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Sting in Irvine: One more look at his classical spin

June 17, 2010 |  4:02 pm

After Wednesday's brief look at Sting's Hollywood Bowl concert with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, our sister blog Pop & Hiss has a review of his second area date of “Symphonicity,” at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. An excerpt from Mikael Wood's account:

Wednesday's 2½-hour show worked best when Sting gave himself over fully to the concept. Familiar hits such as “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” “Fields of Gold” and “Every Breath You Take” sounded fine with the lavish accompaniment, although they didn't reveal anything new about the material or its maker. (Unless you count Sting's apparent willingness to join those who hear “Every Breath” as a tender ode to devotion rather than a creepy product of obsession.) Read the rest here.

Wondering how Sting's mashup worked from the classical music point of view, Culture Monster enjoyed Richard S. Ginell's review from the Bowl concert for Variety, who wrote in part:

At times, you wished that the orchestra would become more active and really transform these songs -- and eventually, it happened. For "Russians," which already includes a tune from Prokofiev's "Lt. Kije" Suite, arranger Vince Mendoza and conductor Steven Mercurio grafted the grandiose Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov," a swatch from Prokofiev's "Romeo And Juliet" and another "Lt. Kije" paraphrase into an audaciously bellicose, and moving, collage. Nicola Tescari converted "Moon Over Bourbon Street" into a soundtrack for a suspense thriller, with echoes of Bernard Herrmann and maybe a little Schoenberg. An unusual harp/flute/strings intro paved the way for "King Of Pain," whose odd structure lent itself to a varied, complex Rob Mathes chart. An unreleased 1999 song, "All Would Envy," was a real discovery, turned into a suave bossa nova by Michel Legrand.

Photo: Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Credit: John W. Adkisson/Los Angeles Times

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