How long ago has it been, only nine months? So I don’t think he’s totally forgotten about it yet. If I could actually sit down with John over a bo’le a’broon and be assured of some kind of honest answer, there are two questions I’d ask him:
1) How old were you when you first heard Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in its entirety and what were the circumstances?
2) What in the name of God possessed you to use the original, unchanged 1943 Robert Russell Bennett orchestration for a staged concert of Oklahoma in a venue seating over 5500 people???
Got this bit of news from Norman Lebrecht’s music blog Slipped Disc.
Hellzapoppin. It’s their Proms—why would they think that anyone else would do a better (cheaper?) job of filming them?
More later as I find out more. If you subscribe to Broadcast, click here for the whole story then let us all know what’s going on.
This is the first piece of music I was ever aware of as a piece of music. Must’ve been about 2 or 3, certainly not in kindergarten yet. Every weekday morning at 8 I’d be in my jammies in front of the TV and there he’d be, the Captain, and while the theme was merrily playing away he’d be carrying a bunch of keys—and when he hung up the keys the music would stop abruptly. The theme music at the end credits wasn’t always synched so I really never heard the piece all the way to the end except for a couple of times.
If you remember the tune, there are about four phrases and before the sequence starts again there’s a little bit of stop-time—and this is the part that really got my attention. It sounded so neat. I was fascinated. I wanted to know how it was done. Finally in music school I found out.
Now here’s the BBC telling me this is actually an English piece called “Puffin’ Billy” and bringing me, surprise surprise, my bonny John, at 36 looking 12, at the center of a melody that transported me back to my 3-year-old self. (Starts at 47:00.)