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May 14, 2004
THE LION IN WINTER live to film at Carnegie Hall

John Barry to give pre-concert talk

For the first time, John Barry's Oscar-winning score for The Lion in Winter will be featured in a live concert performance.

The Collegiate Chorale, under the direction of music director Robert Bass, will perform nearly all of Barry's groundbreaking score – with excerpts from the 1968 film to be screened simultaneously – at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 25, in New York's Carnegie Hall.

The Lion in Winter music will occupy the first half of the concert, entitled "Crown Imperial: Music and the Movies." The second half will consist of approximately an hour of Sergei Prokofiev's music for director Sergei Eisenstein's epic Ivan the Terrible, also with film clips.

Actor Timothy Dalton, who was part of the remarkable ensemble cast of The Lion in Winter (along with Katharine Hepburn, Peter O'Toole and Anthony Hopkins) will introduce the evening. And, in a rare public appearance, Barry himself will talk about his music in a pre-concert conversation at 7 p.m.

New York composer-arranger Edward Barnes reconstructed Barry's Lion in Winter score from the soundtrack album, since the original was lost in a warehouse fire in the 1970s. Barry won his third Academy Award for the score, which deftly conjured up 12th-century England by combining chorus with the darker colors of the orchestra, capturing both the brutality of the Middle Ages and a sense of the domination of the Catholic Church. The composer chose the Latin texts based on the dramatic situations of the film, then set them to music. The grim and powerful main title contrasts sharply with the exquisite music for the arrival of Eleanor of Aquitaine (Hepburn) at the Christmastime reunion of the family of King Henry II (O'Toole).

Producer John Goberman's 1995 concert version of Ivan the Terrible, which the Chorale will also perform May 25, will feature mezzo Marianna Kulikova and bass Valentin Peitchinoff. Goberman, who has also staged Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, said: "The big musical scenes have the same power and effect as in Nevsky, but the film is much longer... You can make a case that Ivan is much more interesting musically."

Eisenstein treated Prokofiev as a full creative collaborator on the two Ivan films (Part I, released in 1944; Part II, banned by Stalin and not shown until 1958). The composer wrote music before, during and after the shooting of the epic based on the life of the 16th-century Russian czar. Music plays a vital role in the films, defining relationships, delineating character and providing subtext. The texts for Ivan were written by Vladimir Lugovskoy, who had done the same for Alexander Nevsky.

Accompanying the Collegiate Chorale will be the Orchestra of St. Luke's, one of America's foremost chamber orchestras. Tickets ($15 to $80) are available by calling (917) 322-2140. More information is available at www.collegiatechorale.org.

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