The Music of Harry Potter, Symphony Hall, Birmingham - review
A touch of spellbinding magic swept across Birmingham’s Symphony Hall as the wizarding world of Harry Potter erupted into life on Friday night.
Conductor Michael Seal and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra took a packed-out audience on a whirlwind audio adventure through the blockbuster films, performing tunes crafted by musical greats.
Starting with one of the most iconic pieces from the movies – Hedwig’s Theme – guests were instantly taken back to the days when the Harry Potter hysteria first began.
Narrator Tommy Pearson donned his wizard’s hat and cloak as he impressively crammed the plots of the eight fantasy films into a succinct backdrop to accompany the musical performances.
The first half of the concert was dedicated to the music of American composer John Williams – known for his legendary scores in films such as Star Wars, E.T., Jaws and Indiana Jones.
Music composed by Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper and Alexandre Desplat followed, including the light and dreamy Potter Waltz, and the dramatic Dumbledore’s Farewell.
The CBSO Youth Chorus also made short but sweet appearances, with its perfectly pitched notes echoing across the 2000-seat hall.
Just when you thought it was all over, a special surprise was in store with a score from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which seemed to go down a treat with the avid Harry Potter fans in the crowd.
It’s been 17 years since Warner Bros decided to bring the first of the Harry Potter books to the silver screen and I must admit, I’m not sure how much notice I really paid to the music back then.
It would be easy to forget there are actually mesmerising melodies which float alongside the captivating tales of magic and mystery.
But the thrilling CBSO did a perfect job of recreating the enchantment, making the evening a pleasant surprise for a newbie to the classical music scene, like myself.