REVIEW: BPO, British Film Scores @ The Dome, 4/12/2016

The Verse’s Louise Conway reviews Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra’s British Film Scores conducted at The Dome on the 4th December.

Film scores have the ability to heighten senses, guide our emotions and remind us of particularly memorable scenes. The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra had the task and pleasure of playing these scores as stand-alone concert pieces.

In the pre-concert talk, resident host, Peter Back was joined in conversation with guest composer Richard Balcombe. As Balcombe spoke, his esteemed and versatile career as a musician shone through in a very humble way; having worked with leading orchestras around the world, as well as conducting opera and being the musical director of leading West End shows.

With a quick change and a polish of his shoes, Balcombe, now joined with the rest of the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra is ready to commence with the third concert of the 92nd concert season at the Brighton Dome.

The concert demonstrated the range of both orchestral music and the history of British film scores and how they are intrinsically linked. The instant emotion created is spectacular. Powerful pieces of music which each end with resolution, then almost instantly the audience is transported into another setting with a whole host of new feelings being generated.

The variety of styles enables the orchestra to showcase their talents, each section having their moment to shine. For the first time the score is pushed into the foreground. When this happens you get a real sense of just how important these pieces of music are and how effective they are at conveying a variety of settings, emotions and suggesting action. The audience feels as if they are marching into battle, then falling in love depending on which section of the orchestra is most prominent.

The orchestra played four pieces from the works of Ron Goodwin, who has scored more than 60 feature films. Yet all have been uniquely crafted. In the pre-concert talk the two discussed the speed in which Goodwin could work, as his career branded across all platforms from composing to conducting. Goodwin is the concerts leading example of the many well renowned musicians who extended their talents to creating film scores, that are very worthy of their own concert performances as this show proved.

We end on a Christmassy note, The Holly & the Ivy, truly demonstrating how a score can have a world of its own, taken from beyond the film. This was something special for both the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and audiences experiencing it alike.

The Verse Staff

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