A tribute to the Beatles

14 Mar 2014 / 14:43 H.

THE Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) paid tribute to The Beatles once again last weekend after its first tribute concert back in March 2012.
Staged at Dewan ­Philharmonic Petronas (DFP) at KLCC, the two-night ­performance was conducted by Carl Davis.
The MPO not only brought back the music of the ­swinging 60s but its musicians were also dressed the part in ­colourful costumes with some even with wigs for the performance.
It was the first time I’d ­personally seen such a ­“relaxed” dress code on stage at DFP. They were dressed much more ­casually than the ­audience!
However, Davis stole the show in his all-chilli red suit ­complete with a pair of red Nike. The ­conductor was really enjoying ­himself.
The night kicked off with The Beatles’ 1963 single, She Loves You. And after a swift introductory note by Davis, the orchestra moved on to a ­medley of Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane. The trumpet solo in Penny Lane was absolutely delightful.
It was soon followed by the Fab Four’s first-ever single in 1962, Love Me Do, and their 1966’s single, Good Day ­Sunshine.
After a string of upbeat tunes, Davis led the ­orchestra to the quieter Yesterday, ­undeniably one of The Beatles’ most-recognisable tunes from their 1965 album,Help!
The song started with a cello solo which was then joined by the violins and double bass.
The MPO later took on ­Norwegian Wood (from the 1965 album, Rubber Soul, which was turned into a funky jazz waltz) as well as Across the Universe, The Long and ­Winding Road and finally ending the first session with a medley of A Hard Day’s Night and Help.
In the Paul McCartney’s song, The Long and Winding Road, Davis incorporated a trumpet solo as he remembered ­The Beatles’ legend telling him that his father had played that instrument when Davis worked with McCartney on his first major foray into classical music in his 1991 album, ­Liverpool ­Orotorio.
After a 20-minute interval, Davis was back on stage in yet another eye-catching suit and promptly led the orchestra into a medley that included Sgt ­Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and With a Little Help From My Friends, before ­moving on to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
The MPO also took on two of George Harrison’s best- known compositions – Here Comes the Sun and Something from The Beatles’ last studio album, the 1969 Abbey Road.
We also had a fun ride with the MPO’s rendition of ­Yellow Submarine before ­Davis switched pace to a mellower mood with Blackbird, ­complete with a very apt flute solo.
Then, it was back to the mid-60s – the period when the band went to study under a ­spiritual guru in India – with The Fool on the Hill and Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.
The concert ended with another string of Beatles’ hits such as A Day in the Life, Let It Be and All You Need is Love.

The guitar solo in Let It Be was ­absolutely fantastic and perfectly executed.
It was also a surprise to all that Davis came back twice for an encore of Can’t Buy Me Love and Twist and Shout.
It was overall a nostalgic and fun night for the audience with the MPO and Davis, who gave out short introductions and facts on most of the songs throughout the night.


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