Guy Noble led the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra with gusto as guest conductor for a grand night at the movies.
There are thousands of memorable movie themes in cinematic history and Margaret Pomeranz and Guy Noble curated a magnificent programme of works for this show. John Williams, Nigel Westlake, and Hans Zimmer were some of the big names featured in this concert, and the selections ebbed and flowed beautifully throughout the evening.
Pomeranz was a delightful and informative host and she had the best seat in the house, on stage, with the orchestra. Her detailed knowledge of film music and the history of motion picture provided crucial context for this genre and deepened my appreciation of the performances.
The selection of works included international composers and an homage to Australian composer, Cezary Skubiszewski, who happened to be sitting in the seat behind me (as the glaring spotlight revealed), and he tentatively stood up to be acknowledged for his composition of the soundtrack to Blessed.
The orchestra rendered the masterpieces superbly, and the soloists were particularly outstanding, namely concertmaster Natsuko Yoshimoto and principal oboist Celia Craig. Craig’s performance of Morricone’s Gabriel’s Oboe was a highlight for me. Each soloist played with crisp intonation and lyricism demonstrating excellent command of their respective instrument. Another notable soloist was guest guitarist Dylan Woolcock who performed Alberto Iglesias’ Talk To Her: Hable Con Ella with passion and proficiency.
The author of one of my favourite books, The Music Explorer, was at the helm with his baton. Noble is quite the showman. It was fantastic to see a conductor with a great sense of humour going against the tradition of black and white for all orchestral musicians. He managed a costume change into a centurion outfit in time to conduct Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator Suite using a sword prop for a baton, and he does a convincing Russell Crowe impersonation too!
Noble’s cheeky banter and jokes struck just the right balance between music and theatrics. However, I will have to politely disagree with his score of 2 ½ stars (a humorous nod to Pomeranz and her former television life). I am giving this concert 5 stars; it was a professional, entertaining, and sophisticated concert from start through to the final perfect cadence.
Tune in to the ABC Classic FM broadcast on Monday 14 August at 9.30pm or catch the show on Foxtel Arts.
Rating: 5 ☆☆☆☆☆
Performance: Saturday 5 August
Venue: Adelaide Entertainment Centre