BWW Review: SETTLING THE SCORE, Royal Albert Hall
Pub quiz time, and it's the music round. Question one: who composed the scores of Rogue One, The Incredibles 2 and Doctor Strange? Question two: who composed the scores of Godzilla, Good Omens and Independence Day?
The answer to the first question is Michael Giacchino and the second is David Arnold. If, like me, you didn't know the answer to both questions but are familiar with the superb soundtracks to all the films listed (and more!) above, then you should have gone to Settling the Score at the Royal Albert Hall.
At the title of the concert suggests, the scores of Giacchino and Arnold were set in mock-competition throughout the evening. Gavin Greenaway conducted the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra through this epic symphonic battle providing a night of unforgettable music.
Whether it be the brassy Incredibles, the thundering music of Godzilla or the forever-increasing tempo of Sherlock implying a mind that is not only brilliant but also dangerously close to self-destruction, the variety of styles and techniques displayed from these award-winning writers was simply brilliant.
But this was not an austere evening of serious music. Giacchino and Arnold hosted the show with comedy and charm. Seeing Giacchino dressed as Princess Leia was interesting to say the least, and his music for Rogue One palpably beats with hope at its softer moments and thudding resistance at its stronger ones.
Guest appearances from Boris Johnson (who threatened to prorogue the Royal Albert Hall) and Donald Trump (who said it was "so good to be at the Coliseum") courtesy of actor Lewis MacLeod were strikingly accurate and also sat well with the general atmosphere of the evening.
Settling the Score also included the first public performance of the music of Good Omens, and it's a glorious score imbued with the sense of a fantastical waltz between two characters that is affably austere.
But the best moment in a night of wonderful performances was Giacchino's 'Married Life' from Pixar's Up. From the easy movements around the various instrumental sections of the orchestra early on that delight in the surprises and joys of married life to the gut-wrenching piano solo at the end, it's a song that doesn't fail to bring a tear to the eye.
Settling the Score was a staunch reminder of how enticing, affective and important film scores are. Whilst the competition between Giacchino and Arnold was concluded as a draw, on the night the real winner was the audience, as we were the ones treated so such a sublime night of music and performance.