TownerFan

John Williams and the Boston Pops - "Hooray For Hollywood" - May 25-28, 2011

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Basically it's not on the side of the building with Betty's Wok and Uno's.... and its not on the side with the main entrance that everyone will be exiting at.... its on the OTHER side. Not much going on over there, but you'll see a security guard by an exit and a group of people waiting.

Also - if you guys want to PM me your cell #s, I can text/call you at the show, we can meet up for a drink if you want, etc.

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Heh, sounds like you guys are planning some triangulated ambush for the Maestro, maps and all. :lol:

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I wish you good luck and I really hope you get to meet Williams and get his autograph! :)

Man I would love to hear the Oboe concerto, not to mention the rest of the programme.

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Well in '08, he got right alongside me while signing and taking photos and then security rushed him into his car.

I kinda want the Blue Box signed. But I'm wondering if silver sharpie will show up on it. If I fail tonight, I'll try Saturday.

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Well, he did come out about 45 minutes after the concert ended. Sadly, there were several people who didn't even go to the concert (wearing old t-shirts and ratty pants) with literally dozens of CD's bombarding Williams, who are then probably going to just sell them on eBay. He did sign many of them, and the security told them to leave, but they just went to a place Williams hadn't been yet... when he got there, he saw them again, got upset, and got into the BSO1 car and left. So no picture with him this year. Just the attached photo while he was signing autographs.

post-1271-0-82451000-1306385066_thumb.jp

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Yeah, that was really unfortunate. They didn't seem to be concert-goers. I was actually embarrassed. People were assaulting me from behind and I realized it was the same guys who'd been on the other side of the tape getting Star Wars junk and photos of Williams signed. I thought he wasn't going to sign for me but one of the security guards told him I'd been waiting.

supes.jpg

The third movement of the oboe concerto sounded like the Meet the Press theme.

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It was a GREAT TIME!!! Setlist was the same as in the program (I think it was posted earlier in the thread), except during the "Villains" part, he replaced one cue with the "Jaws" theme. Encores were:

"Luke and Leia", which is one of my favorites and was INCREDIBLE to hear live properly (Star Wars in Concert was hardly adequate, but still fun), and I almost cried. Such a beautiful theme.

"Superman Theme", same as usual.

"Stars and Stripes Forever", also the same as usual but still great fun, American flag and all. No dropping balloons this year though.

Afterwards by the stage door was a pleasure as always. Williams seemed to be in GREAT spirits, very happy and talkable. I just got home 25 minutes ago or so, and it's 2:30 AM, so I'll post a much more details recap in the next couple days. However, I leave you with this:

100_0721.jpg

:D

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Well, he did come out about 45 minutes after the concert ended. Sadly, there were several people who didn't even go to the concert (wearing old t-shirts and ratty pants) with literally dozens of CD's bombarding Williams, who are then probably going to just sell them on eBay. He did sign many of them, and the security told them to leave, but they just went to a place Williams hadn't been yet... when he got there, he saw them again, got upset, and got into the BSO1 car and left. So no picture with him this year. Just the attached photo while he was signing autographs.

Greetings. I can use the picture on my blog?.

Andres Valverde

(John Williams Composer Blog)

JWC BLOG

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I was slightly disappointed they replaced Witches of Eastwick with Jaws.

Night Journeys was awesome. That was an alternate choir-less version. Can't wait to hear it again.

Luke and Leia was a shortened version. I noticed right away parts were missing. Never heard it like that before.

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Luke and Leia was a shortened version. I noticed right away parts were missing. Never heard it like that before.

I guess it's the same shortened version that appears also in Star Wars In Concert suite. It has some really abrupt edit points. I don't know why Williams removed bars here and there.

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Found this one on youtube:

But what did you mean by "shortend version"? I know the concert version of Luke and Leia but not the shortend version. Any clips to compare?

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Yeah, that was really unfortunate. They didn't seem to be concert-goers. I was actually embarrassed. People were assaulting me from behind and I realized it was the same guys who'd been on the other side of the tape getting Star Wars junk and photos of Williams signed. I thought he wasn't going to sign for me but one of the security guards told him I'd been waiting.

supes.jpg

The third movement of the oboe concerto sounded like the Meet the Press theme.

Can you elaborate on the oboe concerto at all? How did it compare with his other concerti? More or less accessible and tonal? How long was it approximately?

