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Omen II

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Everything posted by Omen II

  1. Not that I am aware of, I’m afraid. The concert was at the Royal Festival Hall in November 2007.
  2. Agreed 100%. I reckon John Wilson to be the best interpreter of Korngold's film music there is. I have been lucky enough to see him conduct several of Korngold's film scores in concert over the years and every time he has surpassed even Charles Gerhardt's reference recordings in my opinion. The first time I saw him conduct live was in a concert of golden age film music given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2007, where he programmed The Sea Hawk, The Adventures of Robin Hood and gave the UK concert premieres of Escape Me Never and Tomorrow from The Constant Nymph. I have also seen him conduct Kings Row with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Incidentally, the John Wilson Orchestra in this concert included several members of the London Symphony Orchestra who will no doubt be making an appearance next month at the same venue under the baton of John Williams!
  3. I have always assumed that the dance sequence at the beginning of the film was a homage to the kaleidoscopic dance sequences devised by Busby Berkeley in so many musicals of the 1930s and 1940s. Many of those sequences had a fantasy element which involved far more dancers and far more elaborate routines than the location in the movie would allow 'in real life'. I feel sure that Spielberg was just paying tribute to Busby Berkeley, especially as the film is set in the same period (the mid 1930s) as when those dance sequences were popular. Here is a typical example from Gold Diggers of 1935.
  4. It is decided well in advance of sale which BBC Proms concerts will be recorded for TV broadcast and seats in certain areas of the hall are not sold for those concerts accordingly. @tmarps is right that some of the usual camera positions for BBC Proms concerts take up space that would otherwise be available for concertgoers. For example, a small temporary platform is built over the last few rows of the seats in block O of the stalls for the boom camera, while there is also a camera on rails immediately in front of the stage and sometimes another on a platform further back in the arena itself. This is less of a problem for BBC Proms concerts as the concertgoers in the arena are standing and can therefore avoid their view being restricted to some degree if they are so minded. There is also usually a camera in the gallery which would also mean one of the arches would not be available for the public and the capacity reduced. I would have loved to see this concert recorded but unless it had been decided in advance, it would almost certainly have meant fewer tickets being available for people to attend the concert in person. I suspect that Marian might also have a point about copyright issues for a recording of a concert such as this. On hot days during the Proms season they sometimes leave jugs of water and paper cups on the shelves in the concourses during the interval (they also do this now at Wembley Stadium, go figure).
  5. What an amazing concert this was! When Michel Legrand shuffled out onto the stage at the beginning he looked every one of his 86 years, but he played the piano with the virtuosity of a genius half his age. A big screen above the stage showed clips from each of the films featured as the music was played, starting with a lengthy action sequence from Ice Station Zebra, a very bold and unusual way to begin the concert. Legrand either conducted or played the piano for every piece, Paul Bateman ably stepping up to conduct when the composer was tinkling the ivories. I do not know Michel Legrand's work as well as I should do, Gable and Lombard and Picasso Summer being two such examples from the first half - both were brilliant. The audience gave him an immediate standing ovation at the end of the concert, prompting him to return to the piano to play Brian's Song as an encore. The Tribute to Steve McQueen at the end was fantastic. The music he wrote for Le Mans is really too cool for school. 😎
