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  Gordon Giltrap, © Sue Holton

The Eye of the Wind rhapsody
in Birmingham

The Eye of the Wind rhapsody was originally written for the Operation Drake in 1978. A lot of people wished, they could hear it one more time - live played by a big orchestra. Some of them were Gordon Giltrap, the composer, and I. So it was pretty exiting for me to hear Gordon and Hilary, his wife, were preparing for a big event in Birmingham.

Luckily, it is the time of cheap air fares now, so it was affordable to make a big jump from Berlin to England just for one concert.

Birmingham Symphony Hall The Birmingham Symphony Hall is a modern building - unlike most places for classic music I have seen in Germany. But anyway the whole City of Birmingham was astonishing to me. In fact, it did not seem to be a town with history and inhabitants - it rather looked like a store room for buildings. They all seemed to be swept together in a random way, now waiting for a buyer to take them away to a place that suits them. Anyway, I left them where they were.
Birminghall Symphony Hall inside, © Sue Holton crowds at the merchadising desk
The Sheffield Philharmonic orchestra, © Sue Holton Inside, it looks a bit like a shopping mall with all these shops and restaurants, but anyway, there is the concert hall, too. Tickets were available via internet, but the merchandising desk has to be visited on site. And people did: for the t-shirt and special CD of the evening, the program and, of course, Gordon's guitar CDs.
Gordon Giltrap during the concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall
To be honest - it was simply great. Despite of this huge hall full of people, the atmosphere was rather intimate. I didn't know much of Gordon's music before, but I really loved it from the very first time. During the break I heard people talking about "dreamy stuff" - well, it was right after the rhapsody! The piece was played by the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra and they left after the first part. After the break it was Gordon playing solo or with various partners.
It turned out to be a rare, wonderful event of 3 or 4 hours. To read some more (and more substantial) opinions than just mine, visit Gordon's forum.
Hilary and Gordon Giltrap
The next day, there was lunch in a Birmingham restaurant with some 20 people: friends and relatives of Hilary and Gordon. I am very pleased to say I was one of them. And it was nice: after exchanging a couple of emails and having a first encounter in the hall, when both of them were rather busy, we now had a chance to met in person and have a little chat. To me, it also was nice to meet some of the people Hilary and Gordon work with. To them, it was a rare encounter with a person really having experience with events Gordon had painted in music.
Also, I am pleased to mention this website helped a little bit to make the concert come true - parts of it were used for a presentation for the orchestra, so they had an idea what the music is about.
Hilary Giltrap, Gordon Giltrap and Ina
Gordon never really had even seen the Eye (a pity, as he and Hilary would have loved it, that much is for sure!) - something hard to believe when listening to the music. Anyway I felt, he should be able to do so when ever he likes. So I framed a copy of the picture I did of the first and only time I saw the Eye at sea. Looks like he enjoyed it.
Gordon Giltrap during the concert in Birmingham Symphony Hall, © Sue Holton

As on any other page of this website, all informations, helps and contributions are more than welcome. So if you can say more about the matter, this is your invitation to share your knowledge with the crowd!

© pictures: Sue Holton and Ina Koys

Read more information about Gordon and his works on Sue's website or Gordon's own site!

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