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rough cut

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  1. rough cut

    Across the Stars for Anne-Sophie Mutter

    Ok, listened to it, at last. It’s nice. But she plays it very straight. The phrasing is different than from the original, it’s less syncopated, which comes across as less emotive, at least to my ears. I think that’s why some JWfaners think that it sounds “wrong”, yet are unable to point out why.
  2. I don’t do shipping notice posts. If I did, this would be it. But it’s not. It’s just a post. About shipping notice.
  3. I wanted to share my thoughts on An Evening with John Williams, the concert given by Dirk Brossé and The London Symphony Orchestra that I had the privilege to attend at The Royal Albert Hall on Friday 26th, 2018. It’s not too technical and where I try to get into musical terminology, I’m almost sure I get it wrong. My impressions of seeing The London Symphony Orchestra perform the music by John Williams were wonderful. Writing about each performance, I can’t help but getting into my feelings about each piece – which might not be wholly dependent of how the music was performed, which was flawlessly, but I am human. It was so sad that John Williams wasn’t there to conduct himself, and I am sure anyone with a ticket felt a pang of grievance that we would miss a wonderful opportunity to see our hero. In the end however, accepting the loss, it turned out to be a spectacular night, nonetheless. Star Wars Main Title It wasn't announced in the program that this would be part of the program, but of course it had to be. I don't know how I didn't see it coming. Was there any other way to open (what would have been) a reunion between John Williams and The London Symphony Orchestra? No, of course not. And what a way to open the show! The LSO hits the audience full force when the musicians strike up that first Bb major chord and I could feel the audience sitting in awe and suspense... We were in for a treat. The piece is played flawlessly throughout. The rebel fanfare stirs something adventurous in us. The strings during Leia's theme soars. Just hearing this iconic cue played by the Orchestra, which were the first to ever record it, was truly an event in itself and I thankful I was there to hear it. Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind During this track - though still early in the concert - it strikes me just how well the LSO plays. I shouldn't be surprised, I've heard them on CD a million times, and this cue in particular close to a hundred. Yet I can't help but feeling amazed. CE3K was performed better than I have ever heard it before. Harry Potter The LSO performed Hedwig’s Theme, Fawkes the Phoenix and Harry’s Wondrous World. I am not a huge fan of the series, I guess I missed the zeitgeist, and I was never an enraptured Potter fan. I like some cues here and there. I think the score works brilliantly in the movie with some stand out cues. I am happy with the three selections Williams made, I can see that they make sense from what I suppose are some of the most popular cues. Hedwig's Theme is brilliant, though it's too reminiscent of the Main Title from Home Alone, which I think is more compelling and it made me want to hear that instead. Fawkes the Phoenix is beautiful, but too meandering for my taste. I'd rather have heard A Window to The Past from “Azkaban”. Harry's Wondrous World is fine, bringing some much needed energy into the show at this point. End Titles from Dracula I have had the original CD for some time, and find it haunting. I'd come back to it from time to time, but hearing Dracula live opened up the score for me. The LSO performed it hauntingly, with passion and with apt intensity - letting the lurking melody build to a crescendo. I will definitely be returning to the soon-to-be-released "deluxe edition" of the score more frequently. Adventures on Earth from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Oh, man, what a treat! If someone would ask me to pick one track that somehow, possibly, could summarize the power, energy and beauty of what the magic of John Williams is, perhaps this would be the one to pick. An epic cue, full of bravado and adventure at one turn, full of sadness and loneliness the next. When the piece reached the crescendo at the end I had the biggest smile, tears in my eyes and a soaring heart as the crowd rewarded the LSO and conductor Dirk Brossé with thunderous applause. Superman March The ostinato that opens the march encapsulates courage, heroism and righteousness to me. It fills me with expectations of greater things to come. It is both enticing and bold at the same time. I wish it could go on forever, but the LSO has no time to waste. They throw themselves in to the bombastic fanfare and I love every second of it. A fantastic performance. Suite from The BFG I totally get some of the hardcore fans wish to see and hear new material performed, and though there are parts of this that I will concede is brilliant, this falls into the Harry Potter-category for me. The melodies doesn't really move me. If it were up to me, and the goal was to choose something from Williams' more recent compositions (that isn't Star Wars related), I'd have chosen something from War Horse or Book Thief, which I consider to have stronger thematic material. However, I am in awe of how the orchestra performs this. It is playful and engaging, and it shows just how versatile and complex Williams can be. Theme from Jurassic Park The classic theme plays almost like a guilty pleasure. It's so familiar, and so good, that you just can't help but smile. In spite of it chilling intro played in minor, the melody turns warm major chords and I realize this is one of Williams' most jubilant themes. It sounds like a call for world peace more than a score accompanying rampaging dinosaurs. It is beautiful. Theme from Schindler’s List During Carmine Lauri soulful playing, there probably isn't a dry eye in the house, and if there were, surely, no hearts were left untouched. The Imperial March Could this be the world's most famous march? Surely of the western world, at least. The march is both catchy, yet dark and ominous at the same time. The strings, backing up the main melody, are stirring and beautiful. The LSO performs it powerfully and vigorously. I remember Williams conducting the march at “The Bowl” in Los Angeles in 2016. Then, the crowd all bought out plastic lightsabers, waving them like conductor’s batons in the air in sync with the music. No such thing happens here but the audience – which have been sitting quietly enraptured for the full program begins subtly to stomp their feet, wordlessly count the rhythms and can’t