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West Suburban Symphony Concert Review

July 29, 2012 at 4:14 AM

From 8pm to about 10:15pm tonight me and my family went to see the West Suburban Symphony play outdoors at Cantigny Park. Directed and conducted by Peter Lipari (who, by the way, I really liked because he had lots of funny things to say; you'd have to be there), this concert (not all too different from our Pops Concert in May, actually!) had a distinct theme: heroes. I really liked this theme because it really shows how much we as human beings can be heroes, and the music situated around it really does express it like no other can.

There were plenty of pieces in this concert, creating an implausible night of fun, and I'll just go through some of my favorites in this entry. The opening theme, perfect for the Olympics, was the Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams. It was a fantastic opening, showcasing the power of the orchestra and was just one of the many examples of a great John Williams piece (if you don't know already, like many others out there, I am a big John Williams fan!). Later in the program, after the intermission, the orchestra played Musical Highlights from Rocky. I'm not a big Rocky fan, but I did recognize the music from the beginning part of the piece from watching the movies from time to time. They also did Star Trek through the Years. I haven't watched much Star Trek, but I recognized at least one of the portions of the piece, which is always cool.

There were two other pieces listed on the program that I'll discuss. One was Selections from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I liked the pieces that this medley put. Beginning with Fawkes the Phoenix (which I was a tad disappointed that they gave the horns, trumpets and trombones the melody rather than the violins and violas, which I think suits the piece a little better), it continued to Glideroy Lockhart's theme, which was a bouncy, fun little tune. It finally ended with the Christmas theme, I like to call it, because it usually plays when snow is on the ground at Hogwarts. The next piece was Selections from Superman Returns. What can you say about this amazing hero? I played the main theme on piano, and it was fantastic to hear it orchestrated. This time, I recognized the seventh in there in the bigger, loud notes. I really enjoyed that one, too. Not on the program, they sprang one final piece on us: Indiana Jones! That was fun to listen to, as well. Not much to say about that.

That's the end of my discussions on individual pieces. I'd like to say just a little bit about the concert as a whole. The orchestra did a fantastic job of getting loud and soft as needed, and they made the last note of nearly every piece somewhere between ff to ffff, which was fantastic! Although the only instruments I could see really well from where we were sitting were the violins, violas, and horns (if I moved my head to the left), I couldn't hear the strings because the brass instruments take over. I already knew that, but I hadn't really thought about it much until tonight.
Background-wise, it was amazing seeing the sunset fade into the darkness of the night. Crickets chirped loudly. (At one point, the conductor told us the sound crew would turn down the crickets. Of course, that didn't happen.) I rather liked the crickets; it gave a nice nighttime sound to listen to as the music was playing. It was a beautiful night, and I was reminded of the night we had a jam session early-July. (I blogged about it, too.)

I had a fantastic time at this concert! If any of you happened to be there with me, feel free to share your comments and such. Thanks for reading!

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