Pieces in a Modern Style

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Pieces in a Modern Style
William Orbit Pieces in a Modern Style.jpeg
Studio album by
Released1995 (original release)
22 February 2000 (re-release)
GenreElectronic classical, classical crossover, ambient
LabelWEA, Warner Music UK (Europe) Maverick (US)
ProducerWilliam Orbit
William Orbit chronology
The Best of Strange Cargos
Pieces in a Modern Style
Hello Waveforms
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic62/100 [1]
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[3]

Pieces in a Modern Style is the sixth album by electronic instrumentalist William Orbit. He is credited as arranger, programmer, producer, and performer of the album. It was released in 2000 by WEA and Warner Music UK in Europe and Maverick Records in the United States. Barber's Adagio for Strings was the first single from the album, however the version played on radio and television was a remix by Ferry Corsten. The album is a fusion of classical music, electronica, ambient music and chill out music and contains no vocals. The Adagio single reached #4 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1999.

The second single was Pavane pour une Infante Défunte. This again had a different arrangement to the album version, but this time was done by Orbit himself. The single reached #31 in the UK Singles Chart in May 2000.

The album was originally released in May 1995 on Orbit's N-Gram Recordings label, credited to Orbit alias The Electric Chamber. This version is not widely available, as it was withdrawn from sale almost immediately when Arvo Pärt objected to its inclusion of his compositions Fratres and Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten. The version issued in 2000 replaced these pieces with works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Handel and Mascagni, and reached #2 in the UK Album Charts.

A Deutsche Grammophon 2000 release Pieces In The Original Style: Bohemia (Catalogue number 463 450-2) featured the original versions of the tracks on this CD, which included contributions from Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yo-Yo Ma, Gidon Kremer and Mark Seltser; conductors included Leonard Bernstein, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Herbert von Karajan.[4]

In 2010 a follow-up, entitled simply Pieces in a Modern Style 2, was released.

Track listing[edit]

  1. Samuel Barber - "Adagio for Strings" – 9:34
  2. John Cage - "In a Landscape" – 2:57
  3. Erik Satie - "Ogive Number 1"[5] – 6:44
  4. Pietro Mascagni - "Cavalleria Rusticana" – 3:19
  5. Maurice Ravel - "Pavane pour une Infante Défunte" – 6:11
  6. Antonio Vivaldi - "L'Inverno" – 3:57
  7. Ludwig van Beethoven - "Triple Concerto" – 5:32
  8. Georg Friedrich Händel - "Xerxes" – 4:42
  9. Henryk Górecki - "Piece in the Old Style 1" – 5:06
  10. Henryk Górecki - "Piece in the Old Style 3" – 5:49
  11. Ludwig van Beethoven - "Opus 132" – 6:14

Limited edition EP also contains:

  1. "Adagio for Strings" (Ferry Corsten Mix) - 6:33
  2. "Adagio for Strings" (ATB Mix) - 7:35


Chart (2000) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[6] 33
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[7] 91
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[8] 54
UK Albums (OCC)[9] 2
US Billboard 200[10] 198


  1. ^ Metacritic Review
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie. "Album Review: William Orbit - Pieces in a Modern Style". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 October 2007. Retrieved 28 December 2015.
  4. ^ "Pieces In The Original Style (CD, Compilation)". Discogs. Retrieved 15 Dec 2018.
  5. ^ Although titled "Ogive Number 1", this track is actually an arrangement of the second of Satie's four Ogives. Compare, for example, Orbit's arrangement with either the published sheet music or the midi files linked from Ogive (music).
  6. ^ "Australiancharts.com – William Ørbit – Pieces in a Modern Style". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 Dec 2018.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – William Ørbit – Pieces in a Modern Style" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 Dec 2018.
  8. ^ "William Ørbit: Pieces in a Modern Style". Retrieved 6 Dec 2018.
  9. ^ "William Orbit | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  10. ^ "William Orbit Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.