Tuesday, 9 February 2010

And Now, A Cultural Interlude...

This is Tina Guo, cellist:

And so is this:

I think that's reasonably comprehensive, don't you?

A Night At The Opera...

Well, not exactly...

I did, however, attend a performance in the RTE Concert Orchestra's Signature season of 2010 on Sunday night last.

The performance took place in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, and was given in front of a full house by special guest conductor Lalo Schifrin, who has been one of my favourite film score composers for as long as I can remember.

The composer of over 75 movie scores, including Bullitt and Dirty Harry, as well as unforgettable TV themes such as Mission:Impossible and Mannix, he led the orchestra in a two-and-a-half hour programme that included mainly his work but also arrangements of music from other classic scores including Casablanca, The Third Man and Dr Zhivago.

Schifrin introduced each piece, explaining briefly how he had come to write it or work on a particular picture, and shared anecdotes about working with the likes of Bruce Lee and Ray Charles.

At the end of each piece he would single out particular soloists for the appreciation of the audience, but this invariably ended up with the entire orchestra being brought to their feet for applause, entirely deserved.

The final item on the programme, entitled 'The Plot' was from Mission:Impossible and Schifrin declared it to be his favourite piece from the score of that show, even more than the iconic title music.

He appeared visibly moved by the sustained ovation that followed the conclusion of the piece, and it was several minutes before it subsided enough for him to announce a final number, the theme from Mission:Impossible.

They played it twice, in slightly different arrangements, with Schifrin at the piano.

Couldn't have been better...

I was looking around for a suitable video to attach, but there wasn't much in the way of live performances available. Instead, I chose this, from one of my favourite Lalo Schifrin scores - enjoy...

Sunday, 7 February 2010

And We're Back (sort of)...

First off, my apologies for the lack of service.

I've been attempting to use a new template for the blog with, it must be said, only marginal success, so I've reverted to a more familiar appearance until I get it sorted.

Using a third-party template requires a little editing, however, as an IT professional, I naturally have little expertise with HTML, XML or PHP, which means research and a lot of trial and error.

I'm working on it offline, so as soon as I have a result you'll be the first to know.