David Bowie’s last masterpiece shines on in Barcelona
The Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra plays ‘Blackstar’
No matter David Bowie died on January 10 last year; his music keeps evolving and shining on in new shapes and textures. Bowie’s most recent album, “Blackstar,” as well as his all-time classics “Space Oddity” and “Let’s Dance,” were brought back to life on Thursday 14 July by the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra (OBC).
Directed by the American composer Evan Zipory and with Maya Beiser as the soloist cello, the orchestra played Bowie’s last record from beginning to end. “I realized his voice is in the same singing range than a cello, and that his last record was very colorful and so much like an orchestra already,” said Zipory after addressing the public at Barcelona’s Auditori.
The whole idea of the project came when Zipory realized following Bowie’s death how sadden not only he was, but everybody else he knew, and particularly musicians. In his own words, “Bowie Symphonyc” is his attempt to “spend a little bit more time with David Bowie’s music.”
“I realized his voice is in the same singing range than a cello, and that his last record was very colorful and so much like an orchestra already”
Evan Zipory, conductor
The concert started with “Space Oddity”, and then all songs included in the Blackstar album followed: “Blackstar,” “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” “Lazarus,” “Sue (or In a Season of Crime),” “Girl Loves Me,” “Dollar Days” and “I Can’t Give Everything Away.”
After completing all “Blackstar” tracks, Zipory and Beiser came back to the stage again to perform the 1983 hit “Let’s Dance” and Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here.” Finally, cheered by the public, the orchestra ended the concert playing one more time “‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore.”
“Bowie Symphonic” was launched last March in the Kresge Auditorium, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Barcelona is the first European city to host the show.
Thursday’s concert was part of “David Bowie Is,” an exhibition by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London currently being shown at the Design Museum of Barcelona. The collection, which includes some 300 objects by the artist, has been exhibited in cities around the world and has received more than 1,5 million visitors.