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albums08

The Lion in Winter; Impeccable reading of classic score

Tuesday, 01 January 2002 14:24

James Southall

The Lion in Winter is a highly literate, intelligent movie set in France in 1138: starring Peter O'Toole and Katherine Hepburn, it tells the story of how Eleanor, wife of King Henry II, seeks revenge on her husband as he releases her temporarily from prison in order to name his heir to the throne from his three sons; meanwhile, they are busy plotting against each other. John Barry was already well-known by the time, having scored many Bond movies and Born Free, but must still have seemed like a strange choice to score the movie: a highly classical and refined score was required for the movie, something Barry hadn't really written up to that point. He blew away any misconceptions with his brilliant work on the movie, and deservedly won an Oscar for his troubles.

The score features by far Barry's most extensive use of choral music set to lyrics: the opening choral theme is his most portentous, and the choral writing of other cues such as "Allons Gai Gai Gai", "Eya, eya, nova gaudia" and "Media vita in morte sumus" features much variety but a consistent beauty and relevant dramatic thrust. While not up front, the chorus is still usually heard behind the orchestra, and the dramatic piece "To Rome" is nothing short of stunning, becoming one of the most influential pieces Barry has written (though it is rarely acknowledged as such). In my opinion "We're All Jungle Creatures", the finale, is the ultimate piece of Barry film music, beyond comparison with anything else he has written: he wraps up the score with one last use of the heraldic fanfare from his main theme and throws the choir into the mix for an astonishing climax.

The score has been released twice on CD before, both by Varèse Sarabande in the early days of CDs and later by Sony Legacy in 1995. Sound quality was not the best and so Silva Screen decided to augment their growing Barry collection still further, with a re-recording of the entire score, featuring the few minutes of music from the movie that did not appear on the original release. (Most notable among the "new" music is "Fanfare for Philip / The Great Hall Feast" - certainly a welcome inclusion.) I'm pleased to say that both the City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus have done themselves proud with a superb performance, marvellously captured in the detailed recording by engineers John Timperley and Mike Ross-Trevor. Film scores don't get much better than this, and re-recordings don't get any better than this.

Also featured on the album is a 15-minute suite from Mary, Queen of Scots , another period score by Barry. Sadly it has never been released on CD in any form and therefore it would have been nice to have had a lengthier reconstruction, but we should be grateful for what we are offered and this suite is a good representation of the score as a whole. Terry Walstrom's liner notes are a step above from the norm, and ultimately I can't recommend this album enough. A true classic.

James Southall

Read 4305 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 14:28
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Have a look at our old "Play It Again" label website here.

Play It Again Records CD catalogue offered the discerning listener a wide choice of digitally re-mastered recordings from film and television, and rare collections of work from the likes of Don Black and Ron Grainer.

Contact the JB site

If you wish to send an email, for example with content for the website, please contact Geoff Leonard:

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Geoff (owner) and Ruud (webmaster) have been running the John Barry website since June 18, 2001.

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A lot more James Bond concerts collected on the link below, I have put them all in this news item. So check it out from there!

http://www.moviesinconcert.nl/index.php?page=concertlist


  30 Jun 2017

   United Kingdom   Sheffield James Bond: The Music of 007

Sheffield City Hall
Irwin Mitchell Oval Hall
James Bond: The Music of 007

from £22.50

Booking Fees May Apply
Friday, 30 Jun 2017
Start Time: 19:30
Doors Open: 19:00

Website

The music that capture a world of pulse-pumping action, glamorous femmes fatales, villainous arch enemies and, of course, unforgettable tunes. With roaring brass, lush orchestrations and sensuous songs, these movies have produced hit after hit all over the world. The list of credits includes the thrumming James Bond theme itself, 'Diamonds are Forever', 'Moonraker', 'Thunderball', 'From Russia with Love', 'Goldfinger', 'For Your Eyes Only', 'Skyfall' and many more.

Smooth as a vodka martini, elegant as a tuxedo and cool as a cucumber sandwich, Stephen Bell, the Hallé's suave, sophisticated maestro leads the world-renowned Hallé Orchestra as they celebrate the ultimate British hero – James Bond. Immerse yourself in the spine-tingling sounds that gave musical voice to the films in catchy title sequences and haunting songs performed here by star vocalists Alison Jiear and Matthew Ford.

An evening packed with some of cinema's most iconic themes, come dressed as your favourite Bond character, knock back a Vodka Martini and be prepared to be shaken and stirred!

Tickets for The Music of James Bond with The Hallé' (subject to booking fees) at Sheffield City Hall are available online at www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk through the ticket hotline on 0114 2 789 789 and in person at the Sheffield City Hall Box Office.


James Bond Spectacular
August 18, 2017
Time: 19:30

The Harlington Theatre
236 Fleet Road
Fleet
Hants
GU51 4BY

Website

Back by popular demand, popular Q The Music Show is coming back to The Harlington, Fleet bringing their fabulous and iconic music of James Bond to you in a stunning concert. This show has been a huge success at other theatres with its energetic and exciting performance by some of the UK’s leading musicians.

Featuring all the songs from the 007 movies, you can hear the greats like Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Skyfall, Thunderball, Live And Let Die, Goldeneye and Licence To Kill amongst all the others. With top musicians, dancers, and an informative and highly amusing compere, this show as everything you could want for a fabulous night out – and one that you will be talking about for years to come.

Formed in 2004, Q The Music Show have established a worldwide reputation for their authentic covers, orchestral sound and fabulous hair-raising vocalists. The show has been popular abroad at events in Monte Carlo, Germany, Italy, Guernsey, Prague and many others.

Don’t miss this superb evening as…Nobody Does It Better!


*

James Bond Spectacular
August 20, 2017
Time: 19:30

Buxton Opera House,
Water Street
Buxton
Derbyshire SK17 6XN

Website

The popular Q The Music Show brings its James Bond Concert Spectacular to Buxton Opera House. The 13-piece band will be bringing the fabulous and iconic music of James Bond to you in a stunning concert. This show has been a huge success all around the world with its energetic and exciting performance by some of the UK’s leading musicians.

Featuring all the songs from the 007 movies, you can hear the greats like Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Skyfall, Thunderball, Live And Let Die, Goldeneye and Licence To Kill amongst all the others. With top musicians and an informative and highly amusing compere, this show as everything you could want for a fabulous night out – and one that you will be talking about for years to come.

Formed in 2004, Q The Music Show have established a worldwide reputation for their authentic covers, orchestral sound and fabulous hair-raising vocalists. The show has been popular abroad at events in Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Guernsey, Prague and many others.


19 Nov 2017

   Canada   Thunder Bay Shaken Not Stirred – The Music of James Bond

*

James Bond Spectacular
December 1, 2017
Time: 19:30

Camberley Theatre,
Knoll Road,
Camberley,
Surrey, GU15 3SY,
GB

Website

The popular James Bond Concert Spectacular by Q The Music Show is coming to Camberley Theatre.

They will be bringing the fabulous and iconic music of James Bond to you in a stunning concert. 

This show has been a huge success all around the World with its energetic and exciting performance by some of the UK’s leading musicians.
 
Featuring all the songs from the 007 movies...