Harry Potter’s second adventure, featuring the instantly recognisable score composed by John Williams, is given new depth thanks to the performances of the English Chamber Choir and BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Justin Freer.
The Harry Potter fans were certainly out in force for last night’s performance of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert – cheering as beloved characters came on screen (Alan Rickman as Professor Snape got a particularly loud round of applause) and showing their appreciation for the BBC Concert Orchestra’s performance of the beloved score.
What is so lovely about these live concert performances that the Royal Albert Hall puts on is the way in which it highlights the importance of the music in the film, allowing the audience to pick up on more of the subtleties of the beloved score – in this case the iconic score by John Williams, brilliantly conducted with flair by Justin Freer. This is particularly noticeable in the quieter moments of the film, with additional music sounding quieter but with no less importance.
At times perhaps the music drowns out some of the dialogue somewhat, which is down to the orchestra and conductor’s clear enthusiasm for performing the score. But the balance is soon readjusted and the film and music work in harmony once more.
But the screening also allows for some dialogue that perhaps is slightly missed when watched on television at home, such as exactly what the basilisk is saying when it slithers through Hogwarts plumbing.
Throughout it all, the audience were enthusiastic, something that was definitely picked up by both conductor and orchestra, particularly reflected in the opening moments of the performance which was particularly warm.
Both the BBC Concert Orchestra and Justin Freer showed great respect for the score, performing with great warmth and accuracy but at the same time capturing perfectly just how important a film score is in deepening the audience’s interest and emotional engagement in the film overall.
Overall, this is a must-experience for any Harry Potter fan as just having the opportunity to hear this lovely, playful, dramatic score performed live is a thrill in itself and gives the audience a new perspective and understanding of the film.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert will continue performances until the 29th April. For more information visit: https://www.royalalberthall.com/tickets/events/2018/harry-potter-and-the-chamber-of-secrets-in-concert/.