The Star Wars Saga – Orchestral performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Nottingham Trent University Choir

Setlist

Opening
20th Century Fox Fanfare
Star Wars Main Theme

Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Flag Parade
Anakin’s Theme
Adventures of Jar – Jar Binks
Duel of the Fates

Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones
Across the Stars
Yoda’s Theme
The Imperial March

Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith
Battle of the Heroes

– Interval –

Episode 4: A New Hope
Here they Come!
The Cantina Band
Princess Leia’s Theme
The Throne Room

Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
The Asteroid Field

Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi
Luke and Leia’s Theme
Parade of the Ewoks
The Forest Battle

Review

The prequel trilogy of Star Wars has gone down in history as an underwhelming disappointment. The mixture of poor CGI, terrible acting from the pivotal role of Anakin by both actors, disjointed pacing and lack of interesting plot were four of the critical issues. One thing that has never been disputed, however, is the successes of the John Williams scores.

John Williams was one of the few elements of consistency across all six Star Wars films, providing a score that fuelled the anticipation for the films, especially Episode One. Seeing Duel of the Fates performed by a live orchestra and choir was reason enough to buy the tickets, and proved to be one of many highlights of the night.

The night unravelled in a structured fashion, with each film taken on in chronological order and introduced by voice actor Marc Silk. Conducted by Michael Seal with much vigor, the selections were made to highlight the dynamics on display across the saga. Whilst most people can hum the main themes for each film, it was a night to reflect on just how good the entire scores were.

The members of the large orchestra looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. They looked genuinely thrilled to be getting a positive and engaged reaction from the audience, and were well received. I’m sure they will have more high-brow performances this year, but there didn’t seem to be anyone complaining – on or off the stage.

The real highlights came when the 100-strong choir joined in to add extra passion and power to the performance. They were used sparingly, such is the nature of the source material, but when they opened up their lungs the whole auditorium was blown away.

I left wondering how feasible it would be to perform the original film with a live orchestral score. Now THAT would be a popular night out for fans.

A perfect night of entertainment and a wonderful way to whet our appetites ahead of the release of Episode VII in three weeks’ time.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s