LIVE: Schenectady Symphony Orchestra @ Music Haven, 08/13/2002
It was a truly ideal evening for a Pops concert. The Schenectady Symphony Orchestra delivered on the promise of a finally cool and beautiful evening with a “Night At the Movies”. Led by Glen Cortese, the orchestra guided the audience through an evening of music from movie/tv soundtracks.
“ The music behind the visuals in a movie often completes the storytelling of a movie”, Maestro Cortese reminded us. He used the example of the opening sequence in “Jaws”, where the opening shots are over the ocean. These being shown by themselves, have little drama. The 2 notes that John Williams composed combined with the moving image create tension and surprise leading to the appearance of the shark. He also reminded us that music can also be part of the soundtrack of our imagination. He invited us to close our eyes and use our imagination to create a story through listening to soundtrack music.
With that in mind, the orchestra performed several dramatic musical pieces that one can use their imagination to transport themself to other places and times. The opening was Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, and the closer was “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
In between, there were several overtures and suites that summarized the music and the plots of well-known films and TV shows. “West Side Story”, “Harry Potter Symphonic Suite”, “The Cowboys”, “Star Trek Through the Years (themes from the many Star Trek movies and series)” and “ How to Train Your Dragon”.
To make the evening’s entertainment complete, vocalist Mia Scirocco sang numerous songs that originally came from movies or were revived by the movies. Cab Calloway’s 1931 hit “ Minnie the Moocher” was revived by the 1980 “Blues Brothers” film. The audience was invited to sing along with the response as in the original “Fascinating Rhythm”, “Shallow” and “Feeling Good” was also performed by Ms. Scirocco.
This was truly a light-hearted outing for the family. No worry about the heat or the humidity. Just an evening to enjoy without a serious thought.