Latest reviews of new albums:
  • Composed by Nikolas Labrinakos
  • Mother Goose Recordings / 31m

Commissioned by a luxury cruise line to write an orchestral work evoking the ancient Mediterranean world, Celebritas was ultimately never used and so lay unheard for many years. Now it has become the debut release for an offshoot of MovieScore Media (a label well-known to film music fans) dedicated to contemporary classical music. And while it’s not film music, it should certainly appeal to a similar audience given its dramatic, thematic nature. The grand five-movement work (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, no less) begins with “Homage to the Heroes”, an engaging piece that more than lives up to its name (it could be from a comic book hero movie) – it reminds me a bit of an orchestral version of Vangelis’s Conquest of Paradise, with the same sort of feel to it (nothing melodically related, just the feeling).

“Hymn to Aphrodite” is very different – ultra-romantic, with a virtuosic piano solo (played by Ingrid Jacoby), it has more of a pop-orchestral style to it. In “Legends of the Heroes” the composer employs a choir alongside the orchestra – the piece evokes ancient battles or something – before the delightful (if brief) “Empire of the Sea”, a florid fanfare. The work concludes with “Procession to the Temple”, a celebratory finale that’s like the sound of a 1950s biblical epic mixed with more modern sensibilities. Celebritas is a fast-moving, joyous work, 25 minutes or so of rich and hugely rewarding music. As a bonus, the album also includes the composer’s eight-minute “The Last of England”, a beautifully poetic homage to the landscapes of southern England. It’s a much more subdued, contemplative work – grand gestures bring to mind endless rolling hills, a little flute solo here and there is like a bubbling stream flowing past, chimes suggest the wind rustling through an old oak tree – it’s very impressive. One of my favourite things to do is to bring attention to albums that might slip people by – this one isn’t film music but is clearly made of the same stuff and I heartily recommend giving it a try.

Rating: **** 1/2 | |


  1. Dave (Reply) on Monday 24 May, 2021 at 08:10

    I highly recommend Christopher Tins very cinematic orchestral and choral To shiver the sky.Its breathtaking.You should review it.

  2. Chris Garner (Reply) on Monday 19 July, 2021 at 21:21

    I just listened to this for the first time and was really blown away by it. Excellent stuff! I don’t remember the last time a musical composition forced so many audible “wow”s out of me in one sitting. Great stuff, and my favorite music I’ve discovered so far in 2021.