Last weekend, the Soho Pop Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Arturo Díez Boscovich, and accompanied on stage by actor Antonio Banderas, offered three concerts in Malaga entitled ‘Notas de Cine – Movie Notes’.
Reme Díaz attended the event, and offers us this special article exclusively for SoundTrackFest.
From May 7 to 9, the Soho Caixabank Theatre in Malaga glittered brightly again after the stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to offer us the concert “Movie Notes”, conducted by Maestro Arturo Díez Boscovich, musical director of the theatre, and performed by the brand new Soho Pop Symphony Orchestra, the only orchestra belonging to a theatre in Spain, which premiered with its whole 50 musicians on stage in this long-awaited concert.
Firstly, the creator of this project, Antonio Banderas, introduced the concert confessing that his senselessness and his vocation for culture is what, along with the strength of a team committed to a 100%, has made him adapt and escape forward, when the pandemic cut short the plans for the theatre, which opened just three months before.
Then Arturo Díez, after taking over the Musical Director position, advanced that soundtracks were going to become one of the biggest protagonists of the Soho stage.
Of course, the concert was also long-awaited for an all-ages audience that almost filled “Antonio Banderas’ Theatre”, as it’s called here in Malaga, and who dived into the music from the soundtracks, as if they were to forget all the worries of the world for a while. That’s because, as Banderas himself said at the beginning of the show, “music is therapeutic”.
The concert started with the “Fanfare – A Soho Theatre Celebration”, composed specially for the theatre by Arturo Díez Boscovich, and it traveled to the 90s but guided us through a wide range not only of very famous scores, like “Gone with the Wind” by Max Steiner, but also other soundtracks less known by the regular audiences like “Silverado” by Bruce Broughton (played again at the end of the show as an encore), that was perfect to show all the talent of Soho Pop Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Díez Boscovich.
For this theme, and also for “Moon River” from the movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and for “Mon Oncle” (an unknown movie but, as Arturo Díez said, a personal bet from Banderas for this repertoire), we enjoyed the special collaboration of the harmonica player Antonio Serrano.
The musical journey led us throughout European movies like “Amarcord” or “Fellini 8 1/2”, with melodies that have transcended the movie and which were easily recognized from the audience once the first notes begun to play, and animation films like “Aladdin”, by composer Alan Menken.
Before each piece, Arturo Díez was giving some funny “movie notes” in order to explain interesting points about the following score, the composer, or even his personal experiences of the movies. With some private jokes to Banderas and a lot of complicity with the public, you could tell that everyone in Soho Theatre is a big family, “a cult” as Maestro said jokingly.
Proof of that was given when, on Saturday’s concert, an unexpected surprise came up for the conductor. All the people in the theatre, with Banderas pulling the strings on stage, sang “Happy birthday” to him, in a funny and emotional moment of the evening.
Even Antonio Banderas dared to conduct the theme from “The Bridge On The River Kwai”, quite successfully and proving that “he can do everything well!”, as Arturo Díez pointed in that theme’s introduction. The audience clapped their hands to the rhythm and whistled to accompany the orchestra and the theatre vibrated like never before… Or like it always did!
Musically speaking, without a doubt, one of the most exciting moments was “Bicycle Chase” from the movie “E.T. The Extraterrestrial”, where the music by John Williams created magic again. That wouldn’t be the only Williams’ theme to be heard at the concert, as we had the opportunity to enjoy masterpieces performed very rarely in live events such as the soundtrack of “Jaws” or “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. As expected, the program ended with the “Imperial March” of “Star Wars”, one of the favorites of the musical director and of everyone present.
As a matter of fact, the metaphor of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” teaches us how music can unite people, reconciles us with Humanity and, beyond all the noise, shows that it is a language with which we can all understand each other.
These “Movie Notes” have returned us the hope that the best is yet to come, that music and culture, as Banderas said, “is the best way to get to know the people”. In conclusion, outstanding notes for failed times.
Article and pictures by Reme Díaz