help but succumbing to humming along. Han Solo & the Princess A cue of controversy! Is the 2018 arrangement better than the original or isn't it? It's a matter of preference, clearly. The new arrangement obviously has qualities of "modern" Williams, entangled with the simple, yet hauntingly beautiful melody, that he composed back in 1980. I haven't heard the new arrangement enough to know it by heart, but it seems to me that Williams was unhappy about the arrangement he did for Charles Gerhardt. Maybe he always thought that it relied too much on Leia's theme, and wanted to give it a more clear-cut identity of his own. If he did, he was not alone. I've often wanted an arrangement without the intrusion of “Leia”, as I think her theme here becomes too imposing, and is too beautiful on its own merits to be included as an interlude. That being said, at the time of writing, I still think that the original concert arrangement is the preferable one, but if that version is now discounted in the composer’s repertoire, I would not substitute the inclusion of its successor for anything. It is a gorgeous. Throne Room & Finale A majestic piece of music. Engaging, complex, yet strong, simple melodies, played beautifully. The Throne Room, with the rebel theme fanfare and the cords playing a staccato rhythm in the background, is completely mesmerizing. It is like the Star Wars Main Title and the ostinato from Superman had a glorious child. When The Force Theme kicks in my heart melts. It is the perfect piece of music for the finale. It is triumphant, and the cheers after the last chord fades out just would not stop. Yoda's Theme I have always have had mixed feelings about this cue. Though I think it is beautiful, I find it a bit too slow in its movements, not really going anywhere. I would put Fawkes the Phoenix in this category too, but Yoda's theme is better, more playful. The melody is clear and persistent, guiding the listener along, leading them to a safe place, a haven of trust put into musical harmonies. But my categorization of the music is irrelevant - it is expertly played and the sweeping melody is charming and heart touching. One cannot fault Williams' composition, his sensibility and talent for composing music that lands straight into our hearts, as if they had always been there, nor how the LSO performed this classic piece of music. Jaws When the low bass tones of the shark theme starts to pump out - very slowly - and then a pause - the audience cheers with excitement! Sitting in the Royal Albert Hall, listening to this, it strikes me what a terrifying piece of music this is. It is like a predator stalking its prey in the opening, and as it progresses it just becomes more and more intense, the melody attacking relentlessly. The percussion echoes a train moving, unstoppable, down a track, leading to sure demise and doom. Speaking of percussion, the performance of Jaws was the only one where I noticed an arrangement that I found just a little "off". The percussion was a bit too loud for my taste. It didn't take away anything from the performance (rather, it opened up for new impressions), it was just unusual to hear it that way. Raiders Theme The concert ends with a crowd pleaser. Brilliantly performed and a fine way to conclude a wonderful night. Full of energy, and you could tell that the orchestra was pleased with how the performance had gone. They played loose and the crowd responded accordingly. It almost felt like this night, which had held 5 000 of us in silent awe, turned into something I could almost liken to a pop concert. The feeling was joyful and unanimous. The applause after it all was ear deafening. As the orchestra, after respectful bows to the audience, retreaded backstage, we - the crowd - reluctantly started shuffling towards the doors. Some with tears still hanging in the corner in their eyes, some whistling a melody from the concert that had just gone by, but all with a smile on their face. In conclusion Throughout the concert, the audience was respectful, attentive and responsive. We were all transfixed by John Williams’ music. It was a wonderful night. I am glad, and feel privileged, that I had the chance to be in London for such a special event, and all my thanks goes out to John Williams, Dirk Brossé and The London Symphony Orchestra for giving me a night I will surely remember for the rest of my life.
  4. Did you change your post from ”It’s all lies”? 😂😂😂
  5. Yup! She mentioned that in our group as well!
  6. I was at the same tour as @St0rMl0rD, I think. He already gave a short statement about why they cancelled which I enterpreted as partially correct. During the tour, I asked whether it was frowned upon to have a “film score” composer guest the hall, as opposed to the traditional, classical composers - and if the classical community had reacted negatively. She didn’t really answer the question - which in itself might be an answer! Instead, the way our guide explained it - who had been working with Musikverein for 20 years! - was that when the VPO now was to do a full film music concert, entirely of JW music, they wanted to do it with JW as the conductor and noone else. She said that, although the VPO can play anything, a concert with film music was new territory for them. She said the orchestra wasn’t used to playing that kind of music and that it was important to get it right. And having the right conductor - in this case, also the composer - who knows the music intimately was part of getting it right. They wanted to do it with Williams or not at all. Take from that, what you will. She also mentioned that negotiations for the “European tour” began 2 years ago, in Los Angeles, when the VPO was on a world tour. They then met Williams who stated it was his dream to conduct the VPO, in their own hall, in Vienna. The VPO management then reached out to JW and started looking for a date, which was apparently a bit of a hassle since both JW and the VPO have very busy schedules and very few days blank in the calendar. From this you can also surmise what was booked first - London or Vienna. ; ) Edit: Nope, me and @St0rMl0rD were not on the same tour, but might’ve had the same guide, which might explain why I didn’t wholly agree with his previous post. There were surely nuances in her explanation which would make the extent of it seem similar - but not exactly the same.
  7. That’s not exactly what she said though 😉
  8. rough cut

    STAR WARS Custom Covers thread

    What makes the red seal special?
  9. @Jurassic Shark Haha, I like your reaction to my post. Good way to respond, I appreciate it!
  10. Well the concert was booked. And I bought a ticket. And I am in Vienna. So that happened. No need to get pissy about it.