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July 21, 2008

Concert review: Play!

My 14-year-old sister Emily came to the city Friday night to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's rendition of Play! A Video Game Symphony.

In the show, the orchestra performs music from popular video games. Here is her review ... 

When you think of video game music, you’re reminded of simple melodies and catchy tunes, right? Well, The BSO’s Friday night performance of Play!: A Video Game Symphony totally redefined that.

The songs were made elegant and refined, and extra solos were added at just the right moments. The Handel Choir of Baltimore also smoothly fit into several of the pieces and blended well with the orchestra.       

The orchestra started with a new work by Nobuo Oematsu made specifically for Play! and ended with the U.S. premiere of a Guild Wars medley. In between, there were 13 different medleys ranging from classics like Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda to newer games such as HALO and World of Warcraft.

Out of the fifteen pieces played, my favorite was the Castlevania medley, and I have never even played Castlevania or listened to its music.

There was a wicked piano solo in the middle which left the audience in awe before it transitioned into a full-blown there-must-be-evil-lurking-about-here theme. My second favorite was (of course) Super Mario Bros., mainly for its graceful underwater theme, followed by the less familiar Metal Gear Solid. MGS’s theme was balanced between the brass and string sections, with woodwinds adding great effects.

Unfortunately, the screen overhead mainly showed tidbits of gameplay from featured games which distracted the audience from the main show -- the BSO itself. Luckily, this was the only real problem with the show and didn’t have a huge effect on the production itself. Even if you don’t play video games, you could still enjoy everything that the show offered. When we left the Meyerhoff, we were excited, awed, and extremely pleased. It was truly a night to remember.

(Stock photo) 


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 11:17 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Concert reviews
        

Comments

kudos Emily!

:)

happened to "youtube" this, and if you search " baltimore symphany" (no quotes) clisk on selections, about 1/2 way down the 1st page is just about all the songs played friday night!! excellent concert, and very good review!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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