BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra: Christmas at the Movies
City Halls, Glasgow, Sun 21 Dec
CHRISTMAS CONCERT SPECIAL
There are Christmas concerts for everyone this festive season, from Milkshake! Live, My First Carol Concert (see Kids) to Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in its annual candlelit airing by Ludus Baroque and Dunedin Consort’s increasingly acclaimed interpretation of Handel’s Messiah. If you want to join in, there are plenty of opportunities where the normally scary possibility of audience participation takes on a cosy glow of seasonal togetherness as strangers are invited to stand next to each other, united through their singing of familiar carols and Christmas songs.
One Christmas concert that stands out from the crowd as being just a little bit different is the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas at the Movies. TV film schedules may not list the screen classics of days gone by, but you can hear their iconic scores in the orchestra’s celebration of Christmas and the Silver Screen. A Christmas Carol, The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and White Christmas all feature in the performance conducted by conductor and film buff, John Wilson. Unbelievably, MGM didn’t think that their music library was worth keeping hold of and dumped the scores from classics such as Gone With the Wind and Tom & Jerry in landfill sites, not realising that the music had its own lifespan beyond that of the films. Wilson has been spending recent years recreating these scores note for note and music from cinema’s golden age makes its mark in his programming. Singing in the Rain, The Sea Hawk and Brigadoon will have audiences singing along in what is not actually nostalgic indulgence but a fresh take on some of the best orchestral music of its kind, beautifully presented by a symphony orchestra that is very much enjoying the change and the challenge of repertoire they wouldn’t normally have the chance to perform.