Hello lovely people! How are you? I am perfectly well, enjoying my vacay in Greece! I know, I know you will be envious, but… c’est la vie, n’est-ce pas? By the time some of you will be away, enjoying that mojito by the pool and sunbathing, I will be back at work, and thinking about vacation again! For now though, I am perfectly happy where I am and have no intention of thinking about work! This blog though is another matter and for that reason, I am terribly excited to talk to you about a night with an orchestra playing John Williams. It was on a rainy Friday, after work, near Waterloo Station, but let me start from the beginning.
For those of you who know me well, you should know that I love Star Wars, Indiana Jones and probably all the rest of the films of the great Steven Spielberg. However, it’s not only the directing genius behind my love of all things Steven Spielberg (and okay George Lucas!); it’s also the musical genius of John Williams! He wrote the score for many Hollywood films and has a very successful career with 24 Grammy Awards and 5 Academy Awards among others. As you can imagine I was looking for a concert like that and did it fall into my lap as a Facebook event! So, I convinced my friends to join me (and not my boyfriend, it was too difficult and tiring) and we came together on a Friday evening to listen to Hornton Chamber Orchestra performing at St’ John’s Church in Waterloo.
Hornton Chamber Orchestra was founded over four years ago by its conductor and artistic director Jack Wong. As he kindly informed us after that Friday concert was the 25th with him and the Hornton Chamber Orchestra. It is comprised mainly of musicians from the four leading conservatoires in London, the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Trinity Laban College of Music and the Royal College of Music, as well as musicians from universities across London. It was heartening to see the passion and love for music shared among these young people! For this reason, paying £13.50 for a ticket for this concert is money well-spent in my opinion!
The evening started with probably one of the most iconic musical scores, the Raider’s March, from the Indiana Jones films. We just loved it! It was effortlessly cool, like Indiana himself, and gave me some good memories from watching Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark when travelling in an aeroplane! After that it was Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and then it was another recognisable musical, this time from Harry Potter. Did you know actually that John Williams wrote the music for the first three Harry Potters, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of Azkaban? I didn’t know either!
Anyway, the first part of the night ended with the theme from Jurassic Park, that beloved musical theme from the 1993 film. Who doesn’t love the music from Jurassic Park? In my view, this is composition is the theme of our childhood, when we would watch on the TV the adventures of Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ian Malcolm. What’s not to like? The second part of the concert I think was much focused on space opera, as Star Wars was more than present. The Hornton Chamber Orchestra started with the Duel of the Fates from the Phantom Menace and then moved to ET, another favourite from my childhood!
What came next though was among the reasons I was interested in going to a concert like that in the first place. With an excellent and poignant violin solo from Paula Gorbanova, it was time to listen to the theme of Schindler’s List! I cannot describe the feeling of such a composition; I can only say I had goosebumps just from listening to it! Such an amazing story that brings tears to my eyes, as I think this may be the best collaboration between Spielberg and Williams, and it’s no wonder that the latter won his fifth Academy Award for that score! The soloist did an amazing job and I was almost tearful!
Our musical evening ended on a high note with a selection of the most recognisable themes from the original trilogy of the Star Wars, with the main title, Princess Leia’s theme (RIP Carrie Fisher!) and the Imperial March among others. I think the whole crowd loved it, as we kept clapping for a long time! I cannot find the words to tell you how much I enjoyed the entire night and how much of a success it was! I definitely want to listen to the orchestra another time as well, with more traditional classic music, which is their forte I gather! Or maybe some Hans Zimmer? Come on, everyone?
Till next time,