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Conductor Dirk Brossé (centre) led the MPO and MPYO for a memorable concert featuring the thrilling music from the original and prequel trilogies of Star Wars (Picture courtesy of DFP-MPO)
Conductor Dirk Brossé (centre) led the MPO and MPYO for a memorable concert featuring the thrilling music from the original and prequel trilogies of Star Wars (Picture courtesy of DFP-MPO)

ALTHOUGH Star Wars fans have been divisive about the latest installment in the franchise with The Rise Of Skywalker, everyone can safely agree that the winning and unifying factor is the stirring music from the iconic space opera.

Casual moviegoers may not know who John Williams is but they've certainly heard his award-winning work.

Instantly recognisable movie themes pepper his over six-decade career, from Superman, Indiana Jones, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Jaws to Jurassic Park, Home Alone and Harry Potter.

But his musical material that accompany the Star Wars movies represent one of the 87-year-old American composer, conductor and pianist's greatest achievements.

He's won multiple awards, including an Oscar, Bafta, Golden Globe and Grammy, for the Star Wars theme song alone.


And it was easy to see why, as music fans who packed Dewan Filharmonik Petronas recently discovered, during a three-night run of concerts, simply dubbed The Music Of Star Wars.

Featuring the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) and the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO), helmed by seasoned Belgian conductor and composer Dirk Brossé, the 120-minute concert showcased music from the original trilogy (1977-1983) and the prequel trilogy (1999-2005).

Brossé was chosen by Williams himself as the principal conductor for the Star Wars In Concert World Tour back in 2009.

So in his capable hands, the MPO and MPYO brought the various rousing musical pieces to life, which certainly rekindled childhood memories of the epic space adventures involving Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo from the beloved movies.

Lightsaber duels, starship dog fights and droids on the run, as well as the discovery of the Force and romance to boot came to mind as the orchestral scores satisfyingly laid out a tapestry of moods and aural splendour.


All the fan favourites were played, beginning with the Star Wars Suite For Orchestra, which consisted of the Main Title, Princess Leia's Theme, The Imperial March, Yoda's Theme and the Throne Room.

Later, audience members were treated to the Star Wars Saga, that comprised of The Astroid Field, Parade Of The Ewoks, Here They Come, Luke And Leia and The Forest Battle.

These were the music from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.

In between, the MPO and MPYO performed music from the prequels (The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith).

These were The Flag Parade, Anakin's Theme, The Adventures Of Jar Jar Duel Of The Fates, Across The Stars and Battle Of The Heroes.


Williams' compositions have stood the test of time and are still as rousing and evocative as they were back in 1977, when cinemagoers were first blown away by the opening title and crawl followed by the visual spectacle of a looming Star Destroyer in A New Hope.

The genius of Star Wars creator George Lucas' astounding vision was undoubtedly elevated by the sheer power and beauty of Williams' music.

In between the performances Brossé explained that Lucas had initially wanted A New Hope to just feature the music of legendary but deceased classical music composers of old.

It was his fellow filmmaker friend Steven Spielberg who persuaded him to give Williams a try since he had already worked with the then upcoming artiste.

The composer certainly did wonders for Spielberg's Jaws with just two notes, so thankfully Lucas took a chance with Williams and the rest is, as they say, history.


Audience members during the concert would have also noticed how complex and, at times, unconventional Williams' compositions were as well.

Some pieces showcased certain instruments that don't usually get the limelight, such as the tuba.

The works were also challenging to play and there were segments where different areas of the orchestra had to contend with fast, odd and tight manoeuvres on the instruments.

This certainly provided quite a robust workout for the musicians who were up for the challenge and delivered astoundingly.

The orchestra, especially its younger members, deserved praise for the various performances.

It was no surprise then when the memorable concert ended with thunderous applause from the appreciative audience.

The Force was surely strong with this one.

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