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TownerFan

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TownerFan last won the day on February 8

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About TownerFan

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  1. If they put up the timetable, it means they have settled the program, but the fact they didn't put it up could mean they won't announce it before the actual date. That means there could be surprises... It's 1h50m of music, it's a packed program. Very excited to hear what he will perform.
  2. My hotel is a 10 min walk from the RAH, so I hope I’ll be able to stick around with you guys until late! 😊
  3. TownerFan

    How do you rate The Witches of Eastwick?

    The score isn't just brilliant comedic writing and fanciful exaggerated romanticism which fits perfectly with the film it serves. IMHO, it's one of Williams' absolute masterworks in terms of orchestration and harmonic language. It's dazzling as pure music to the point it goes well beyond its filmic nature.
  4. TownerFan

    Across the Stars for Anne-Sophie Mutter

    From Anne-Sophie's Facebook page: Dracula for solo violin! 😮
  5. They performed some selections from Star Wars at one of their "Sommernachtkonzert" a few years ago, conducted by Franz Wesler-Most (who stepped in for an ailing Seiji Ozawa). In 2017, they perfomed Hedwig's Theme (conducted by Christoph Eschenbach), again for one of the Summernight Concert. It's definitely the first time they're performing an entire concert devoted to Williams' music.
  6. Usually programs are always announced before. Film Nights at Pops/Tanglewood/Hollywood Bowl concerts are kind of an exception. On both the RAH and LSO pages for the concert, they have a short blurb saying Williams will conduct "some of the most successful movie music" and then "Programme TBC", so I guess they will put it up perhaps a week before the show. I think the setlist has already been settled, as JAKMS needs to prepare parts for the orchestra with the right amount of time in advance and ship them to London (of course it's also likely the LSO already has lots of JW music in its library). I'm confident we'll get the official announcement in the coming days. And if not, well, it'll be nice to discover it at the RAH the actual day of the concert
  7. It's very likely that those cues wouldn't have fit into the new STM release (which probably will be a 2-disc set), or perhaps JW didn't want them included.
  8. TownerFan

    "Could This Be the Williams Era in Music?"

    Yes, mostly because film music is seen/evaluated in classical circles still mostly as pops/crossover stuff. Of course what brings new people in concert halls is the blockbuster fare (Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean etc), hence music directors and institutions tend to market film music concerts as popular stuff palatable to people who aren't keen to the classical repertoire. And that brings to the criticism you spoke about that still persists in some circles. However, I think it's fair to recognize that Williams' music is highly regarded by musicians, composers and conductors not just because it's popular and fits well in this classical crossover world, but because of its inherent musical merits, i.e. it's music well written, enjoyable to perform for orchestras, crafted with panache and wisdom by a composer with a broad stylistic spectrum and to which audiences respond with joy. Sure, it's still film music, but I long for the day where some conductor will not be afraid to offer a program where he/she mixes Prokofiev, Ravel and Williams. Or Walton, Shostakovich and Herrmann. Or Stravinskij, Copland and Goldsmith. I don't mean that as an easy way to fold some film pieces together with some classical stuff and hence giving them the so-called status of "serious music". But I believe that good music is good music and it's ultimately useless to box it in genres or, even worse, musical ghettos.
  9. TownerFan

    "Could This Be the Williams Era in Music?"

    I think the "Williams Era" tag is mostly a consequence of finally seeing the music of JW more widely accepted, welcomed and appreciated by the classical music circles after many years of scathing comments from the same environment. The fact many contemporary concert music composers are using stylistic traits perceived as "Williams-ian" is now seen as a plus and not necessarily as a limit. That being said, I don't think there is a current or a movement to which we can apply such a tag. As you said, there are other composers who are as influential as JW, but perhaps they're not as famous as he is among the general audience.
  10. Just got the Wiener Philharmoniker "Musikfreunde" magazine in the mail. There is an article on JW, written in German. If some of our German-speaking friends here want to translate for us...
  11. There was indeed collaboration between Williams and Powell, as himself recounted in several interviews. He was invited at JW's house, where the Maestro demoed the material at the piano and went through the composition. Then, Williams tried out his theme scoring a couple of sequences, which were used by Powell as a sort of template for the score. As far as Superman II and III to be considered as Williams catalogue releases, well, it's a strange situation by itself. The Maestro himself didn't have any involvement whatsoever in both scores. His music was repurposed because, well, it's studio property and the producers went for a strange kind of approach rehashing almost all of his compositions for the first movie, but hired another composer to do the adaptation job. Superman III is a more substantially original work, as Ken Thorne wrote more new material, even though there are again large lift-offs from the first film's original score. So, both scores are technically speaking Williams' music rearranged/adapted by another composer. IV is another kind of beast, actually. Williams had a direct involvement--he wrote new original material for the film and went through the spotting together with Sandy Courage to decide where to use the new themes, but left basically all the scoring duties to his friend and colleague.
  12. TownerFan

    "Could This Be the Williams Era in Music?"

