THE film mogul Samuel Goldwyn is supposed to have said that a blockbuster should “start with an earthquake and work up to a climax”.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra took something like that approach by launching straight into the Main Title from Star Wars to begin its celebration of John Williams’ career in film music. It has to be the most famous opening theme of any movie and in this performance, it was still as fresh and exciting as it was when its opening chord blasted out in cinemas 45 years ago.

The evening featured rousing pieces from the expected blockbusters, including Superman, Jurassic Park, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark and no fewer than four pieces from the Harry Potter cycle. But there was also room for material which – by Williams standards, at least – is a little less well-known, including wonderful selections from Memoirs of a Geisha, The Adventures of Tintin and Hook.

Williams is a master at eliciting emotion and the most moving points of the evening included the Hymn of the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan and leader Amyn Merchant’s extraordinary handling of the violin solos from Schindler’s List.

It is a treat to hear Williams' music performed live and to see how his melodies engage every part of the orchestra. This was a fitting tribute to the maestro’s extraordinary power and range, a few weeks after he turned 90 with plenty of composing work still planned.

As conductor Pete Harrison told the audience, the orchestra could put on a John Williams concert every night of the week without risk of repetition of boredom. And since the concert hall was packed for Saturday’s concert, that idea might have something going for it.