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Lalo Schifrin 1997 John Barry 1998 Jerry Goldsmith 1999
Jerry Goldsmith 2000 Ennio Morricone 2000 Debbie Wiseman 2000
Hans Zimmer 2000 Det ny Tonefilmsorkester 2000 Howard Shore 2004

"Coffee with Lalo"

A concertexperience with Lalo Schifrin

By Henrik,
The Danish Filmmusic Society


Living in Copenhagen, Denmark, we (me and the chairman of D.F.S.: Kenneth) started of with train towards Aalborg, where the legendary composer Lalo Schifrin was about to give concert, on July 2th 1997.

We arrived in Aalborg at approx. 4 p.m. (concert was at 7.30 p.m.). And we walked around in Aalborg City, to look for rare soundtracks. We didn't had any luck, and we walked just into a heavy rain shower.

At 6 p.m. we came to Aalborghallen, looking for a place to get something cold to drink. We looked in trough a door that wasn't closed. A person came towards us. Kenneth said (breathless): "it's him - it's Schifrin". "Hallo Mr. Schifrin, we are from D.F.S. Could we get interviews...photos...signed lp's...cd's...Please?"

Mr. Lalo Schifrin was very kind, and invited us to his hotel's lobby, where we could get our interview over a cup of coffee...My God we were lucky. We talked about the past (Mission:Impossible), the present (Mission:Impossible). How much time did he spent on this TV-theme. What the story was about him NOT scoring the movie Mission:Impossible. What he thought of Danny Elfman's use of his theme, and the Elfman's score in general.

No surprise, he didn't spend that much time on the famous TV-theme to M:I. In fact it was written, even before he had seen any rough cut from the episodes. He told us, that some of the episodes were actually cutted to fit the music...very amazing/rare. He was very positive in his terms about Elfman's work, and his use of the theme. Also that he was asked to write the score himself, but were to busy to celebrate the 100 years of film music that year. After 40 minutes, he had to get ready for the concert. He also told us, that he was tired of getting typecasted as and action/chase-movie composer, and wanted to score more romantic movies.

Then it was concert-time with the "Aalborg Symphony Orchestra":

Raiders' March (John Williams)...Fantastic performance of orchestra..............*****
"Mannix" theme (Lalo Schifrin)...I didn't know this, but it was brilliant........*****
Amusement Park Theme,
from Rollercoaster (Schifrin)....(didn't know this either).......................**** James Bond Theme (John Barry)....only bad performance by the electric guitarist, but the strings/cellos were fantastic.......................................*** "Moon River" (Mancini),
Breakfast at Tiffany's...........................................................**** Bullitt theme (Schifrin).........Great...........................................***** "Over the Rainbow",
Wizard of Oz (Harold Arlen)......................................................**** "Symphony Sketches" from
Cool Hand Luke (Schifrin)........Brilliant.......................................***** The Godfather (Nino Rota)........Brilliant perfomance from the strings...........***** "Western Medley"
(High Noon/The Magnificent Seven and The Good, the Bad & the Ugly) Tiomkin/Bernstein/Morricone).....................................................****
Then it was intermission-time, and Mr. Schifrin had accepted photos, and signing backstage in the break, so we ran backstage, and used all the dirty tricks to get there. And we succeeded; we got lp's and cd-covers signed as well as some pictures together with Mr. Schifrin. God, I was nervous, but proud, when I was there and afterwards.

Second concert-hour:

Tara's theme from
Gone With The Wind (Steiner).....Great to hear this classic live.................****
"As Time Goes By" (H. Hupfeld)
from Casablanca..................Not for Steiner-freaks, but makes a bigger
                                 audience, no doubt..............................****
"Movie Classics Suite"
Lawrence of Arabia (Jarre),
The Third Man (Karas),
Dr. Zhivago (Lara's theme),
Zorba, The Greek (Theodorakis)...All great, except "The Third Man", that is
                                 difficult to perform for violin, instead
                                 of the traditional "zitar"......................****
Theme from "The Fox" (Schifrin)..I didn't know it; Kenneth did...................****
The Entertainer (Scott Joplin)
from "The Sting".................Great to hear this from a live orchestra........****
Mission:Impossible (Schifrin)....Maybe the highlight of the concert, and no one
                                 could feel disappointed.........................*****
"Space Medley" 
2001:Also sprach zarathustra 
(Richard Strauss), AND 
Star Wars - theme (Williams).....Excellent suite. The orchestra was NOT
                                 tired at all....................................*****
End of programme, BUT

We kept clapping, so he came in again, and played "Mission:Impossible" in the wildest way any of us have ever heard. The orchestra was allowed to experiment; Lalo was wild and loose on the piano, and the brilliant drum-player made a wild exit, that made us all stand up; sending our claps down to legendary composer AND Aalborg Symphony Orchestra. He had to play one final time: "As time goes by" it was...symbolic ???

Finally, I haven't even told you, that during each piece of brilliant film music, he was very humorous, and gentle. Not at all a tired or old man. He was fresh and youngish of man born in 1932 (in Argentina). Oh, btw. We also met his lovely wife in the intermission.

He was very keen about coming to Denmark again. Maybe to Copenhagen this time. But as he said: "it's not up to me, contact my agent." ...and we will - we will.

Henrik.