Arsenal winning match in 1989 for orchestral treatment | Barbican
For some Arsenal fans it was the best night of their lives and for most football fans, at least in the end, nothing short of thrilling.
For Liverpool fans, it was misery. Whether either of them is reserving tickets or logging into classical composer Mark-Anthony Turnage’s latest project is doubtful.
The Barbican announced on Tuesday that a highlight of its fall musical season would be a new work by Turnage celebrating the 1989 game in which George Graham’s Arsenal beat Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield and unexpectedly became the Premier League champion that year. .
The work’s world premiere, Up for Grabs, will be accompanied by a large-screen video footage of the match. Next, Turnage will discuss the occasion and its wider cultural significance with a panel that will include Lee Dixon, who is part of Graham’s “Big Bet” back five.
Turnage said it had been a joy to write. “I had so much fun,” he said. “It’s a dangerous thing to say, but maybe the most fun I’ve had to write a song.”
When first approached by Huw Humphreys, Barbican’s music director, Turnage admitted he was skeptical. “I wasn’t enthusiastic because I thought I had to write 90 minutes of music. When you look back, there are a lot of returns to the goalkeeper. “
Instead, the 25-minute play will feature highlights of the match with different leitmotifs created for each individual player. “I also have some cheeky music for Kenny Dalglish… but I don’t think he will be offended!
Turnage has been a lifelong Arsenal fan who in 1989 lived very close to Highbury and often saw players walking his way, although he was always too nervous to approach – “they were heroes. . divine “.
The match is considered one of the greatest titles ever to be won, the first time in 47 years that a season has ended with a final day with a match between the top two teams. It also came just two months after the horror of the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died illegally.
‘Boring, boring’ Arsenal hadn’t won a league title for 18 years and were once again seen as a failure. They had to win by at least two goals. After the home loss to the Derby and a draw with Wimbledon, few thought they had a chance. The Daily Mirror’s back page read “You have no prayer, Arsenal.
He was made even more famous due to his place in Nick Hornby’s memoir Fever Pitch in which he tries to express his euphoria after Michael Thomas passed the ball past Bruce Grobbelaar in the dying minutes.
“So please be tolerant of those who describe a sporting moment as the best of their life,” he wrote. “We are not lacking in imagination, nor do we have sad and barren lives; it’s just that real life is paler, duller, and contains less potential for unexpected delirium.
Turnage dedicated the piece to David Rocastle, a key part of Arsenal’s success, who died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the age of 33 in 2001.
The work, to be carried out on November 5, was announced as part of the Barbican’s fall musical season. It will be a one-off concert in London but also broadcast live. Priority booking begins on Friday; public reservation opens July 6.