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Paul McCartney's Ocean Kingdom / Wilson, The London Classical Orchestra

Album Summary

>McCartney, Paul : Ocean's Kingdom, ballet
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

The Independent
Paul McCartney's first work for dance may be the most satisfying of his classical pieces - but then, he's been composing for the dance all his life, in a way...as programme music this has its moments, notably the "Hall of Dance" section in which McCartney gets to indulge his inner Gershwin. It's hardly groundbreaking stuff, but McCartney undeniably has an ear for melody.

Gramophone Magazine
Superior souls may complain of a lack of great substance; but that's the nature of much ballet music. What's on offer is agreeably tuneful and sometimes stimulating music, with undeniably sumptuous orchestral sound... the ultimate impression is of music with a rightful place in the British light orchestral tradition.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, London.

Ocean's Kingdom, Paul McCartney's fifth full-length classical album in 20 years, is his first ballet, its story concerning a star-crossed romance between an earthly prince and a water princess. McCartney's music is appropriately romantic, sometimes to the extent that the moments intended to convey creeping tension or sadness bounce with a joyous gait. Joy isn't a bad characteristic for a piece of music and if Ocean's Kingdom is decidedly less ambitious than Liverpool Oratorio or Standing Stone, whatever charm it has lies in its simplicity, McCartney's good cheer evident in the clean lines of his melodies and their counterpoints, the lack of melancholy in his ballads, and the triumphant brass that closes the proceedings. Perhaps it is pastiche -- its reworking of themes and sounds befitting a narrative that's essentially a respun Romeo and Juliet -- but Macca's sweet swagger sells a shopworn story, at least as far as a record goes. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "With OCEAN'S KINGDOM, he simultaneously dives headfirst into the classical and dance worlds....It's nice to hear Macca forced out of his comfort zone..."


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Works Details

>McCartney, Paul : Ocean's Kingdom, ballet
  • Conductor: John Wilson
  • Ensemble: The London Classical Orchestra
  • Running Time: 56 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 2011