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Getting into the Olympic spirit

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: August 16, 2012

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EVERY orchestra should have one! That is what I say, and when I say it I mean a Mr Bean. After all, his virtuoso performance at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games brought a whole new dimension to Vangelis's Chariots of Fire which even the distinguished maestro, Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra could not eclipse.

It reminds me of a music course which I was giving when I played a DVD clip from a concert conducted by Ennio Morricone which boasted a stunning pianist and all the students could say was "She should not have come on to the platform and play, dressed like that!"

Vangelis's music forms the opening to a new play, Chariots of Fire, directed by Ed Hall and based on Colin Welland's book. The timing is good and with some strong atmospheric music from the composer. I guess there will be many admirers of the film who want to see how it translates on to the stage. Remember Billy Elliot? That has not done badly.

The music score, with a few additional tracks, has been released by Decca (Decca 3710285), and includes Parry's Jerusalem. I last conducted this iconic song at Writtle in June, and I shall be doing the same when I front the Trianon Ipswich Prom on Saturday, September 15 in the Grand Hall of the Ipswich Corn Exchange. Then it will be with 180 singers and players including Ravel's Bolero and music by George Gershwin in their programme. Reserved tickets are now on sale from Ipswich Entertainments (01473 433100).

Booking has also opened for the 2012/13 20th International Concert Series of concerts in Southend. The mouth-watering programmes start on Sunday, October 14 with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in an all-Russian programme and continue with Freddy Kempf (November 4, Prague Symphony Orchestra (November 18) and Coull Quartet (December 4). Programmes continue into the New Year, and on the strength of these bookings, I have to say that the programming represents one of the best series in the region.

Tickets can be reserved by phoning 01702 344553.

Chris Green

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