Written by Sason Bishope Parry
SAN FRANCISCO – The SF Symphony is always a hot ticket, but tonight was exceptional, and you could feel it in the air. The halls of the Davies Symphony Hall were packed early by fans young and old on Saturday, November 25th to catch writer Mario Puzo and director Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece, “The Godfather.” One of the best films of all time and one that most people have seen more than once. However, I doubt many have watched it on the big screen and brought to life by SF’s finest orchestra. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house, and I doubt anyone was late to catch this once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. Conductor Stephen Mulligan took the stage to one of the biggest roars and applause I had heard from any Symphony performance. There is nothing like the opening moments of the Godfather, where composer Nino Rota’s award-winning score opens with the unforgettable and mesmerizing “Love Theme,” and the SF symphony nailed it perfectly!
“The Godfather,” tells the tale of the rise of the Sicilian clan, the Corleone’s rise to become one of the most prominent crime families in New York City. It’s a tale of love, murder, passion, and power. The Oscar-winning film, released in 1972, received an incredible eleven academy award nominations, including Oscars for best picture, best actor (Marlon Brando), and best screenplay. The film also featured some of Hollywood’s biggest legends, including Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and Diane Keaton. It was also the breakout film that made Al Pacino a superstar and household name. The subsequent Godfathers two and three of the trilogy continued the award-winning streak, making it one of Hollywood’s biggest movie franchises.
There is something so captivating about Nino Rota’s score, and from start to finish, the SF Symphony was just flawless. They brought the entire film to life, including dark and high moments, making you feel every emotion of the film. Stephen Mulligan did a fine job of navigating each sound and instrument, and all the musicians were perfectly in synch and time. The intermission brought a standing ovation, as did the movies ending. It was incredible and epic in every sense and one of the best live concert movies I have ever witnessed. We stayed seated as the ending credits rolled and took in every minute of this fantastic and spellbinding performance and live-to-concert film. Unforgettable is an understatement.
For more info on the SF Symphony go to: www.sfsymphony.org