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Star Wars film concert series set with New York Philharmonic / New York Times

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"Star Wars" is omnivorous in its inspiration. The saga, which continues in December with "Episode VIII: The Last Jedi," nods to classical mythology, Arthurian legend and even Wagner's "Ring" cycle. John Williams's music for the series - which the New York Philharmonic will perform live, from Sept. 15 through Oct. 7, alongside screenings of the original trilogy and "Episode VII: The Force Awakens" - contain some of the most memorable themes in film history. And like the movies themselves, the score is rooted in the classics.

That inspiration crosses centuries: Stravinsky, Mozart and, in one instance, a quotation from the Gregorian "Dies irae" chant used repeatedly by composers. Mr. Williams also associates  brief themes with certain characters and ideas, a strategy Wagner developed with the leitmotifs of the "Ring." "There are dozens of leitmotifs that are used in these films," David Newman, who will conduct the Philharmonic concerts, said in a recent interview. "You can definitely find references in there."
PHOTO: Creditvia Everett Collection & Scott Myers/Lucasfilm

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