A touch of musical class in Derry

Conductor Frank Strobel with the London Symphony Orchestra on stage in the Venue as  the ninety five musicians performed during a City of Culture sell out performance.
Conductor Frank Strobel with the London Symphony Orchestra on stage in the Venue as the ninety five musicians performed during a City of Culture sell out performance.
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You don’t have to like classical music to enjoy the sensational sounds of the London Symphony Orchestra, writes Erin Hutcheon.

But it does help when it’s playing themes from films made by the world’s most famous director.

Performing in The Venue, Ebrington on Monday night to a sold out arena, the LSO didn’t fail to deliver the music composed by John Williams for Steven Spielberg movies.

Belting out music from the much loved ‘ET’, ‘Jurassic Park’ and the ‘Indiana Jones’ triology, it certainly was a night to remember.

The crowd rose to their feet on four or five occasions as standing ovations followed one after the other.

A first glance of the programme could have left some of the crowd disappointed as the epic sounds of ‘Star Wars’ appeared to have been left off the running order.

But it seemed conductor Frank Strobel had left the best to last as he returned for his second encore performance playing songs which made the likes of Harrison Ford a household name. It brought the house down.

Crowd pleaser ‘Jaws’ which was accompanied by some of the frightening scenes from the film was sensational.

The haunting sounds of Carmine Lauri as he played the moving theme from ‘Schindler’s List’ will stay with me forever.

However it was Christopher Richards playing ‘The Tale of Viktor Navorski’ from the lesser known Spielberg movie ‘The Terminal’ which stole the show.

The Venue 2013 doesn’t perhaps doesn’t capture the same sound that the orchestra would achieve in a theatre such as the Royal Albert Hall but I daresay there’ll be a run of orders for John Williams greatest hits on Amazon this weekend.

It’s a shame that members of the audience near the back of The Venue ended up having an extremely limited view of the orchestra during the show. I could barely even see the screens, and ended up with a stiff neck straining to see the images. Thankfully my nine years-old daughter got a considerably better view when her teacher from Nazareth House PS who had seats two rows from the front, sat her on her knee for the second half.

Maybe the Culture Company could consider putting in a tiered seating arrangement so patrons beyond the first 20 rows can have a proper view. And crouched in a row, with less leg room than some budget airlines, it at times, very claustrophobic. It’s probably the first and last time locals will get to see the LSO in Derry. But maybe it might persuade the young and old who were at the concert, to listen to a little more classical music.