Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sabsi & Babsi w Polski

Checking in from the FOTR Live performances in Krakow are long-time fans Sabsi and Babsi. Enjoy the report; click the pics for a better look.


Here is my belated Krakow-report (sorry, the last week was really busy - deadline for my seminar paper and exams - that’s why it took so long…).

Babsi and I arrived on friday morning, so we had plenty of time to explore the beautiful old town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and the Wawel Castle. I even managed to get one of the posters they used to advertise the film music festival :-)

The concert on Saturday took place on the Błonia, which is the biggest meadow in Europe. (To give you an impression of its size: In 2002 Pope John Paul II celebrated a holy mass there – with 2.2 million people attending. The second biggest meeting of people in the world's history!)

Before the concert began, they played "A Storm Is Coming"/"Roots And Beginnings," and for a few seconds I thought, they’d perform ROTK instead of FOTR as a special surprise (hey, in the kingdom of hope there is no winter! ;-)). But then Maestro Shore appeared on the screen and told us that he can’t be with us this evening because he’s in Paris working on The Fly, thanked Maestro Wicki, Kaitlyn Lusk, the choir and the orchestra for presenting this music live to projection and wished us "a good evening and happy listening." :-)

The performance was brilliant. The brass section was a bit out of tune during the prologue and the speakers failed in the Shire (from ‘It’s wonderful to see you!’ to ‘What about very old friends’), but everything else was just perfect. The choir was great – the pronounciation of the Khuzdûl lyrics and the Ringwraith-material was particularly good – as was the orchestra. I never get tired of watching the musicians and Maestro Wicki. It was so fascinating, I didn’t even notice that there were Polish subtitles until Rivendell!

And Kaitlyn! Oh my. She just nailed it – especially the soprano solo at the end of Khazad-Dûm. Honestly, this was the best performance of that piece I’ve ever heard. It was so powerful and emotional, I got goosebumps and almost started to cry. Awesome.

This was an open-air performance and the atmosphere was perfect, for it was a bit windy. There was one gust during the prologue at the very moment of Sauron's appearance and an other one at Gandalf’s "Do not take me for some conjurer of cheap tricks!" – excellent timing ;-)

The only downer of the evening was the audience. People used their cell phones, talked to each other (and didn’t even bother to lower their voices) and some even started to nibble popcorn and potato crisps (rustling included) during the performance!

As soon as the credits began, about one third of the audience left (chatting loudly) and the majority of those who stayed, started to clap, so we couldn’t hear Kaitlyn’s performance of "May It Be." I was really disappointed, for I was so looking forward to it. I hope, I’ll get another chance to hear her in Europe (London??). Though I’ve calmed down a bit by now, I’m still furious (yeah, I know I have a tendency of getting really emotional concerning this score). I wonder why they even bothered to attend the performance, for obviously they were not interested in the music. That kind of behaviour is so discourteous and disrespectful towards the musicians!

But – again – the concert itself was brilliant, though I still think it would work better as a silent film experience. When the speakers failed, we couldn’t hear the dialogue (of course), just the orchestra and I really loved it – even though the music was a bit low and the nasty audience started to hoot instead of just shutting up and listening to the music. *sigh*

Suggestion for TTT and ROTK: At least one ‘silent film’ performance per movie.

All the best,

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