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Play It Again, Symphony

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Casablanca's "As Time Goes By" holds the No. 2 spot, just below "Over the Rainbow," on the American Film Institute's list of greatest film themes. Incredibly, the song was nearly removed from the movie, but a haircut saved it from the cutting-room floor. Casablanca was scored by Max Steiner, but Herman Hupfeld's 1931 composition "As Time Goes By" was attached to the original play. In order to qualify for royalties, Steiner wanted to write a new song to replace it, but Ingrid Bergman had already cut her hair for For Whom the Bell Tolls and could not re-shoot the scenes which incorporated the song. As a result, Steiner based the entire score on Hupfeld's composition, using the theme to evoke every kind of emotion and mood. Time going by has done nothing to dilute the power of Casablanca. It is consistently ranked as one of the greatest films of all time, and it's definitely one of the most romantic. The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra celebrates Valentine's Day weekend by performing the score to Casablanca as the film screens behind them. Performances take place at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (February 15 and 16) at Powell Hall (718 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1700 or www.slso.org). Tickets are $25 to $80.
Sat., Feb. 15; Sun., Feb. 16, 2014

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