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Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester & Ulrich Herkenhoff & Frank Zacher Cinema Concertante OC 785 CD
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FormatAudio CD
Ordering NumberOC 785
Release date11/01/2011
Players/ContributorsMusicians Composer
  • Bacalov, Luis
  • Bernstein, Elmer
  • Enya
  • Godwin, Ron
  • Hess, Nigel
  • Keller, Matthias
  • Mancini, Henry
  • Morricone, Ennio
  • Reiser, Niki
  • Rota, Nino
  • Shore, Howard
  • Tiersen, Yann
  • Yared, Gabriel

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      Description hide

      Cinema Concertante

      Howard Shore: “In Dreams” (Lord of the Rings)
      Elmer Bernstein: Zeit der Unschuld
      Gabriel Yared: “Convento di Sant’Anna” (Der Englische Patient)
      Ennio Morricone: “Nuovo Cinema Morricone” (Suite): La Piovra (The Octopus) – Once Upon a Time in America – The Mission – Sacco and Vanzetti – The Professional
      Nino Rota: “Waltz”, “Love Theme” (The Godfather)
      Yann Tiersen: Die fabelhafte Welt der Amélie
      Enya: “May it be” (Lord of the Rings)
      Niki Reiser: Beyond Silence
      Nigel Hess: Ladies in Lavender
      Ennio Morricone: La Califfa
      Ron Godwin: Miss Marple
      Luis Bacalov: Il Postino
      Henry Mancini: The Pink Panther
      Matthias Keller: „Elise goes to Hollywood“

      Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester
      Frank Zacher, conductor
      Ulrich Herkenhoff,pan flute

      W hile film music must normally go through a highly complex editing process and a number of studio apparatuses, resulting in the fact that in the end, the participating musicians only prepare the initial material for the soundtrack, the interpretors here are, so to speak, recapturing their music for themselves: the Kurpfälzische Kammerorchester plays famous pieces from recent films in arrangements written by Matthias Keller especially for it. Special tonal colors are provided in one part of the program by the pan flute, played by Ulrich Herkenhoff. These compositions, originally written for large symphony orchestra, gain a musical life of their own through the reduction for chamber orchestra, in which each musician makes a major contribution to the whole, thus giving the original soundtrack the directness and intimacy that only a chamber ensemble can.

      Film Music for Chamber Orchestra

      Film music: in the movie theater it is ever-present, but usually anonymous. This is especially true for the musicians involved, because soundtracks are usually created in acoustically optimized studios, played by a handpicked orchestra and then subjected to the seemingly limitless possibilities of what is known as post production. The musicians merely generate the source material.

      Cinema Concertante takes an altogether different approach. Here the musicians of the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim step into the role as interpreters of film music, in arrangements adapted especially for chamber orchestra. The idea originated on the concert podium, when a performance of the Nuovo Cinema Morricone Suite at a classical concert evening provoked such an enthusiastic reaction from the audience that the orchestra decided to dedicate an entire program to film compositions. It was clear that only hand-picked pieces from masters of this genre could be included in the program. The Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester has an excellent reputation and regards the upholding of this tradition as both a duty and a challenge when it comes to developing new ideas. This film music concept was new not only to the orchestra’s musicians, but also seemed to be an even greater innovation for concert-goers. Concerts of cinematic music had up until now attracted almost exclusively fans of the original soundtracks, who awaited the event with corresponding expectations – examples such as the world tour of Howard Shore’s “Lord of the Rings” music or John Williams’ “Star Wars” compositions come to mind. Rarely had anyone attempted a chamber music version in this field.

      This then became the first challenge for the interpreters: to develop a relationship with the individual musical pieces which was more than just imitating the original, acoustically superlative soundtracks scored for large orchestras.

      With Cinema Concertante, the music is presented in a much more personal and – in a certain way – more musical manner.

      The opening piece, Howard Shore’s In Dreams from “The Lord of the Rings” (2001), sets the tone as an acoustic grand entrance achieved with limited orchestral resources and, instead of the boy treble in the original version, the pan pipes play the melody to the (original) words “When the cold of winter comes“.

      Elmer Bernstein’s The Age of Innocence on the other hand, composed for the portrait of manners of the same name by Martin Scorsese (1993) and reminiscent in style of the music of Johannes Brahms, appears in the film itself with the cello as the main instrument, although it was later recorded by Itzhak Perlman in a version for violin and orchestra.

      Gabriel Yared, who was born in Beirut, composed his Convento di Sant’Anna firmly in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach for the film “The English Patient” (1996). The starting point was Bach’s Aria from the Goldberg Variations which was played in the film itself on a battered old grand piano. The film’s director Anthony Minghella originally wanted it to be played again during the closing credits but Yared offered him one of his own compositions instead – a captivating Baroque theme given a touch of spice through its Romantic orchestration.

