bell is a suite which encompasses the times dating from the beginning of Christianity. Oldfield touched various themes that he considered vital. He didn't want to enumerate every event, as in that case he would certainly need kilometres of tape and the final outcome would probably take form of a musically illustrated encyclopaedia.

    To make his concept come true he also invited a choir, an orchestra and his daughter Greta, whose charming voice seems to be filled with truly majestic qualities .

    Oldfield spotted epochal moments incorporating not only Tschaikovsky and Columbus, but also Bond or Churchill. Then he revealed Amber Light to us and hit the bell - The Millennium Bell.

    What a record ! It sent shivers down my spine! Actually that is a typical Oldfield - you can recognise his unique style at once, but this time it is both lofty and solemn - with a full range of colours.

    This is the 45 minutes and 5 seconds long suite consisting of eleven miniatures where one can hear not only the echoes of today's music but also sounds from different parts the world with the spirit of Tschaikovsky floating in the air. The suite includes every single item which ought to be incorporated into it. They all constitute the record which can be characterised only as being thoroughly perfect. Once again…unfortunately.

Gazeta Poznanska

Last updated: 20.10.2008
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