GREAT BRITISH FILM MUSIC
Following its focus on British cinema, Fest Gent will also celebrate the rich tradition of British film music by organising the concert GREAT BRITISH FILM MUSIC at the Bijloke, that will provide an anthology of the work of both classical and contemporary film composers, whom have made a remarkable contribution to the image and success of British cinema.
Nearly every roaring name of British film music will pass the line-up, ranging from William Walton to John Barry, from George Fenton to Michael Nyman. Their celebrated music will be accompanied by film excerpts from among others: 'Richard III', 'Shakespeare in Love', 'Far from the Madding Crowd', 'Murder on the Orient Express', 'Dangerous Liaisons', 'The Ipcress File' and 'The Knack... and how to get it'.
George Fenton will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award and will be joined by composers Michael Nyman, Patrick Doyle, Stephen Warbeck and Craig Armstrong.
The first part of the concert can be conceived as a walk down memory lane of British Cinema with classic scores that demonstrate musically in which genres the British cinema has excelled throughout the years.
Naturally the all-time classic 'Richard III' will be included in the programme. The film music was composed by the eminent William Walton, who was unlike any other, very much aware of the requirements of film music. Sir Richard Rodney Bennett's opening waltz from the Agatha Christie-adaptation 'Murder on the Orient Express' could also not be excluded as it's one of his most vivacious compositions.
￼The notion "stiff upper lip" is especially associated with another popular English genre: war films. We explore this tradition starting with an anti-Nazi propaganda film '49th Parallel' for whom the classically trained Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote one of his eleven brilliant scores. During the sixties Ron Goodwin positioned himself as the champion of bold music to films such as 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'Frenzy' by Alfred Hitchcock.
In a summary of the best British film music, one must not forget the sound and spirit of the "psychedelically swinging London", acknowledged in the title melody of jazz composer John Dankworth for 'Modesty Blaise', the female James Bond. John Barry, the man behind the genuine 007-sound can be heared on tracks of two films: ‘The Ipcress File’ (with a young Michael Caine) and 'The Knack... and how to get it' a cult film that captured the spirit of the age masterfully because of its absurdist humour and inventive storytelling.
During the second part of the concert, another given fact of British cinema will be highlighted: the prestigious literary adaptation which delivers sumptuous costume films and in which the music also guarantees the necessary pomp and circumstance. This concert’s most recent score comes from 'Far from the Madding Crowd' starring Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan and the film music was delivered by Scottish composer Craig Armstrong.
'Shakespeare in Love' (featuring Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow and Dame Judi Dench) is not exactly a true Shakespeare-adaptation but more of a fantasy dealing with the Bard’s love life, which was reflected in the intense melodious score created by Stephen Warbeck. Patrick Doyle’s score for Kenneth Branagh’s 'Much Ado About Nothing' will be the third Shakespeare adaptation on the line up.
The versatile George Fenton wrote the playful film music for 'Land and Freedom' by Ken Loach, with whom he has a langstanding collaboration with. The work of Michael Nyman, including his mesmerising music for Peter Greenaway’s films 'The Draughtsman’s Contract' and 'Drowning by Numbers' will also be performed, as well as his hypnotic piano theme from Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel 'The End of the Affair'. Finally there will be a concert premiere of a composition by Alex Heffes for 'The Program', the latest film by Stephen Frears on fallen athlete Lance Armstrong.