Review: Music from Star Wars, CBSO, Birmingham Symphony Hall

As everyone patiently awaits the release of The Last Jedi, last night conductor Michael Seal and the CBSO performed John William’s music from the past seven Star Wars films to a packed Symphony Hall.

Our reviewer Dan Earl and friends at last night's concert
Our reviewer Dan Earl and friends at last night's concert

Narrated by Sam Douglas and accompanied by the CBSO chorus, the orchestra took the audience on an audio journey through the seven films, opening with the iconic 20th Century Fox Fanfare before beginning one of the most recognisable pieces of theme music in film, the Star Wars Theme.

What was most striking for myself having never been to a CBSO concert before was the scale of both the orchestra and the choir, filling the vast stage.

With the music presented in thrilling full orchestral sound, Williams' score came to life aided by the crystal clear acoustics within the Symphony Hall. Anakin’s Theme, The Cantina Band and Princess Leia’s Theme all instantly took you back to the first time you saw those films with feelings of excitement and wonder.

After being able to meet Stormtroopers and Darth Vader himself in the interval, the orchestra returned to the stage donning various costumes including a fantastic Jabba the Hut and it was surely a sight to see Darth Maul playing percussion.

The concert then highlighted the last three films in the series, before Vader himself took to the stage to welcome in the encore of the imposing Imperial March.

An accessible yet world class performance, it’s clear that these sorts of events welcome people, such as myself, into a classical music setting who perhaps wouldn’t usually go to those sorts of events. And that cannot be a bad thing at all. The orchestra strikes back.

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