Music fans attending last weekend's performances by the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra were in for a treat. Titled "A Space Odyssey," the Saturday and Sunday concerts at the Janesville Performing Arts Center featured Johann Strauss' "Blue Danube" and Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zarathustra" (featured in Stanley Kubrick's 2001), works by John Williams (including compositions from ET and Star Wars), and Gustav Holst's "The Planets."
Orchestra blogger Brian Brown shot a couple of videos from the show, focusing on what conductor Dr. Robert Tamaro calls Williams' best-known work. Leading the way is "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)," which conjures images of tyranny and oppression. This live concert clip from Saturday, Feb. 10, follows below.
In addition to representing the Galactic Empire and its helmeted lord, "The Imperial March," of course, also serves as the theme for Madison's Chad Vader, albeit in an airy acoustic form.
Brown also shot a video clip of the orchestra performing the "Main Theme" to Star Wars. He assesses the Janesville concert performance:
Tomaro's interpretations are very good. It's weird, but that slight hesitation incorporated into the pieces at key moments actually builds a touch of anticipation and makes that key point in the music that much more dramatic. So far, I've loved his use of this technique.