On March 23 and 24, 2001, Elmer Bernstein conducted two concerts of his music in L’Auditori, Barcelona, Spain. L’Auditori, a concert hall inaugurated during the Olympic Games in 1992, had not one single vacant for these concerts: the response was massive and people came from all corners of Spain, as well as from abroad.
Mr. Bernstein arrived a few days before for rehearsals. On Friday 23, he cancelled the last rehearsal, saying that he was fully satisfied with the OBC (The National Orchestra of Catalonia and of the City of Barcelona). His consideration was justified: both concerts gained the best acceptance of the public.
The program included the main themes from The Great Escape, The Magnificient Seven, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Man with the Golden Arm, Walk on the Wild Side, Heavy Metal, as well as extensive suites from Hawaii, To Kill a Mockinbird, The Ten Commandments and The Age of Innocence. Also, he played Hollywood and the Stars (from the TV-documentary series) and the less known The View from Pompey’s Head.
It was, in all senses, two successful evenings. Mr. Bernstein gave full explanations of his music, even trying to speak in Spanish, and demonstrated that he has an enviable energy.
I had the opportunity to have supper with Mr. Bernstein and his wife on Thursday 22. We took them to a restaurant in the old district of Barcelona (the most visited by tourists), and through three hours we enjoyed a delightful company, talking about film music, Hollywood in the Golden Years, his perception of music nowadays… and a long etcetera.
I must say that Mr. Bernstein is a real gentleman. A kind man with a golden heart. Fortunately for us, he’ll be back next year in Barcelona. We’re waiting for him with our arms open. L’Auditori, a concert hall inaugurated during the Olympic Games in 1992, had not one single vacant for these concerts: the response was massive and people came from all corners of Spain, as well as from abroad. –Concert report by Conrado Xalabarder