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cardiff philharmonic orchestra - 8.12.17CARDIFF PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA | LIVE REVIEW



St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, Fri 8 Dec

After a persistent period of proliferating popularity, the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra blessed the punters at St. David’s Hall with another A Night At The Movies performance of pure magic from the silver screen and in particular, from the wonderful head of John Williams, celebrating the upcoming 85th birthday of the composer.

For the first half of the show, CPO-founder and conductor Michael Bell introduced each segment with aplomb, relish and a dose of hokum as the evening progressed – his list of alternative movie titles when translated overseas was a particular highlight. The punters listened and watched in polite awe as the CPO proved to be simply sensational in performing these well-known musical compositions.

We moved from Saving Private Ryan and War Horse’s exhilarating scores to making sure we all put on our emotional slippers for a piece from E.T. Jurassic Park was informatively introduced by Michael, but the CPO eventually danced around the main theme which must have had the punters as tense with anticipation as Jeff Goldblum was watching that cup of water in the film.

The second half of the show was dedicated to the music of Star Wars, taking in Episode IV through to The Force Awakens. Michael, along with an agreeing venue, believed that the first three prequels were probably best forgotten about. It is worth mentioning, and is not at all superfluous to this review, that during a segment from the first Star Wars score, three Stormtroopers and Darth Vader entered St. David’s Hall and stood glaring at the punters in Imperial menace for about 10 minutes, only to leave again and return briefly during the encore to point at us for a bit.

So, as before the interval, the CPO worked their magic, but this time it was different. We were all in it together, with mirth and reckless abandon; we could be nerds, together, just for one night. Thank you, Mr Williams.


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  • Kayleigh Holmes

    Definitely needed the Jurassic Park Theme tune! The brasswind section where phenomenal. Star Wars completely overshadowed the first half of the performance in the end, not in a good way for anyone who isn’t heavily invested in the franchise. X