      Staying on the subject of Bach: Ennio Morricone showed a great affinity with the Baroque style in his film scores. This can be seen in his fondness for Baroque sequences, his use of contrapuntal techniques or even his frequent deployment of the Cembalo as a musical instrument. His theme to the television series “The Octopus (La Piovra)” (1985–2001), with which the Nuovo Cinema Morricone Suite opens, is a typical example: A sacred-baroque frisson, combined with the theatrical gestures of Italian opera. This is followed by the no less operatic and highly Romantic Deborah Theme from Sergio Leone’s “Once upon a time in America” (1984). After this we hear the oboe theme of Father Gabriel, the Jesuit priest from Roland Joffé’s “The Mission” (1986), portrayed in the film by Jeremy Irons, a missionary drama with an authentic-historical background, set in 18th century Latin America. The next theme Here’s to you from Giuliano Montaldo’s “Sacco and Vanzetti” (1971) is also highly influenced by the Baroque style. This melody catapulted the singer Joan Baez into the hit parades when the film was first released. The whole piece is held together by a Chaconne-like foundation. The arrangement presented here is not merely concerned with repeating the melody; instead of the percussion instrument originally deployed, figurative elements have been introduced such as the little concertante dialog between the pan pipes and solo violin.

      The subsequent theme, from “The Professional” (1981), with Jean-Paul Belmondo in the title role, is just as much a potential hit. Finally we hear Morricone’s original pan pipes theme, Cockey’s Song, again from the film “Once upon a time in America“.

      Nino Rota is another pillar of the establishment in the world of Italian film music. His Waltz and Love Theme from the film “The Godfather” (1972) appear here as an homage to one of the great neo-classical composers who not only composed film music but also achieved worldwide fame through his compositions for the cinema. The burlesque waltz from the film “Amelie from Montmartre (Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain)” (2001) made French composer and multi-talented instrumentalist Yann Tiersen a household name virtually overnight, leading to numerous adaptations of the piece, including for the “living-room pianist“. This also applies to the next two numbers, May it be which Irish singer Enya sang during the closing credits to part 1 of the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy (2001), and “Beyond Silence” (1996) – whose music has won the Swiss composer Niki Reiser numerous international awards.

      As in director Caroline Link’s film “Beyond Silence“, a musical instrument also plays a pivotal role in the story of the film “Ladies in Lavender” (2004). In the former case it is the clarinet, played by the main character Lara (Sylvie Testud); in “Ladies in Lavender” actor Daniel Brühl portrays a ship-wrecked young man who is washed up on a Cornish beach and discovered to be an exceptionally talented violin virtuoso. The theme composed by Nigel Hess, who is actually a great-nephew of the celebrated British pianist Myra Hess, was recorded by Joshua Bell for the film’s original soundtrack. With La Califfa (for Alberto Bevilacqua’s film “The Lady Caliph” from the year 1970), Ennio Morricone created yet another solo piece for the oboe, which has been expanded into a duet for oboe and pan pipes for this recording.

      Even the Oscar®-winning main theme to “Il Postino (The Postman)” (1994), composed by Argentinian composer Luis Bacalov, can be heard as a duet on this recording – this time between the pan pipes and the clarinet – whereas the original was played on the bandoneón (a kind of South-American concertina). As a refreshing contrast to this kind of lyrical-dreamlike film music, our recording features Ron Goodwin’s irrepressible Miss Marple Theme, composed for the British Miss Marple film series (1961 – 1964) starring Margaret Rutherford, as well as Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme (1964). The latter piece offers soloist Ulrich Herkenhoff and the musicians of the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester the chance to show off their talents in the genre of Swing, although in both pieces, the percussion has been deliberately omitted – in contrast to the “originals“.

      The tongue-in-cheek, little Suite Elise goes to Hollywood forms the conclusion to this film music album: it is a piece composed purely for strings, in which Beethoven’s Für Elise goes astray, in a film music sense, and meanders through John Williams’ “Jurassic Park” (1993) via Bernard Herrmann’s “Psycho” music (1960) to Jerry Goldsmith’s “Basic Instinct” (1992) and Nino Rota’s “The Godfather” (1972) until, with Morricone’s “Once upon a time in the West” (1968), it finally lands up somewhere in Arizona’s Monument Valley – in an optimistic major key, at least!

      Matthias Keller
      Translation: Julia Thornton, tolingo translations
      Frank Zacher
      Frank Zacher was born in Halle/Saale and received tuition on both the piano and the violin as a child. He completed his studies in conducting at the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Hochschule für Musik in Leipzig. He has taken part in master classes and advanced studies with Kurt Masur, Helmuth Rilling, Jorma Panula and Gennady Rohzdestvensky, among others. After working as a conductor for Theater Plauen, he became First Kapellmeister and deputy Generalmusikdirektor at the Landestheater Neustrelitz, where he also took on the leadership of the Neubrandenburger Philharmonie.

