Tuesday 8 October 2013

Live: 'Danny Elfman's Music From The Films Of Tim Burton' - Royal Albert Hall, London

Royal Albert Hall, London 
7th September 2013 

The Royal Albert hall is a sell out for tonight’s world premier celebration of the collaboration between acclaimed composer Danny Elfman and visionary film maker Tim Burton. The Californian composer's work with Burton has spanned the last 25 years and has proven to be one of the most recognisable partnerships in film and music today. 

A dedicated effort was made by some who came to tonight’s performance; specks of black and white could be seen throughout the auditorium. The distinctive trademark monochrome of Burton's art, and hats off to those who dressed up (Beetlejuice himself arrived as well as a girl dressed as the carousel from the same film).

The BBC Concert Orchestra and Maida Vale Singers provided the music with stunning effect, accompanied with a large screen backdrop portraying art, sketches and film clips from the director’s catalogue. A nice idea but one which sometimes lacked in parts. However it was all about the music with Elfman himself coming out on stage making his first public singing performance in eighteen years years. He sang classic numbers from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' including 'What’s this?', which synced in time with the film footage was a joy to watch. 

The Grammy-award winning soundtrack from 'Batman' was filled with gothic strings and tense, menacing percussion which stirred the senses and the hairs on your neck to end the first half. 'Edward Scissorhands' and 'Sleepy Hollow' were hauntingly beautiful sets provided by delicate violin strings along with the Maida Vale Singers majestic vocals. The highlight of the night though had to be Elfman, and with an added twist, he was joined by Helena Bonham Carter who braved her nerves to sing 'Sally’s Song'. 

The night ended with standing ovations, conductor John Mauceri donning a Christmas hat and Tim Burton appearing on-stage. Elfman claimed it was “the greatest moment of my life”. I’m sure he’s not the only one.

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