Conductor: Tobias Ringborg
Reviewer: Laura Stimpson
The Orchestra of Opera North once again brings an absolute musical treat to Huddersfield Town Hall as part of the Kirklees Concert Season. From Hollywood With Love brings to the stage an evening of film music presented by Andrew Collins, Classic FM presenter and film editor the Radio Times. Collins’ comparing is informative and witty and makes the concert feel a little less formal than usual orchestral concerts.
The programme consists of a journey of film music from the 1930s to recent years. The first half includes the works of Korngold, Rozsa, Steiner and Hermann. Perhaps surprisingly when competing with such film composer greats, the highlight of this half is Chaplin’s Limelight, the score of the film of the same name, written, produced, directed and composed solely by Chaplin. The piece features lush romanticism through its expansive melodic writing and reliance on the string melody.
Left extremely satisfied following the first half finale of Korngold’s Seahawk, it is difficult to imagine the orchestra can top this performance. However, the second half brings with it some real treats. This act begins with Korngold’s Kings Row, and we are told that John Williams was strongly influenced by this piece when penning the Star Wars theme. To demonstrate this, the second piece played is Williams’ Star Wars. With this piece being so iconic and familiar you think you know the piece inside out. However, to hear it played live by this orchestra brings with it a freshness to the listener, the performance is powerful, moving and full of dynamic contrast.
As the second half progresses, new instruments are added to the orchestra. Rota’s The Godfather introduces an accordion and a mandolin which bring a new folky sound to the orchestra. The piece begins beautifully with a trumpet solo, joined soon after by accordion. It is a haunting and moving piece played with finesse.
In addition to these instruments, in this half, we are also introduced to pianist Ian Buckle who performs a lesser known piece by Addinsell, Dangerous Moonlight: Warsaw Concerto. He also ends the whole performance with a beautiful and moving rendition of Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini. A perfect ending to a truly magnificent concert.
By far the highlight of the whole concert is when the wonderfully engaged and charismatic conductor Tobias Ringborg leaves the stage, returning with his violin to play the solo in Williams’ incredibly moving Schindler’s List Theme. Ringborg physically exudes the deep emotion of this piece, and transfers this directly into his violin. This raw emotion translates into a truly remarkable, pure and special performance which leaves the audience with tears in their eyes and hairs standing on end. It was an absolute privilege to both see and hear this piece performed.
A truly joyous evening with the Orchestra of Opera North, doing what they do best. An entertaining, accessible, enjoyable programme with flawless playing by this very talented orchestra.
Reviewed on 25 January 2018 | Image: Ryan Garrison