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Spheres
Keith Jarrett
Spheres
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1

Hymns/Spheres, the original double LP from which the four pieces here are drawn, was perhaps too long and somewhat self-indulgent, and ultimately risked tedium. Yet the album contained some of the most transcendent music K...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Keith Jarrett
Title: Spheres
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: ECM Records
Release Date: 4/26/1994
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Classical
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 042282746320, 0042282746320, 781182130227

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Hymns/Spheres, the original double LP from which the four pieces here are drawn, was perhaps too long and somewhat self-indulgent, and ultimately risked tedium. Yet the album contained some of the most transcendent music Keith Jarrett has recorded. In 1976, he came upon the mighty Trinity Organ, built by Karl Joseph Riepp (1710-1775) at the Benedictine Abbey in Ottobeuren, and proceeded to extend its already awesome capabilities by experimenting with partial openings of its stops. The result was an array of eerie tonalities with which he could accomplish a memorable contribution to the long tradition of organ improvisation. The opening section of the nine-part "Sphere" (four selections of which comprise this release) is a grand, piercing, and elevating summoning of shadowy recesses of the spirit, and of their liberation in devotion to whatever one's gods. --Peter Monaghan

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CD Reviews

Beautiful baroque organ improvisations!
Ray (raysan@geocities.com) | Leominster, Massachusetts USA | 06/19/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Recorded in September 1976 at Ottobeuren Abbey, W.Germany- and a unique diversion from his earlier works- Keith Jarrett paint's a beautifully evocative, sad, and poignant landscape of sound (both beautifully harmonic and wonderfully dissonant) on the "Trinity Organ", the larger of the Karl Joseph Riepp (1715-1775) Organs at the Benedictine Abbey Ottobeuren. According to the original album liner notes: "No overdubs, technical ornamentations or additions were utilized, only the pure sound of the organ in the abbey is heard. Many of the unique effects, although never before used, were accomplished by pulling certain stops part way, while others remain completely open or closed. Amazingly, baroque organs have always had this capability."

These pieces have always affected me in a deep and reflective way (to me the music is both sad and uplifting) and 20 years after initially purchasing the double-album on ECM (originally titled "Hymns Spheres" Catalog# ECM-2-1086) the music still has the same affect.

Sadly, two pieces -the original recording's opening and closing compositions titled "Hymn Of Remembrance" and "Hymn Of Release"- were ommitted, probably due to time constraints. Still, I highly recommend "Spheres" although I wish ECM released this work intact as a double-CD release.

- Ray

(...)
"
Why not the whole thing?
Ray (raysan@geocities.com) | 05/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, this is really an amazing performance. Shards of sound, whispers of melody, great atmospherics. At times the music reminds me of Ligeti pieces like "Atmospheres"; music that is more about color and dynamics rather than melody and counterpoint. Jarrett coaxes just about every imagineable sound out of a baroque organ, with its myriad of tone colors and strange intonation.
This CD is actually a severely truncated version of the LP set "Hymns/Spheres", which was at least twice the length of this release (only 4 of 9 movements of "Spheres" are on the CD, and the two lengthy "Hymns" are missing). I would assume that the reason is that ECM figured not enough people would buy the complete set on CD, but this is my official request for them to
release this set in its entirety."
If you only own one piece of music in your life...
Shane | Missouri | 04/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is it. I originally purchased the Hymns/Spheres 2 LP set in the 80s in a used record store while looking for some of Jarrett's jazz titles. When I listened to it I found a work so phenomenal and inspiring that it changed my musical tastes forever. I have been listening to this recording off and on for years, yet its depth and complexity only seem to improve with age. Initially almost atonal to the uninitiated, the familiar ear sees only the purest serenity. This is easily my favorite work (by anyone, any genre) of all time. If anyone at EMI is listening, please do the right thing and release a remastered, unedited version again."