John Williams performed with the Phoenix Symphony last Saturday for a once in a lifetime event. All of the proceeds benefited the Phoenix Symphony's community outreach programs, and as of Saturday morning, Williams' ticket sales have raised nearly $600,000.
The concert was closed to the media, but Phoenix Symphony was gracious enough to let a few of us in to John Williams' rehearsal Saturday morning.
The stage was full of symphony members, leaving a small square for Williams, who took the stage promptly at 10 am. He spoke quietly and kept his instructions to a minimum, basically expressing happiness at the symphony's performance.
Williams and the symphony kicked things off with two performances of "Hooray for Hollywood." The second performance was paired with video clips of Hollywood classics--Marilyn Monroe's skirt got blown up, Vivien Leigh smirked in bed, Cary Grant ran from a crop-duster, and Bogey and Bergman shared an embrace. All of these scenes flashed by in seconds, with emotions matching the tones of "Hooray for Hollywood."
The Far and Away suite followed, providing some Celtic flair from the 1992 Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman flick.
The media portion of the rehearsal concluded with the first part of Williams' Harry Potter suite--"Hedwig's Theme," which is instantly recognizable as the Harry Potter song.
I was only there for about half an hour, but everything I heard sounded fantastic. With a live orchestra, in a venue with great acoustics, Williams' classics sounded like they did at the movies, only better.
Here are the songs listed in the program: "Hooray for Hollywood" Suite from Far and Away Three pieces from Harry Potter: Hedwig's Theme, Nimbus 2000, Harry's Wondrous World "Dartmoor, 1912" from War Horse Main Title from Star Wars Intermission and Steven Speilberg introduction Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind "The Circus Train Chase" from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade "The Duel" from The Adventures of Tintin Theme from Schindler's List "Adventures on Earth" from E.T.
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