Pittsburgh Symphony Heinz Hall
Friday, June 6, 2003
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by JOHN WILLIAMS
Concert Program and Brief Overview, by ‘DU Lou’
1. Liberty Fanfare – Always a crowd pleaser… played a tad more slowly than on the Philips album but a great heart pumpin’ peice to start with…!!!!!
2. Suite from JFK (Theme, The Motorcade, Arlington)
Wow!!! I have been waiting years to hear this done live and it was worth the wait, Williams slightly extended the main theme a bit to make it more concert worthy and to hear the motorcade with all the brass and percussion was amazing… Of course Arlington was beautiful and performed stunningly.
3. Seven Years in Tibet
Not much to say about this one. I have heard John Williams perform this one before. Someone correct me if i am wrong but was the cellist a bit out of tune?
4. Suite from Hary Potter (Hedwig’s Theme, Fawkes the Phoenix, Nimbus 2000, Harry’s Wondrous World)
Many people were looking forward to this one I think. Hedwig’s theme was the movie trailer basically. Fawkes was played beautifuly and JW was very graceful in his conducting (as an aside, every time he mentioned Fawkes the Phoenix he spoke with a slight british accent, very cute). Next came something we won’t hear on any album or the past two films. He made a speacial arrangement of the Nimbus broom sequence for woodwinds. There was a huge grin on my face, after JW started them off he stepped off the podium and gave just a few nods with his head from time to time that they were on cue. It was absolutely delightful. And finally of course Harry’s Wondrous World, great end to the 1st half just like in Chamber of Secrets.
5. Hooray for Hollywood
Just like in 2001, a great way to start a second half
6. Monters, Beauties, and Heroes (King Kong – Jaws – Casablanca – An Affair to Remember – Robin Hood – Superman)
This was a collage of movie stills of just what the title suggests and it was accompanied by the pieces listed above. Overall a nice medley.
7. Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra – Catch Me if you Can
This was a suite of the 3 main themes… The Opening Credits, The Family Turmoil, and The Float – The alto sax player was amazing and the pieces were once again slightly altered for the concert hall.
8. Across the Stars
Once again Williams was glad to have written a “love theme” for Lucas and it was a joy to listen to live.
9. Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars
But not just any throne room…. The Uber Throne Room from the Skywalker Symphony recording!!!!!! WOW
Aplause, aplause, standing ovation
Encores….. Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and…. just in case you missed the evening news, NBC’s The Mission!!!!!
Applause, applaus, hands to his cheek once again as if to say time for bed…..
Concert Review by ‘Justin’
We arrived in Pittsburgh about 6 PM. After struggling to find a spot in a nearby parking garage we started walking back towards the hall. Since it was still quite early we ate and then checked out the Pitts Symphony Store where I picked up a copy of the original Jaws album (suprised they had it.). Around 7:30 we went up to our seats way up in the balcony but hey, we brought binoculars so what the hey… ;)
At 5 after 8, Williams showed up starting off the evening with Liberty Fanfare. I acctually hadn’t heard this before, but it was very nice, similar to Call of the Champions. Next, Suite from JFK, a very nice I really love the score to JFK so I got a kick out of this. :)
After that, Theme from Seven Years in Tibet, a nice brassy performance of the theme really quite great.
Suite from Harry Potter. All the classic stuff: Hedwigs Theme, Fawkes the Phoinex, Nimbus 2000 which Williams said was Harry’s wand. :) I also hadn’t heard the Nimbus piece very very neat. Finishing off with Harry Wondrous World with the CoS ending.
We’re back with Hooray for Hollywood by Whiting/Mercer, a real fun piece. I think Williams really liked conducting it. Next came a fun little tribute to the Monsters, Beauties, and Heroes featuring music fromKing Kong, Jaws (Monsters) Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, (Beauties) Korngold’s Robin Hood,Superman (Heroes). Very nice performance by the orchestra switching quickly between pieces.
Next up was Escapades for Alto Sax and Orchestra: Catch Me If You Can, featuring the Main titles, Recollections, and The Float. Very nice all around, more sax in this version -they really wanted to show off this Mark Ortwein.
Across the Stars What can I say, it’s across the stars. ;)
Throne Room and Finale. From here on in, it was pure classic. Everyone burst into applause when the triumphant Force theme was performed. They did Gerhardt’s version, which gave a very nice suite of things.
When Williams said they were going to perform Indiana Jones, the whole crown cheered and then applauded when we heard Indy’s theme. After that, Over the Moon from E.T., again cheering and applause when Elliot’s theme started.
One more Encore “In case you can’t get home in time to see the news.” NBC Theme that got a great big laugh from the audience. After being done the applause just didn’t seem to stop, he finally had to disband the orchestra because they didn’t have anything else to play. I made sure I was the loudest and the last one clapping :)
Overall one the greatest experiences of my life. Gooooooooo Johnny!!
List of full program:
- Williams: Liberty Fanfare
- Williams: Suite From JFK
- Williams: Theme from Seven Years In Tibet
Featuring Ms. Anne Martindale Williams
- Williams: Suite From Harry Potter
I. Hedwig’s Theme
II. Fawkes The Phoniex
III. Nimbus 2000
IV. Harry’s Wonderous World: :INTERMISSION: :
- Whiting/Mercer: Hooray for Hollywood
- Williams and Others: Monsters, Beauties, and Heroes
King Kong, Jaws, Casablanca, An Affair to Remember, Robin Hood, Superman.
- Williams: Escapades for Alto Sax and Orchestra – Catch Me If You Can
Featuring Mr. Mark Ortwein
- Williams: “Across The Stars” from Star Wars Episode II
- Williams: “Throne Room and Finale” from Star Wars : :ENCORES: :
- Williams: “End Title” from Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Williams: “Over The Moon” from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
- Williams: NBC The Mission Theme