Imagine a movie without any music behind the action.
Bet you can’t! Can ya?
Who can imagine “Jaws” without that deep bass rumble? Or the march of the Imperial troops in Star Wars? Or the music which seemingly lifts Elliott’s bike across the face of the moon in E.T.? Or the heroic music which accompanies Superman’s flight? Or the love themes for Superman and Lois Lane or Leia and Han Solo?
The music makes the scenes come alive, and even just to hear the music flashes the film across the screen of the mind.
That’s what happened for over 500 people at the Key City Theatre last Saturday night. The Symphony of the Kootenays’ third concert featured the music of John Williams, along with a couple of classical pieces which have also been well used in the movies.
The program highlighted Williams’ gift for writing the big melody which undergirds the action on the screen. From one of his early movies, “The Cowboys” (1972) to the eerie soundscape of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” to the threatening rumbling of “Jaws” to his more mature output, Williams has a knack for writing tunes which are instantly memorable and quickly identified with their particular characters. To try and imagine these movies without the music is virtually impossible. The music, by itself, is powerful and has the ability to flash pictures in the movie theatre of the mind.
The orchestra played with verve and enthusiasm, with large brass and percussion sections to bring the music to life. Five percussionists, including three Mount Baker students, added rhythmic vitality to undergird Williams’ melodies.
The program also included the haunting “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber, which was used to such striking effect in “Platoon”, and the opening movement of Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, which is the most often used piece by Mozart in the movies.
The Symphony’s final concert will be held on April 11, with music by Rossini, Robert Schumann and Beethoven. Be sure to get your tickets for that concert now—it promises to be a great one.
Finally, one of Canada’s musical greats will be in Cranbrook. Rivka Golani, internationally acclaimed viola player, will play on March 25 at the Royal Alexandra Hall in a performance of the Octet by Franz Schubert and the Septet by Beethoven. When she was here last year, she electrified those who heard her with not only her exceptional talent, but her deeply felt spirit and love for the music. Get your tickets for both concerts from the Key City Theatre.