Music Review: Movie Masterpieces 2: The Sequel

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Presented by Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
Reviewed:  4 August 2017

Since films began, music has played an important part in the medium.  The early silent movies relied on it to convey what was happening on screen.  The power and emotion of each orchestral manoeuvre enabled the silver screen to come alive with a myriad of feelings.  Even when talkies came into being in the late 1920’s, music still played an important part in differentiating one movie from the other.  There are countless examples of film scores that have entered the public consciousness.  There are still those scared to go into the shower due Bernard Herrmann’s theme for Psycho and generations have been terrified of swimming in the water due to John William’s evocative score for Jaws.  Those examples barely scratch the surface of how important the language of music is to movies and why – although technology may change – music will always be part of the cinematic medium.

Movie Masterpieces 2: The Sequel explores how soundtracks have made films more powerful.  Hosted by movie reviewer extraordinaire Margaret Pomeranz and musical conductor Guy Noble, the evening educated and stimulated the senses in how emotive movie scores can be.  Music is there to add another voice to the film’s story. It can make you happy, sad, thoughtful and generally influence how you perceive what you’re watching.  Movie Masterpieces 2 effectively showed this with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra stepping up to the plate to deliver an incredible array of film scores.  Diversity was the key to the evening with some unusual but welcome choices in how broad and universal the musical spectrum can be.

Beginning with the Twentieth Century Fox fanfare, the concert was a mix of known and little heard tracks.  On either side of the stage at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre theatre, screens showed brief clips of the chosen film from where the scores originated.  This aided in setting the mood of each piece.  Films such as the original Ben-Hur, The Magnificent Seven, Gladiator, Babe and Star Wars among others revealed how powerful their soundtracks were.  From slow melodic pieces to stirring bombastic arrangements, each section made full use of the orchestra whose talent was on full display.  Even though some tunes have been heard countless times, it was interesting hearing them performed live as it added another layer of excitement.  The John Williams Star Wars theme still sent a chill down the spine hearing it in person with the theatre auditorium blasted into another dimension of sensorial bliss.  That and the collection of songs proved how although the instruments are the same, they can transport you to either the future regions of space or the desolate vistas of the past.

Margaret Pomeranz made for a charming host as she explained the reasoning behind choosing the various tracks.  Her background information was interesting and highlighted the global community of musical geniuses who ply their trade well despite speaking other languages.  She was assisted well by conductor Guy Noble who had a dignified presence as well as having a laugh at his own expense.  His entrance wearing an ancient Roman toga for the ‘Gladiator’ theme was a sight to behold but ensured the evening wasn’t too steeped in pretentious seriousness.  It was meant to be a fun celebration of all types of music which it certainly was.  The evening ended with an encore of the theme from the Austin Powers movies which was a great way to conclude proceedings.  The audience responded in kind to each piece with rousing applause and maybe learnt a thing or two along the way whilst travelling the magical carpet ride of musical bedazzlement.

Movie Masterpieces 2: the Sequel was a great evening of music and a fine tribute to some scores that have touched our lives.  The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra proved why they are one of the best in the country and why South Australia should be proud of their achievements.  Hopefully there will be a third movie concert in the future as – like any good film trilogy – good things always come in three.

Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Twitter: @PatrickMoore14

Venue: Adelaide Entertainment Centre
Season: 4 – 5 August 2017
Duration: 2 hrs and 50 mins (inc 20 min. interval).
Tickets: Premium – $101.00, A Reserve – $91.00, B Reserve – $80.00, C Reserve – $72.00
Bookings: Book online at www.ticketek.com.au

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About Author

Patrick Moore has been reviewing movies since 2004. Since 2011 he has been a regular contributor to Glam Adelaide with film and theatre reviews.

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