Review: Concert Of The Unexpected: A Celebration Of Roald Dahl @ St. David’s Hall

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Concert of the Unexpected: A Celebration of Roald Dahl Starring Michael Sheen // St. David’s Hall, Cardiff // Friday 21st October 2016

Last Friday night was the scene of one of the finest performances by the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Michael Bell. The performances included renditions of music by Edvard Grieg, William Walton and Danny Elfman and featured the world première of a new piece of music by Bernard Kane in honour of the life and fabulous work of Roald Dahl.

The Roald Dahl centenary celebrations are far from over and have continued with this charming concert honouring his life. The concert started with a twenty-minute talk involving Bernard Kane; noted Dahl biographer, Donald Sturrock and Academy Award-winning Welsh actor, Michael Sheen about what attracted them to this performance and Dahl’s work in general.

The first half of the concert began with renditions of William Walton’s Spitfire, Prelude and Fugue, in a tribute to Dahl’s war years, and continued with a melody of music composed by Danny Elfman for the 2005 film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The first half concluded with the Peer Gynt Suite by the world-famous Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg, in reference to Dahl’s Norwegian ancestry.

It seemed like such a shame that many of the people in attendance brought their children with them probably expecting it to be a night of family-driven entertainment like the City of the Unexpected last month, as I noticed several extremely bored and fidgeting kids with parents who, during the interval, very quickly jumped across the road.

The main highlights of the concert took place in the second act as performers Michael Sheen and Aled Powys Williams from Only Boys Aloud accompany the Orchestra: the former for spoken word citations from Dahl’s autobiography, the latter for English and Welsh versions of the famed Welsh hymn, Gwahoddiad, the emotional peak of the entire show.

This season of performances at St. David’s Hall with the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra will also include A Night at the Movies: Heroes & Villains, a showcase of the most memorable movie music ever, including Superman, Indiana Jones, Gladiator, Pirates of the Caribbean, Thunderbirds, Psycho, Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines, and many more.

For more information, visit www.stdavidshallcardiff.co.uk

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