Violet Daffodils

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March 06, 2020

John Williams Gala – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra At The Sunderland Empire

When I think of legendary musical scores, there's only one man that springs to mind. John Williams. His incredible scores have played significant parts in some of the most iconic films of all time. His music for me personally, has this special capability of moving me to another place, another time. It envelops me and has this power to completely immerse me in his music and transport me to an almost out of body like experience. That wonderful bliss of being completely lost in the music for a short while. And there's very few pieces of music that has that ability to me. And even fewer musicians that have that effect on me, and John Williams is one of the rare few who can. 

In 2018, I had tickets to see Jurassic Park In Concert at The Sage, Newcastle. Tickets I was beyond thrilled to have as the Jurassic Park Theme is my all-time favourite musical score, and Jurassic Park is one of my favourite films. I couldn't wait to see it performed live. The music of that film completely moves me like no other and brings me so much nostalgia to my younger years of visiting Universal Studios on family holidays to Florida (and being petrified of the Jurassic Park River Adventure!). However, unfortunately I was unable to attend as work had booked a conference that same week that I needed to attend, so my then boyfriend went in my place, who sent me clips of what he could at the time for me. Although I enjoyed the work trip, I was disappointed to have missed out on the chance to see the music performed live and had looked out for another opportunity to experience the concert or at least the music again. And then I found it. 

The Sunderland Empire were having a John Williams Gala, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for ONE NIGHT ONLY, it felt like fate. Cheesy, I know. But having missed out last time, I was determined to not miss out on this chance again. The gala was a celebration of the incredible American composer and his magical and transformative music that transcends almost seven decades. Seven decades! How incredible?!
I admit, I've only seen a handful of the iconic films his music has been performed in. However, even though I haven't seen them, I've heard them plenty throughout my life to know them well and still appreciate his brilliant work all the same and I couldn't wait to see them performed live.

The Gala was a truly wonderful night. Like I previously said, even if you haven't seen the films these iconic musical scores were featured in, it is highly likely you will have heard them before so you can still appreciate them all the same. The music was sensational and I found myself completely captivated by the music throughout the whole night. The orchestra did an incredible job with their performances and before each performance the conductor would introduce them and discuss some of the history and facts behind them which was really interesting to learn which I felt added even further appreciation towards the music. The audience's reactions to the music was another great part of the evening, the moment a few notes were played and the response of recognition toward the song was one of those lovely, almost comforting, nostalgic moments shared among everyone there. Another thing I picked up on with the audience was that it was great to see a complete mix of all ages and generations in attendance, altogether in their bond and appreciate for John William's music and I think that is truly so special and a wonderful example of how music his music means to everyone.

Set List:

• Superman: Prelude and Main Title March (Superman)

• Harry's Wondrous World (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

• Jaws: Theme (Jaws)

• Home Alone: Main Title (Home Alone)

• The Raiders March (Indiana Jones: Raiders Of The Lost Ark)

• Theme From Schindler's List (Schindler's List)

• Dartmoor, 1912 (War Horse)

• Adventure on Earth (E.T.)

• Flight to Neverland (Hook)

• Excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof (Fiddler on the Roof)

• Excerpts from JFK (JFK)

• Theme From Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)

• Jurassic Park: Main Theme (Jurassic Park)

• Rey's Theme (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

• March of the Resistance (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

• Princess Leia's Theme (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

• Star Wars: Main Title (Star Wars Franchise)


• The Imperial March (Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back)

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