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Omen II

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Posts posted by Omen II


  1. I went to the European premiere of Whitacre's The Sacred Veil at St. John's Smith Square in Westminster last night.  It was a very moving experience, especially for anyone who has lost someone close to them.  The piece tells the story of the courtship, love, loss and search for solace of Charles Anthony Silvestri (Whitacre's best friend and writer of the words to many of his works, e.g. Sleep) following the death of his wife Julie from ovarian cancer in 2005.  The work is in twelve movements as follows:

     

    1. The Veil Opens
    2. In a Dark and Distant Year
    3. Home
    4. Magnetic Poetry
    5. Whenever There Is Birth
    6. I'm Afraid
    7. I Am Here
    8. Delicious Times
    9. One Last Breath
    10. Dear Friends
    11. You Rise, I fall
    12. Child of Wonder

     

    Such a premise runs the risk of bathos or coming across as quite maudlin (dare I say especially for a stiff-upper-lip British audience), but it really was outstanding in both the words and the music.  Some of the words were taken from Julia Silvestri's own diary entries and e-mails (Dear Friends in particular I found heartbreaking).  The words were projected on a screen behind the choir which was a neat idea, as it allowed the audience to pay full attention to the choir and musicians (pianist Christopher Glynn and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler) instead of following the words in the programme.  When it finished a couple of the choir members were wiping tears from their eyes.  If you get the chance to see this piece performed, I heartily recommend it.  It will be recorded for release next year on Signum Records.


  2. 13 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

    Which works by Finzi are well known?

     

    Classical music lovers would probably be most familiar with his Eclogue for piano and strings, Five Bagatelles, the clarinet concerto and the cello concerto.  But I take your point.

     

    Love's Labour's Lost, which I posted somewhere earlier in this thread, deserves to be better known and played more often as well.


  3. I would be very surprised if Anne-Sophie Mutter stopped her performance due to concerns about copyrighting.  It was clearly distracting her enough that she felt it was affecting her performance for whatever reason, therefore I completely understand her stopping the performance and asking the young woman to stop.  It might be that she was in a crabby mood that day and might otherwise have let it go, but that is her prerogative as the performer (Williams himself has gone on record as saying that she is a woman you cannot say no to).

     

    It might be partly a generational thing too.  I grew up in an age without smartphones whereas many youngsters nowadays are used to having every aspect of their lives recorded for posterity as soon as they emerge from the womb (literally in some cases!); they therefore see nothing wrong in videoing anything and everything that happens to them and are less bothered by others that do so.  I still feel a little self conscious just taking a couple of still photos with my camera at the end of a performance during the applause and cannot envisage myself ever recording during a performance in a classical concert.

     

    For me it is not a question of whether or not I can still enjoy the concert at the same time as videoing it, it is a question of whether or not I could do so without affecting other people's enjoyment of the concert.  I usually do find the use of smartphones during a formal performance very distracting.  At somewhere like the Royal Albert Hall where the seats in the stalls and circle are very steeply raked, you can easily see when someone in the rows in front of you turns their phone on.  It seems that so many people cannot sit still for three quarters of an hour without checking their phone.  I was at a Proms concert a few weeks ago where a man actually took a telephone call during a magical performance of John Luther Adams's In the Name of the Earth, until he was quickly taken to task by the people sitting around him.

     

    That said, I am open to accusations of hypocrisy here given that I have enjoyed the occasional video taken by concertgoers and indeed have linked to them plenty of times here.  For example there was a video of the final scenes of E.T. live in concert that was brilliant, although I am glad I was not sitting behind the person taking it!

     

     


  4. The Sunday evening performance by the Philharmonia was astonishing, especially considering that it was the second time they had played the score today and the fourth time this weekend.  Even after all these years and my familiarity with the score, there were so many little details I noticed in the orchestration for the first time.  If someone had told me even five years ago that one day I would be able to hear the whole of the Battle of Hoth sequence and The Asteroid Field played live to the film I would not have believed them.

     

    It was great to hear the round of applause during the end credits when John Williams's name appeared and also to see Dirk Brosse hold up the score at the end.

     

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  5. On 9/8/2019 at 1:32 PM, Stefancos said:

     

    I caught the last half an hour or so of that match on TV and was very impressed with the Dutch.  Their third and fourth goals were the culmination of two excellent team moves.  You are in a very difficult group with the Germans and also Norn Iron going well so far, so qualification could go down to the wire.

     

    I went to the England v Bulgaria match at Wembley on Saturday and we won 4-0 with Sir Henry Kane Esq. scoring a hat trick.  In truth Bulgaria offered very little and were a far cry from their great team of the 1990s with the likes of Stoichkov, Letchkov and "the werewolf" Ivanov.  I am also going to Southampton tomorrow evening to watch the England v Kosovo match, the first ever meeting between the two countries and the first time I will have been to an England home game anywhere other than at Wembley Stadium.


  6. 1 hour ago, mstrox said:

     

    at a conference in "philly" (phillydelphia) for the next three days, dont try to find me there because theres a lot of people in that city, youll never be able to pick me out

     

    I command you to trudge around the rough areas of Philly with your hands in your pockets like Bruce Springsteen in the Streets of Philadelphia video, but singing If We Were In Love from Yes, Giorgio in the same mumbling style as the Boss in said music video.  And please, report back on how the Williams / Bergman classic goes down in the 'hood.


  7. Both 'The Warner Brothers Story' and 'The Sound of Space' proms concerts are now available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for those in the UK (and those overseas clever enough to know any workarounds! @Disco Stu et al.).  Alternatively, anyone can listen to the concerts via the BBC Radio 3 site.

     

    The Warner Brothers Story

    The Sound of Space

     

    I was lucky enough to attend both concerts and cannot recommend them highly enough.  The performance of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Tomorrow from The Constant Nymph was one of the best live concert experiences of my life, it was real goosebumps stuff in the Royal Albert Hall.  It has long been one of my favourite pieces of Golden Age film music and I have occasionally waxed lyrical about it on here in the past.  It was sung beautifully by the American mezzo soprano Kate Lindsey, who has a proper old school mezzo voice, and the audience just erupted when the piece finished.  Even if you only watch one part of the concert, watch that.

     

    Incidentally, there was a ripple of 'laughter of recognition' in the audience when the second encore Harry's Wondrous World started, much as happens often when the Jaws theme is played in concerts, so embedded now is John Williams's music in the public consciousness.

     

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  8. The London Contemporary Orchestra which played in yesterday's The Sound of Space late night prom included not only a contrabassoon but also a contrabass clarinet, a contrabass trombone and a contrabass flute!  The musicians were all dressed casually but there was nothing casual about their performance.  At least four of the composers were in attendance: Steven Price (Gravity), John Murphy (Sunshine), Carly Paradis (The Innocents) and Jed Kurzel (Alien: Covenant).

     

    The whole concert was filmed for TV broadcast on BBC Four tomorrow (Friday 9th August) at 10:30 p.m.  It was a great idea for a late night prom with some wonderfully unusual selections, including the world premiere of a suite from Johann Johannsson’s Arrival.

     

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  9. It seems that John Wilson has included John Williams's Harry's Wondrous World in the programme for the BBC Proms concerts with the John Wilson Orchestra this Friday 9th August.  The evening concert will be broadcast on TV the same evening, so those of you with the means should be able to catch it live or on iPlayer or at least listen to it live on BBC Radio 3.

     

    The concert will also include some brilliant stuff from other Warner Brothers films such as A Streetcar Named Desire, The Old Man and the Sea, Auntie Mame and The Constant Nymph.

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