Ariness

A log of my travels

Lord of the Rings at Radio City Music Hall

Posted by Ariness in Live Entertainment | on 10 10th, 2009

LotR_at_RCMH

Last night I saw The Fellowship of the Ring at Radio City Music Hall with a live orchestra and chorus. I had never been to a movie with live music like this before. Apparently they are doing them with Lord of the Rings and with Star Wars in a few select venues around the country.

I love the movie and I am very familiar with the score which made the experience more enjoyable. In 2004, my high school wind ensemble played a short arrangement of the Fellowship score that we performed alongside a video compilation I edited and arranged to match our simplified score. We played the video on a projector behind us while we performed the music as fund raiser for the music program. This event last night felt like a large professional version of the experience I helped create a few years ago. As you can imagine I identified with the concert on a personal level. Here is a review of my experience.

Overall, I was very entertained by the show. I found that it kept my attention more than a typical classical concert. The music was great but they also put the subtitles on the video so in the rare instances when the music covered up the dialog you could still easily follow the story. It was fun being able to glance down when you hear specific instruments or parts and spot the musician. All of the performers were wearing black except the solo vocalist who sang the Enya song and Elf themes who stood out in her light red dress. She sounded remarkably close to the original film score.

The audience was like the ones that go to the midnight release shows but applauded even more often. You could tell everyone was enjoying themselves but I wish people would have kept their applauses for the end of songs to praise the musicians rather than applauding for main character appearances and scene transitions.

I also have a couple minor criticisms of the way they presented the show. There was a smaller full screen on either side of the main movie screen they used to show slide advertisements before the show. They should have been hooked up to cameras in the hall and shooting video of the orchestra and chorus to provide a better look at the performers for the more distant seats. Also, the program had no information about the event at all. There should have been at least a little blurb about the conductor, orchestra, and chorus. I know the chorus usually plays in Carnige Hall because my aunt is a soprano in the group. I assume the orchestra was also a local New York City ensemble but I heard the conductor was brought in from Europe.

I would recommend live music film experiences like this to anyone who enjoys both live orchestral music and is a fan of the movie. They are performing the sequel, The Two Towers, at Radio City again in 1 year and I hear there is a show in the LA area soon as well. Maybe you can make it next time.

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Red-eye Tonight to NYC

Posted by Ariness in Transportation | on 10 5th, 2009

Tonight I leave for New York. I’m taking the red-eye out on JetBlue and getting into NYC at 6:30am. I’m excited for many of my planned activities but more on that once I make it through this crazy night flight.

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