Sunday, July 06, 2014


The Stephen Warbeck Ensemble at Shakespeare's Globe

“For one night only ...” film music composer and raconteur Stephen Warbeck brought his ensemble and his back catalogue to the candlelit intimacy of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
His link, I guess, is the music for Shakespeare in Love. Not, as he pointed out, filmed on this site. And the music not best served by this otherwise excellent jazz-ish combo.
There was much to entertain and delight the enthusiastic audience, much of it from films I admit I'd never heard of. A Tour de France tie-in, for instance - “Bicycle Ride” from the 2005 Belgian movie Opa! [featuring Richard Griffiths, no less]. Or British Papadopolous and Sons, with a lovely clarinet theme [Sarah Homer] for the Death of Spirou. Other key musicians here - many of them featured on the soundtracks – included cellist Nick Cooper [Winter Butterfly] and the two guitars of John Parricelli and special guest Dario Rossetti-Bonell.
Another cyclist in the Tati-tinted score for Je te survivrai, this year's Belgian film. And to finish, Mystics to the Airport, a riotous number featuring spoons and pennywhistle. But the niggling doubt remains – reinforced by Warbeck's own anecdote about some end titles for Prime Suspect – that had the librarian mislabelled some of these cues, would we have been able to tell ...

Warbeck has scored some mainstream successes, too, and we heard Charlotte Gray and Captain Corelli, as well as some of his music for theatre, including Anne Boleyn [The Funeral of Kathryn again sitting awkwardly in this lounge combo arrangement] and The Silver Tassie, currently playing at the National Theatre.

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