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Miguel Andrade

Williams' Concerto for Viola and Orchestra to premiere May 26

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So the concert was great. The acoustics of the hall where terrific, I could hear everything clearly from where I sat (left balcony). Being on the balcony, by the way, reminded me of Fenway, in that you actually face the middle of the room instead of the stage, so you have to basically sit and turn to your left the entire concert to see what's going on. It was nice being higher up, though, and being able to see the orchestra clearly.

John Williams came out and didn't say anything, and just launched into the first piece. It was "Hurray For Hollywood", which was fun. Next up was the March from Adventures of Robin Hood by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, which I was not familiar with previously, but enjoyed quite a bit. I really need to get a Best of Korngold CD. After that was a suite from Jane Eyre (Lowood, To Thornfield, and Reunion), which I also enjoyed quite a big. Jane Eyre is a movie I've never seen an I've only listened to the OST once, but hearing these pieces performed live made me very interested in checking it out again.

Then came the highlight of the night for me - the next piece started and right away I was just "oh my god, is it...?" And it was! It was the Prologue from Hook! No wait, its not the Prologue... Oh, its the "Flight To Neverland" concert arrangement like on the Williams/Spielberg CD! Excellent! (I didn't have a program yet at this point, and it wasn't mentioned in the other thread, so I didn't know this would be included). The performance was great, full of energy. HOOK! My favorite film score of all time!

Then there was an intermission. When he came out, Williams finally spoke for the first time (the entire first section he never said anything). He had a microphone and talked for about 2 and a half minutes. He talked about how he loved the viola, how it was a "funny little instrument" (something like that), something about it being like a violin but in a different register? Then he mentioned that he was compelled to write a concerto for it, as many musicians are when they become enamored with an instrument. And that the concerto was composed of 3 parts. He said that the second part was more of a duo between viola and timpani ("funnily enough"), and that his internal name for the second movement was "Family Argument" (or something similar), because the timpani player was actually the featured performer's husband. Then he introduced her (Cathy Basrack), and she came out and took the stage.

As mentioned, the concerto was broken up into 3 parts. The first part was about 12 minutes long, and the quiet / slowest of the three. There was a lengthy section, actually pretty much the second half of this movement, that she performed solo with no accompaniment. It was amazing to see, and to think how much practice it must have taken her! The second movement was fast and furious, and a lot of fun! It was about 4 minutes. The juxtaposition between the viola and timpani was interesting, and the rest of the orchestra accompanied perfectly. The third movement was I believe about 10 minutes or so long, and was the best of the 3 for sure. It starts off really slow, with plucked strings being featured, but builds and builds. The middle section features a nice viola solo, with the orchestra accompanying certain "hits" every so often for a while. Then the ending is rather slow again, and reminiscent of the way the movement started. Good stuff overall.

Cathy then got flowers from a little girl in the audience, who she then took up on stage along with another girl. After she left, Williams launched right into Adventures Of Mutt, which is certainly a very fun piece of music regardless of what you think of the movie it was composed for. The performance was excellent, full of energy.

After another intermission, Williams came back out and launched right into the Superman March. Nothing much to say about it. Then it was a suite from Far and Away, which was nice. Probably the most different piece of music played all night.

Then he took to the microphone again and talked about how people always say Citizen Kane is the best film ever made, but to him it's Lawrence of Arabia. And how he is still astonished to this day by the visuals that David Lean made for the film, the cinematography, etc, and how it was all before things were "computerized". He talked about 70mm film and cranking it by hand and the slow process it all was. He talked about Maurice Jarre and how much great film music he wrote. Then the screen came down and played scenes from the movie while he conducted a suite of music from it. It was nice.

Then he took to the microphone again and talked about Harrison Ford, and how great of an actor he is, and how long he's been doing it. "I was told that he does about 60% of his athletic stunts, and in the earlier pictures he'd do up to 80% of them, so in addition to being one of the great actors I've seen, he's also a great athelete. Here's Harrison Ford in a lot of various positions... actually a couple love scenes too... in Indiana Jones". Then a montage of clips from the first 3 Indiana Jones films was shown while The Raiders March was played.

