Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Carl Davis and the RLPO

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1998-07-23 Stage.jpg


Maybe a career on the platform is viewed as a safer bet than the stage. The past decade has seen a resurgence of parental interest in teaching 'proper' music to children. Many parents would like to think they have a Nigel Kennedy or Vanessa Mae in their household, and statistics are persuasive too - high intellectual performance is linked with listening to classical music. This booming industry includes the growing popularity of concerts aimed specifically at children.

Carl Davis and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra were not in the business of presenting a heavy programme for their Kids in Space concert held in the Arena, Sefton Park.

The serious stuff - Mars and Jupiter from Hoist's The Planets - was tightly sandwiched between such titbits as Thornbirds, Dr Who, Star Trek and Star Wars.

The movie themes of composer John Williams were the dominant feature. Sagely, Davis recognises that Williams writes a memorable tune and always somehow manages to capture the spirit of his films, while writing in an orthodox tradition inspired by the great composers.

Music from ET, Star Wars including a lesser-known episode written for the character Jabba the Hutt - and Jurassic Park swept the children along inside the massive plastic arena hired by the RLPO for this summer concert series.

Perhaps the Jabba the Hutt sequence - a muted piece of writing, redolent of slime and sloth was not a good choice for a noisy audience far keener on foot-stomping marches. But as the space theme dipped inexplicably underwater for Williams' opening score to Jaws, the noise dropped down once more to a mesmeric murmur.

But the most effective piece of the entire concert was a spooky version of the Grainger theme to Dr Who, with the BBC Radiophone Workshop substituted by effective scoring for lower strings. Davis conducted in Dr Who garb of long coat and scarf while bombarded by multicoloured lighting effects. The result was a truly unusual snippet of music, a real curiosity and a rather effective theatrical experience. It also stood out, even in its limited form, as the one innovative piece of musical writing in the concert.

Concerts of this kind may not exactly be high culture, but they allow children to adjust to listening in a fairly well-mannered way to a live orchestra in a concert hall.

Davis has really proved himself a master of these ceremonies over the last seven years with the RLPO summer series. But he still could not pluck up the courage to sing the words of the encore, Ghostbusters.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Massey, Dianne (1998-07-23). Carl Davis and the RLPO. The Stage p. 17.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Massey, Dianne. "Carl Davis and the RLPO." The Stage [add city] 1998-07-23, 17. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Massey, Dianne. "Carl Davis and the RLPO." The Stage, edition, sec., 1998-07-23
  • Turabian: Massey, Dianne. "Carl Davis and the RLPO." The Stage, 1998-07-23, section, 17 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Carl Davis and the RLPO | url= | work=The Stage | pages=17 | date=1998-07-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Carl Davis and the RLPO | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=12 April 2024}}</ref>