Right from the start when the massive and magnificent orchestra strike up the drums and horns for Alfred Newman’s iconic Twentieth Century Fox theme you know you’re in for a treat — and the night doesn’t disappoint. From Hitchcock’s right-hand man Franz Waxman of Rebecca and Rear Window fame, to John Williams, the man who turned popcorn pics like Raiders Of The Lost Arc and Star Wars into box-office blockbusters, this is truly a roll call of Hollywood’s best and brightest musical minds. There’s even something to keep the Gen Ys happy in the form of avant-garde ‘artiste’ Don Davis’ score from The Matrix; while Dad will be grinning from ear to ear during the James Bond medley and Granny will be clapping along during Ron Goodwin’s Miss Marple theme.
It’s an evening full of treasures great and small and should serve to open up the audiences’ ears and allow them to focus on what music can do for a film. For great cinematic scores are truly an art form in themselves. They can make a mediocre film shine beyond all expectations and because of this they are the best trick that directors have in their arsenal to manipulate an audience. Scores poke and prod us in emotional directions that are seemingly beyond our control. Some of the best ones are invisible at first glance, you’d swear that there was nothing there at all, but without them the scene would fall flat and you’d fail to understand the hero’s true motives or the villain’s wicked intentions.
Conductor Frank Strobel does a masterful job of translating the subtleties of these scores, and watching him convey them through his sharp, nimble and sensitive gestures is a rewarding experience in itself.
What a shame that this splendid evening of cinema scores is only on for three nights. Thankfully it will be broadcast soon nationally thanks to ABC Classic FM, so be sure to check online guides for details.
Music has always had the power to transport us. We close our eyes and disappear into another realm. But the moral of Crime Time appears to be the power of what music can do when we keep our eyes and ears open.
Movie Music: Crime Time
Frank Strobel conductor
Clive James presenter
Venue: Sydney Opera House | Concert Hall
Dates: September 11, 12 ,13