About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

17 January 2011

Taraf de Haïdouks

The lead 1st violinist of the orchestra in the movie, The Concert, (Gheorghe Anghel) is a member of a Romanian band, Taraf de Haïdouks. This is a bit of trivia I found on IMDB, but the Gypsy music of Taraf de Haïdouks is just brilliant, and well worth listening to. See some of their YouTube videos or their MySpace page for samples.

16 January 2011

Movie: The Concert

Every now and then, a movie trailer actually makes you look forward to a movie. Even though the story itself is predictable (genius forced out, in this case because of political reasons, intercepts an invitation, reassembles his orchestra, overcomes numerous hurdles including temperamental soloist to perform hugely successful show), the acting, the humour and most of all, the music, makes this a highly enjoyable movie.

The story centres around a celebrated conductor, whose concert of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, is cut short dramatically mid-performance due to political reasons (in Soviet Russia). So when he intercepts an invitation to perform at Paris' Théâtre du Châtelet, he decides to re-assemble his old orchestra, and put his demons to bed. There is off course a complicated side story involving the soloist, oligarchs who "sponsor" the trip, Russian orchestra members who are thinking of using this as an opportunity to get out of their dreary life and ex-KGB communist party official who reminisces on the glory days of communism.

The opening concert of last year's fourth season of Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, featured Daniel Rowland playing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. It is a stunning piece and unlike many movies of similar type (be it rousing speeches, novels or other works of art), the movie pays full homage to the music with a full performance. The emotion, the music and the story telling is worth the ticket.