    I still concur with the article. I think JW made a profound influence on composers who are writing primarily for the concert stage. There is a breed of American composers who, voluntarily or not, show a deal of influence from JW's film music: Jennifer Higdon, Kevin Puts, Michael Torke, Richard Danielpour comes to mind. But there are also European composers who seem indebted with a sort of "cinematic" orchestral approach, like Rolf Martinsson and Guillaime Connesson. Perhaps it's not an influence huge as to form an entire current in contemporary concert music, but it's undeniable that orchestral film music (and Williams' in particular) ringed in many people's ears and showed how many possibilities still there are in writing music in that particular style.
  13. For me, nothing beats the great school of the MGM arrangers/orchestrators of the "Arthur Freed unit", as they called it: Conrad Salinger, Skip Martin, Sandy Courage, Lenny Hayton, Maurice DePackh and others. That was an amazing pool of talent. Irwin Kostal was a very fine musician too.
  14. I'm pretty sure that they will stay as close as possible to Bernstein's original orchestrations of the 1957 Broadway show. One of the issues Lenny had with the movie adaptation (in which he hadn't any role whatsoever) was the "beefed up" Hollywood-ized orchestrations supervised by Saul Chaplin and Johnny Green (even though Sid Ramin and Irwin Kostal, who were Lenny's orchestrators for West Side Story, also had a helping hand). I'm sure Spielberg and Lenny's estate will want to stay faithful to his original orchestrations. Of course there will be a need to adapt, rearrange bits and pieces and perhaps writing even original music as connective tissue. So that will be interesting to see how it's gonna be dealt with and if JW will have a role in it. If you guys never heard West Side Story, my heartfelt suggestion is to listen first and foremost to the Original Broadway Cast recording from 1957. IMHO, it's still the best around. Even though it's not complete, it has a raw power and energy subsequent versions don't have: After that, then listen to Bernstein's preferred version, which is a studio recording of the complete score (with revised orchestrations) done in 1984 with opera singers (José Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Tatiana Troyanos, Kurt Ollman and Marylin Horne) conducted by the composer himself. Some "purists" don't like Lenny's "operatic" approach, but the recording is top-notch Deutsche Grammophon and the playing of the orchestra is none short of amazing (there's even Wynton Marsalis playing trumpet): IMHO, the OST recording of the 1961 film version is fine, but it's probably the weakest recording available of this masterpiece. I honestly don't like very much Marni Nixon's singing: The point is that for many people West Side Story is the movie version, but as fine as it is, it's still an adaptation of a musical theatre work.
  15. I concur. I've always wanted to see Spielberg tackling a musical. If there wasn't already a respectable film adaptation made, I think he couldn't have chose a better one than West Side Story. This is the only downside of the project. However, I don't think he wants to do a remake of the 1961 version. In my opinion, the 1961 Wise/Robbins version is still a fine movie, albeit dated in some parts and probably a tad too Hollywood-ized in several choices. My guess is that Spielberg will probably go for a grittier, much more natural approach, with the film shot almost entirely on location in NYC, with live singing whereas possibile and with true Latino actors/singers/dancers. It's likely also that Kushner's script will deal with the spirit of violence and rebellion in a much more direct way, without any dilutions. The violence between the gangs will be shown as it is, with blood and bruises. I am sincerely intrigued in how Spielberg will do it. I hope Williams will be involved in some capacity. I can't see anyone else doing respect to Bernstein's original score. My bet is that they will remain as faithful as possible to Bernstein's original Broadway orchestrations, without amping up or Hollywood-izing anything like in the 1961 version. However, the workload is huge and my guess is that there will be a large music team tackling all the aspects (from rehearsals with singers, to preparation of the guide track on set etc). Williams will probably work as Music Supervisor/Director, to guarantee things are done in the proper style and respectful to the Bernstein score. Perhaps he will do some arrangement/orchestration himself whereas necessary, but it's likely he will work with some trusted colleague like Bill Ross to assist him.
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