tue 11/08/2020

BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson, Barbican | reviews, news & interviews

BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson, Barbican

BBC Symphony Orchestra, John Wilson, Barbican

Hollywood's golden age: Korngold, Herrmann, Newman, Porter and Steiner

From L-R: Angie Dickinson, Alfred Newman, Ken Darby and Gene Kelly. Movie composer Newman holds his 1967 Oscar for 'Camelot'
Once upon a time, composers ran Hollywood. As conductor John Wilson reminded us last night, 44-time Oscar nominee and movie composer Alfred Newman became so powerful as second in command at MGM that he had two security guards posted at his office door. Any directors attempting to enquire how the score to their movies was getting along were told to clear off. Big, bold orchestral scores were Hollywood's crown jewels. At the Barbican last night we got a rare chance to inspect them close up. And how they dazzled us.

Wilson should be let loose on the likes of Bruckner, Mahler and Strauss, where he can start to reinstate the Hollywood adventure intrinsic to all Romantic music

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Surely the stars were Hollywood's crown jewels? No stars, no music. Though I like the gist of what you're saying and what John Wilson's doing.

As this was billed as a family concert we went as a family. My mum aged 78, two of us in our forties and our children aged 13, 11 and 9. We all enjoyed it - especially as two of my kids play brass instruments. I guess there are many people of my age who grew up listening to Benny Green on Radio 2 on a Sunday afternoon and this music recaptures some of those warm feelings. As someone brought up Catholic (and so a little over familiar with films like 'Going My Way') I particularly loved hearing the Song of Bernadette theme. Congratulations to all concerned.

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