Now for the performance itself: After the commotion died down, the lights dimmed, and Stately Horn began with dispatch, since only four parts were involved. They did not disappoint. It was a very fitting opening to the concert. Paul seems to excel at short pieces where he is not impeded by the necessity to create large structures, creating polished, perfect gems. This is one of them. Being understated, it makes the perfect concert opener, not flashy, but solid. Many agreed after the performance that the orchestral version of 'A Leaf' was the highlight of the evening. One very nice feature is that the piano was not completely eliminated, merely augmented with richer orchestral colors. The piece gained in complexity, without losing any of its disarming sprightliness. Any areas that might have seemed underdone, or not fully worked out, in the piano version, seemed rich and thought out in the orchestral version. We may look forward with some excitement to the release of these pieces in the new year, since they more than held their own.
The acoustics, as might be expected, were marvelous. Any ungainliness experienced with the CD in the loud passages somehow seemed balanced and proportioned here. Several of us agreed that Paul had also done some tweaking of the score since the CD release to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Paul and Linda were observed holding hands during several movements of the performance
Also "The Making of Standing Stone" will be show in full that same morning November 23rd at 9am Eastern.
The Standing Stone CD
Wednesday evening, November 19th, live from Carnegie Hall, New York,
Paul McCartney’s newest classical work entitled STANDING STONE will be
performed. STANDING STONE is a 75-minute symphonic poem inspired by
Celtic monoliths. Proceeds from the concert are being donated to "Save the
Music" foundation and "The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts".
STANDING STONE has been #1 on the Billboard Classical charts in
America and abroad for several weeks.
The live Webcast will feature an interview with Sir Paul McCartney which
to include questions submitted by fans on the Internet. National Public Radio
(NPR) will broadcast the interview and concert on over 350 radio stations.
This event is a multi-media presentation including radio and Internet audio
broadcast across the World Wide Web. As expected there is a Web Site
for this event, using cutting edge technology. Fans are encouraged to visit
the Official Webcast site prior to the event for behind-the-scenes coverage
with Real Audio Real video, and the new Real Flash technology. The URL is
Traveller Information Services
will produce the Internet multimedia portion of
the American premiere of Sir Paul McCartney's Standing Stone, his latest
venture into the realm of classical music. The concert is to be performed by
the Orchestra and Chorus of St. Luke's at New York's Carnegie Hall
Auditorium. The concert may also be viewed and heard live over the
Internet, making the it the largest single classical music event in history.
MPL Communications has selected Traveller Information Services to
produce this multifaceted presentation of radio, television, interview, and
Internet audio and video.
The standingstone97.com website features a custom video document
called The Making of Standing Stone which explores Mr. McCartney's
journey into the classical music idiom. This well-produced documentary, of
particular interest to anyone with an interest in music of any style, is
engaging in its own right. The music featured on the website is from the EMI
Classics CD of Standing Stone.
The webcast will feature an interview with Paul McCartney which will take
place prior to the live presentation of Standing Stone from Carnegie Hall.
Visitors to this website may submit questions before the interview.
The Making of Standing Stone explores Paul McCartney's journey into the
classical music idiom. This well-produced documentary, of particular
interest to anyone with an interest in music of any style, is engaging in its
own right. The music featured on the video is from Mr. McCartney's
Standing Stone CD, which became the best-selling classical album in
history on the day of its release in September 1997.
A new, four-movement symphonic poem, "Standing Stone," which will be
given it's New York premiere November 19th at Carnegie Hall and has already
become a best seller on CD, is brought to a singing close by one more of
those tunes. After much Celtic panting and mooing, the last movement
begins with a striking nine-note figure in the brass, which eventually,
after many journeys, resolves into a love song. It's a piercingly
beautiful tune-not soaring but, rather, somehow floating, gently above
the heads of the musicians and into the hearts of it's listeners.
It's an English song. What one hears throughout "Standing Stone,"
in fact, is a nostalgic inventory of all the things, aside from the rock
and roll, that a musically gifted teen-ager would have heard
growing up in Liverpool in the nineteen forties and fifties: Elgar and Vaughn Williams, church hymns, film scores. When the quality of Th. new work dips, as it does, oddly, in the most fevered passages, it sounds like a Russian-derived Dimitre Tiomkin-style music of fifties movies. When the quality picks up, as it does in the slower, chamber episodes, it sounds like English pastoral or sometimes, Christmas music. Having written the soundtrack of the sixties, McCartney has now written a carol for the millennium. Melody has many uses.