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LSO \ George Fenton \ Barbican

June 8, 2009

Composer George Fenton maintained a modest presence on the podium at the Barbican Concert Hall during a special concert featuring music from a career spanning over thirty years.

Fenton’s unfailing self-effacing style was endearing. It also ensure attention remained squarely on his work played by a band who clearly showed their appreciation of his film and tv scores and his low-key conducting style.

If at times it felt as though an entire programme of film music lacked a narrative, Fenton’s music successfully sold a collection of film and TV programmes to one member of the audience in need of some long-overdue Saturday afternoon distractions.

The best half was undoubtedly the second with the Dam Buster-esque music from Valiant and Beyond the Clouds. High Spirits did what it said on the tin.

Everyone knew Cry Freedom would rise to a suitable climax, but it was singer Nicola Emmanuelle’s rendition of Fenton’s China Moon which unexpectedly made me bristle. Fenton at his absolute who must have been writing music in an incredibly good mood given the effect his writing was having on the percussion section.

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