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"Classic Bond" performance at RPO (Rochester, NY)

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#1 The*SPY*



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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

Sorry for posting this after the event, but guest conductor Carl Davis and guest singer Mary Carewes joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of Bond theme songs entitled "Classic Bond". Performanced were Friday and Saturday evenings 2/15 and 2/16.


Carl Davis is a conductor who with the London Philharmonic Orchestra had released a CD in 1997 that I had in my collection.  And Mary Carewes has a lovely voice.  Despite having the monumental task of singing songs performed by Shirley Bassey, she nailed every other version equally as well as the original singers. Unfoirtunately there were moments when the orchestration became a bit more powerful than her, but that would be expected outside of a studio.


The event was two hours long with an intermission and included a theme song from each movie including the two non EON productions.  At first I was surprised that they would hit every movie however seeing most theme songs run a relatively short period of time compared to most classical music compositions, it was actually perfect for a 2 hour event.  A majority fo the songs were compositions of the theme song with the exception of "The Look of Love" from Casino Royale 67, and instead of "All Time High" for Octopussy, chose "That's My Little octopussy" which is a version of ATH but better for an ochestra (which sounded like you were listening to the CD).   The original play list did not have "Tomorrow Never Dies" which I thought was due possibly to a copyright issue or some other reason, but instead the "encore" was "Surrender" which (in my opinion) is the better song not only in itself but worked extremely well with an orchestra blasting out the brass.


I actually felt they did a great job on "Never Say Never Again", making it actually quite an enjoyable song.  There wasn't much they could do with "Die Another Day" and "Another Way to Die" but by gosh, they did their best with what they had to work with. "Rock" songs like "A View to a Kill" just don't transfer to ochestra like most Barry themes.


It was great seeing swiftly moving strings, minor percussion sounds in action, and of course loved the gong on the James Bond Theme and Thunderball.    Thunderball and Goldfinger were big and bold.  You Only Live Twice is possibly one of the most beautiful songs live.  The World is Not Enough was the surprise of the night for me.  Big, bold and done very well.


There were those few (and I do mean few) moments when I thought to myself ("That's not right" or "I would have done it different". (Like I'm some big music genius!?!?!))  The JAmes Bond Thjeme guitar riff could have stood bit more 'Twang" and a bit higher on the scale.  The opening trumpets in OHMSS could have been a bit more prevalent. And of course a few monior items could be written off to artistic liscense. For example, the end of Goldfinger was faster than normal but I am sure that was to accomodate Carewes rather than risking a Shirley Bassey like pasisng out trying to carry a note for so long. But these were far and few between, and having listened to a number of cringe-worthy cd performances,the night was an awesome performance.


The crowd was a mix of all ages and for a two-night performance, Saturday night was very well attended.


Just for record, Mary Carewes sang GF, YOLT, TLOL, DAF, TMWTGG, NDIB (TSWLM), MR, FYEO, NSNA, LTK, GE, S(TND), TWINE, AWTD (WoS), and SF.  Like I said earlier, Bassy is a tough act to cover and I would say Adele is also but not to the extent of Bassey.  All others were owned by Carewes.

Edited by The*SPY*, 17 February 2013 - 02:42 PM.