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Star Trek Live in Concert for the great finale of the 8th FMF

Two screenings of cinema megahits with live music, each rewarded with a standing ovation. Yesterday’s screenings of Bogowie [Gods] with music by Bartosz Chajdecki and Star Trek, with Michael Giacchino’s Grammy-nominated soundtrack ended the 8th edition of the Film Music Festival in Krakow.

 

The last part of the festival is now behind us. The start of the day belonged to famous label Varèse Sarabande, which has specialised in film scores for over thirty years. The subject of the panel was “The Afterlife of Film Music,” or ways of transforming music written for specific scenes into a concert, or a film score that is readable and unified in all formal aspects. As part of the panel, guests Jeff Beal (film composer, conductor and jazz trumpeter) and Sara Andon (world-renowned flautist and Varèse Sarabande concert soloist) took part in a composer’s recital.

 

In the afternoon, for the first time in the history of FMF, we offered our participants a screening of a Polish film with live music. The screening of Bogowie, directed by Łukasz Palkowski, the award-winning (including seven Eagles and three Golden Lions) story of Zbigniew Religa, gathered a full house in the auditorium hall of the ICE Kraków Congress Centre. The music was performed on stage by the award-winning B.A.Ch. Film Ensemble led by the composer of the film score Bartosz Chajdecki on piano. Bogowie was the most popular Polish film in 2014, with over two million tickets sold in the country.

 

The grand finale of the Festival was Star Trek Live in Concert. The monumental space-opera, which is the prequel to television series from the 1960s, won an Oscar for make-up and received a Grammy nomination for the score by American composer Michael Giacchino, and is one of the most important film titles in the science-fiction genre.

 

J.J. Abrams’ film is the eleventh film in the series, and an alternative version of the adventures of the young crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, with new plot twists for the main characters: Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto). The production of Star Trek began in 2005, with filming going on for several months, but the world premiere did not take place until 2009. By that time, the Abrams/Giacchino duet had joint successes behind them, such as Mission: Impossible III, or the TV series Lost. This time, however, Giacchino was given a particular challenge: he had to face the legend of his predecessors, including the composition of film music giants Jerry Goldsmith and James Horner. He decided on the majestic cantata, characteristic of his style, with a monumental mixed choir with over 200 singers and a large symphonic orchestra. Giacchino composed additional musical themes, which are not found in the original film score, especially for the purposes of the finale concert at the TAURON Arena Kraków.

 

Yesterday’s screening of Abrams’ film was accompanied by AUKSO Chamber Orchestra from Tychy (supported by musicians of the National Polish Radio Symphonic Orchestra) and the Choir Pro Musica Mundi under the artistic guidance of Wiesław Delimat. At the conductor’s stand was Maestro Ludwig Wicki, Swiss conductor and trombonist, one of the world authorities on the performance of film music, and long-time collaborator of Howard Shore and Randy Newman.

 

For dessert, the audience received a unique surprise from the composer: the world premiere of the soundtrack for Tomorrowland, directed by Brad Bird—the newest sci-fi film from Disney (starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson), which has been showing in Polish cinemas since just last week. Giacchino’s dynamic suite was preceded by a short video from the set—a fragment of the film crew’s visit to NASA. During the spectacular finale of the 8th edition of the Film Music Festival, the several thousand people in the audience of the Krakow arena were the first in the world to hear the concert version of the Tomorrowland soundtrack.

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