Here it is, submitted today!
1 January 2018
Our feature today is the BBC Orchestra and Choir performing songs from “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Mission”, “Lux Aeterna” and “O Sacrum Convivum”, with a few more left unmentioned. “The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since it was founded in 1930. It provides the backbone of the BBC Proms, performing arts around a dozen concerts in the festival each year.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1g5RWBgLxZMrtvL9hX4FvR7/bbc-symphony-orchestra ) “The BBC Symphony Chorus was founded in 1928 and its early appearances included UK premieres of the Bartok’s Cantana Profana, Stravinsky’s Persephone and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5h3KD2Hr4NFWBPGfxwBqpp6/bbc-symphony-chorus) Together, they create beautiful music that is heard all over the world.
The Symphony begins with Performing “Lawrence of Arabia – Main Theme”, in which Joanas conducts. “Maurice Jarre (born in Lyon, France, September 13, 1924, died in Malibu, USA, March 29th, 2009) was a French composer of film scores noted for the scores of many motion pictures, in particular those of David Lean — Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984). All three of these scores won Academy Awards and are widely considered to be among Jarre’s best work.” (https://www.reddit.com/r/Music/comments/71znsp/maurice_jarre_composer_lawrence_of_arabia_main/) This piece begins the orchestra playing in piano, then is joined by the percussion with a strong entrance. The orchestra resumes with the strong melody in a slow tempo, until the percussion resumes in a quicker tempo.
The orchestra then plays “The Mission – Gabriel’s Oboe”. “…Ennio Morricone studied at Rome’s Santa Cecilia Conservatory, where he specialized in trumpet. His first film scores were relatively undistinguished, but he was hired by Leone for A Fistful of Dollars (1964) on the strength of some of his song arrangements. His score for that film, with its sparse arrangements, unorthodox instrumentation (bells, electric guitars, harmonicas, the distinctive twang of the jew’s harp) and memorable tunes, revolutionized the way music would be used in Westerns, and it is hard to think of a post-Morricone Western score that doesn’t in some way reflect his influence.” (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001553/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm) The piece begins with the timpani drums, then directly into a strong oboe solo. The solo is played by “Daniel”, a heartfelt melody played throughout the entire movement. The oboe crescendos slowly, until he is directed by the composer (Johanas) to de-crescendo.
The choir then takes their turn, singing a very strange song, “Lux Aeterna” by Gyogry Ligeti. Matthew Hamilton directs the choir as the women create strange, screeching sounds, in order to mimic space sounds. They remain at different tones, in different Octaves, singing in complete dissonance. There is no harmony or melody in this piece. It begins softly with the women, then the men add into the movement, creating more dissonance. The tempo was hard to find, though the conductor was showing the rhythm.
The choir plays a second piece, “O Sacrum Convivum” by Oliver Messiaen. “OLIVIER-EUGENE-PROSPER-CHARLES MESSIAEN (b. Dec. 10, 1908, Avignon, France.d. April 27, 1992, Clichy, near Paris), Olivier Messiaen was the son of Pierre Messiaen, a scholar of English literature, and of the poet Cecile Sauvage. Soon after his birth the family moved to Ambert (the birthplace of Chabrier) where his brother, Alain was born in 1913.” (http://www.oliviermessiaen.org/messbiog.html ) This is a piece that is a little more harmony than in the past. The beginning is in piano, with a small crescendo. Both men and women sing throughout the song.
The orchestra begins another movement called “Les Miserable – Do you hear the people sing” by Alain Boublil. “Alain Boublil was born in Tunisia and imigrated to Paris, France at 18. He worked in music publishing before writing lyrics for French pop music. He became enamored with musical theatre and began working with another composer, Claude-Michel Schonberg. He lives in London and is the father of four sons.” (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0098842/) This piece included the BBC orchestra and choir together. The conductor for the orchestra now conducts both the orchestra and the choir. The band plays softly, as to not overpower the choir. There are several crescendos throughout the piece. Towards the end, the tempo gradually slows down.
This next piece is quite long. It included three movements called “The Artist Overture, George Valentin” and “Pretty Peppy” all by Ludovic Bource. “Ludovic Bource is known for his work on The Artist (2011), OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006) and On the Other Side of the Tracks (2012).” (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0099753/)
They begin with “The Artist Overture” by Lodovic Bource. This movement has many trumpet staccatos and trills by the flute. The melody is heard strongly through the violin and trumpet. The flutes and piccolo strongly highlight that melody. It is a very vibrant, fast tempo movement. At the end, they stop abruptly.
The second movement in this piece is called “George Valentin” by Ludovic Bource. The movement has a strong percussion intro, and is very poppy/exciting in sound. The flute, clarinet, oboe and xylophone carry the peppy melody, while the piano carries another melody. There is an easy to follow quick tempo to this movement. They get quiet mid song, then right back to the piece as if they haven’t missed a beat. It sounds almost jazzy at one point.
“Pretty Peppy” by Ludovic Bource is played right after the prior movement, with no silence in between. The violin carries the pleasant melody in this movement, accented by the flute, piccolo and trumpet. Trumpets and flutes play a strong staccato throughout the movement. This movement is very quick in tempo, creating a vibrant, poppy piece.
For the closing piece, the choir and orchestra join each other in “Pavane” by Gabriel Fauvre. “Gabriel Fauré, in full Gabriel-Urbain Fauré, (born May 12, 1845, Pamiers, Ariège, France—died Nov. 4, 1924, Paris), composer whose refined and gentle music influenced the course of modern French music.” (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gabriel-Faure) This piece begins with a flute solo, then shortly thereafter the oboe enters. It is a soft, slow tempo beat, with light percussion. After the solo, the choir enters. This piece ends slow, with sounds of piccolo and choir.
The BBC Choir and Orchestra performed a range of pieces by different composers for different movies. Each, different from the last. It was an eye-opening performance. Many familiar pieces were performed. The elements of the choir and orchestra seem to intertwine, as they play seamlessly together.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001553/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm Web. Acessed 1/1/18
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001553/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm Web. Accessed 1/1/18
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/5h3KD2Hr4NFWBPGfxwBqpp6/bbc-symphony-chorus Web. Accessed 1/1/18
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0098842/ Web. Accessed 1/1/18
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0099753/ Web. Accessed 1/1/18
https://www.britannica.com/biography/Gabriel-Faure Web. Accessed 1/1/18