Star Trek Into Darkness – Live in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Into Aural Amazingness

Of all the film scores that will likely go down in history - Pulp Fiction, The Graduate and Cabaret certainly among them - Michael Giacchino’s soundtrack for Star Trek Into Darkness probably won’t be on the list.

So it seemed an unlikely candidate for one of the Royal Albert Hall’s now famous ‘live’ concerts.

Certainly on first seeing - and thoroughly enjoying - the movie, the music was rather ironically drowned out by Chris Pine’s quips, Zachary Quinto’s uncanny Leonard Nimoy impression, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s sexy malevolence.

J.J. Abrams' efforts might have been celebrated and acclaimed but Giacchino’s work was, frankly, indistinguishable from 100 other action movie scores.

This, then, is where the magic of the Live in Concert series lies. Amid a crowd of film fans and die-hard Trekkies - some even proudly wearing costumes - we’re introduced to the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra and Chorus who, over the coming two hours or so, will show us just how wrong we were.

Conducted by Ludwig Wicki, himself appropriately clad during the second half in a classic science officer’s blue shirt, the orchestra weaved their way through Giacchino’s complex and compelling score as the film played on a giant screen above their heads.

It’s a thoroughly engaging way to watch a film, as proved by the audience who were moved to loud whoops and rounds of applause at the film’s key points (Cumberbatch’s entrance and Nimoy’s cameo got the biggest cheer), inspiring a sense of camaraderie and fun rarely felt at the cinema.

The talented orchestra’s performance was, as far as we could tell, absolutely faultless, immersing us to the point where we almost forgot they were there and had to refocus our attention in order to properly appreciate such beautiful music being played in such a gorgeous setting.

As if that weren’t treat enough, once the iconic Star Trek theme soared and the credits had rolled, Giacchino returned to the stage to lead a performance of a haunting melody from his latest score for this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

It’s a truly special experience, and with performances of West Side Story, The Godfather, Titanic and a show dedicated to the work of composer extraordinaire Danny Elfman over the next 12 months, we’ll be spending a lot of time at The Royal Albert Hall in the coming year.

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