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Lehman's review is so glowing and descriptive I am now positively anxious to hear the Oboe Concerto. Looks like it was a terrific night all around. :)

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Yeah... those hoodlums with stacks of LPs were certainly embarrassing. I hope they don't show up again tonight and ruin the other fans' chances. If I were John I would have been tempted to sign something other than my name...

I did manage to get a word in and say that I was looking forward to "War Horse" and "Tintin", to which Williams replied "Oh.. War Horse is great."

As for the playing, I would say "1941" was probably the highlight of the evening. Comes across so much better live than on a recording... unfortunately the Finale from "Far and Away" was the opposite... both times I heard it they've been unable to match the energy and epic-ness of the OST at the end of the piece. The trumpets also screwed up big-time during the Spielberg/Lucas tribute when they forgot the all-important B-flat note when transitioning between "Jaws" and "Star Wars - Main Title".

Personally I thought the Oboe Concerto had a few similarities to Born on the 4th/JFK (1st movement), Geisha (2nd movement), and Adventures of Mutt (3rd movement). If I had recorded it I maybe could have provided some more in depth analysis but that's all I remember.

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Yeah... those hoodlums with stacks of LPs were certainly embarrassing. I hope they don't show up again tonight and ruin the other fans' chances. If I were John I would have been tempted to sign something other than my name...

I did manage to get a word in and say that I was looking forward to "War Horse" and "Tintin", to which Williams replied "Oh.. War Horse is great."

As for the playing, I would say "1941" was probably the highlight of the evening. Comes across so much better live than on a recording... unfortunately the Finale from "Far and Away" was the opposite... both times I heard it they've been unable to match the energy and epic-ness of the OST at the end of the piece. The trumpets also screwed up big-time during the Spielberg/Lucas tribute when they forgot the all-important B-flat note when transitioning between "Jaws" and "Star Wars - Main Title".

Personally I thought the Oboe Concerto had a few similarities to Born on the 4th/JFK (1st movement), Geisha (2nd movement), and Adventures of Mutt (3rd movement). If I had recorded it I maybe could have provided some more in depth analysis but that's all I remember.

And tintin isn't?

Oboe concerto sounds better and better with each review!

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And tintin isn't?

We have to take into account that his job in Tintin was made long ago and War Horse is the new thing. Also, he might have felt more confortable composing for a more complete film as usual.

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It sounds a bit like a mix of TPM (Tatooine/Anakin section) or Jurassic Park (My Friend the Brachiosaurus) but original (atleast, it sounds like it, if I had every one of JW's scores maybe it wouldnt seem so original, I do not know) and there was even few second snippet that sounded like part of the Fellowship theme from FOTR!

and The string section near the end reminds me a bit of Jaws, just in happy mode, not Were-gonna-die!-mode.

and from my estimation, its about 18-20 minutes long

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Yes, sure!

Well, he did come out about 45 minutes after the concert ended. Sadly, there were several people who didn't even go to the concert (wearing old t-shirts and ratty pants) with literally dozens of CD's bombarding Williams, who are then probably going to just sell them on eBay. He did sign many of them, and the security told them to leave, but they just went to a place Williams hadn't been yet... when he got there, he saw them again, got upset, and got into the BSO1 car and left. So no picture with him this year. Just the attached photo while he was signing autographs.

Greetings. I can use the picture on my blog?.

Andres Valverde

(John Williams Composer Blog)

JWC BLOG

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From the FORUM RULES:

08 - Discussion of music CDs before they are in stores (ie when they "leak" to the internet) is allowed, as is discussion of leaked recording sessions, sheet music, and other bootlegs. HOWEVER:

a) You may not post a link to, or name of, any site where this material can be illegally downloaded.

b) You may not offer on the public forums to send this material to anybody who PMs you.

c) You may not ask on the public forums for somebody to PM you a link to this material.

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The show last night was spectacular! This was my 4th year going, and this year I had the best seats yet - in the right balcony, all the way up front. We could see EVERY musician from above, and actually get to watch John Williams in action from the front, instead of just watching his back the whole time. The sound was also magnificent - I know supposedly the sound is best on the floor, but to my ears I could hear every instrument clearly with no distortion and though everyone sounded great!

Here was what was played on Thursday night:

Jubilee 350

Wonderful introduction, full of energy and set a fun tone for the rest of the night

Suite from Far And Away [County Galaway, June 1892 - The Fighting Donnellys - Joseph and Shannon - Blowin' Off Steam (The Fight) - Finale]

Enjoyed it quite a bit! Not really familiar with this score, but it was fun.

