Sunday, December 03, 2006

Morricone concert 2

We woke up yesterday morning to find that Jonathan Ross had given the Morricone gigs a huge plug on his Radio 2 show, which you can listen to again here for the next seven days. He discussed the concerts with Lesley Garrett (another of our many fans) about 1 hour 15 minutes into the show. The promoter, Barry Hogan of All Tomorrow's Parties, reckoned that it resulted in another 300 or so ticket sales in the afternoon. He also told me that Morricone had been particularly complimentary about the choir at the after-show party on Friday evening, which was good to hear.

We stopped off to buy a card for Maestro Morricone on the way the Apollo. One of our two Italians in the choir wrote a lovely message inside, including a compliment from the sopranos and altos on the beauty and elegance of his hands! Most of the choir managed to sign it, and David delivered it to Ennio before the start of the show.

A quick warm-up at 6.15pm left time for a coffee in the main shopping centre. I don't think I've ever seen a Costa coffee bar stuffed full with so many Italians - most of the orchestra seemed to be there as well!

The show started at 8.15pm, with the maestro in relaxed mood. According to David he was cracking jokes off-stage for most of the evening, especially when he left the stage at the end of the concert between each of the three encores. Last night's audience took a little longer to warm-up, possibly because they did not have Jonathan Ross (who couldn't make it) to introduce Ennio, but by the end of the evening they were cheering and standing in the aisles to applaud Morricone's stunning music. Personally, I thought that the concert was even better than Friday's, with Morricone's tempi in the Sergio Leone medley a little more relaxed and laid back, the strings playing with silky smoothness (particularly in the Casualties of War number), and the choir even more polished than on the first night. We even thought that Ennio may do an unscheduled encore, as he did not remove his music from the podium following Abolison as he had on Friday, but perhaps he had second thoughts at the last moment, as there was unfortunately no more to come.

After the gig, a dozen or so of us popped around the corner to the Spice of India restaurant for a well-earned curry (and a few beers), along with some of the orchestra as well.

Hopefully Ennio will feel up to returning here in a couple of years time - it would be great to work with him again. Opportunities like this don't come along very often.


Thanks for posting your interesting and informative blog as an insider at the Morricone concerts! Your blog is being read by us Morricone fans from around the world. You're extremely fortunate to get to perform his incredible music!!! I hope that his upcoming concert in New York will be as exciting!