The Godfather Live at Segerstrom Hall Debuts Score with Live Orchestra
Written By: Karina Cortez The Godfather Live at Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Nino Rota’s Academy Award winning score is alive in this orchestra performance of The Godfather. The concert made its debut at Segerstrom Hall on Saturday, Oct. 1.
Justin Freer, co-founder of CineConcerts, seamlessly conducted the ensemble.
CineConcerts launched in 2013 as a new medium by which to experience film. Introducing Hans Zimmer’s Gladiator Live as its premiere performance and having since added DreamWorks Animation In Concert, Breakfast at Tiffany’s In Concert, It’s a Wonderful Life In Concert, as well as the entire Harry Potter franchise.
The cinematic experience is intensified, as each theme is synchronous to the film shown in high definition. The classic “Godfather Waltz” trumpet solo, performed by Rob Frear, first entrances us as the title fills the screen.
Frear has performed as Principal Trumpet with symphonies from all over Southern California, including Orange County’s Pacific Symphony.
We hear this dark, ominous trumpet once more when studio head, Jack Woltz discovers in his bed, the severed head of his beloved stallion. Only this time, strings accompany the arrangement with clashing crescendos, giving way to this climactic scene that abruptly comes to a halt when Woltz begins to scream in agony.
A film’s score along with its themes ultimately let the audience in on what is to come during a single moment or over the course of various scenes. The ensemble executes this arrangement so precisely that the discovery reverberates the entire hall and the feeling remains just as heavy.
“The Love Theme” we first hear as the transitioning scene opens to Michael Corleone now taking refuge in Sicily. This iconic theme highlights Michael’s time abroad, which will ultimately be shaped by a surprise meeting with a young girl he takes an interest in. The song itself leaves a romantic impression and with the help of the string section and accordion, the audience finds themselves in Europe.
The CineConcert experience will feel special to a cinephile in addition to anyone who appreciates the art of the symphony and live music.
Never does the score sound disconnected from the picture, but in fact, all together forms a perfect union.
“You almost forget the orchestra is there, ” noted fellow patron, Arlette Madenlian. “It’s perfectly timed.”
“Almost” being the operative word, considering the traditional movie experience of being almost mesmerized by a moving picture in a dark theater is further heightened by the use of live instruments.
The orchestra and orchestra terrace seating appeared to be full during the matinee performance on Saturday. There was definitely a full house effect when applause erupted during the finale and the musicians, along with Freer, were given a standing ovation.
The ticketed prices for CineConcert events at the Segerstrom start at $49 for balcony seating and ranged from $60 to $109 for loge and orchestra.
The Harry Potter concert series is set to kick off with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone coming to the Segerstrom Nov. 11 through 13.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Dr
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Segerstrom Continues CineConcert Series with The Godfather Live