Review by Amy McBride
A movie is never made without music, and who better to create a one of a kind theatrical score than John Williams? The concert was an amazing journey through some of Hollywood’s most celebrated film music; including the memorable two note da-da, da-da from’ Jaws’ and the thrilling motifs from ‘Star Wars’. The Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and conductor Michael Krajewski delivered once again. Krajewski added his own wit and humor to the evening by including interesting introductions to the pieces. Opening with music from Star Wars got the audiences attention as the entire orchestra got a chance to participate.
From Star Wars we traveled back a few years to music from John Wayne’s ‘The Cowboys’. Krajewski said, “that Williams had perfectly captured the spirit and feeling of the Wild West.” The horns and strings worked perfectly together creating fluidity in the bouncing western rhythm.
From the epic music of Jaws to the fascinating theme of E.T. Krajewski stated that of all the scenes from the latter – the kid and E.T. on the bike in front of the full moon, was William’s favorite. The harp & trumpet were key players for me in this piece, and I felt as if I was a kid again, enjoying E.T. for the first time. Of course my favorite selection of the night was from ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Musician Jason White played the celesta, which is an idiophone operated by a keyboard. It is quite tiny, but it makes the memorable notes from the Nutcracker and now from Harry Potter. When the hammer hits the metal bar it creates the fantastical sounds that when added together create music that we all know. Together with the interesting sounds of the celeste, the KWS brought Harry Potter to the symphony.
To the lighter side of Hollywood -Schindler’s List, a film for which Williams said he was not the best composer. Spielberg replied, “I know, but all of the best ones are dead.” The audience was able to reflect on the immensity and fragility of our past while violinist Isabelle Fournier led the orchestra through a moving and melodic selection. William’s wanted to utilize the expressiveness of the violin throughout the piece creating the violin’s part as the theme. The music was heartbreaking and wonderful, skillfully rendered by Fournier an expert with the Classical violin. Watching Fournier play was a treat, because she is a world-renowned violinist.
The KWS featured Williams’s music from The Terminal and Jurassic Park, but the highlight of the night for most of the audience was probably a return to Star Wars score. Members of the 501st Star Wars re-enactment Division added some more humor and a theme to the night. With the likes of Darth Vader and Boba Fett wandering around the stage, I am not sure how the musicians were able to focus. The Duel of Fates is my favorite piece and the KWS was on key as always; bringing their talent to the forefront.
Luckily the audience cheered and applauded loud enough that Krajewski decided to go with Indiana Jones as the encore. The KWS ended the night on a high note, while reminding everyone that the movies are nothing without the music. John Williams certainly composed more than a number of memorable, eclectic and idyllic pieces for Hollywood and the audience enjoyed each one of them, even without the special effects!