The Orchestra’s co-principal bassoon, Mark Gigliotti, remembers the first time he heard a Beatles song. He was with his parents, on their way to New York, when “She Loves You” came over the car radio. Principal Horn Jennifer Montone played “Eleanor Rigby” in her high school marching band. Trumpet player Robert Earley said he grew up on Beatles music and it provides the soundtrack to great memories of his childhood.
Love em, hate em, or just feel meh about them, the Beatles changed the course of popular music.
That’s because the Beatles expanded the possibilities of what popular music can be, said Gigliotti. “They took the music that had come before and took it to a higher level. The bands that came after them use some element of what they did.”
Co-Principal Bassoon Mark Gigliotti, also an accomplished guitarist, is interviewed by local reporter Pat Ciarrocchi about the Classical Mystery Tour concerts.
The Orchestra is paying tribute to the ground-breaking group on the 50th anniversary of their arrival in America with performances of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to the Beatles tonight and Thursday at the Kimmel Center.
And you know that can’t be bad.
“People don’t normally get to hear us do this type of music. It gets us out of what we’re known for and shows our versatility,” Earley said.
Although not on the playlist for the performances, Montone’s favorite song is “Michelle” because her parents named her sister for the tune. She has played with the musicians from Classical Mystery Tour in other orchestras and says the singers are of the highest caliber and that the arrangements are really well done. In particular, she said, the music from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” has great instrumental writing. “It’s totally fun to play,” she said.
Gigliotti said the Beatles took orchestration to a new level but never had the opportunity to recreate onstage the music they recorded in the studio. “With a full orchestra we can do the orchestrations live that they couldn’t do when they were actively performing,” he added.
Ticket information can be found here: