Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA
Friday, September 1 & Saturday, September 2, 2006
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS
“John Williams and the Music of the Movies”
THE GOLDEN AGE OF HOLLYWOOD
NEWMAN: 20th Century Fox Fanfare
NEWMAN:”Conquest” from Captain of Castile
WAXMAN: Suite from A Place in the Sun (Dan Higgins, alto saxophone)
RÓZSA: Madame Bovary Waltz
STEINER: Theme from Now Voyager – arr. Williams (Bing Wang, violin)
HERRMANN: The Inquirer from Citizen Kane
HERRMANN: Psycho Montage
HERRMANN: Scene d’Amour from Vertigo
HERRMANN: Theme from North by Northwest
WILLIAMS: Flight to Neverland from Hook
WILLIAMS: Theme from Jurassic Park
WILLIAMS: “Sayuri’s Theme” from Memoirs of a Geisha
BOCK: Excerpts from Fiddler on the Roof – arr. Williams (Bing Wang, violin)
WILLIAMS: Music from Superman: Love Theme ~ Superman March
WILLIAMS: A Tribute to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg:
Jaws ~ Star Wars ~ Raiders of the Lost Ark ~ E.T. The Extraterrestrial
WILLIAMS: The Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back
WILLIAMS: Yoda’s Theme from The Empire Strikes Back
WILLIAMS: Harry’s Wondrous World from Harry Potter
WILLIAMS: The Mission (Theme from NBC News)
- Flight to Neverland, from Hook (thanks to ‘Mistamusic’)
- A Tribute to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
- Flight to Neverland, from Hook
- Love Theme from Superman
- Superman March
- The Imperial March (clip 1)
- The Imperial March (clip 2)
Concert review by Charles Wilson *NEW*
John Williams conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Hollywood Bowl was in a word, magical. When I went down to LA, I was imagining what the worst case scenario would be for the concert. It would be pretty terrible if for some reason I couldn’t attend the concert or if something happened that would prevent the concert itself from taking place. And of course what would the concert be without John Williams being able to attend himself? But all of those scenarios were improbable I assured myself. Still I wanted to prepare myself for the worst.
I also thought of what the best case scenario would be. I think that most fans would agree that meeting John Williams would fit into that category. That would be wonderful, of course, but unrealistic. Entertaining reality left me with the scenario of simply going to the concert, and having a good time, as the most sensible outcome. Still, if I could meet John Williams, or do my best trying, I would be happy with myself.
I went to the rehearsal Friday morning. There was a large white sheet hanging covering much of the stage to prevent light from falling on the orchestra as they practiced. I walked to the far side where there were fewer people and I remember feeling light hearted and a swelling of excited energy as I saw John Williams in the flesh for the first time. I was able to sit in the Handicapped section, which of course was empty, and a mere 20 feet from the stage. The rehearsal was astounding. During the intermission, I inquired as to whether John Williams would have any signings. I was told to wait near the exit door behind the stage. After the rehearsal, I went around the back and sure enough I found a black BMW with a driver waiting outside the car, parked near the door. There were a few other people waiting when I got to the door area. My hopes began to rise that I might meet him. After about 20 minutes, he came out the door and greeted the people in the front of the line. He was extremely friendly and signed their things. And then he faced me and reached out his hand upon which I shook it and he reached for my note cards that I had just in case. I asked if I could have a musical motif and he looked and me and said ‘oh yes.’ He drew five lines, a G clef, 4-4 timing in F major and then wrote the 5 note theme to close encounters, and then signed his name. I told him that I was visiting from Washington and that my favorite themes were from the Sugarland Express (which was a slip), and the theme from the Paper Chase. He looked up in surprise and said those are old. I would really like to see a John Williams concert with some of his older works, as there are really a lot of gems that are glossed over and not recognized. He really was an old gentleman, and very soft spoken.
The concert music went as listed in other reviews. It was a surprise however, when Williams played 4 encores: Imperial March, Yoda’s theme, Harry’s Wondrous World, and the Mission theme for MSNBC (it seemed like a lot of encores, but I wasn’t complaining, just pleasantly surprised).
Throughout the program, Williams gave introductions to the pieces and told some short stories. The stories can be found in the program. He mentioned that he met or worked with most of the prominent composers of the so called Golden Age of Hollywood and that he had played the piano under Bernard Hermann’s conducting of scores for the Twilight Zone.
Bing Wang did a wonderful job with the violin solos. She performed just as well as Isaac Stern originally did, in my opinion. During the Imperial March, light sabers lit up all across the audience. It really turned out to be a lovely evening and memorable day.
Concert Review by 'yodas_theme'
We were there Saturday night. My friends and I flew down from Portland and Seattle just for this concert. We figured since the Maestro rarely tours, especially in our corner of the country, that we had best just bite the bullet and fly down. How right we were in our decision to do so!
My friend and I wanted to try to get JW’s autograph and we were told that before the concert was the best time to do so. We asked around and discovered the “artist entrance” door so we waited there with about 8 other people, hoping JW would have time to stop and talk to us. No such luck as a car carrying the Maestro scurried into the underground parking garage. After the concert we saw a number of people at that same location being escorted backstage. one of these days I’ll have to find out how to get backstage passes to a JW concert.
I loved every single minute of the concert. Waxman, Hermann, etc. was a real treat to hear. The violinist solo during the “Fiddler” piece was breathtaking. However, I think the real treat for me was the second half of the concert. Hearing all of those wonderful themes that Williams has crafted (and I have played throughout my life countless times) was nearly indescribable. The audience was absolutely hillarious and it was impossible to not get caught up with everyone around you and start swaying to Imperial March. My absolute favorite part of the concert, though, was the encore when Williams announced a song from the second film, ESB. I knew so many were expecting Imperial March, but I was really, REALLY hoping for Yoda’s Theme, my all time favorite piece. Then he annouced “Yoda’s Theme.” I’ve heard that track so many times on my cd player, but to hear it live was extraordinary. Truly one of the most unforgettable experiences of my life, as was the rest of the concert. Venue really plays an importance and while I’m not thrilled about the fact that JW never tours in the Pacific NW, I must admit that NOTHING would have been better than seeing my first JW concert at the Hollywood Bowl. I had the time of my life.