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Brisbane review – QSO’s Reel Classics: a feast for the senses

By Nahima Abraham

Reel Classics

Presented by the QSO

Conducted by Nicholas Buc The QPAC Concert Hall

South Bank


Run time: 1 hour 30 plus encore.

Nicholas Buc

I don’t think there’s a more timeless pairing than music and film.

In the beginning of cinema when silence was golden, music filled in for the voices. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra understood the assignment when the curators of Reel Classics handed them their program. From James Bond, to Laurence of Arabia, to Blue Hills and Indiana Jones, nothing was held back. The strings were thrumming with barely contained energy and the brass, woodwind and percussion sections were all high in spirits. With unusual orchestral additions, such as a piano accordion and guitar this concert was a feast for the senses, where nostalgia was king.

The night began with Norman’s Theme from James Bond, with which James Barry took and ran into stardom. Chariots of Fire’s theme came next followed by the main title from Out of Africa, also composed by Barry. Highlights from the stunning performance were Mancini’s Moon River, William’s Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Parade of the Charioteers from Ben-Hur’s suite.

Overall, the orchestra was on fine form last night. Not only did they travel the length and breadth of early to late-ish 20th Century cinema, they moved and brought forth all kinds of tingly, sad, happy, and nostalgic feelings. The power that the orchestra had over the audience was palpable, and, with an almost full house, the conductor, Nicholas Buc, was a veritable bundle of energy.

And after the show, who can say no to a cheeky encore? The audience left the QPAC Concert Hall in high spirits, as usual, after a great show. The QSO delivered, yet again, another stellar show worthy of the big names in cinema.


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