Review: Jurassic Park in Concert

Jurassic Park in Concert at Symphony Hall Birmingham credit Gareth Griffiths

A Guide to the Roarchestra

Sunday saw the Czech National Symphony Orchestra perform ‘Jurassic Park in Concert’ at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.

It’s evident that there is a wider mix within the audience that Symphony Hall typically sees for an orchestral performance and that’s a good thing. Orchestras are cool, after all.

The concert saw the film shown on a large screen above the stage with John William’s classic score performed live by the orchestra.

These concerts serve as a reminder. A reminder of the beauty of the orchestra and the power music has to elevate a film. It was often hard to imagine that if the players stopped, so would the music. It draws great attention to the score of the film and inspires a level of appreciation for it that goes beyond what we had.

There are the odd few moments where the characters are talking softly where the dialogue was lost to the orchestra – but it’s a live orchestra we’re talking about here – unplugged. It’s these sorts of aspects that affirm the living breathing beast that was the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights include the Mr DNA sequence, for which John Williams wrote a Tom & Jerry like score which darts around various little riffs – it’s an entertaining sight to see the orchestra tackle such a playful but flitting and challenging piece of music that even features a little excerpt from the ‘Rock-a-bye Baby’ nursery rhyme.

Jurassic Park’s themes cover a variety of atmospheres from the jungle to euphoric wonder, and the orchestra captured each of these beautifully.

Whilst we mustn’t forget the film itself being pretty great, it’s difficult to praise the already acclaimed performances from Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Richard Attenborough further, give the circumstances of the afternoon’s presentation.

As the credits begin to roll, the lights come up on the orchestra as they recount Jurassic’s key themes in full view. It’s a great touch for the audience as we sit and we marvel. It’s possible that many here have never heard a live orchestra before…and it’s not a bad first experience.

Words: Gareth Griffith

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