The best concert hall

full orchestra

Last Friday, my wife and I drove out to the Vale do Lobo resort to pick up our tickets for this year’s “Concert on the Course,” featuring the Algarve Orchestra playing on the 18th hole of the golf course.

The program was “Music from the Movies,” and we had a great time. So many favorites, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Here’s the program:

The Flintstones
The Virginian
Exodus (which actually made me misty eyed, because I remember my parents playing this on their ancient old turntable — the kind inside a wooden cabinet with a single speaker running its width)
Moulin Rouge
Jesus Christ Superstar medley (seriously wonderful, especially King Herod’s Song)
The Great Escape
Bugs Bunny at the Concert Hall: “cartoon-type arrangement of well known classical pieces” (a huge crowd favorite)
Hawaii Five-O
Tara’s Theme
Great Western Movie Themes: The Magnificent Seven; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Hang ’em High
Black Beauty
Theme from Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves
The Longest Day
1941 (John Williams)

When we took our seats, the sun was up and it was still hot. But as the orchestra played through the sunset, a cool breeze swooped in, and it turned into a divine experience. Perfect air temperature, lovely surroundings, great music by a very capable orchestra, and best of all to my mind, no amplification. It was just the instruments, their players, and us.

The second best thing was the way the double bass and drum players kept losing their music in breezes. The orchestra waited to start three different songs while the drummer (twice) and the bass player (once) frantically collected and rearranged music sheets and the binder clips holding them in place. When the bass player lost his music, the viola player in front of him trapped some of it and handed it back toward him, but by then he was exasperated and just motioned for her to forget it. This left her holding his music with no idea what to do with it, so she shrugged, dropped it to the ground and rested her heel on it. There it stayed for the last two songs of the program.

When it was over, our first thought was that It was too short. Our second was, “They need to do this again next year, with themes from TV shows!” Then we started tossing out themes we’d love to hear, and it said a lot about our respective growing-up years. I said Dynasty, she said Dallas. I said Hart to Hart and she laughed. She said Bonanza and I said “Oh, YES! And Big Valley!” I said LA Law and we both nodded and then wondered how they’d imitate the car boot slamming shut.

Others on the list included Battlestar Galactica (the original), Star Trek (all of them except the execrable Enterprise), X-Files, Hill Street Blues, Night Court, The Love Boat, MacGyver, and on and on. My wife mentioned Wonder Woman, but then we decided it can’t be done without the bluesy backup singers. Xena would also need a few instruments the orchestra probably couldn’t come up with, and The Andy Griffith Show has to have a fine whistler or they shouldn’t bother. Oh, and Game of Thrones, which wouldn’t even need to be arranged — it’s already written for an orchestra.

The only problem for a program like that would be narrowing it down. But it would sure be a hit!

(Click the image to biggify.)


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in culture, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The best concert hall

  1. Hick Crone says:

    Don’t know why, but, even just thinking about the “Hill Street Blues” theme gives me shivers. Maybe because I still have such respect for the quality of that program…

    • oregon expat says:

      Here’s a little trip down memory lane for you, Hick Crone:

      …and for a clearer recording (but without the intro footage):

      • Hick Crone says:

        Years ago, I bought a vinyl album of TV theme songs that had this. I have since transferred it to my computer where I can listen to the snaps and pops one gets with well used records. I bought sheet music, too, and could once play this on piano from memory. My obsessions are deep but, thankfully, infrequent.

      • Jason Cleaver says:

        You have just reminded me that I need to transfer the last two seasons from VHS to DVD. πŸ™‚

  2. xenatuba says:

    What a great venue. I hate trying to control music in the wind…

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