KW Symphony’s “Superheroes!”

I went to the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony’s performance of “Superheroes!” I didn’t know what the exact lineup would be but I expected it to contain many familiar pieces.

The selection of pieces was a bit more eclectic than I expected, but it included some less familiar pieces that I’m glad I got a chance to hear.

Of the familiar pieces the highlights were The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and Captain America. Of the unfamiliar pieces the highlights were Supergirl and Pete Anthony’s “Conduktor’s Theme.” It was also nice to hear the music from X-Men: The Last Stand, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Fantastic Four: Silver Surfer.

They also played “The Imperial March” (The Empire Strikes Back), my all-time favourite piece of movie music (it was included as the best supervillain music). It was certainly fine, but I felt it needed a bit more oomph.

One composer who was notably missing from the program was Danny Elfman (Batman, Spider-man).

The definition of superhero was expanded a bit to include Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and the first movement from Edouard Lalo’s “Symphonie Espagnole.”

There were lots of kids in the audience, and they used a bit of silliness to introduce them to opera. They played Verdi’s “Sempre liberia” and “La donna e mobile” and Rossini’s “Largo al factotum.” You might not know the titles but the tunes might be familiar.

I wasn’t much interested in the silliness, but the music was terrific and I was very happy I attended. The audience was sparse but appreciative.

They played John Williams’ theme from Superman as an encore, as I expected. That was a great way to end the concert — you were guaranteed to hum that theme on the way home.

Guest artists included soprano Rachel Krehm, tenor Adrian Kramer, and 16-year-old Ana Lavinia Vlad on violin.

The orchestra was conducted by John Morris Russell. He was a bit silly at times but he’s definitely a great conductor. He’s the conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, among other things.

The orchestra has several people in it I recognize from seeing them many times. Of course, there is some turnover but the program highlighted two players who have been with the orchestra for 40 years.

I previously reviewed the KW Symphony’s concert “Pixar in Concert.”

This entry was posted on Sunday, May 25th, 2014 at 12:10 pm and is filed under Reviews of music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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