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 Posted:   Aug 18, 2019 - 8:34 PM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

Am I the only one who loves film music but really doesn’t like these experiences? I want to go to a concert and hear the music, not a highly produced click-track-balanced-fed-Through-speakers production.

Beggars can’t be choosers and I realize that these concerts help orchestras (not that they are grateful), but I fear it doesn’t do much for elevating the profile of film music and composers.

 
 Posted:   Aug 18, 2019 - 10:52 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

My only problem is we seem to be relegated to The original three Star Wars movies, the odd Indiana Jones adventure, and, nicely, Back To The Future.

(I never realized how bad the dialog is in the Hoth base sequences until I saw the live performance of TESB last year. Also, the ensemble was smaller than the studio orchestra, taking some of the punch out of, say, the Hoth Battle.)

Any one of the Star Trek movies would be ripe for this live treatment.
I would see any one of these performed live, but I'm not sure the public awareness is deep enoug to know how great the music is for these movies.


Titanic Live had a performance recently here in SoCal. It seemed well received.

Conan The Barbarian performed live might have enough juice to license out (and would be awesome).

But again, you really need ensembles and performances that live up to the studio recordings, or put a good live performance stamp on the the material.
But otherwise I'm generally cool with these live-to-film performances.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 3:43 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I'm with you, Smaug, as I just said in the JURASSIC PARK - LIVE thread. I've been criticizing these concerts for YEARS now.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 3:59 AM   
 By:   Marcato   (Member)

I'm with you, Smaug, as I just said in the JURASSIC PARK - LIVE thread. I've been criticizing these concerts for YEARS now.

Casino Royale was performed live here last year


Wasn’t John Williams the first to do a live concert with E.T 20th ?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 4:02 AM   
 By:   BrendonKelly   (Member)

I love them! Where else can you see/hear some those glorious “incidental” cues such as Dessert Chase, The Clocktower and Hard to Starboard other than at one of these concerts!

I have been fortunate enough to see:

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Gladiator
Back To The Future
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Titanic
Aliens

Lots more I would like to see but the one I am most excited about is Superman.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 4:17 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I'm not too keen on them either, I'd rather just go to a concert. However I did go to see a couple of Chaplin silents with the orchestra (Carl Davis) which seemed to be more enjoyable for some reason.

The RTE Concert Orchestra do these live screenings fairly often, JAWS and CE3K were the most recent.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 5:02 AM   
 By:   bigjimwilson   (Member)

Couldn't disagree more! I love these events. And for me they absolutely cement the whole purpose of film music in the first place. There are times when I find myself ignoring the film and watching the orchestra, but also where I'm taken in by the film and I forget that the players are there. But the music is always doing it's job and heightening emotion.

It makes total sense that the big hitters have been the ones given the treatment so far. Who knows what it will lead to, but hopefully just more!

I understand the preference for attending a concert and just hearing the music, but at almost every film music concert I've been to, (and it's been a fair few) I always walk away thinking "Agh... I wish they could have played the film version of that." And we absolutely get that this way.

I have Empire Strikes Back in September and I can't wait to hear the film version of The Asteroid Field, and all the cloud city escape music. And Superman next year! Wow. Can't wait.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 5:52 AM   
 By:   Loverozsa   (Member)

I totally disagree as well. They are wonderful. The Baltimore Symphony does at least two a year, and it brings many
children into the concert hall that would otherwise not be there. For that reason alone, they are extremely valuable as an educational tool.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 6:03 AM   
 By:   Rick15   (Member)

Couldn't disagree more! I love these events. And for me they absolutely cement the whole purpose of film music in the first place. There are times when I find myself ignoring the film and watching the orchestra, but also where I'm taken in by the film and I forget that the players are there. But the music is always doing it's job and heightening emotion.

It makes total sense that the big hitters have been the ones given the treatment so far. Who knows what it will lead to, but hopefully just more!

I understand the preference for attending a concert and just hearing the music, but at almost every film music concert I've been to, (and it's been a fair few) I always walk away thinking "Agh... I wish they could have played the film version of that." And we absolutely get that this way.

I have Empire Strikes Back in September and I can't wait to hear the film version of The Asteroid Field, and all the cloud city escape music. And Superman next year! Wow. Can't wait.



Yep. 100% agree. As a film score nerd, this is my equivalent of seeing a band come and tour.

Seeing the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra perform TESB live to film a couple of months ago was a holy grail for me.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 6:39 AM   
 By:   Lattanzi   (Member)

I've had a couple different experiences on this. One was a few years ago when I saw Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky with the Philadelphia Orchestra providing Prokofiev's score. That was one of the best theater experiences of my life, with the audience truly engaged, on the same emotional wavelength. At one point in the film there's a pipe organ player who gets interrupted by the Russian soldiers, prompting the real organist in the hall to improvise a mangling of the keys, which got a nice laugh from everyone.

I've also been to a live to film concert of The Return of the King at Lincoln Center and the audience clapped practically every five minutes, but it was still good to see since a lot of those people likely would not have otherwise been to an orchestral concert. (Plus I got to meet Mr. Shore himself)

I hope one day I can see a Herrmann score performed.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

It's a fine idea for orchestras - anything they can do to get more people in the hall is good for them (assuming they make money, not easy with the costs involved).

