The musical legacy of John Barry is being celebrated by the orchestra that had such a significantly close association with him during his lifetime, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
There are countless recordings to highlight, but one of my favourites is the seminal 1972 album which was simply titled, The Concert. The quality of performance is exceptional and it's also special as it was the first symphonic concert of John Barry's music during 1972's Filmharmonic Royal Albert Hall extravaganza. Just 10 years prior to this concert he was still playing as part of his John Barry Seven, career progression at its finest!
"Some of his most performed pieces are here but when scored specially for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, another dimension is added. The James Bond Suite takes on a new size and I am sure will be regarded as a work of major importance. If Bond is 007, Barry is 008." - Lyricist Don Black, as featured on the original sleeve notes.
We should be thankful that some of these expanded symphonic arrangements for Barry's first concert were recorded (at Abbey Road Studios) for us to treasure for all time. The two Moviola albums are good yes, but there's something extra special about The Concert album. Coming full circle, the emotional John Barry Memorial Concert was graced with the RPO's playing and to quote The Guardian's Ian Gittins: "It was a fittingly magnificent tribute".
How appropriate then that the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are continuing this distinct and historical association by performing a series of concerts from the 3rd to the 5th October in South England. Nic Raine will conduct and Tommy Pearson presents. Both gentlemen have their own John Barry stories, so no doubt they'll be shared during the mini-tour. Featured soloists are Alison Jiear & Lance Ellington. The first of these concerts is in Portsmouth and in true celebratory fashion, we have some tickets to giveaway for this premiere night of wonderful music. 5 pairs to be precise. All of your favourites will be played, from Zulu to Dances with Wolves. From Born Free to Bond.
All you have to do is email firstname.lastname@example.org with John Barry as the subject header and you will automatically be entered into the prize draw. The RPO marketing team will contact winners via email next week so ensure you keep checking your inbox. This giveaway closes Tuesday 1st October.
Good luck and I hope you'll be the one experiencing John Barry's music resonating around Portsmouth's Guildhall next Thursday, courtesy of the RPO & FSM!