  6. Ice Station Zeborah! 😻 P.S. Check out the grade listed Royal Festival Hall carpet.
  7. With this landmark occasion now only a few weeks away, it is remarkable that there have been so few details publicised to date apart from the fact that John Williams will be conducting the London Symphony Orchestra. We knew the programme and guest soloist for the Vienna Philharmonic concerts several weeks ago, but this lack of information in some ways makes it all the more exciting. Although I am lucky enough to have seen John Williams live before, the last time was as long ago as 1998 and I never thought when leaving the Barbican that evening that it would be twenty years before I would have the chance to see him again. When the concert was announced I was just overjoyed at the prospect of seeing my musical hero again, but as the concert date nears I too am starting to speculate about what lies in store. Here are a few random thoughts: No other conductor has been announced for this concert so far and it would be great if John Williams were able to conduct the whole thing himself. It is rare for him to do so these days but not unprecedented and I am obviously hoping he can do the whole thing. However, if there were another conductor to share conducting duties, who would it be? I guess the most likely candidates would be Richard Kaufman, Keith Lockhart, John Wilson or even Gustavo Dudamel or Simon Rattle. While cellist Johannes Moser has been announced for Vienna, there is no hint yet of any guest soloists for the LSO concert unless I have missed it. If there is to be a soloist, who would you like to see and playing which piece(s)? Following the recent sale of choir seats at the Royal Albert Hall I think it is unlikely that there will be a big screen for any of the selections, but again it is not unprecedented. I have sat in the choir previously for concerts where there are a couple of smaller screens facing the choir so that the audience in those areas can still see the visual element. Personally I am hoping for no big screen, although if Williams conducted one sequence live to picture I could certainly live with that. I would love to hear one of Williams's less widely performed celebratory pieces, for example Celebrate Discovery or Liberty Fanfare. As others have said, it would also be great to hear a mixture of classics such as Raiders March and less well known pieces. I am really hoping that Williams features the 'Voice of Jupiter', the magnificent 9,999 pipe Royal Albert Hall organ. When the RAH organ is played it is a unique experience to be in the audience. It is made for Gloria from Monsignor (especially with the LSO connection)... There is no mention of a choir so far but it would be brilliant if there was one. The fact that choir seats have been sold does not rule out there being a choir in the slightest. A very decent sized vocal ensemble can easily be accommodated towards the rear of the stage and this often happens at the Royal Albert Hall without the need to sacrifice any of the choir seats for Joe Public. Although I know he is not conducting them, I wonder if Williams might take the opportunity to attend either of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban live to picture screenings earlier in the week, seeing as he will presumably be in town anyway. I guess we will know all this soon enough!
  8. Calling cards bearing the wording “Congratulations, you’ve just met the ICF (1941 Battalion)” will become a much sought after souvenir of his visit.
  9. The public entrances are numbered 1 to 12 (at least a couple of which - 10 and 11 - are currently out of use due to the Great Excavation) but there is also a Stage Door which is clearly signed; it is located between doors 12 and 1 on the southeast side of the building and you cannot really miss it if you walk round the perimeter. When I was at the Royal Albert Hall for the Proms last week, Prince Charles was also in attendance and was whisked away from there after the concert in a motorcade with police motorcyclists stopping the traffic on Kensington Gore. I wonder how long John Williams will be in London and where he might be staying (not that I intend pestering him even if I did know)? Traditionally I believe the biggest artists performing at the Royal Albert Hall often stay at the 5-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington High Street, a ten minute walk away, but that’s complete guesswork on my part.
  10. I missed the Last Night of the Proms yesterday but have been catching up with it online. I am pleased to see that the BBC finally broadcast the whole of Hubert Parry's wonderful Jerusalem without feeling the need to cut to some windswept park in Glasgow or Belfast or wherever to 'link up' with some poor sods shivering under blankets while they watch it on a big screen. It is so much better in my opinion to show just the orchestra, choir and audience inside the Royal Albert Hall. By the way, anyone with gallery standing tickets for the John Williams concert will get a good idea of what to expect from about 1:15 onwards.
  11. You should be ok with Hyde Park as that closes at midnight all year round. Kensington Gardens is the one directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall on the west side of the Serpentine, but as long as you are in the park before the gates are locked you can still exit using one of several one-way turnstile gates at various points around the perimeter.
  12. Just in case you do not already know this Thor, Kensington Gardens closes at dusk throughout the year which on 26th October this year is at 6 p.m. However, it is still possible to walk / stagger back to the Lancaster Gate / Paddington area after the concert using Exhibition Road / West Carriage Drive, which is the road that separates Kensington Gardens from Hyde Park and is open all the time. I might be teaching granny to suck eggs here, but I wouldn't want any JW fans to be caught out and miss any of the concert. Incidentally, any Hook fans new to London might want to have a look at the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens. If I recall correctly it is featured at the end of the film when Robin Williams wakes up in the snow. It is about 10-15 minutes' walk from the Royal Albert Hall.
  13. The official Royal Albert Hall policy is: "Phones and recording devices including mobiles, tablets and cameras are distracting to other audience members. Please ensure they are switched off. Recording is strictly forbidden." However, I have found that the stewards at the Royal Albert Hall are usually fairly relaxed about the 'reasonable use' of compact cameras and smartphones to take photographs in the hall, for example before or after a piece has been played. I have taken plenty of photos at the Royal Albert Hall, some of which I have posted in various threads here, but have never done so during the performance itself. I think that if you were constantly taking photos or doing so while the music was being performed, you would be asked politely to desist. It is interesting to note that the Royal Albert Hall features its favourite photos taken by audience members each week on its @royalalberthall Instagram page. A photo I took at a recent Proms concert was featured a couple of weeks ago, which does not exactly discourage camera use in the hall despite the official line!
