The "Main Title Theme from Star Wars" opened the evening with a soaring brass section that let loose to great effect. There's nothing quite like John Williams. I was left wondering if it's the first time anyone in attendance had heard that piece live given that there isn't always a lot of crossover between people who favour classical concerts and ones who prefer the Pops series. Maybe programs like this will help in the promotion of each.
Next up was the "long, short, short, long" movement from Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 (ok, technically movement 2). The theme was introduced so beautifully by the strings and then got even quieter. Wow, just lovely.
Next was Movement 4 from Dvorak's "Symphony No. 9: From the New World". It was a good book end to the first half with the Jaws sounding opening and brass fanfare that could slip right into a John Williams movie score.
|Resident Conductor |
Shalom Bard (tso.ca)
Then a drastic change of pace for "Adagio for Strings", which was poignant as always. I had forgotten this was in the movie Lorenzo's Oil, and while listening my mind wandered back to when I saw that movie in high school.
The evening concluded with the full "1812 Overture"! Another smashingly exciting piece. Particularly the finale that accompanies fireworks shows, yet I like hearing the whole thing in a concert setting, even if the real cannon fire is replaced with recorded shots.
But wait! That ended up not being the end of the evening. Letting those who lost the vote still be winners, "Intermezzo" was played as an encore. It was my vote and I'm glad they played it. The theme is likely to be known by many but it's not a piece I've ever heard in it's entirety and really had no idea where the melody that's so popular was from. It was a wonderful conclusion.
I think the audience choice idea went over well and perhaps there will be more in the future.