‘Amadeus Live’ and What It’s Like to Watch a Movie With Live Music

Slashfilm | 10/9/2017 | Chris Evangelista
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It always seemed like a bad idea to me. Live music with a movie? Wouldn’t that be distracting? As screenings with live music became more and more popular, I continually avoided them out of a stubborn belief that they would just be a terrible idea. There was no real logic in this line of thought; it merely existed somewhere in the mess that is my mind.

And then I saw an advertisement for Amadeus Live with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Here was a chance to see one of my all-time favorite films, one of the best films ever made, Miloš Forman’s Amadeus, a film that’s filled with wall-to-wall music, with a live orchestra. It was finally time to give the movies with live music trend a try.

Music - Films - Course - Nothing - Dawn

Live music with films is, of course, nothing new. From the dawn of cinema, when films were silent, live music almost always accompanied screenings. It began with a guitarist, moved on to an orchestra, eventually settled on organists. According to more than one source, by the time silent movies had reached their heights, they were the single largest source of employment for musicians in America.

Then the dawn of sound changed all that. You no longer needed live music when you could overlay the music into the film itself. You no longer needed someone tinkling away at a piano, and that’s the way it stayed for decades. In recent years, however, the combination of a classic (or sometimes not-so-classic) film and live music has grown more and more popular.

Companies - Films - Accompaniment - Audiences - Film

There are several companies now devoted to bringing films with live musical accompaniment to audiences, including Film Concerts Live, Soundtracks Live, Movies in Concert, and more. For these presentations, the film’s score is performed with a full orchestra, complete with conductor. The conductor and orchestra work with screens that...
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