This is the concert that has convinced me that a live score can be a fantastic show in its own right. Paul Thomas Anderson’s film is powerful and bitter, making for compelling viewing, yet the viewing experience was enhanced by London Contemporary Orchestra’s performance. Some pieces shimmered under the screen, where one’s attention swept between the action and the music, but in an exciting rather than distracting way.
Jonny Greenwood’s percussive part of the score with prominent drums after the ‘deafness’ sequence was one highlight, whereas Oliver Coate’s cello playing in Arvo Pärt’s Fratres was skitteringly beautiful. The third movement of Brahms’ Violin Concerto offered some more accessible musical respite amid the resplendent gloom in the middle of the film and also constituted a brilliant finale over the credits.
Concert Hall, Brighton Dome, 6 February 2017