Movie Classics Get a Little Greener

Maestro Victor Vener and the California Philharmonic Orchestra will take a trip to the cinema at their open-air concert, "Festival on the Green," when they present "Movie Classics" on the lawn of the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden on July 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The orchestra will explore music from some of the 20th century's most popular film scores with the help of the Donald Brinegar Singers.

Presented by Sunset magazine, the "Festival on the Green" outdoor concert series draws thousands of music lovers each year to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia for memorable concerts performed by Cal Phil, now in their ninth season.

"Movie Classics" opens with the "March" from "1941," composed by John Williams, and moves into a medley of themes from James Bond films ("Dr. No," "For Your Eyes Only," "Live and Let Die" and "Goldfinger").

The concert continues with Sergei Prokofiev's, "Lieutenant Kijé Suite," written for the 1934 satiric comedy set in the court of Czar Paul I.

The first half ends with the "Overture" from "Lawrence of Arabia" by Maurice Jarre. The French composer won an Academy Award for his work on "Lawrence of Arabia." He won Oscars for two other films directed by David Lean: "Doctor Zhivago" and "A Passage to India."

The second half of the evening begins with the "Parade of Charioteers" by Miklós Rózsa for "Ben Hur." The "Parade" shows Rózsa's ability to outline the characteristics of people, places and cultures through musical association.

The concert launches from ancient Rome into "Space: The Final Frontier" with "Star Trek Through the Years," an arrangement of music written by Alexander Courage, Jerry Goldsmith and others for the original "Star Trek" television series, as well as the "Star Trek" motion pictures.

Williams' "Hymn to the Fallen" from "Saving Private Ryan" features the Donald Brinegar Singers.

"It occurred to me that the music could be vocal, at least to the extent that it featured a choral texture but without relying on a written text that might present a distraction to the audience," Williams wrote of the piece.

"Tara," Max Steiner's stirring composition from "Gone With the Wind," will transport audience members to Scarlett O'Hara's beloved plantation home.

The concert closes with Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana," featuring the Donald Brinegar Singers. Orff wrote "Carmina Burana" - his first stage work - in 1935. It premiered in 1937 at the Frankfurt Opera. Orff drew inspiration from 24 poems taken from a collection of 200 poems that had been committed to writing in the 13th century by monks in the monastery of Benediktbeuern near Munich. The texts are avowals of earthly pleasure and proclaim the beauty of life and the glory of springtime. While Orff's music is simple in harmony and range, it is filled with powerful driving rhythms to which the listener instinctively responds. Movie fans will recognize "Carmina Buralla" from its use in "Excalibur."

Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for pre-concert entertainment and dining. Guests can enjoy an assortment of enticing offerings from several of the area's most popular restaurants, or attendees can bring their own picnics. Beer, wine, soft drinks and coffee are available from the Philharmonic Fountain.

"Festival on the Green" concerts are held on six Saturdays through Sept. 10. Additionally, five encore performances of selected concerts will take place at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.

Single ticket prices for all outdoor concerts are $40 to $75. A limited number of tables for six or 10 people are available.

The Arboretum is at 3 10 N. Baldwin Ave. in Arcadia.

For more information on the concerts, call Cal Phil at 626-300-8200 or visit www.calphil.org.

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