For Orchestra! does Reckoner

by Jonathan on July 22, 2009

This is pretty cool. For Orchestra! has put together a beautiful rendition of Radiohead’s “Reckoner” which you should check out. Walt Ribeiro, the mastermind behind this, explains how he chose “Reckoner” as his latest orchestra piece:

When I choose a song, I understand that I’ll be spending alot of time with it. There are times when I dislike a song I’m arranging but have to live with it, or eventually get sick of it. Luckily, Radiohead ‘Reckoner’ grew on me pretty strongly. After a few days I began looping it for hours while I was walking somewhere or was waiting at the train station. I started depicting the lyrical meaning of the song and really getting involved in their song structure and repertoire.

Here it is!

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  • les


  • giuliana


  • Leviticus

    holy crap im seriously moved here

  • Angelina

    God, that was incredible.

  • Anna

    This made me cry. This is epic

  • PsychedelicRonin

    thats crap, too decorated and the whole tension’s got lost…

  • Tara

    I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I guess my expectations were pretty high bcoz Reckoner is my favorite song.

  • Soren

    Meh. It wasn’t bombastic; did he even use a live orchestra? Can it be called orchestral if he didn’t?

  • Aksel

    Pretty cool actually – even though it was a bit to grandiose and turned out to be a little to much ‘modern classic music’ in my oppinion 🙂 It also takes almost all the fragility from the Radiohead-version, which made the original so immensely beautiful.. But quite a good idea i think 🙂

  • maya

    it’s lovely and unexpected.

  • David

    That is not a real orchestra. It does not sound very good. I’m fairly sure that the shots of the orchestra are of different pieces, because even those shots do not match up. The best classical arrangements of Radiohead are done by Christopher O’Riley on piano. But I’m sure most of you know that.

  • Jason

    I thought it wasn’t that great

  • Lucas

    It sounds like a cross between Danny Elfman and Radiohead.

  • max

    it sounds like midi and i dont like it. i really like classic music, but this one sounds hysterical and straining after effect (or how do you say in english?).

    I do not know any good classical version of radiohead songs, O´Riley is more pop than classic, i think, and i dont like it, too. Even im not a jazzer, i think Brad Mehldau does the best radiohead cover. just check out his versions of exit music or paranoid android on youtube.

  • Clive

    I’m up for anything Radiohead-related but this did nothing for me. Muzak version of one of Radiohead’s greatest achievements.

  • wondermilk

    I think it was a bit too sticcato for me…i love the smoothness of Reckoner, which was completely lost here.

  • Bartholomew Bernsteyn

    Well, hell…
    It’s something totally different from what I found in the original song – I don’t see why the orchestral derivation has to sound so ‘bright’ and loud; at least for me, virtually everything of the original fragility and vagueness has been neglected. I mean, I see the similarities, but imagining someone listen to this orchestral derivation first just to believe that _this_ _is_ Radiohead is quite discomforting.
    I am certainly not moved by _this_, I am actually a bit hostile towards it. Sorry – Reckoner is a great, great song, but this work is nothing like it…

  • pantrus

    i believe the second terzzo where the staccatto e un po benevolente me piaceria una eight bars from the addagio alla terzetta . . .

  • Thanks so much for the kind words! Glad you enjoyed my Radiohead piece. @Bartholomew Bernsteyn: I understand how ‘bright’ it sounds, and that’s the result of trumpets and flutes. I could have rearranged it to sound darker, but felt it sounded mysterious the way it was written. @Wondermilk: Staccato was something I wanted to express in the song. Its an arrangement, and a perfect translation would have sounded less like a remix, but I understand what you’re saying.

    @les @giuliana @Leviticus @Angelina @Anna I’m glad you all enjoyed it and that it moved you. Radiohead’s original ‘Reckoner’ moved me, and I’m glad I could pay that motion forward. Their music is beautiful.

  • Chris

    Reckoner was definitely one of my least favorite IR songs to start out but, like with much of Radiohead’s brilliant work, it slowly grew on me and now is one of my favorites. This rendition not only does the original justice, but gives it a fantastic and beautiful new perspective.

  • Samm

    Dear mr. Ribeiro, your rendition of Reckoner is amazing. Glad you took time to read our opinions here. And yes, Radiohead music is beautiful, I would be in awe if I could see more of your renditions of their work.

  • ucho

    Reconer RH cover sounds by Orchestra live?!
    Yes. It`s brilliant Beautiful&veery nice:)
    but I miss still just one more thing here
    Thom Yorke`s voice weaveing In

  • Bartholomew Bernsteyn

    Hey Walt,
    Cool to have you here 🙂
    I didn’t mean to be hurtful in my original comment – I appreciate your work and the thought you have put into it; maybe it’s just me that associates some kind of fragility on sub-molecular level with the original …because we separate like ripples on a blank shore, in rainbows…
    maybe the 23611st time I listened to the original was one too much to remain flexible towards other interpretations, including yours.
    Keep up the good work!
    (listening to 23611++)

  • What an honour to have a brilliant bands music portrayed this way. Lots of resources have gone into this production, unfortunately there are a few things missing, the haunting emotion involved and Thom Yorkes voice. Labour intensive production but doesnt do it for me.

  • d

    there is nothing worse than a drumset in an orchestra

  • also

    why did this have to be imposed on the brilliant mr tilson thomas

  • i love it.changing sides now . . .

    offering great music ideas . . . [ alla what s in the office charts]

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    Grandfather Clock This Will Destroy You Young Mountain [EP] 2:38

    Hands Four Tet Rounds 5:41 2003

    Hold The Ladder The Octopus Project One Ten Hundred Thousand Million 3:36 2004

    I Know You Are But What Am I? Mogwai Happy Songs For Happy People 5:17 2003

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    Reel Life (Evolution II) The Cinematic Orchestra Cinematic Orchestra 6:58 2002

    Superheroes Of BMX Mogwai Government Comissions (BBC Sessions 1996-2003) 7:31 1996

    There Are Some Remedies Worse Than Disease This Will Destroy You Young Mountain [EP] 6:18 2005

    Unspoken Four Tet Rounds 9:31 2003

    The Use Of Unacceptable Colors In Nature Boom Bip Seed To Sun 5:37 2002

    Work It! (Man With The Movie Camera) The Cinematic Orchestra Cinematic Orchestra 8:06 2002

    Zedex Ay Ti Wan Fridge Early Output 1996-1998 5:26 2009

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  • piotr

    Ok at best. The beat was unnecessary. I think they missed a lot of notes from the track that could have been splashed all around. Kind of simple. And if that made you cry your emo man. Lol

  • Diana

    Shit!!!IT WAS AWESOME!!!!Good job!

  • Very NICE.

  • Rune

    Well nice that they took on the project, but I thought i sounded utterly boring – not compared to the original but compared to the potential of the hole setup. I think it sounded trapped and boxed somehow.

  • snogger

    wow… excuse the rip i’m about to do but that was absolutely awful. whoever arranged that must have been a neanderthal orchestrating with a wooden club. Seriously… there was no tact in the orchestration. TERRIBLE arranging… no tension, no life, no nothing! awful, tactless things like this really piss me off! Who green lighted this thing? let it be known that whoever did, is ALSO a musical neanderthal. But seriously now, the only thing that this arrangement is missing is a *doof doof doof* track of 4-on the floor techno beat. believe it or not, that would have actually improved it! 🙂
    love to all,

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