Koussevitzky Music Shed, Tanglewood Music Festival – Saturday, August 3, 2002
The Boston Pops Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS
Film Night at Tanglewood
Concert Review by ‘Bishop832’
Bishop832 checking in here with a complete evaluation of a concert conducted by the one and only great John Williams this evening at Tanglewood in Lennox, Mass.
The performance, which was primarily Williams music, was absolutely extraordinary. The concert opened with a brief collection of film scores (maybe about 30 seconds of each). First came “Casablanca”, followed by “Citizen Kane”. Then the “20th Century Fox fanfare” came in and the orchestra went right into the main theme of “Star Wars”. It then transitioned to “The Sea Hawk”, followed by “Spellbound” and then “Titanic”. From that, it made a slightly awkward transition to the shower theme from “Psycho”. After just a few seconds of that, Williams lead the orchestra in “Jaws”. This got the audience cheering. He then brought in “The Pink Panther”, which brought the audience to applause and laughter. The montage then took a more serious tone with “Exodus”, “Out of Africa”, “Dr. Zhivago”, “Bridge on the River Kwai” and then “Patton”. He then did a snippet from “Rocky”, followed quickly by “The Magnificent Seven”. “The Natural” and “Cinema Paradiso” lead into “The Godfather”, “E.T.” and the montage closed with “Gone with the Wind”.
Next, Mr. Williams conducted The Cowboy Overture from his own score.
After that, he did selections from Far and Away and two concert pieces from Angela’s Ashes — featuring a heart-wrenching solo by Martha Babcock.
But before intermission, he gave us all a great treat. A screen came down from the ceiling and Williams orchestrated a 7 minute montage to his greatest works. The film opened toStar Wars. It showed the opening with the Star Destroyer chasing down Leia’s blockade runner. It then cut to Han and Luke blowing up Tie Fighters. This had the audience cheering. The film then cut to Raiders, with Indy running away from the boulder and then catching the plane. Next came the opening of Jaws where the shark gets Chrissy. After that, he did the flying theme from Superman, followed by the scene of the Elliott and his friends lifting off with E.T. The scene, in case you are wondering, was the classic version. It then ended with E.T. saying “I’ll be right here…” and then leaving on his ship. This lead to Intermission.
When we returned, the show continued with “Hooray for Hollywood” and then the theme to The Patriot with a special guest appearance by the Fifes of the Middlesex County Volunteers. After that, Mr. Williams lead the orchestra in an extended cut of “The Imperial March”, the classical suite “Princess Leia’s Theme” and an extended cut of “The Throne Room and Finale”.
Next, he lead soloist Tamara Smirnova in a piece from Sabrina. Then, he invited Lara Fabian out to sing “Evergreen” (by Streisand and Williams) followed by “For Always” fromA.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Finally, he closed with a second film montage. He commented that the first one went so well, they might as well do a second. This one opened with Jurassic Park. It showed scenes from the arrival on the Island, the appearance of the Braciasaur and the scenes from the kitchen with the raptors. Next, it cut to Home Alone where Kevin was beating up on the two burglars. After that, it went toStar Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones. It showed some of the footage from the waterfall picnic, a little bit of the scene where Anakin and Padme were taken into the Arena and then the footage of them being Married. I don’t care — that metal hand still freaks me out a little bit. Damn, that thing is creepy. Anyway, it went on to Hook with Robin Williams being taken to Neverland. After that, he did a selection from Close Encounters of the Third Kind with the ships landing. The music joined in against the answering of the ship — perfectly timed. Finally, it concluded with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone — which I have yet to see. However, that got a great many cheers.
As for encores, Mr. Williams did a piece which I think was a bicentennial celebration piece, followed by the NBC News Theme. He gave a witty remark to that: “I’m sure most of you will miss the evening news, so this will have to do.” He closed out with “Stars and Stripes Forever” while leading the audience in cheers and applause.
Afterward, Mr. Williams was too tired to come out and meet the fans, but for a man of 70, he gave a hell of performance, so we understood.
Concert Review by ‘Dr. Know’
I just got back from the John Williams Film Night concert at Tanglewood. It was a beautiful evening with some 25,000 people in attendance, and JW and the Boston Pops were in top form. My wife bought us shed tickets back in June. Our seats weren’t terrific, but I could see JW throughout the concert, with a little craning of my neck.
Josh Groban was ill, so the program was revised. Here is what was performed:
Williams, arr. Salute to Film Composers
— Suite including Casablanca, Citizen Kane, Titanic, Star Wars, E.T., etc.
(The morons behind me, who didn’t stop talking throughout this whole piece, proudly identified The Natural as Superman. I wanted to strangle them. Fortunately, they pretty much shut up after this piece).
Williams, Cowboys Overture
— Great piece, lots of energy
— Afew bars into the piece, Williams accidentally flung his stick into the orchestra(!); without missing a beat, he was handed another one.
Williams, Selections from Far and Away (County Galway, June 1892 — The Fighting Donellys — Joseph and Shannon — -Blowin’ Off Steam (The Fight) — Finale)
— This was nice, but didn’t come off as well as The Cowboys, and seemed a little redundant being programmed right after the other piece.
Williams, Two Concert Pieces from Angela’s Ashes: Theme from Angela’s Ashes — Angela’s Prayer (with Martha Babcock, solo cello). Beautifully performed.
Williams, Film Music Montage I: Star Wars—Raiders of the Lost Ark—Jaws—Superman—E.T.
–This performance was accompanied by video clips from the movies, and for the most part, JW and the orchestra played in sync to the film. The clip from E.T. included the bicycle chase, with the rifles left intact.
Williams, Theme from The Patriot, with fifes of the Middlesex County Volunteers Fifes and Drums.
— This was an excellent arrangement of The Patriot, basically the end title with another 3 or 4 minutes of additional material from elsewhere in the score. Very, very nice — I hope it gets recorded on a future compilation.
Williams, Selections from Star Wars (Imperial March–Princess Leia’s Theme–Throne Room and Finale). Throne Room was much extended from the film version.
Williams, Theme from Sabrina, with violin solo by the concertmistress whose name I didn’t get. This was added to the program to make up for Groban’s absence. A little weak.
Streisand/Paul Williams, “Evergreen” with Lara Fabian. Yawwwn!
Williams/Weil, “For Always” with Lara Fabian. She has a beautiful voice, but the modulation wasn’t terrific. It wasn’t her fault, though, it seemed to have something to do with the microphone. And she’s a hottie, by the way.
Williams, Film Music Montage II: Jurassic Park — Home Alone (scherzo) — Star Wars: Episode II(Across the Stars) — Hook — Close Encounters — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry’s Wondrous World)
— Again, performed with video projection. Terrific!
–March from 1941
–JW comes out and says “In case you get home too late to see the news tonight…,” then conducts The Mission/Theme from NBC News
—Stars and Stripes Forever