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Omen II

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Omen II last won the day on February 19 2018

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  1. Yes indeed, I realised I had forgotten the brilliant Sinfonia of London immediately after I posted. You are right that its players are the cream of the major orchestras in the UK, including several members of the LSO, the LPO, the RPO and BBC orchestras. I went to their concerts at the BBC Proms this year and last, both of which were absolute highlights of those seasons. Last year they played Korngold's symphony while this year they played Elgar's Enigma Variations and I will never hear either work played better if I live to be one hundred. I already have tickets to their concert at the Barbican in December, so naughty me for forgetting them.
  2. The ones you have listed Jason are four of the 'big five' professional symphony orchestras based in London (the other being the BBC Symphony Orchestra) and yes, they are all completely separate entities. However, England has a number of other fantastic professional symphony orchestras based outside London, including: The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (based in England's second city) The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (based on the south coast but giving concerts across the southwest and the home counties) The Hallé Orchestra (based in Manchester) The BBC Philharmonic (also based in Manchester) The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra The Royal Northern Sinfonia (based in Gateshead in the northeast) There are also loads of professional chamber orchestras and period ensembles in England, of which there are too many to mention - The BBC Concert Orchestra, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, The London Mozart Players, The English Chamber Orchestra, L'Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, The Academy of Ancient Music, etc. I have no doubt forgotten some.
  3. Battle of Britain is another film which had two great scores, the replacement by Ron Goodwin and the original by Sir William Walton whose Battle in the Air was the only piece to survive in the film as released. I like to play both scores around this time of year (Battle of Britain Day in the UK is 15th September) as a tribute to those brave men from the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and its European allies (biggest shout to the Poles and the Czechs) who saved our country from Nazi invasion in that summer of 1940. Walton's score is more overtly patriotic than Goodwin's but that is no bad thing. The march at the end makes me want to fly a Hurricane at a Dornier and damn the consequences!
  4. This was the thirteenth different John Williams-scored film I have seen live in concert (all of them at the Royal Albert Hall) and I must say that it was a thrill to hear the music 'properly' without the muddy sound of the soundtrack releases to date. That it was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra (led on the Sunday evening performance by Carmine Lauri) made it extra special. I heard and saw details in the orchestration which I had not noticed previously, which is one of the tremendous benefits of the live in concert format. I mentioned double bass player Patrick Laurence earlier in this thread as probably having played on the original soundtrack, so it was good to see him on stage with the rest of the double bass section.
  5. Several of the LSO's longest serving members have retired only within the last couple of years (Colin Renwick, Nigel Broadbent, Lennox MacKenzie, Jenny Brown, etc.) and were around long enough to have played on a 1983 film score. Double bass player Patrick Laurence has been in the LSO since 1982 and is still going strong, so he might well have played on the original score of Return of the Jedi (I have never seen a roster of the musicians to know for certain).
  6. The Imperial State Crown is one of the only two crowns in regular use by the British monarch, the other being the St. Edward’s Crown. Both can be seen among the Crown Jewels kept at the Tower of London on public display. The current Imperial Crown is a remodelling of an original made for Queen Victoria in 1838. It contains a sapphire said to have been worn by Edward the Confessor, as well as the Cullinan II diamond and pearls reputed to have belonged to the first Queen Elizabeth. It is worn at the state opening of Parliament as well as following the coronation.
  7. We do love a good queue do us Brits. In fact we invented the queue, refined and perfected it over many centuries and still lead the world in this ancient and noble art. Most of the people in the queue to file past HM The Queen probably do not even know what they are queueing up for, but considered it too good an opportunity to miss when they spied a column of people snaking through central London. Queue jumping in the United Kingdom remains one of the few offences for which capital punishment is the ultimate sanction available (used only when loud tutting and eye rolling does not have the desired effect).
  8. I went to welcome HM Queen Elizabeth II on her final journey to London at RAF Northolt this evening. Thousands upon thousands lined the roads in the rain for a glimpse of the hearse and to pay their respects. I felt that it was the least I could do for her seventy years of dedicated and selfless service to the UK and the Commonwealth.
  9. The Jurassic Park theme played in Peterborough Cathedral, the resting place of Katherine of Aragon (Henry VIII's first wife) and Mary, Queen of Scots.
  10. I was pleased to see that someone has uploaded to YouTube the full BBC Proms concert of Leonard Bernstein's On the Town recently. Some Other Time is at about 1:52 and is a lovely rendition.
  11. I went to a great BBC Proms concert yesterday in which every piece pertained to the sea. The undoubted highlight was Ralph Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony in the second half, but the first half also featured two works by British female composers which deserve to be heard more often. Before Grace Williams's Sea Sketches, the concert opened with Doreen Carwithen's Bishop Rock. Carwithen would later marry film composer William Alwyn following a lengthy clandestine affair. The concert will be broadcast on BBC TV tomorrow evening (Friday) for anyone interested.
  12. If you are able to watch BBC TV or have access to the BBC iPlayer, I thoroughly recommend the broadcast of Prom 2 from this season's BBC Proms at 20:00 this evening on BBC Four. I went to the concert last night and it was fantastic - a programme of music from the Sinfonia of London under John Wilson, including Arnold Bax's Tintagel and William Walton's Partita for Orchestra. The concert was bookended by Ralph Vaughan-Williams's Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations and I will be very lucky if I ever hear either piece played better. Huw Watkins, whose entertaining flute concerto we heard performed by Adam Walker, was in the audience. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0019dsf
  13. The Liquidator by Lalo Schifrin, with none other than Shirley Bassey singing the title theme.
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