5 Great British orchestral moments

BY Mandi Goodier

1st Jan 2015 Music

5 Great British orchestral moments

In recent history orchestras have really branched out in order to appeal to a new audience. The combination of old and new can be wonderful, profound and bound to inspire. These are our 5 favourite moments in recent orchestral history.

Star Wars 

The London Symphony Orchestra famously recorded the Star Wars score with John Williams. Williams himself has composed some of the most memorable movie scores of our time, including Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, the Harry Potter Trilogy and many more.

The LSO was no stranger to the movies when it came to recording the Star Wars theme in 1977; the historic orchestra could have been found playing alongside silent movies in the 1920s and have recorded over 200 film scores since 1935.

The phenomena of dramatic and evocative music accompanying today's blockbusters have seen the scores themselves stepping out of the cinema and into great music halls across the country, where they engross a diverse audience. You only need to watch this clip of the BBC Concert Orchestra performing 'Star Wars Main Theme' to see why movie scores captivate so many. Click here for LSO versions of classic rock standards. 

BBC Concert Orchestra perform Star Wars


Natural Balance

With high definition technology, we have seen an unprecedented rise in some of the most compelling television cinematography in the form of the nature programme.

It seems that the perfect nature show is reliant on the delicate balance of four major components: David Attenborough's soothing narrative; a patient film crew—sometimes taking months to capture that perfect shot which amounts to a mere minute of viewing time; a subtle odyssey of a soundtrack; and, of course, nature itself.

All of this available through your television. The Philharmonia Orchestra couldn't resist taking it on tour and March 2014 saw the BBC's Frozen Planet in Concert, screened alongside the live orchestra making for a truly immersive experience. 

The Philharmonia Orchestra Frozen Planet in Concert


Flash Mob

All too often is classical music perceived as a posh endeavour not accessible to the everyday person. Therefore, when appealing to the everyday person it may be best to take them by surprise in an everyday environment. 

With this in mind, the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra respectively exchanged the music halls for public spaces. You don't need a ticket to see these events unfold, you simply need to be in the right place at the right time.

BBC Philharmonic at the Trafford Centre


Royal Scottish National Orchestra at Glasgow Airport


I'm with the band

Orchestral music has a long history of appearing in popular and mainstream songs, from The Beatles to Robbie Williams. 

Adding orchestral depth to music can really rouse an audience's emotions to devastating proportions. That is exactly what happened when The Hallé Orchestra teamed up with Elbow to perform one of their most anthemic songs.  

Click here for more Hallé Orchestra.

The Hallé Orchestra and Elbow perform One Day Like This

Read more articles by Mandi Goodier here

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