Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Back to the Future Indeed!

Back to the Future Indeed!

Submitted by Lindsay Perigo

Summer Pops: Music from the Movies
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Hamish McKeich
Michael Fowler Centre, February 9

The NZSO seemed a few players short of an orchestra last Friday night. Maybe some of the musicians were still on summer break; maybe it was felt that the relatively light fare didn't require a full muster. The enthusiastic, if not full, house didn't seem to mind in the least. They were out for a good time, and a good time they had, revisiting blockbuster movies that came out within the living memories of most of them.

Me, I would have gone further back in time. When serious music fell foul of fashionably malevolent monsters in the early twentieth century, it was (eventually) to Hollywood—and operetta and musical comedy and Broadway and popular music—that humans had to repair for tonality and tunes. That fact has left us with rich pickings indeed for any programme ever entitled "Music from the Movies"—much richer, in fact, than the inevitable and seemingly inescapable John Williams, whose scores dominated Friday night's proceedings.

Tellingly, some of the loudest cheers of the evening were for 19th century "Waltz King" Johann Strauss's majestic warhorse, The Blue Danube (featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey). There's nothing complicated about this piece—I've often thought it should be called Variations on an Arpeggio—but the irresistible lilt of its unstoppable melodies has guaranteed it immortality.

More of that sort of thing would not have gone amiss. Yes, there was some Max Steiner (Casablanca)—why not Gone with the Wind while we were about it? Could we not have resurrected the fabulous Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto (Dangerous Moonlight)? Miklos Rozsa's Ben-Hur? Nino Rota's Godfather or Romeo and Juliet? Could not the Joan Crawford melodrama Humoresque have been used as a pretext for Wagner's glorious Liebestod?! Where were George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg, Richard Rodgers (Carousel, South Pacific, Sound of Music ...), Leonard Bernstein, and on and on? Or, to cite someone still in our midst, Ennio Morricone?

Nag, nag, nag. These are the harrumphings of a dinosaur, of course, and I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from attending the programme that is actually on offer: it has yet to play in Tauranga (Wed Feb 14), Hamilton (Fri Feb 16) and Auckland (Sat Feb 17); it is festive and fun, with conductor McKeich doubling as a drolly convivial Master of Ceremonies. And it's great to see Chariots of Fire get another outing.

It's just that this anachronism would prefer that next time the blockbusters pre-date Star Wars by decades and be within the living memories of very few! That was when they made movies (and wrote music for them) about which we can and do say, "They just don't make 'em like that any more!"
Back to the future indeed!

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: The Helicopter View From Space Yoga Studio

Written in Sanskrit at some point between the second century BCE and the fourth century CE, Patanjali's classic definition of the purpose of yoga has been translated in a number of different ways, but they all boil down to essentially the same message - the calming or quieting of “mental fluctuations.” More>>

Joseph Cederwall Review: NZSO Plays Bach And Ellington

The NZSO’s Shed Series returned for 2019 with the aptly titled REBIRTH at Shed 6. This theme dealt with the way in which music constantly evolves and changes, with styles and musical periods reborn in completely new and different ways. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Voulez-Vous Couchez Avec Moi? - C'est Chic, Ça Colette!

Starring the ravishingly vibrant Keira Knightley in the title role, Colette is a fairly pedestrian paint-by numbers biopic - which is a little disappointing, given that its cross-dressing and pansexual protagonist lead anything but a dull life. More>>

Wellington Repertory Theatre: New Season Includes Royal Hunt of The Sun

“The objective behind our ambitious 2019 season is to expand our offering to a broader range of Wellingtonians. It’s the first time in over a decade that we’ve produced four shows, and the first time we will be performing at the Hannah Payhouse,” says Oliver Mander, WRT’s President. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Revenants - They Shall Not Grow Old

Jackson has toiled laboriously in the trenches of the digital revolution for decades, with his two turgid Tolkien trilogies constantly pushing the envelope in terms of computer-generated entertainment and providing his latest project with sufficient combat experience to warrant serious Oscar consideration for its remarkable technical achievements. More>>

Unseen Let It Be Footage: Peter Jackson Making "The Ultimate Beatles Film"

Jackson's new film will be compiled from fifty-five hours of never-released studio footage of The Beatles recording their final album Let It Be in January 1969. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland