HCMC – From Elton John to Shostakovich – the range of composers who have written music for films is enormous. If you want to sample this range, the HBSO’s two concerts on Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17, are an ideal opportunity.
The fact that there are two concerts rather than one suggests the HBSO anticipates considerable interest, and Meritorious Artist Tran Vuong Thach on the podium is a sure sign of the importance of the events.
The Gadfly is a Russian film from 1955 with music by Shostakovich. It tells the story of an attempted uprising by Italians against their Austrian occupiers in the 19th century led by “the Gadfly”, the illegitimate son of a Catholic priest. Gadflies are biting insects that attack animals, especially horses.
Among the other films featured in the program are Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Lion King, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Hedwig’s theme), the James Bond movie Sky Fall, and Gladiator.
Many items are in special arrangements by HBSO’s Nguyen Manh Duy Linh.
Two other films to appear among the total of 19 items are Mission: Impossible and Once Upon a Time in America.
Prominent vocalists to appear will be Pham Duyen Huyen, Dao Mac, Phan Hong Diu, Hoang Ngoc Anh Quan, Pham Trang, and Pham Khanh Ngoc. The final item, from The Lion King, will feature four soloists from the above list.
Doan Huy An will also appear as a solo trumpeter in an item from the movie Notting Hill.
Mulan was a controversial film about a Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight for a cause in which her father had suffered. It is represented in these concerts by an instrumental suite.
Another film with an oriental theme is Aladdin. This time the concerts feature a duet sung by Dao Mac and Pham Duyen Huyen.
House of Flying Daggers contains a lot of music – it is as much a love story as a martial arts movie. In Saigon we will hear an item sung by Pham Khanh Ngoc.
Bryan Adams’s Everything I do I do it for You is the main theme in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. It will be sung by Tran Duy Linh.
Finally, Ronin was an American action/adventure movie renowned for its car chases, with the song Time to Say Goodbye featuring prominently. This will be sung by Pham Khanh Ngoc and Tran Duy Linh.
The importance of film music is that it is the music of our era’s most prominent and important dramatic form. Live theatre reaches far fewer people, and furthermore it’s transient – after the last performance it is largely forgotten, together with its music. Film. by contrast, frequently enjoys a second life on television, not to mention the vast possibilities of YouTube.
Tickets range from VND550,000 to VND1,000,000, with a special price of VND150,000 for students.
The concerts are in the Saigon Opera House and begin at 8pm.