Philadelphia Orchestra scores with classic Philly sport moments
The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Philadelphia Eagles will get closer than ever on Wednesday evening, when the Fabulous Philadelphians will score a reel of Philly sports highlights at the Mann Center.
During "Symphonic Sports-tacular," those strange bedfellows will be joined by the Phillies, the Flyers, the Union and the 76ers, all of which provided video highlights from their archives. The Eagles' play-by-play announcer, Merrill Reese, will emcee.
"There is a sequence of movement and great plays of Julius Erving. We can remember him swooping across the lane and laying the ball against the Lakers," Reese said. "You have some black-and-white footage of (Chuck) Bednarik leveling Frank Gifford in that Eagles-Giants game that was a big part of that 1960 championship season."
All the while, the Philadelphia Orchestra will perform, live on stage, some of the greatest hits of classical music, including excerpts from Smetana's "Dance of the Comedians" and Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals."
Reese will be joined onstage by humorist Peter Schickele, better known as P.D.Q. Bach, and the two will provide color commentary of the Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's Fifth.
The music was programmed by Steven Reineke, who will also conduct. The music director of the New York Pops said some of the music will be stadium-friendly, including John Williams' "Imperial March" from "Star Wars" and the theme of Monday Night Football.
"There's also a segment—a slo-mo reel—about the grace and beauty of sports," Reineke said. "That's where we combine Saint-Saens' 'The Swan,' the famous cello solo from 'Carnival of the Animals,' with 'Swan Lake.' It's all about the grace and beauty of sports."
This is the first time Reineke, and the Orchestra, has combined classical music with sports, but it may not be the last: Reineke hopes to make an end run with the concept into other cities to play off their own teams.