Many concerts in 2020 were postponed because of COVID, including the annual The Night of the Film Music concert I have been attending since 2017. The event was supposed to be held in March 2020 but was not just postponed once, but three times. During this period, the event also grew from one solitary concert to three, divided over three days, with two of them being sold out. It was the second time the event was held in the indoor arena Ziggo Dome, and, while I was entertained during the previous concert, I did have some concerns. I was curious if the organization could solve some of those concerns during the latest edition of The Night of the Film Music on November 19, 2022.
The concert started with music from TENET, and I was a bit confused because I heard the music but did not see musicians performing on stage. When I listened to “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” the standard opener for this concert, I saw movement on stage. After Dominic Seldis introduced himself as the returning host, we could listen to “Arrival of the Birds” from Theory of Everything and “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Since Ennio Morricone sadly passed away recently, he was honored this evening by his music being performed. The cues we could listen to were from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West, for which the Metropole Orchestra was supported by the Netherlands Concert Choir, Hermine Deurloo on harmonica, Ayna Ziordia as the whistler and mezzo-soprano Tania Kross. After “Maestro” from The Holiday, Thomas Newman appeared on the big screen to introduce a piece of his music: “The Night Window” from 1917.
As with previous editions of this event, many artists returned, including pianist Iris Hond, who once again performed music from Ludovico Einaudi. This time, however, her piano was moved to a location in the middle of the audience. This unconventional spot gave the performance a bit more of an intimate vibe since she was disconnected from the main stage, and it elevated the music from Nomadland and Intouchables to a higher emotional level. The last music before the intermission were two pieces from Star Wars: “Duel of the Fates,” in which the choir could shine again and the “Main Theme.”
The show’s second half started off with a bang with the theme from Mission Impossible: Fallout, during which Dominic Seldis made his appearance by dropping from the ceiling on a rope. He introduced the next piece afterwards, which was “The Shape of Water,” – a highlight because of the performances by Hermine Deurloo and Ayna Ziordia as well as the contribution of Rogier Kappers on glass organ, a wide range of drinking glasses that he played with his wet fingers.
For the next piece, Alan Silvestri made the introduction on screen, during which he told a short story about “Portals” from Avengers: Endgame, another one of my highlights. I thought it was pretty special to see that Silvestri had taken the time to greet us in Amsterdam. Another memorable moment was The Lion King, for which Lebo M. was invited with some of the cast of The Lion King: The Musical to perform “The Circle of Life” and “King of the Pride Rock.”
After the theme from Basic Instinct – introduced by Paul Verhoeven on screen – and “Navras” from The Matrix Revolutions, we arrived at the conclusion of the program, which celebrated 60 years of James Bond by performing the main theme and five songs performed by Dutch artists LAKSHMI, Waylon, Ellen ten Damme and Tania Kross. I was especially impressed by the performance of LAKSHMI’s version of “No Time to Die,” which came very close to the original. After a long evening with a great variety of film music, we could go home after listening to one of the classic encores: “Raiders March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
When I bought my ticket for this show many years ago, I did it to see if I would continue to attend these The Night of the Film Music events after their switch to the Ziggo Dome. I can happily report that I am planning to attend the next edition. This concert was entertaining, and it was better than the previous edition. While there were many songs, the music still focused on the concept of film music. I have seen some complaints on the organizers’ social media feeds about the James Bond songs being on the program, but I do not mind them that much. I see those as an essential part of James Bond scores, and providing musical support for artists is one of the Metropole Orchestra’s strong points, resulting in excellent performances.
Unfortunately, my biggest concern about the previous edition still needs to be resolved. It has even become more apparent during this edition: The producers rely too heavily on a small library of film music pieces that they keep on reusing during their concerts. If I compare the program of this evening with their previous editions, they have already played around two-thirds of them in the past, including seven in their last show before the pandemic. If they want to continue selling out the Ziggo Dome for multiple evenings, they have to innovate before more people notice this trend. I have attended many film music concerts and listened to a wide range of film music pieces perfectly suited to be performed in a concert hall, so I do not see a reason to keep the choice so limited. There is so much beautiful film music to be found in and outside of the Netherlands. However, I did see a glimpse of them trying something new. After all, I loved the music from Avengers: Endgame and 1917. Not only is the music from these movies relatively recent, but I also loved that they managed to get the composers to record something for us that they could show on the screen. The organization has already asked the audience for feedback on what kind of music they want to hear in the next edition, so hopefully, this will result in a more varied program next year. I will check it out during the next The Night of the Film Music in November 2023.
Where: Ziggo Dome – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
When: November 19, 2022
Orchestra: Metropole Orchestra conducted by Jules Buckley
Choir: Netherlands Concert Choir
Performers: Lebo M, Hermine Deurloo, Ellen ten Damme, Waylon, LAKSHMI, Tania Kross, Iris Hond, Rogier Kappers and Ayna Ziordia
Host: Dominic Seldis
- Richard Strauss – “Also Sprach Zarathustra”
- The Cinematic Orchestra – “Arrival of the Birds” from Theory of Everything
- John Williams – “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Ennio Morricone – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Main title
- The Ecstasy of Gold
- Ennio Morricone – Once Upon a Time in the West
- Man with a Harmonica
- Once Upon a Time in the West
- Hans Zimmer – “Maestro” from The Holiday
- Thomas Newman – “The Night Window” from 1917
- Ludovico Einaudi – “Oltremare” from Nomadland
- Ludovico Einaudi – “Fly” from Intouchables
- John Williams – “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars:The Phantom Menace
- John Williams – “Main Title” from Star Wars: A New Hope
- Lalo Schifrin and Lorne Balfe – “Fallout” from Mission: Impossible – Fallout
- Alexandre Desplat – “The Shape of Water” from The Shape of Water
- Alan Silvestri – “Portals” from Avengers: Endgame
- Hans Zimmer, Elton John and Lebo M – The Lion King
- Circle of Life
- King of the Pride Rock
- Don Davis and Juno Reactor – “Navras” from The Matrix Revolutions
- Jerry Goldsmith – Theme from Basic Instinct
- 60 Years of James Bond
- James Bond Theme
- “No Time To Die” from No Time To Die
- “Skyfall” from Skyfall
- “A View to a Kill” from A View to a Kill
- “Goldfinger” from Goldfinger
- “Live and Let Die” from Live and Let Die
- John Williams – “The Raiders March” from Raiders of the Lost Ark (encore)