Review: John Williams center stage at the Boston Pops

Posted on: May 30, 2018

“It’s possible that no symphonic composer … has had the reach that John Williams has had,” writes Marc Hirsh in Sunday’s (5/27) Boston Globe. “At 86, he’s a rock star, and Wednesday at Symphony Hall, the first of his two Film Nights with the Boston Pops, he inspired hollers and wolf whistles upon simply taking the stage…. The BSO’s Thomas Wilkins … conducted the concert’s first half…. There was a point midway through ‘Adventure on Earth’ from ‘E.T.’ when the violinists’ and violists’ bows all gently sawed upward during a dreamlike passage, and it was as if the entire orchestra was slowly lifting. The Williams-conducted second half featured the world premiere of ‘The Adventures of Han’ from the new ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story,’ and with its emphasis on close scrapes and near-misses, it was urgent and scampering, less about triumph than survival…. Williams also easily evoked wonder and humanistic generosity in music from ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Lincoln.’ … Even so, he concluded with the rhythmic and percussive ‘To Lenny! To Lenny!’ (the night’s only nod to the Pops’ season-long tribute to Leonard Bernstein) and ‘The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme),’ with its strings slashing out a staccato bolero underneath the tromping brass.”

Posted May 30, 2018

Pictured: John Williams conducts the Boston Pops on May 24 at Symphony Hall. Photo by Hilary Scott