Reviewed by Helen McWilliams
Imagine an evening filled with themes from hit movies as well as television ‘suites’ and all played by the CBSO (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) together with the composer and songwriter for these iconic pieces. This show brings all that and much more, so atmospheric are the scores that Arnold has written, I felt I could close my eyes and be transported to the movie the superbly talented orchestra were playing a theme, from.
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is a jewel in Birmingham’s crown, their sound is inspiring, haunting, joyful, they cannot be summarised in one adjective. Their lead violinist was on fine form, playing a solo in the ‘Sherlock’ suite from the television series and bringing a tear to my eye in the process. There were also some incredible muted brass sounds and the percussion section were mesmerising as they moved about seamlessly at the rear. Also particularly notable were the cellists, who could be heard thoroughly at certain intervals making a strong and defined tune. It is my experience that they can appear to be lost and I am not able to pick them out, however CBSO have the perfect balance.
David Arnold narrated us through the cornucopia of themes which ranged from the unleashing of his ‘secret weapon’ David McAlmont who sang ‘I Play Dead’ from ‘The Young Americans’, a number from the recent musical version of ‘Made in Dagenham’, the theme used at the 2012 Olympics which was played while the winners collected their medals and of course James Bond (Casino Royal in particular). Themes from ‘Godzilla’, ‘Independence Day’ and ‘Stargate’ were also highlights of the evening.
It was fascinating to hear Arnold speak of his involvement with the films which were showcased and the back-story he provided, especially in the case of the ‘James Bond’ movies gave a new dimension to the pieces that were played, in my opinion. It was a privilege to hear the great man talk about his career, as well as to listen to him sing, play keyboards and guitar. This show is a must see for movie, television and music fans alike.
http://www.davidarnoldmusic.com can be accessed for more information about the award winning composer.