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A Frozen Homecoming with the DSO

Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2012 in Noteworthy

By Chris Shull

In Part 1 of my phone conversation with composer and conductor George Fenton, we learned about his trek across the icy Arctic wilderness, and how that inspired his music for the documentary series Frozen Planet.


In Part 2, Fenton talked about the development of his musical language for the series, and how this style is showcased in Frozen Planet in Concert.


Now, in our final installment, Fenton reveals that one segment of Frozen Planet in Concert has its basis in a very personal assignment the composer undertook at the behest of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in 2011.


Buy tickets NOW to Frozen Planet in Concert >>



The Los Angeles Times raved about the world premiere of Frozen Planet in Concert July 6 at the Hollywood Bowl:


"A glorious twist-up of nature, cinematography and music."


"Pure visual and audio art."


"Breathtaking and revelatory, filled with unparalleled imagery from the ends of the Earth"


Don't miss Frozen Planet in Concert, August 31-Sept. 1 at the Meyerson Symphony Center with the DSO.


So far in talking about Frozen Planet in Concert you've mentioned the program features Adélie penguins and polar bears. What other creatures will people see when they come to the Meyerson for Frozen Planet in Concert?


Well, the orcas will be in it. People will see the Adélie penguins; they'll see the Emperor penguins. They'll see the Wandering Albatross, the Arctic wolves and buffalo. They'll see polar bear cubs. And they will briefly see human beings.


You mentioned that some scenes in Frozen Planet in Concert are not from the television series?


One of the things that really gives me pleasure about Frozen Planet in Concert, as it happens, is that it contains portions of my piece "From a Disappearing World," the piece I wrote about the Arctic for my concerts last time with the Dallas Symphony.


One of the things that I found really fascinating about doing Frozen Planet, the thing I found really fascinating, was the ice itself - the shape of it; the ice crystals; the snowflakes and the crystals inside of them; the way the ice melts and then reforms. It doesn't get any particular moment of its own in the Frozen Planet. And so for Frozen Planet in Concert I cut one sequence of video to an excerpt from the piece I wrote for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. So it's coming home! The piece is coming home, one little section of it. It's really lovely and for that reason I'm particularly pleased to be coming back to Dallas.


I was thrilled to be asked to write that piece for the orchestra. It was odd, because in a way, even though it was a concert piece, I was really writing a piece of film music. Of course, "From a Disappearing World" had no film, but in my head it had a film. What we've done with it in Frozen Planet in Concert isn't exactly the film I had in my head. But I used a section of music and I cut my little homage to the formation of ice. So far, people have loved it.


Buy tickets NOW to Frozen Planet in Concert >>


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