Review Sunday 8th Oct 2017
They said it would never happen, but as the shimmering strings of Mantovani’s signature arrangement of Climb Every Mountain began to close this concert, Paul Barrett knew that he had completed his own Ten Peaks Challenge.
For a decade has passed since the Poole-based businessman and musician started planning the first of this series of concerts to re-create the music of Anglo Italian maestro Annunzio Mantovani.
Critics thought he was mad. The great bandleader died nearly 40 years ago. His music had drifted out of fashion. Where would the audiences come from? Yet year after year packed houses have been delighted and amazed at the quality and commitment of Paul’s 48 piece hand-picked Magic of Mantovani Orchestra.
Last night’s Pavilion concert was the busiest ever with over a thousand Mantovani fans being treated to a programme dedicated to his movie themes.
And there to witness it were the Mantovani family including his grandson Simon Mott who paid tribute to Paul Barrett, the musicians and the team dedicated to keeping his grandfather’s music alive. Under conductor Gavin Sutherland - one of Britain’s foremost experts in light orchestral music - they played numbers from The King and I, My Fair Lady, Phantom of the Opera , Mutiny on the Bounty, The Magnificent Seven and many more.
Featured soloists included pianist Sam Hanson, trumpeter Mike Lovatt, singers Rossano Sal and Gemma Truss and of course Paul Barrett himself who plays percussion and excels in wearing silly hats.
After the aforementioned Climb Every Mountain - officially the final number -there were two encores: the Mantovani classic Charmaine and a fun, hastily rehearsed version of Zorba’s Dance. Ten years have seen eight concerts so far and 72-year-old Paul must be looking forward with relish to the next two.
Review by Jeremy Miles