Yesterday we had the first of the two concerts of ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’ that the BOS – Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa, conducted by Shih-Hung Young, is performing at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao.
Gorka Oteiza attended the concert and leaves us this brief summary.
Stating that the soundtrack that Howard Shore composed for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ saga is a masterpiece, both in his career and in the history of cinema, is something that does not need any Oscar for its confirmation. Even so, Shore won his only three statuettes for this work: best soundtrack for the first film in 2001, and best soundtrack and best song for the third film in 2003.
The Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa – Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao – BOS, which is celebrating its centenary in 2022, performed the first of the films of the saga, “The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring” in concert yesterday, Thursday, December 15th. A musical tour de force of 3 hours, divided into two blocks of 1h 34m and 1h 25m respectively, separated by an intermission of 20 minutes, where the orchestra offered the best of itself.
The Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao hosted an impressive deployment with more than 230 people on stage: 150 singers from 3 choirs, 86 musicians, 2 soloists, and a conductor. Probably one of the most impressive film with live orchestra montages I have ever seen, and certainly the most ambitious that has ever been in Bilbao.
The Bilbao Orkestra Sinfonikoa – Orquesta Sinfónica de Bilbao – BOS shone last night in a superlative way, displaying all its mastery, strength, and skill, under the methodical and effective direction of Shih-Hung Young, who knew how to guide the orchestra through the intricate nooks and crannies of Shore‘s work with such fidelity that, if we did not look at the stage to be aware of the origin of the music, it was almost impossible to differentiate what we were hearing from what was present at the original movie.
The concert was a true delight for the senses, where it is worth mentioning the strength, harmony, and vocal fidelity achieved by the three choirs and the soloists, alternated as their intervention was required throughout the film, and which offered us some of the most intense, emotional, and organic moments of the night.
The orchestra was brilliant and delighted us with perfect interpretations of the themes of the ring, the shire and the hobbits, the elves, Gondor, the Nazgul and the evil of Mordor, or the fellowship of the ring itself, building the piece as the plot grows and the group is formed. A splendid and dedicated string section, a sublime brass section that did not lose an iota of intensity throughout the concert, a cohesive and very effective woodwind section, and all of them supported by a precise and powerful percussion as we’ve rarely seen, rounded off the wonderful performance offered last night by the BOS in Bilbao, immersing us in the middle earth of Tolkien/Jackson/Shore and captivating us with its music.
I would dare to say that last night’s concert is unrepeatable, but I would be lying. Fortunately, there is still a new performance today, Friday, December 16th, to enjoy Shore’s great symphonic work in Bilbao, with a musical and vocal ensemble as we will rarely see. A great concert, for the centenary of a great orchestra.
Article and pictures by Gorka Oteiza