by Peter Feher
“And now for the two notes that changed the course of music history.” Conductor Carl Topilow was half-joking in his introduction to the “Shark Theme” from Jaws, just one of many recognizable movie moments from the Cleveland Pops Orchestra’s “Salute to John Williams” on November 12.
But he was also hinting at the composer’s influential, all-too-easy-to-imitate style, and piece after piece proved this true, immersing the audience at Severance Music Center in Williams’ sometimes repetitive but always satisfying musical world.
The signature sounds of these famous film scores are not so much John Williams’ invention as allusions to other classical pieces. The foreboding half-step from Jaws, growing more and more furious in the cellos and basses, shares something with Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony and Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin. [Read more…]