In 1977, George Lucas changed the history of cinema with the release of Star Wars, a space opera based on the work of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Now one of the most valuable intellectual properties in the world, Disney paid $4 billion for Star Wars creator George Lucas’ Lucasfilm, home of the Star Wars franchise.
That’s mind-boggling, but the most important thing: these movies are just super fun to watch! Even if just at home on TV.
But, as luck would have it, our Marketing Wiz Marijn van der Vlies recently learned that there’s a better way to experience the film. And that’s by going to the Concertgebouw (renowned for its perfect acoustics) and watching the movie accompanied by a live orchestra.
Making the 20 Century Fox intro epic
Here’s the first reason why watching Star Wars with a live orchestra surpasses watching Star Wars at home: you’d never get a standing ovation for the 20th Century Fox intro.
“That was a wild moment, right after that first set. People got on their feet and applauded – and we were just a few minutes into the concert! They could all tell something really cool was about to happen.” Marijn told us.
While the rest of the show played on the big screen, the orchestra plays the soundtrack of film composer John Williams live, under the direction of conductor Dirk Brossé. Years ago, Brossé received a call from Williams himself, asking if he would like to lead the world tour of Star Wars: A Musical Journey. The Force is definitely with this man: he’s conducted over 150 Star Wars concerts!
The rest of the score, by John Williams, is simply iconic.
As Marijn says: “For someone around my age, it’s stuff that represents and shapes your childhood. Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters, Superman, Indiana Jones… you feel that music deep in your bones, and hearing Star Wars’ soundtrack like this gave me chills.“
Another favorite part? “Definitely the Imperial Attack. Hearing Darth Vader aboard the Imperial battleship with his ominous presence perfectly matched the minor key and deep sense of foreboding brought on by the orchestra’s rendition.“
John Williams, the man behind the music
With a career spanning over six decades, John Williams has composed some of the most recognizable and critically acclaimed film scores in cinematic history. Aside from the Star Wars series, you may know his work from a few other little film productions, like Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones series, the first two Home Alone films, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, and the first three Harry Potter films (just to name a few!)
Creating such iconic soundtracks also makes Williams a heavyweight in the award world: he’s won 24 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. With 51 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated individual of all time, after Walt Disney.
To top it all off, in 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams’s score to 1977’s Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The man’s a legend!
About the Concertgebouw
But what about the venue? Because of its highly regarded acoustics, the Concertgebouw is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world, along with places such as Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna.
The hall opened on 11 April 1888 with an inaugural concert, in which an orchestra of 120 musicians and a chorus of 500 singers participated, performing works of Wagner, Handel, Bach, and Beethoven. The perfect setting for a Williams classic!
As Marijn said, about the experience, “I had goosebumps all over.” We’re not surprised!
The Concertgebouw has concerts running all year round. Check out more performances on the Tiqets website!
Or read the blog for more travel inspiration