09 20 Oct '24
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Alberto Iglesias in concert

Edition 2007

"Music elevates film to art," said an immodest Peer Raben, who for years provided the music for the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A statement that certainly also applies to the close and productive relationship between Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar and his compatriot Alberto Iglesias, who wrote the music for Todo Sobre Mi Madre (1999), Hable Con Ella (2002), La Mala Educación (2004) and Volver (2006), among others. On the 19th of October, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, led by conductor Dirk Brossé, will musically highlight this unique collaboration.

Alberto Iglesias can safely be called a maverick among film composers. With his minimalist arrangements, Spanish rhythms and penchant for string quartet, saxophone, guitar and piano, he stands in stark contrast to the Anglo-Saxon film music tradition that relies more on elaborate orchestrations. Iglesias rather opts for a varied orchestration in which he alternates symphonic orchestra with synthesizer and piano, but always with a warm wistful Spanish touch that makes his music so recognizable.

His film career began in 1984 with the soundtrack for the 1983 film The Conquest of Albania. However, Iglesias will primarily go through life as the regular film music composer for Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar. Among other things, he wrote the soundtracks for Todo Sobre Mi Madre, Hable Con Ella, La Mala Educación and Volver, which earned him six Goya Awards, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars. His international breakthrough came with his film score for The Constant Gardener (2005), which earned Iglesias an Oscar and BAFTA nomination. The ultimate accolade came during the seventh edition of the World Soundtrack Awards in Gent. Iglesias was then honored as Soundtrack Composer of the Year. His music for The Constant Gardener was awarded Best Score of the Year.

That those awards are more than deserved, you can hear on the 19th of October , at Alberto Iglesias' film music concert in Muziekcentrum De Bijloke Gent. The Flemish Radio Orchestra (VRO), conducted by Dirk Brossé, will dedicate an exclusive concert to the music Iglesias wrote for Pedro Almodóvar's films, among others. The concert will consist of six suites. The first movement 'Orfeo in Palermo' is a new creation by Iglesias in which he mixes film music and bruitage, giving an insight into the working process of a film composer. The second part consists of a suite with the film music the composer wrote for Tierra (1996) by Julio Medem. This is followed by a suite featuring the music from Pedro Almodóvar's Volver and a suite that further highlights the collaboration between Iglesias and Almodóvar. The fifth section is a suite focusing on Hable Con Ella and more specifically on the black-and-white film El Amante Menguante ('The Shrinking Lover') that Almodóvar incorporated into the film. The Flemish Radio Orchestra will play the music in synchrony on screen. As a finale, the VRO will play the music from The Kite Runner (2007) by Marc Forster as a world premiere. Naturally, clips from the films will be projected during the concert.

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