John Axelrod

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17 Sep 2010
Hollywood in Vienna with enthusiastic film music
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"Hollywood in Vienna" with enthusiastic film music
09/17/2010 - 13:22
© APAGroße melodies from various blockbusters

John Axelrod puffs up, jumps up and down the left arm straight up, clenching his hand into a fist. Not special guest Howard Shore, composer of "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but Axelrod was as conductor of the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra, the star of "Hollywood in Vienna" Gala on Thursday evening at the Vienna Konzerthaus.

With sweaty dynamics and obvious fun of it, he presented a diverse mix of popular melodies from Hollywood productions before it in a tribute to Howard Shore, with an impressive, enthusiastic, world premiere listed in this form of "Lord of the Rings" suite. "Welcome to the world of adventure," Gedeon Burkhard leader said after sounding of the "Warner Bros. Fanfare" by the Viennese composer Max Steiner. Under the theme "Adventure activities," one hour followed by multi-layered melodies, played by an always beaming orchestra under the direction Axelrod.

Then the concert went to the canvas horse-drawn wagons in the mighty sounds of Miklos Rozsa "Ben-Hur," while James Horner's mystical romantic theme brought the blockbuster of last year, "Avatar," a reunion with the blue Na'vi. At the latest two examples of "congenial collaboration between Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams," said Burkhard, a murmur went through the audience, including an "Ah, I know it" nod, as the ever-popular "Indiana Jones"-melody were heard and the adventurous "Jurassic Park" theme song. At the world premiere of the "Pirates of the Caribbean Suite", the suspense was enthroned in the Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow on the screen above the orchestra, followed by prolonged applause.

The second half of the evening was dominated by the star composer Howard Shore. The triple Oscar winner in the gala of the "Max Steiner Lifetime Achievement Award" was presented by City Councillor Mailath-Porkorny and U.S. Ambassador William C. Eacho. Both were particularly proud of their homeland: Vienna, the city "beautiful music and wonderful orchestra - like this one," said Mailath-Porkorny, and "Film music as the most important cultural export of the U.S., "said the ambassador. Shore, which was honored by the audience with a standing ovation.  Shore paid tribute in his acceptance speech to Max Steiner and thanked everyone for an "impressive, moving week" in Vienna: "Everywhere I go in Vienna, I walk with musical history."

But focusing on the music: Introduced by a "Thank you, Howard personally, for your music" by Axelrod, was a medley hear from Shores' versatile team of compositions - from soulful sounds of "Ed Wood" to the majestic melody of "the Fly". Spectacular it was finally in a musical journey through the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, supported by the choir of the Vienna Academy of Music. From the extensive composition, had created the Shore for the three overlong films, a suite had been formed, which connects more than ten themes effortlessly, from monumental war sounds to the dreamy "Hobbit"-tune. Not the Norwegian jazz vocalist Rebekka Bakken, who performed the Shores Oscar-winning song "Into The West", but a Vienna choir boy finally impressed the audience with his enchanting interpretation of "In Dreams", for Shore himself was the conductor. Standing ovations.

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