And it's great for people who want to go see a favorite film and get the music live in person. Might even inspire someone here or there to explore more orchestra concerts or more film music, which would be a cool side benefit.

I've never been to one, and have no desire. I think they completely distort the intention of the film. I've never had trouble separating my love for film from my love for film music, and I don't need or want the balance shifted towards the music. (Silent movies excepted.)

I have been to a couple of concerts (Star Trek and Zelda video game music) that included montages and a few scenes from a number of different properties - thought that went very well. That's what works for me personally.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)

My minor complaint about these concerts is that in most of these shows, the music that is performed on stage is a duplicate of the music-edits in the film—like the STAR WARS concerts (yes, the orchestra plays the mesh-mash music-edits of the Sail Barge Escape sequence, but, thankfully, not Jedi Rocks).

I like to think that these concerts should be a good opportunity to bring back some of the music that was left out in the final film-edit. I can testify that concerts of JAWS and CE3K have done that. This way, fans and film scholars can see what kind of effect that the composer had intended to achieve. I hope that this will be done for the upcoming SUPERMAN concert

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   profundo   (Member)

On a summer eve 30 years ago, I saw the L.A. Phil play the reconstructed film score to "Alexander Nevsky" live to the film at the Hollywood Bowl. What a great experience!

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   Mike Matessino   (Member)

The reason to not knock these concerts is that it's estimated that 25% of the people who attend them have NEVER heard a symphony orchestra play live.

The concerts tend to sell very well so booking them really helps boost orchestras' resources for their overall programming as well as their season subscriptions. And of course it means that film music continues to reach and inspire new people as well as giving hundreds of musicians the opportunity to play these scores.

As much as those of us here would love to listen to a complete score without the picture, most audiences would find it a head-scratcher. These concerts are welcoming people to the world of symphonic music and film music who have never paid it any attention.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

Saw E.T. live to film here in Colorado Springs and enjoyed the heck out of it. I'm amazed how good of an orchestra we have here in this famously uptight town.

My ONLY complaint was about all the people that got up and left while the orchestra was still playing through the end credits. Struck me as bizarre. I know I am one of the rare people who stay through the credits in the movie theater, but found it so disrespectful to walk out on the orchestra when they are still playing their hearts out.

Very much looking forward to Superman.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:25 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Am I the only one who loves film music but really doesn’t like these experiences? I want to go to a concert and hear the music, not a highly produced click-track-balanced-fed-Through-speakers production.

Beggars can’t be choosers and I realize that these concerts help orchestras (not that they are grateful), but I fear it doesn’t do much for elevating the profile of film music and composers.



I totally agree. The results are that film music concerts, that were on the upswing for many years, are dwindling to nothing. To be fair some of these "To-film" concerts have enough extras (like the RUDY concert) to be worth it. But too many of these put the music back where it was for so long - behind the screen. Literally you might have been just watching the film on a very large screen and the film composer is put back from the forward position he was in all those marvelous concert hall concerts.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   erepel   (Member)

Never been to one. Very curious about the "mix" of orchestra to the dialogue and sound effects. Perhaps frequent concertgoers could comment with general observations?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   alexp   (Member)

I've also been to a live to film concert of The Return of the King at Lincoln Center and the audience clapped practically every five minutes, but it was still good to see since a lot of those people likely would not have otherwise been to an orchestral concert.

I hope one day I can see a Herrmann score performed.


Lattanzi, if you still have access to Lincoln Center, then you're in luck:

Psycho (1960)
NY Philharmonic Orchestra
September 13 and 14

https://nyphil.org/concerts-tickets/1920/psycho-in-concert

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 12:03 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

As much as those of us here would love to listen to a complete score without the picture, most audiences would find it a head-scratcher.,

God, I would never want that. I just want to be presented with themes and suites in typical concert form. If you want some imagery, then I'm fine with conceptual art or even film stills on a screen behind the musicians. With these film concerts, however, attention is inevitably drawn to the film and the plot (as we cognitively prioritize visuals over the aural), perhaps with a glance or two at the orchestra on occasion. The pure, musical experience is mostly lost, and it's basically reduced to a fancy night at the movies.

But yes -- if I'm being all altruistic, I guess it's good that these things draw crowds, both for the orchestras and the potential for new fans. But that's about their only value, IMO.

If I want to see a whole film with music being played simultaneously, I'd much rather watch a recording session where at least you'll get to see the nuts and bolts of the creative process.

 
 Posted:   Aug 19, 2019 - 12:04 PM   
 By:   John Schuermann   (Member)

One thing I wish they would do before the film starts:

Give a quick talk about the music itself, and the role it plays in the film.

For example, at the E.T. concert it would have been great if the conductor had had the orchestra play quick versions of the various themes, and then discuss how they are used in the film to reflect various ideas, characters and emotions. Take maybe 10 - 15 minutes, and then I think the audience would have a MUCH greater appreciation of the art of film scoring. So easy to do with a Williams score, where almost every character or idea gets its own theme or motif.

Mike M. - has something like this ever been discussed as part of the program?

Since I personally know some of the people at the local Philharmonic, I thought I might offer my services. I've spent some time studying theory / conducting with the associate director, and often do a presentation on the history of film scoring at various universities and at film events. It would be fun!

 
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