Spoiled. Rotten.

My daughter took me to a show the other day, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how great it was. We went to a performance of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone In Concert”.

John Williams is one of my favorite composers. Of course, there are some scores that I like better than others (I’m not a fan of the “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Home Alone”). Just about everything else (“Jaws”, “Raiders”, not to mention “Star Wars”) have so many perfect, iconic moments that I will likely never forget. I love the music for all the Harry Potter films, but the Williams scores are the best of the bunch. Doyle, Hooper and Desplat all did great work, but Williams set the foundation.

Here’s how the Harry Potter concert was set up: the full symphony orchestra was assembled on the stage and a large movie screen hung above them. It’s that simple. The film played with all of the dialogue and sound effects, but had the music removed since it would be provided by the live orchestra. From the first notes of the celesta all the way through to the finale of the end credits, we were glued to our seats. The audience was prompted to cheer when something they loved would happen in the film (which they did), and for their favorite music (which was just aboThe ut every piece). We were lucky enough to be close to the stage, and we could see the conductor’s monitor, which also played the film and used a series of flashing dots (for time keeping) and scrolling lines (for cues).

So, now I find myself completely spoiled. Absolutely spoiled rotten. This is how I want to see EVERY movie. Watching the film but also watching for the musicians who aren’t so stuffy that they can’t get down and feel the music they’re playing. Hearing the subtle notes that might otherwise get lost in the sound mix. And what if the score is a little more esoteric? How cool would it be to hear a live performance of Jerry Goldsmith’s opening to “Alien”? Or even better, his score for the original “Planet of the Apes”?
I’m really looking forward to next year. The conductor at the Harry Potter concert said they would be back next year with “The Chamber of Secrets”.

What movies would you like to see “in concert”? (And don’t say “Star Wars” – we all want that)

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