Posted on Fri, Oct. 08, 2004_

News Menu Button 60 SECOND REVIEW

'Rings' needs fine-tuning

By Wayne Lee Gay
Star-Telegram Staff Writer


The concept -- presenting music from Howard Shore's Oscar-winning film score in a concert format with visual accents -- is sound. But the execution failed Thursday night when the Dallas Symphony and guest conductor Alexander Mickelthwate performed The Lord of the Rings Symphony at Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

The visual projections didn't work for the first half, leaving a blank screen hanging above the stage for an hour of music. However, the projections, sketches from early designs for the film, weren't all that great when they did appear after intermission.

Shore's music is, of course, beautiful, heroic and melodic in the finest film music tradition In this 2 1/2-hour version, however, it sprawled and became repetitive; some tightening up of this version is definitely called for.

The symphony was uneven all evening, and the Dallas Symphony Chorus, usually the star of any concert, sounded under-rehearsed. (The texts were in several languages invented by J.R.R. Tolkien, doubtless an added challenge.) Hayley Westenra, this year's teen-age vocal superstar, was often out of tune in her brief solos.

Dallas Symphony Orchestra

Tonight

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas

Tickets $15-$100

(214) 692-0203 or www.dallassymphony.com

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Ed: "Out of tune" is not a term usually attributed to Hayley's performances, nor do pitch-perfect performers simply "go off-pitch" unless something outside of their normal field of expectation occurs elsewhere. One also has to wonder exactly what it was the writer intended to convey in penning such a vaguely worded phrase. Judging by the overall tone of the review, however, nothing went right - for the reviewer that is. But was the performance given solely for the benefit of this one writer, or was it intended for the appreciation of the audience at large? I would hazard a guess this larger audience appreciated Hayley's - and the DSC's - performance far more than this one somewhat "off-key" reporter might wish us to believe.


Thanks to Roger Mansbridge for forwarding the link to this article
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