Sydney Philharmonia Choirs’ MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES kicks off with the monumental Millennial megahit, Frozen, then proceeds to navigate a course of varying degrees of nostalgia, mingling classical compositions used in movies and music written specifically for film.
A first section marries Mozart and Williams that incorporates Wolfie’s Requiem pieces used so dramatically in Milos Forman’s film version of Amadeus to John William’s choral cuts from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Private Saving Ryan, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Amistad.
Under the sub title, Religion – for better or worse, the programme then launched into Introitus from Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen, used in the film Angels and Demons, followed up by On Earth As It Is In Heaven from Ennio Morricone’s sensation score for The Mission. As fine as these selections were, under such a moniker, I yearned for the choir and orchestra to tackle Ave Santani the Oscar winning score for The Omen by Jerry Goldsmith.
The final piece before interval was a rousing choral finale from Beethoven’s Symphony Number 9, infamously used in A Clockwork Orange.
After interval, Act II began with a magnificent medley from Gladiator that segued effortlessly into Danny Elfman’s Alice’s Theme from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
A clump of Australian films was then celebrated with excerpts from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet and Australia, If I had Words, from Babe, and Nigel Westlake’s O Sol Almo Immortale from Solarmax.
This was followed by a musical meld under the marquee of The Mad King and The Lion King , and while Handel’s Zadok the Priest is always pleasing, my thoughts turned to John Barry’s The Lion in Winter with its choral chants and stirring themes.
Instead the programmers opted for O Fortuna by Carl Orff summoning crystalline choral work perfectly pitched with powerful percussion.
Under the baton of Elizabeth Scott, this phalanx of larynx and multitude of musicians create a phonetic energy that is thrilling and able.
The performance was recorded at The Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House on Saturday May 11 by Fine Music 102.5 FM for future broadcast
Next up for Sydney Philharmonia Choirs is Chorus Oz Ode to Joy at the Sydney opera House on Sunday June 9 at 5pm. To miss it may cause a chorus of disapproval.