I just received my long-awaited copy of Tubular Bells 2003 from Amazon.co.uk.
I listened to it last night all the way through. Incidentally, I have never listened to the original 1970s Tubular Bells in my life, so I have nothing to compare it to. (In fact, the only Mike Oldfield I ever heard before was the 80's single "Moonlight Shadow"!)
But as a standalone album, and not knowing what to expect, I must say I was blown away by TB 2003. This Mike Oldfield chap is a musical genius! As for the 24-bit recording, it's simply superb and puts most other multi-channel works to shame.
It embodies clarity, warmth, detail, and it sounds very clean and crisp. In fact, everything I could want in a new recording.
I also think the immersive dynamic surround effects are great, and are a nice creative change to the many "ambience" mixes -- although I think there is a time and a place for both. In this case, as TB2003 is a 'concept' album, and I think Mike's approach fits brilliantly. In short, this disc will definitely feature among my 5.1 'demo' line-up of DVD-Audio titles.
So, if you haven't yet got yourself a proper DVD-Audio player and 5.1 multi-channel setup, then this album is good enough reason to do so.