Reviews (mostly in
- The Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg draws its name from the
Babelsberg studios in Potsdam and enjoys a real popularity in its
'hometown'. Many of our most memorable performances there are of
'silent' films. My first foray in this genre was with Charlie Chaplin's
City Lights, a touching story of
scatterbrained millionaire and a blind girl who gains her sight thanks
to the selfless efforts of the Little Tramp. Another full-length Chaplin
film we enjoy performing is Goldrush. This
score is revels in witty stylistic borrowings from Wagner, Brahms, and
Rossini. Some scenes, like the 'Dance of the Breadrolls' and Chaplin's
use of his left boot to make a Thanksgiving meal, count among the
funniest in film history.
- Fritz Lang's dark, expressionistic film Dr.
Mabuse, the Gambler was a real shocker - but a popular one! - in the
1920s. We performed a new score by Michael Obst to this film in February
2003. His progressive soundtrack for chamber orchestra, two pianos and
dozens of percussion instruments is a fascinating modern counterpoint to
Lang's stylized portrayal of murder, media manipulation, stock market
swindles in Weimar Germany.
- Our tribute to Leonard Bernstein featured
the 'Candide' Overture, the concert suite from the film 'On the
Waterfront', the Symphonic Dances from 'West Side Story' and staged
highlights from the musical 'On the town', performed by Christin Zacher,
Danny Costello and Luis Lay.
- An unusual 'crossover' concert with the Saarland State Orchestra
entitled "Symphonic Klezmer" explored many
points-of-intersection between traditional Jewish music and the modern
orchestra. Prokofiev's 'Overture on hebrew themes' began the program.
It was followed by works by Louis Saguer and Marc Lavry, both who worked
at the Saarbrücken opera house in the late 1920s before having to
emigrate. The remainder of the concert was a collaboration with 'The
World Quintet', a virtuosic group of klezmer-influenced, jazz-versed
musicians formerly known as 'Kol Simcha'. They have built an impressive
repertoire which combines improvised structures with demanding
- A new production of the musical 'Les Misérables' in
Saarbrücken which opened in December 2002 earned a lot of critical
attention. I had been part of the music staff with the Vienna 'Les Mis'
production over ten years before and was delighted at the chance to come
back to this wonderful piece. Here are reviews from 'Musicals' magazine (Februar/März 2003), 'Rheinpfalz Online' (9.12.02) and the Saarbrücker Zeitung (09.12.02)
- The Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra's first-ever film music concert
was an homage to British masters such as Sir Malcolm Arnold, Sir William
Walton, Alex North, Ron Goodwin and Bernard Herrmann. Sir Malcolm
himself was the guest of honor and the program appropriately used a
quote of his as it's title: "Just listen to the bloody music!". Some
reviews appeared in Film Score Monthly(in
English), the web services koelnklassik.de
and Cinemusic (Cinemusic, 23.10.2002), and
the Aachener Nachrichten(in English).
- I first conducted the Brandenburg State Orchestra in an exploration
of the tango phenomenon with "Tangomania"
- guest soloist was bandoneonist Lothar Hensel. A half year later I
returned with film music which Nino Rota
composed for 'Godfather', 'Rocco and his brothers', 'Orchestra
Rehearsal' and 'La strada'.
- Classics of Musical - Berlin Open-Air -
2001 (Berliner Morgenpost)