      In February 2003 he made his debut in the Berliner Philharmonie as a guest of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. He has also appeared as a guest conductor with orchestras such as the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, the Mitteldeutsche Kammerphilharmonie Schönebeck and the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen.

      From 2005 to 2006 he was chief conductor of the Neues Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He has been chief conductor of the Preußisches Kammerorchester, based in Prenzlau, since February 2007 and, during the same year, made his debut with the Neuköllner Oper Berlin conducting the acclaimed world premiere of the Moshammer Opera (Hammerthaler / Nelissen). He has appeared in concert with Ulrich Herkenhoff at several events and festivals.

      Ulrich Herkenhoff
      Ulrich Herkenhoff was born in Osnabrück in 1966 and received piano tuition at a very early age. He taught himself to play the pan pipes at the age of fourteen and subsequently studied flute at the Richard Strauss Conservatoire in Munich, taking an additional solo diploma – on the pan pipes. Herkenhoff gained particular expertise in the field of Romanian folklore from the Swiss music ethnologist Marcel Cellier. His awards include the “Bayerischer Staatsförderpreis für junge Künstler” and the “Echo Klassik” as instrumentalist of the year 2000.

      In the genre of film music, Herkenhoff has worked on the Oscar®- winning music to “The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King” (2003) as well as Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack to “Fateless” (2005). He appeared with Morricone at the composer’s German debut in the Münchner Philharmonie in 2004, as well as at the Arena di Verona. Herkenhoff is also a keen pan flute maker and builds his own instruments.

      Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester
      As the legitimate successor to the court orchestra of Elector Karl Theodor of the Palatinate (1724 – 1799), the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester, founded in 1952 (the Electoral Palatinate Chamber Orchestra, one of the few orchestras in Germany dedicated full-time to chamber orchestra music), has been safeguarding the musical heritage of the “Mannheim school of music” (which developed and blossomed between 1724 and 1799) to this very day. It is this heritage, which at its time of origin defined innovative standards and set free musical potential unheard of so far, and its further development, to which the orchestra is dedicated and committed.

      Music enthusiasts associate the “Mannheim school of music” with the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester’s work. Since almost 60 years, the orchestra has been fulfilling this demanding reputation to perfection.

      Performances in national music centres such as at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, the Munich Gasteig and the Glocke Bremen, the Cologne and Berlin Philharmonic concert halls as well as invitations to perform at national and international festivals document the high artistic level of the orchestra. The orchestra’s concert series in the metropolitan region of Rhein-Neckar which usually take place at historical locations such as the Hambach Castle or the Mannheim Castle, allow the audience to sense the glamour of the 18th century Palatinate court while bringing its musical tradition to life again.

      Hundreds of broadcasting and TV recordings as well as record and CD productions tell their tale about the outstanding quality of this orchestra, about its pure pleasure in playing and underline the ensemble’s enormous musical band width ranging from baroque to contemporary music. Thus, many renowned soloists are eager to follow the orchestra’s invitations to perform with them.

      Tracklist hide

      CD 1
      • 1.Howard Shore (*1946) »In Dreams« (Der Herr der Ringe / The Lord of the Rings)02:54
      • 2.Elmer Bernstein Zeit der Unschuld / The Age of Innocence03:34
      • 3.Gabriel Yared (*1949) »Convento di Sant’Anna« (Der Englische Patient / The English Patient)03:26
      • 4.Ennio Morricone (*1928) »Nuovo Cinema Morricone« (Suite)18:04
      • 5.Nino Rota (1911 – 1979) Der Pate / The Godfather: Walzer / Waltz02:24
      • 6.Nino Rota Der Pate / The Godfather: Liebesthema / Love Theme02:52
      • 7.Yann Tiersen (*1970) Die fabelhafte Welt der Amélie / Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain02:26
      • 8.Enya (*1961) »May it be« (Der Herr der Ringe / The Lord of the Rings)03:35
      • 9.Niki Reiser (*1958) Jenseits der Stille / Beyond Silence04:17
      • 10.Nigel Hess (*1953) Der Duft von Lavendel / Ladies in Lavender03:49
      • 11.Ennio Morricone La Califfa04:32
      • 12.Ron Godwin (1925 – 2 003) Miss Marple03:39
      • 13.Luis Bacalov (*1933) Il Postino / The Postman05:01
      • 14.Henry Mancini (1924 – 1994) Pink Panther03:02
      • 15.Matthias Keller (*1956) »Elise goes to Hollywood«05:40
      • Total:01:09:15