athene (deinonychus_1) wrote,
athene
deinonychus_1

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City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra John Williams Blockbusters (part II)

OMG SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!! How brilliant was that?!

I think it's safe to say I'd been looking forward to this concert for a while. I love practically every John Williams soundtrack that I hear, and I own several on CD, so the prospect of hearing my favourites performed live by a proper orchestra was too good to miss.



I have to admit when I bought the programme I was ever so slightly disappointed. There was only one theme from Jurassic Park, and nothing from ET or Close Encounters of the Third Kind (perhaps they were in the John Williams Blockbusters Part I night?). But that's just being picky considering how much other good stuff there was.

They opened with the main theme from Indianna Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Hell yes! That was brilliant, and really set the mood for the evening, and followed it with something from Last Crusade.

Then we had the main theme from Jurassic Park. And it might just be me, but I thought they were playing it too fast. I *love* that soundtrack, in fact I was listening to it all afternoon before I went to the concert, and I know how it goes, and in my head I was trying to hum it at a slower pace than they were playing it. But again, that's a minor niggle, I suppose.

There were a few other pieces from films I'd never seen before, like War Horse and Memoirs of a Geisha, which were pretty good, and from Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, which I had heard (that's actually another one where I own the soundtrack).

And they finished the first half with Duel of the Fates from Star Wars Phantom Menace. Oh my god. I think 'rousing' is the description for that particular piece. Fucking awesome is another description for it, but I didn't want to be crude. Oops? But honestly, that's a stunning piece of music at any time, let alone live.

The second half contained rather more from films I'd never seen. That's not to say they weren't good, because most of them were great pieces of music, but it's the ones that you know that are always going to be ones you enjoy most. The shark theme from Jaws met with a particularly good reception, because that's never not going to be brilliant and instantly recognisable, really.

But of course, they saved the best until last. The Star Wars suite, comprising the Star Wars main theme with the opening fanfare, Leia's them, Yoda's theme, and finishing with the Imperial March. Damn, that was bloody good! :-)

Being a happy and demanding audience, we wanted more, so they obliged and gave us the theme from Superman, which I have to admit has never been one of my favourites of all John Williams' scores, but it was a good ending to a fantastic night of fantastic music by probably my favourite composer.

In other, rather more shallow news, there was an incredibly cute young man who appeared to be the principle cello player, although to be honest I wasn't convinced he looked old enough to be out that late without his mum. He must have been good, though, because he had a couple of solos, and was very good. So yey for cute and talented but inappropriately young cellist!

And now I'll finish this random squee post with a youtube vid that is just perfect for the occasion. Because, really, John Williams is the man!





Tags: classical music, random, squee
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