He then left one last time and came back to simply say "Here's an old, old one about a funny little muppet" - or SOMETHING like that (sorry don't remember exactly). And Yoda's Theme was played (which sounded REALLY good, perhaps one of the best performances of the night). After that, he just launched into the Main Theme from Star Wars (the LP arrangement of the Main / End Titles), which drew a HUGE applause. After he left, he came back onto the stage shortly thereafter, and I thought he might do a second encore, but he just stood there for more of the standing ovation, then he had the whole orchestra take turns bowing, etc. He then did a really funny thing where he put both hands to the side of his head in a "I'm sleepy" kind of way, which drew a laugh, and he left the stage, and that was it!

Here are some pictures I took:

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I also attempted to record some video. Basically when I realized HOOK was playing, I quickly fumbled for my camera and started recording a few seconds in. Then I recorded his introduction to the Viola Concerto, then planned to record each movement separately. I began to get worried I'd run out of room on the SIM card when the first movement was almost 12 minutes.... and I in fact did run out RIGHT at the end of the second movement! I quickly went to delete the HOOK recording but accidentally deleted the Concero intro instead. D'oh! I deleted some pictures as well, but it wasn't enough as 3 1/2 minutes into the 3rd movement I ran out of space again. I then deleted the HOOK recording and a bunch of pictures, and was able to record the last 4 minutes of the movement. I will attempt to upload to youtube.

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Great post Jason, you can't imagine how jealous I am. I've only seen Kunzel here in Mexico, it was a shame since it was announced that Williams was coming when I bought my ticket, Kunzel was good though and I heard some of those little known concert arrangements from Harry Potter, still seeing Williams live is one of those things I've yet to do.

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Would you say that this is the finest viola concerto you've ever listened to, Jason?

I would say its the only!

Thanks for the review, Jason! Perhaps the E.T. Finale is being played tomorrow and Friday?

Indeed!

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Sorry, I forgot to mention Hook was performed as well! Exhilarating performance in an even quicker tempo than I've heard it before. During the following applause there was a funny old lady by my table who made the snobbish remark "I don't recognize any of his tunes!".

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About pictures: by the entrance to Symphony Hall it says "flash photography" is prohibited, which means that if you disable your flash theres no harm in taking pictures. I had my camera clearly visible on the table and nobody complained.

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About pictures: by the entrance to Symphony Hall it says "flash photography" is prohibited, which means that if you disable your flash theres no harm in taking pictures. I had my camera clearly visible on the table and nobody complained.

Yes, as I'm sure is evidenced by my crappy pictures, the flash was off

Here's the second movement of the viola concerto:

I had previously uploaded the first movement last night, but since it was longer than 10 minutes, youtube won't play it (which of course it didn't tell me until I had uploaded all 430 megs

I'm uploading the first part of the 3rd movement now, but won't be able to post the link until I get home from work

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I had previously uploaded the first movement last night, but since it was longer than 10 minutes, youtube won't play it (

Thanks for that. Regarding the ten minutes, there are other sites that don't have such restrictions.

http://www.vimeo.com/ is one option. No time limits there, the restrictions apply to file size.

You could also look into editing software if you wanted to split the longer vids up.

Or you could pass me the file and I could split it up for you.

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They were $40 to $89, I believe

Here's the beginning of the 3rd movement:

When i get home from work I'll up load the end of the 3rd movement (its such a shame I was unable to record the middle of the 3rd movement, as it was basically the climax of the whole concerto)

Also, here's the link for the 1st movement that I had uploaded last night, though it'll just tell you you can't view it because its longer than 10 minutes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33LZotKql2Y

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It's pretty good. I hope we hear that 1st movement. I also hope it's on c.d. one day with the Horn concerto and Soundings . Not holding my breath.

I really hope we can somehow hear Stargazers

And I'm happy to see there's some reason left to this MB.

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I know Williams would abhor doing it, but I wish he would release a disc that features his concert works combined together.

While I do enjoy listening to the other composers that are paired I would prefer to have his material together instead of having to hunt down all these discs.

I'm thankful Akira Ifukube, and the labels, managed to release his works together on CDs.

