5/20/06
Missy and I went to the Denver Symphony Orchestra’s performance of The Lord of the Rings Symphony last night. I must say that I was not disappointed in the least. (I haven’t read Missy’s critique yet, so I will be interested to see if she agrees.)

The selections were probably the right ones, given that it’s over 8 hours or music at a guess, and that was whittled down to 2-1/2 hours. The performances were powerful, touching, and spot-on for the most part. Denver may be a “cow town” (not), but I think its symphony is first rate, and could stand side by side in a favorable comparison to that of any major city in America.

In spite of the fact that we could only afford seats in the rafters, and risked nosebleeds and heart palpitations in climbing the stairs to such lofty heights, we could still see most of the stage and certainly could hear very well from our perches. Many people were late and we thought we might be able to sneak down a level or two, but by the first mini-break, the ushers showed in the late comers and it looked to be nearly a full house.

The young boy who sang the Young Boy’s* part was quite good, though a few rough spots. He didn’t have the luxury of a second take though. The young soprano (age 16) was VERY good. The men’s chorus just blew me away! And the orcestra was great. I’ve decided that in another life I’d like to be a percussionist and particularly I’d like to play the gong! Wow. Seems like such a simple instrument and was put to very good use last nite. My ears are still ringing.

Overall, I think that they really pulled it off. I wondered how it would be since this is music that I REALLY love, and that I listen to (at least in my “shuffle” mode) almost daily. So, I know it really well. And yes, some things were slightly different as you’d expect them to be. Instrumentation was a little different, some tempo changes, some styles of playing slightly different. The flutist (flautist, whatever) was very good, but let’s face it, there’s only one James Galway. Seeing a live performance really puts into perspective the enormous task that preparing and then performing a piece like this must be. I counted approximately 12 rows of 20 children in the children’s choral alone (who sang like angels, but more amazingly sat still for 2 1/2 hours!) plus the men’s and women’s choirs, and the orchestra of at least 60 players, all of them in sync and seemingly flawless.

I have to applaude the young conductor Markus Huber, who didn’t seem to tire through the entire thing. He was just as energetic at the end as at the beginning and he truly had command of that orchestra. If you think that’s easy, just try waving you your arms over your head for 2-1/2 hours straight, let alone reading a complicated score and keeping everyone together at the same time!

So yep. I enjoyed the heck out if it. I wanna watch the movies again, but I think I need to go see the DaVinci code instead.

Oh yeah, and Missy wore this very HOT dress and looked terrific. The guys were checkin’ her out.

*sorry I can’t recall his name.

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