Thursday, April 30, 2009

Across the universe

Last Friday we left Fort Wayne via the Embassy to visit an alternate universe -- courtesy of the work of composer John Williams and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
While promotions for the affair encouraged audience members to dress in costume, the only brave soul I saw was a little boy dressed in a Buzz Lightyear outfit.
However, the lobby was full of professional aliens and such, so I took a few pictures:
Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker. Note the hair.
Darth Vader,whom I know always think of as Anikin.
A Stormtrooper -- faceless, nameless, expendable.
The music was superb. If the first few measures of the Superman March were a little shaky, the group coalesced within moments, and finished strongly. The third piece, Hedwig's Theme from Harry Potter, was in my opinion the most beautiful, otherworldly in places, and the enjoyment of the musicians was evident. Hiromi Ito, solo-ing on violin in the Theme from Schindler's List, played with great emotion, the final notes a low, sad sob. The Theme from Jaws was very fun to listen to, the low brass playing those opening notes for full effect and fun. And the light work on the Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind added an appropriate and lively visual accompaniment those universal five notes from the mothership.
The most emotional piece may have been Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan, the brass again coming on strong and the Philharmonic Chorus adding a human instrument to the ensemble, their voices melding with the instruments beautifully. 
Finishing with the Star Wars Suite was perfect, familiar, fun, and amazingly complicated pieces, especially the Duel of the Fates from The Phantom Menace and the Battle of the Heroes from Revenge of the Sith.
When we first moved to Fort Wayne, the city was full of cars with bumper stickers that proclaimed, "I gave to  save the Embassy." I had no clue what that meant at the time, but I of those bumper stickers Friday night as I sat and admired the elegant, intricate architecture, I thanked all the people who made sure the Embassy will be around for decades to come.

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