Symphony of the Kootenays: The soundtrack of our lives

Symphony of the Kootenays: The soundtrack of our lives

Yme Woensdregt

Maestro Jeff Farragher dared the audience on Saturday night to play a movie with subtitles and the mute button on. He reminded us of how much we would lose if the music wasn’t there to underscore the action of the movie, and pointed out just how important music is.

Saturday night, the Symphony of the Kootenays played a “makeup concert”. It had been cancelled in February during Snowmageddon, and was played to an enthusiastic audience at the McKim theater in Kimberley. The theme was “Music at the Movies.”

The concert began with the final concerto in Antonio Vivaldi’s familiar “Four Seasons” . Jeremy van Dieman played the solo violin part. The music evoked the lazy hazy days of summer, from “languor caused by the heat” to a rising summer storm. It was a shaky start to the concert.

The orchestra, however, roused itself for the rest of the concert. The rest of the first half was taken up with pieces of classical music used to underscore moments in the movies. It began with “Also Sprach Zarathustra”, aka the opening music from 2001, A Space Odyssey. Opening with a spooky atmospheric sound, it quickly resolved into the triumphant brass fanfare we remember from the film.

From the thrilling “Ride of the Valkyries” to the quiet “Morning Mood” to the infectious “Can–Can” to the Blue Danube Waltz, the orchestra played with joy and enthusiasm. Each piece brought scenes from the movies to mind for the audience. The first half rode into the sunset with the “William Tell Overture”, aka Lone Ranger music.

The second half featured pieces newly written for the movies by some of the best film composers of the day—from John Williams to Ennio Morricone to Lalo Schifrin to Hans Zimmer and John Barry. Can you imagine Mission Impossible without the thrilling spy music? Or Indiana Jones chasing the bad guys without that wonderful musical theme? Or James Bond (any of them) without the background music and theme songs written specially for each movie?

For me, the highlight of the night came with Gabriel’s Oboe, from “The Mission” … surely one of the most beautiful melodies ever written, and played magnificently by oboeist Jon Forden.

The orchestra had a real workout on Saturday night … and all who were there walked out of the concert smiling, humming snatches of their favourite movie themes, and talking about how much fun the concert was.

A huge thank you to the orchestra and its maestro, to the Board of Directors, and General Manager Ellen Bailey for doing the extra work to make up for the concert which had to be cancelled. It was a ton of extra work … and we are deeply grateful.