  14. The stage seats have the best view of the conductor and the orchestra in the whole of the Royal Albert Hall, but unfortunately they are not on sale to the public and you will have to be one of the musicians in the London Symphony Orchestra to be able to sit there. Seriously though it looks like you have fantastic seats in the choir. I had seat 106 in row 3 of the Choir West this evening for an utterly brilliant BBC Proms concert of music by Berlioz played by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner. Here are a few photos to give you an idea of the amazing view you can get from the choir seats in the Royal Albert Hall when it is full to the rafters.
  15. It does not have to be a contactless card issued in the UK. All American Express cards and most Mastercards and Maestro cards should work, although it does depend on the country of issue. This page from the Transport for London website has a lot of useful information about which contactless cards can be used for travel in London, whether issued in the UK or overseas.
  16. Yes Marian, I have both my Oyster card and my contactless debit card on the same TfL account.
  17. You are charged the same amount whether you use an Oyster card or a contactless card to pay for your journey, while the same daily capping rates also apply to both. If you register your contactless card you are able to check journey history on the website or app. Contactless cards also have weekly capping (which Oyster cards do not have currently, although TfL is working on it).
  18. You would not need to have registered the card (although it is useful to have an account at www.tfl.gov.uk as a convenient way of checking your journey history). If it is a recently issued card, you might need to make a contactless chip and pin payment first to ensure that the card works. I reckon that would be your best bet if you already have a contactless card.
  19. Yes, as long as it has the contactless symbol on it the card should work and will just deduct the correct fare for your journey.
  20. Firstly pray to your god that there are still tickets left when they go on general sale! Secondly I would definitely recommend creating an account at the Royal Albert Hall website (https://www.royalalberthall.com) today by clicking on the little man icon in the top right. This will speed up the process when trying to book tickets. I don't think it will allow you to save your credit card details until you have made your first purchase through the website, so make sure you have your credit card details to hand in case you are lucky enough to get to the front of the queue with tickets still available. I do not know but I suspect that the website will allow you to choose only a section of seating (choir or gallery) rather than specific seats due to likely high demand for tickets (they do this when tickets for the BBC Proms first go on sale in May each year). If it gives you the option, I would also recommend selecting 'choose best available seats'.
  21. The fact that they are selling choir seats for this concert does not necessarily mean that there will not be a choir, it just means that there will not be a huge choir. There are nine rows of choir seats at the Royal Albert Hall with row 1 closest to the stage and row 9 furthest away at the top. Choir West seats are located to the right of the organ and Choir East seats to the left of the organ. Even fairly large choirs can be accommodated on the same stage as the orchestra without the choir having to use any of the choir seats at all. If there is a particularly large choir they sometimes use just the first three rows of choir seats for the choir, leaving rows 4 to 9 available for the general public. I would be interested to see if anyone who is lucky enough to buy choir seats tomorrow is allocated a seat in rows 1 to 3. They would only use all nine rows of choir seats for some huge choral work requiring several choirs. I took the photo below during a recent Proms concert a few weeks ago - it shows the choir (the BBC National Chorus of Wales) in rows 1 to 3 and also on the stage behind the brass and percussion sections. To add to what @leeallen01 said earlier, the choir seats can offer a fantastic view of the conductor and the rest of the auditorium. By pure coincidence I have choir seats for the BBC proms tomorrow evening, so I will try to take a photo for illustrative purposes if anyone is interested. The only considerations I would add are that the steps to the upper rows of the choir are quite steep so would not suit anyone with a mobility problem or anyone who is very uncomfortable with heights. Also you might not be able to see the whole orchestra if you have a seat in one of the upper rows of the choir closest to the organ on either side; seat 1 is closest to the organ in the east choir while seat 101 is closest to the organ in the west choir.
  22. Just saying like. Seriously though, I am delighted that any JW Fans who missed out first time round have a second chance at this. Good luck!
  23. I don't know how road maintenance and building is funded in the US, but it is a widespread misconception among many motorists in the UK that we pay 'road tax' for having a car and that this is what pays for road maintenance and building. I have often heard people in this country criticise cyclists for being on the road when "they don't pay road tax." Those people are wrong, however, as road tax no longer exists - indeed it was abolished by Winston Churchill in the 1930s. The tax paid by motorists here is actually 'vehicle excise duty' (VED) and is a tax on the carbon emissions that their vehicle produces (hence why drivers of electric vehicles are exempt from paying it). In the UK road maintenance and building are funded entirely from general taxation to which all taxpayers contribute, whether they own a car, a bicycle, both or neither. It is estimated that two thirds of cyclists on the UK's roads are also car drivers who pay vehicle excise duty, myself included.
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