Tuesday, October 18, 2016

"James Bond Piano Concerto"

At James Pandolfi’s recent piano recital in Washington DC, I did buy his CD performance of the “James Bond Piano Concerto” by Simon Proctor, with the McLean Orchestra.

I was a little surprised when iTunes told me it could find only 22 minutes of music on this CD.  When I collected LP records in the 1950s and 1960s, trying to get over an hour on a record was a goal.  I had a Brahms Third with Wiengartner that ran 29 minutes by itself.

The piece itself is a medley of tunes from the many James Bond movies.  And instead of the more recent films in the franchise, I found myself reminded of the earlier films, which I saw in my somewhat troubled college days.  I remember particularly “Dr. No”, “From Russia with Love”, “Goldfinger” (most of all), “Thunderball”, and later, “For Your Eyes Only.”  Although I don’t recall hearing the “three blind mice” with which the very first film begins.

In the video above, pianst James Flemming plays a James Bond concert etude.  The beginning otive of a descending major third (the James Bond theme opening in all the motives) catches your ear, because that’s how Beethoven’s Waldstein Sonata ends, and how Sonata #31 begins. (It also occurs to start the second theme in my own Sonata).

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