Cincinnati Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH
Friday, July 8, 2005
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra conducted by ERICH KUNZEL
May Festival Summer Chorus, Heather MacPhail, director
Daniel Logan (Boba Fett from Attack of the Clones), narrator
Concert Review from The Cincinnati Enquirer
People don’t usually dress up for a Pops concert. Unless the audience is part of the show.
The fans were in full force last night when Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops performed music by John Williams from all six “Star Wars” films at Riverbend Music Center. Another performance is tonight at 8 p.m.
The Pops were joined by a squad of stormtroopers and even Darth Vader himself, courtesy of the Ohio 501st, an organization of volunteers with their own spot-on costumes.
Concert Review by ‘Jedi-Washington’
I came in and their was already a scent of Star Wars. Storm troopers, a galactic background, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra sitting in their chairs plucking and prepairing themselves for the premere performance of their Star Wars concert series this weekend. It was alredy evident that lighting and sound were going to be a big part of this night with lights surronding the Riverbend stage and plenty of sound effects added throughout the performance. Within what seemed like minutes after finding our seats, the concert master came out, gave the tuning note, and a few moments after, Maestro Erich Kunzel came out on stage, grabbed a mic and said to the amount of: “When 9/11 happend, the Queens band played our national anthem the day after. With the current events that have just happend in London, we will show our appreciation also. So everyone rise to “God Save the Queen” and I ask for a moement of silence afterward” and everyone rose while the British flag flew and the orchestra played. After, no clapping was heard…only dead silence of a crowd. errie silence.
And with that, we’re off. The trumpets herald in with the “20’th century Fox Fanfare” and Daniel Logan, our guest speaker who played Bobba Fett in Attack of the Clones (who might have forgotten to read it before he got up on stage with more than a few mess ups), reads the famous line: “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…” and Kunzel lifts his hands and the orchestra heralds at the well known “Original Star Wars Main Theme” theme from ANH.
Starting from Episode one “The Adventures of Jar Jar” is our first cue. Than the wonderfully orchestrated “Anakin’s theme” where a little boy with long rounded hair comes out and plays with his trinkets. Next the May Festival Choir enters in grand style flaunting flags during the appropriate “Flag Parade.” To come after that is “Duel of the Fates” where a few members of the Fanforce came out and had a lightsabre battle while the May Festival Choir maliciously sang the evil battle theme.
next, off to Episode two, where only “Across the Stars” was played, but beautifuly well. Next was Episode Three respectively where the new “Battle of the Heros” was taken slightly fast, but still as daunting as the original recording.
We than launch into the Original Trilogy scores starting with ANH. “The little People” is first up with two little kids dressed as the funny creatures pushing a model R2-D2 around. Than “Princess Leia’s Theme,” which was accompanied by an arialist known to the pops very well. Alexander Streltsov did some amazing work in the air high above the orchestra with only two peices of cloth to hold himself up. “Here they Come” was next, followed by “the Battle” with a few light sabre fights also and what sounded like a glorafied cut from the original recording of Episode 3’s credits of “The Throne room,” where the May Festival Choir began again to do their flag work while Leia gave her medal to the Jedi hero who had performed earlier in the battle.
After a short rainy break we move on to The Empire Strikes Back, with the ever popular “Imperial March” leading the way complete with Vader and his stormtroopers and Imperial officers on stage and around the crowed. Next came the plucking of “The Asteroid Field,” and than “Yoda’s Theme” which was played briliantly. “Han Solo & the Princess” was also accompanied by mr. Streltsov’s air work and a playing of The Finale from this movie showed it’s true brilliance in comparison to all the others.
Lastly was obviously Return Of the Jedi. Starting off was “Jaba’s Theme” with a difficult Tuba solo by Micheal Thornton. (which earned him a standing ovation) “Luke & Leia” was also made all the more spectacular by the arial work on top of the beautiful melody, and next was the “Parade of the Ewoks” with it’s fun percussion parts. Darth Vader and a Jedi went at each others throats (making Vaders Neon lightsabre burn out) in “The Forest Battle” and lastly was the “Star Wars Main Theme” once again with some arial work and a wonderful ending to a very fun evening dispite the weather.
That’s not it of corse, we all clapped so much we were graced with “Cantina Theme” from both a toy R2-D2 of Mr. Kunzel’s, and from the orchestra. An entire cast of characters from the evening stood up on stage dancing, some pyrotechnics, and a lot of partying took place as Maestro Kunzel cut off the orchestra on the last note. It was a great time for everyone who attended. Most definately it is one of the best concerts I’ve seen out of the Pop’s in every way. Nice job Maestro Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.