On June 30, Naxos’ subsidiary label C-Major will release on Blu-ray and DVD ‘A John Williams Celebration’, a 90-minute video featuring the 2014/15 Opening Gala Concert by the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by Gustavo Dudamel, with John Williams as guest conductor and Itzhak Perlman on violin.
Selections include the first official release of Soundings, composed for the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, Olympic Fanfare and Theme, The Adventures of Tintin, Schindler’s List, Star Wars, Catch Me If You Can, Amistad and Fiddler on the Roof. More details at NaxosUSA.com (pre-order link coming soon).
0:06 – Interesting Empire Strikes Back-like “gloomy” celesta figure.
0:16 – Very A New Hope-like, nostalgic incarnation of the Force theme.
0:23 – The double basses seem to add depth and a little weight to the music – perhaps to accentuate the appearance of the gigantic Star Destroyer?
0:32 – Tender F# on the piano.
0:36 – Beautiful funereal chords orchestrated for low brass, quite perfectly fitting the dramatic imagery and lighting. The major chord at 0:48 came quite unexpected and creates a sense of hope.
0:52 – The return to minor mode, however, resumes the dramatic, funereal mood.
1:01 – The Force theme is continued, again creating a sense of hope and nostalgia.
1:05 – A series of highly dramatic trumpet chords, accentuated by low brass, timpani and percussion and accompanied by high sustained strings and ad lib. harp glissandi set a tense, tragic atmosphere against the battle imagery.
1:18 – Finally releasing all previously built tension, the ‘Yoda and the Force’ fanfare majestically concludes the trailer cue, highlighting the nostalgia implied in Ford’s line, pausing before it and reaching its climax afterwards to emphasize it so as to increase its dramatic impact.
It’s the alternation between the hopeful and the dramatic that makes Williams’s trailer cue so incredibly moving.
The Pennsylvania Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Buterman presents “From Star Wars to Harry Potter: Off to the Movies with John Williams” on May 15-17, 2015 at three different venues. The program includes music from Superman, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Jaws, E.T., Schindler’s List, Indiana Jones, and more.
On March 24, John Williams visited the London Symphony Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, coinciding with a rehearsal for the LSO’s current American Tour. Williams was reportedly “devastated” for not being able to record the new Star Wars score with the London Symphony, a decision that had nothing to do with “health issues”, but with the fact that the score will be recorded “over 3 months” in Los Angeles.
See the related tweets below including photos of Williams’ appearance at the LSO rehearsal:
John Williams is currently hard at work composing the score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which will be recorded in Los Angeles. For the recording of the score, Williams will work with members of the superb freelance orchestra with which he’s recorded numerous film scores over the years. The music will be recorded over several months while working in tandem with the film’s editorial and special effects teams on the West Coast.
While previous films in the saga were scored at Abbey Road with the celebrated London Symphony Orchestra, this will be the first time a Star Wars score has been recorded in the United States.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with the very best musicians in both the U.K. and the U.S.,” says Williams. “The London Symphony Orchestra has consistently performed with great artistry on all six of the prior films in the Star Wars saga, and I will be forever grateful for their commitment and dedication. Equally, it has been my honor to have worked with my brilliant colleagues in Los Angeles, and always appreciate the invaluable contribution they’ve made to my scores and to those of other composers.”
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled for release on December 18, 2015.
As mentioned in a 2014 interview, John Williams is writing a new concert work for this year’s 75th Anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center, the annual summer music academy which operates as a part of the Tanglewood Music Festival. The TMC commissioned some 30 works for performance during the 2015 season, including 15 world premieres. These will be spread throughout the TMC programs, with a special concentration during the Festival of Contemporary Music.
The yet untitled new Williams work will be premiered on July 5, with a second performance at the annual “Tanglewood on Parade” concert on August 4 (view full program brochure – pdf)
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) hosted its 30th annual Film & Television Music Awards on Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. The invitation-only dinner and awards ceremony paid special tribute to Elliot Goldenthal and Deborah Lurie, and honored the composers of the top film, television and video game music of 2014.
John Williams was a surprise guest, honoring ASCAP executive Nancy Knutsen, a 27-year veteran of their Film & Television Music Department and former senior vp. Williams, who worked with Knutsen in Boston in the late 1970s while he was working on the Star Wars trilogy, presented the award, calling her “my favorite little Ewok and a very great lady.”
BURBANK, Calif. (March 18, 2015) – Dreamworks Pictures’/Fox 2000 Pictures’ upcoming dramatic thriller directed by three-time Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List”) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”), has been titled “Bridge of Spies.”
In addition, 12-time Oscar® nominee Thomas Newman (“The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Saving Mr. Banks”) has been signed to score the film, as John Williams’ schedule was interrupted and he was unavailable to score the film due to a minor health issue, now corrected.
Earlier today we reported that concert producer Tommy Pearson had announced that “John Williams would return to London to record the new Star Wars score this summer”. Pearson made that comment last Friday during a film music concert at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. However, we can now confirm that Pearson was going on the fact that the film is being produced entirely in the UK and doesn’t have any insider information.