Tubular Bells – 17 May 2023




Wednesday 17 May at 7pm St George’s Bristol  Mike Oldfield’s groundbreaking album Tubular Bells was released on 25th May 1973 and to celebrate its 50th Anniversary – almost to the day – Bristol Ensemble performs a stirring chamber orchestral arrangement of the album, fleshing out the now iconic melodies with a bank of strings. The record has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and is written into music folklore: a 19-year old Oldfield, searching in vain for a record label to back his experimental demos, was introduced to the boss of Virgin, aka Richard Branson, who gave him a week in the studio to do something. Oldfield plays almost all the many instruments on the record and his expansive musical vision, encompassing classical, jazz, rock and electronica, blazed a trail for hundreds of heavyweight artists since. It is a highly original work – famously used as the Exorcistsoundtrack – perfect for orchestral treatment. Approximately 1 hour, without interval.