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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 November 2012
I approached this album with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. Trepidation, because some `orchestral rock' albums are simply awful. Excitement because I have thought for some time that parts of Keith Emerson's output had more potential than ELP were able to draw out and, if it worked, it would be a pleasure to hear.

The good news is that it works, and it works because everyone involved has thought it through. It becomes apparent from tracks 1 and 2 (The Endless Enigma) that this is not going to be an album of simple transcriptions to new instruments. This is an album where selected tracks have been re-arranged completely to fit an orchestral setting.

The arrangements are not simply Keith Emerson and friends backed by an orchestra. They are Keith Emerson and friends integrated into an orchestra. That's an important distinction. So this isn't a showcase for the soloists but for the music.

The effect a bit like revisiting a place one knew as a child - a lot that is familiar, but differences too. The biggest difference, of course, is that this record is 100% instrumental.

The major track is, almost inevitably, Tarkus, but completely re-presented. And it works. There are times when I think the slower sections are a tad ponderous and could have been taken faster but that's my only quibble.

The track I was most looking forward to was Abaddon's Bolero and it transcribes to orchestral form as well as I had hoped: very good. And `Fanfare for the Common Man' - of course that works as it started as a classical piece. The treatment here is to offer the Fanfare as originally written and then to follow it with the band playing the rock version: a rousing sign-off, finishing the album in up-beat style.

Outstanding? Probably not quite consistent enough for that. But very good? Yes. So - a smile of relief at a job well done, a pleasurable listen - and four stars.
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on 3 August 2017
Fabulous work by the late genius
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on 24 December 2012
There is a similarity in the reviews here in that those of us who still care approached this with an air of foreboding. In recent years we have been subjected to re-issue upon re-issue and some difficult listenig. Emerson plays Emerson was good, Vivacitas was very patchy and most the issues, for me come from sound(s). So imagine my surprise when this project sounds quite good! There are no pale imitation 80's / 90's synths just Organ, piano and MOOG synthesizer. The orchestra sound big, as in spacious, not expanded digitally or whatever they do. The piano sounds like a piano too.

My reservations are the drum sound (horrible). For those of you who have a copy of Led Zeppelin's Celebration Day, the problem is the same here. Listen to the earls Court shows where the kit sounds like a kit and not a triggered thunderstorm on every beat. For me people need to be brave and not just go with current trends, it worked with the keyboards so why not on the drums? The guitar too as mentioned in another review is underwhelming. I have no axe(sic) to grind with MB but compare the widdly guitar with its very derivative sound to the possibilities of a Modular moog workout. The use of envelopes, modulators and attack and decay is way beyond the possibilities of the guitar and is one of the things Keith is best at (sound again).

Not wishing to dwell on the negatives I need to say that this is a very good album and my reason for being so hard is that given the incredible quality in the back catalogue I expect a lot from Keith and this is so close to being Works revisited. I am very pleased that Keith can still produce inventive and challenging works - maybe we'll even see a review in Mojo (who consistently ignore ELP - no review of ELP and Tarkus remixes!!)

More Moog, More Hammond and more piano please!
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on 14 September 2014
Three Fates is a mix, part “classical” or at least orchestral and part band with accompaniment. It is an uneasy mix and it certainly isn’t a rock album. One suspects that Mr Emerson has been hankering after such an album for years and has been quoted as saying that it is the most important one since the ELP days. Even if that were true it only serves to underline how sparse his output has been since then. But how good is it really?

The orchestrations of the old ELP material are excellent and worth the listen. Abaddon’s Bolero is the pick of the bunch. The Ginestra and Copeland pieces are also very good. The new material is less assured and not at all memorable. The most interesting piece of course is Emerson’s all time masterpiece, Tarkus. Having heard the recording of the Tokyo Philharmonic playing an orchestration of Tarkus I was particularly looking forward to this piece, but on Three Fates it is a bit of a disappointment. The Tokyo version was performed without rock band, turning the tables on Emerson who so often took orchestral pieces and performed then without the orchestra. The version we have on Three Fates is a hybrid, at times with the orchestra providing all the music and at times with the band. What detracts mostly is the guitar performance from Bonilla. I like his work on The Keith Emerson Band album but here it is a little clichéd. I would certainly like to see this performed live but not as much as the arrangement performed in Tokyo.

Verdict. ELP were a band whose music I enjoyed and I certainly include some of their music in my all-time list of favourites. But they also produced some indifferent material. One only has to recall Love Beach and large chucks of the first side of Brain Salad Surgery, a weaker album than many admit. We know now that the chemistry that produced the great material of the first five years has not been found again and we have had to look for morsels among the occasional offerings that have come forward since. This is another of those offerings and in comparion to Emerson’s finest works it is rather ordinary. There are some good moments but nothing to get really excited about.
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on 3 April 2016
Very good indeed. Perhaps fortunately, I ordered this a couple of days before Keith Emerson took his life. Such a loss. He was a splendid composer as well as performer. Anyone in any doubts about this should listen to the original, the staggering, Three Fates (Clotho, Atropos, Lachesis) on Emerson, Lake and Palmer's first album. At his best, there was no-one remotely like him. And that includes Rick Wakeman.

Tarkus comes out very well here, and The Endless Enigma too - though I cannot fathom why it's best bit, Keith's piano fugue, was omitted. Fanfare benefits from the orchestral treatment (in fact most of the tracks do, the orchestration is very good). But Abbadon's Bolero? Why did he persist with this? It's OK on Trilogy, but I've never head a good live rendition. And in fact Honourable Company (a March) from the disastrous Love Beach album is a far, far superior piece of music.

Anyway, I am glad I have this in my collection. I guess you would be too.
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on 22 January 2013
I was a bit dubious about this album, but after having listened to it (really LISTENED to the music), I was very impressed with it, and now it stands pride of place with my collection. Its great for listening in the car after a stressful day. I have to say"Keith who've done it again!". The orchestral pieces are stunning, in fact the whole album is stunning!!! Good job.
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on 26 July 2013
To hear this classic music expanded and played with such verve and skills is wonderful. This music should attract any open-minded listener - do try it!
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on 7 January 2013
If you're a fan of Keith Emerson/ELP and like orchestral treatments, then I'd recommend you to give this a listen. The reworks of the older stuff work well and the new stuff isn't too shabby either. The guitar work is great and Keith still has it when he lets rip on the keyboards but he doesn't overpower the work. I'm not sorry I bought it.
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on 21 December 2013
This is a nicely orchestrated collection of Keith Emerson's work and the Munchner Rundfukkersorkestra play well.

However there is no version of The Three Fates on here - not even one of the ladies.
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on 10 September 2013
If you like symfonic stuff companying modern instruments, then you can try it. It is rather complex and often dramatic, but I can hear that there are clever musicians involved. Mastering is superb.
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