Crossing Over: Tori Amos's new classical album "Night of the Hunters" debuted atop Billboard's Classical Crossover chart and had top ten debuts on both the Alternative and Rock Albums surveys. (Photo: Victor de Mello)
Eccentric Grammy-nominated, American-born, Britain-based artist Tori Amos has made her first foray into classical music with her debut album for the Deutsche Grammophon label and a Europe/U.S tour. And judging by the album's chart success last week-- a No. 1 debut on the Classical Crossover Album chart, a No. 7 debut on the Rock Albums chart and a No. 5 Alternative Albums chart launch--she was the right musician for the job.
It seemed only a matter of time before the influential artist--who's sold more than 12 million albums--had her fill of the pop world and would seek out new challenges. "Night Of Hunters" is Amos' twelfth studio album and first for Deutsche Grammophon. It is a 21st-century song cycle that she says takes its inspiration from classical pieces across the last 400 years. It features respected classical performers including young Polish string quartet Apollon Musagète and Berlin Philharmonic principal clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer.
Tori Amos' music video for "Carry," from "Night of Hunters":
That Amos is credited with being the first major-label artist to offer a single as a digital download ("Bliss" from her "Venus and Back" album on Atlantic) and has had her songs turned into graphic novels (published by Image Comics), a project like this, which she both wrote and produced, should come as no surprise.
Says Dr. Alex Buhr, Executive Producer at Deutsche Grammophon, "Tori Amos is one of the most remarkable singer-songwriters of our time. Her body of work, as modern as it is, also reflects her classical training -- in her piano playing, of course; but also in the architecture and feel of many of her songs. So from the very beginning, when the idea of transposing a classical song-cycle into the 21st century first came up, she was the ideal artist to take on this challenge."
Tori Amos discusses "Night of Hunters" in the album trailer:
And it's not a departure for the label, which in the past worked with Sting and Elvis Costello on such 'hybrid' recordings. However, says Buhr, "'Night of Hunters' is unique in that it merges both classical form and classical material with modern songwriting. Our goal here is not to do 'crossover' in the current sense of the word; but to find selective, high-quality projects that push the boundaries of how classical music can be interpreted today. We see this--music of integrity, if you will--as part of our mission as the leading classical music label."
Amos is touring the album, starting on Sept. 28 in Finland and ending in Dallas, Texas on Dec. 22.