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...about tonight's and tomorrow night's performance... May I make a suggestion?

Encores are supposed to be surprises. Would the individuals attending mind not posting the encores until after tomorrow evenings show? This way those attending may still get a little treat.

I say this with the strong possibility that it may be the same encores for all 4 nights. But it's the thought that counts =)

Thank you for your cooperation!

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DU Lou, I would recommend simply not reading this thread until after you've attended the performance if you don't want to be spoiled about what the encores are.

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DU Lou, I would recommend simply not reading this thread until after you've attended the performance if you don't want to be spoiled about what the encores are.

I can understand that sentiment... and that's fine too

But why do we have "Spoiler Alerts" for movie threads?

Or is it alright to say that Vader is Lukes father?

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Well, I think the difference is that a movie can be seen by anybody at any time, and movie plots could be talked about in many different threads.

This is a concert that will ONLY be held tonight and tomorrow night, and can ONLY be seen by people in the Boston area.... if you TRULY want to not be spoiled by what the encores will be, its very easy to stay out of ONE thread for 24 hours. Just MHO. :)

-------

Here's the end of the third movement

Again, apologies that I wasn't able to record the middle section.

So now I'd like to break my Movement I video in half and upload each. Anybody know of a good free program I can use to edit AVI files? Feel free to PM me to not clutter up the thread :)

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Cause its my favorite score of all time? I dunno, why not! I deleted it once I realized how long the concerto was and how little my camera could record...

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Can you give a description of it?

It starts out as ET and Me from the film or "Toys" from 0:27-2:38 as heard on the OST from what I remember.

(the girl sitting next to me drops her camera on the floor and its bothersome)

Harp does its bit then the violins come in with the "ET and ME theme" expanded and more elegant.

Then its passes to the violas and celli while the harp accompanies.

The harp is featured again with clarinet accompaniment.

Flute takes the theme over with harp accompaniment.

Soft ending.

Now its been awhile since I have seen the film so I am not sure how much is new from that seen.

Oh and John Williams seemed to have much more energy tonight than yesterday. He and Stanley Donen were a trip without a suitcase too!!

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It starts out as ET and Me from the film or "Toys" from 0:27-2:38 as heard on the OST from what I remember.

(the girl sitting next to me drops her camera on the floor and its bothersome)

Harp does its bit then the violins come in with the "ET and ME theme" expanded and more elegant.

Then its passes to the violas and celli while the harp accompanies.

The harp is featured again with clarinet accompaniment.

Flute takes the theme over with harp accompaniment.

Soft ending.

From the descrpition, it seems quite similar to the original "E.T. and Me" album arrangement, with some slight alterations. Wow, it must have been amazing to hear it live! Gosh, sometimes I wish I was born in Boston! ;)

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Thank you for the videos Jason! What a wonderful piece this Viola Concerto is! I demand a recording from JW immediately! ;)

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From the descrpition, it seems quite similar to the original "E.T. and Me" album arrangement, with some slight alterations. Wow, it must have been amazing to hear it live! Gosh, sometimes I wish I was born in Boston! ;)

Can't say I can imagine it

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Many thanks for the recordings you made, Jason! It really sounds very enjoyable so far, and I hope it won't take too long until we get an official recording of it... and please, sheet music! I can't understand why the violin and cello concerti haven't been published yet, like the wind and brass concertos...

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Hmmm... I'm hoping Lockhart makes them play "Stargazers" at the Apollo 11 concert I'm attending in two weeks. I already sent in a letter requesting "Spacecamp", but it would be nice to hear both.

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Hmmm... I'm hoping Lockhart makes them play "Stargazers" at the Apollo 11 concert I'm attending in two weeks. I already sent in a letter requesting "Spacecamp", but it would be nice to hear both.

Hearing "Spacecamp" live would be awesome!!!

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I'm disappointed in the lack of descriptions/reviews/stories/etc from the Thursday/Fri performances.

The brief description of Stargazers was nice, but what about the Stanley Donan tribute? What about "Adventures On Earth"? Was the encore the same as the first 2 nights? What'd people think of the Jane Eyre suite, Flight To Neverland, etc? Let's here more stories!

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