Tag Archives: Star Wars

The New York Pops Plays the Music of John Williams – Recap

1200-675

When it comes to film music, one name seems to pop up no matter how much of a movie aficionado or novice you are. He is a man with numerous awards and accolades to his name and he is responsible for scoring some of cinema history’s greatest titles. That man, of course, is John Williams and on June 8th, 2017, the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY hosted The New York Pops as they performed Williams’ music in a glorious concert setting. It was a truly lovely evening featuring music played expertly in a more than special venue.

Built in 1923, Forest Hills Stadium was originally a glorious tennis court and in the 1960s, it became a glorious concert venue. The Beatles, Barbara Streisand, and Frank Sinatra were just a  few of the big names that performed in the space. Once the 90s hit, the stadium grew quiet. But in 2013, the venue was revitalized and for purposes of this article, the New York Pops graced the stadium with their presence and played Maestro John Williams’ iconic movie music.

The weather of the evening was perfect and the energy in the air was electric. The program of the concert included pieces from Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Hook, Schindler’s List, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and the Star Wars films. Each movie’s score was brilliantly performed and with a gifted and charismatic conductor / musical director in Steven Reineke at the helm, the evening was certainly to remember. Leading the orchestra and providing a mini synopsis and history for each film, this only elevated the evening to much higher level. There were even special appearances by Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, and Jawas (people in costume, I hope.)

John Williams is by far, Hollywood’s most well-known film composer and his collaborations with filmmakers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have provided audiences with some of the  most loved film music of all time. Forest Hills Stadium was the perfect venue for this concert and hopefully, more film composers’ works will be featured here. Being from Forest Hills myself, I was especially proud to be in the audience that night. With each piece played live, I got chills and I formed new memories of this incredible concert. The New York Pops and Forest Hills Stadium are responsible for this, those and of course Mr. John Williams.

New York Philharmonic – A John Williams Celebration Recap

john-williams-star-wars-128438

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…. John Williams exploded into the film music world. He is the most famous living composer today and he is responsible for some of the most memorable themes and most successful movie franchises of all time. His work on Star Wars alone has made him a powerful figure in the film business and at 84 years of age, it doesn’t look like he’s planning on retiring anytime soon. The New York Philharmonic recently performed some of the Maestro’s works at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York and the results were simply out of this world.

Conducted by recognized film composer, in his own right, David Newman (Galaxy Quest, Ice Age), the New York Philharmonic paid tribute to Williams in a way that was not only spot on but utterly spectacular. The evening’s program included pieces from Steven Spielberg classics Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Schindler’s List, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Lesser known scores from Jane Eyre, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Born on the Fourth of July were performed to showcase some of Williams’ non-blockbuster work. The performance ended on a triumphant note, however, with pieces from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, A New Hope and a special bonus excerpt from E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and an extra work entitled For New York were also played.

John Williams is so influential in the film world and his scores, so powerful, that anyone in attendance during this concert was certainly treated to something quite magical. It was refreshing to hear some of Williams’ lesser known works performed even if one usually expects to hear the bombast of say, Superman, Hook, or Jurassic Park. Those scores have been represented well in the past and with more scores being churned out every year by this master film composer, I think we are all in store for many more performances to come.