Then Williams spoke for the first time. He said how wonderful Boston was, then said that the next 3 pieces were an homage to villains and spoke a little bit bit about each one

Them from Jaws (Note: The book said "Devil's Dance" from Witches Of Eastwick" would be played here, but Jaws replaced it with no explanation)

One of the highlights of the night for me! I had never heard this performed live before, and the SPO totally nailed it. I especially enjoyed watching the string section

Night Journeys from Dracula

Another score I'm not too familiar with, and I surprisingly don't remember much about this piece.

Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back

Not much to say about this one!

Then there was the first intermission. After the break, only the string section was on stage, and Williams came out and spoke for the second time. He explained how one of the things he enjoys about working with the Boston Pops for so long is all the talented musicians he gets to work with, and getting to write concertos to showcase their talents. He then brought Keisuke Wakao onto the stage who stood up front next to Williams.

Concerto For Oboe [Prelude - Pastorale - Commedia]

I actually enjoyed the string work as much as I enjoyed the oboe work done by Wakao. Hard to review a piece after one listen, but I will just say I was never bored and enjoyed watching Wakao work.

After much applause, the lights came on as it was supposed to go to the second intermissions. However - instead, Williams grabbed the microphone again and said that since he had the string section on stage it was a great opportunity to get to perform Fiddle Faddle, arranged for strings as it was originally intended (something like that)

Fiddle Faddle

Another highlight of the night for me! I had never heard this piece before but it was SO MUCH FUN. The best part was when all of a sudden, the string players were STOMPING ON THE FLOOR for part of the song! Whole thing was fantastic! Must have been a last minute addition since the house lights were on the whole time, like it was unplanned.

Then there was the second intermission. After the intermission, the whole orchestra was on stage again and Williams came out and immediately took to the microphone and talked about 1941 - the year. Said a wonderful movie called Casablanca came out that year, and he talked about the cinematography and how no film he's ever seen since has looked more beautiful (or something to that effect).

Suite from Casablanca (Note: The booklet said "The Inquirer" from Citizen Kane would be played before this piece, but it wasn't)

The screen then came down for the first time, and footage from Casablanca was shown while Williams conducted a suite of music from the film. At three points during the footage audio from the movie was heard as well. I am not very familiar with this film or score, but I enjoyed the suite quite a bit.

March from 1941

Nothing different from the usual arrangement, but always enjoyable nonetheless.

Williams then spoke again about Audrey Hepburn. Mentioned how he had only gotten a chance to work with her twice, but that he had spent time with her outside of the business for the last 6 years of her life. Said that somebody from WGBH had put together a montage, and that the pictures don't add anything that isn't there, that in real life she was simply radient, and one of the most beguiling woman he had met - something like that, at least.

Theme from Sabrina

I think I paid more attention to the video montage of Audrey Hepburn movies than the music, so I don't remember much about it :)

Then Williams spoke for the last time. He said that he had been working with George Lucas for 35 years now, and that in January it will be 40 years he has been working with Steve Spielberg. So combined he's been working for them for 75 years - he started when he was 4. That draw a nice laugh from the audience. He said how in all their years they've never had a fight, never disagreed, and just always enjoy creating films together, and that the video should speak for itself.

A Tribute to George Lucas and Steven Spielberg [Jaws - Star Wars - Raiders Of The Lost Ark - E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial]

This was one continuous piece set to a video montage. First Jaws from the main theme, but not the same arrangement played previously. For some reason people in the crowd started laughing at the beginning, when it showed the Chrissie's Death scene and the theme was building. What was that all about? This was the shortest segment, and blasted right into the Main Title from Star Wars with the footage of the Star Destroying from the beginning of ANH. The montage was from all six films, and that led into a shortened version of The Raiders March, with footage of the first 3 films (maybe the 4th too - I was focusing on the orchestra and not the montage). That gave way to Flying to E.T., which sounded wonderful as always.

After much applause Williams left the stage, but the orchestra stayed on, so you knew an encore was coming

Luke and Leia from Return of the Jedi

Nice performance, for a theme I haven't heard in quite a while.

After it ended he closed the sheet music and I noticed there was nothing lined up next. He then left again, with the orchestra on stage. Then he came back and grabbed his baton and with no sheet music out at all, began to conduct:

Theme From Superman

Nothing that hasn't been done a million times, but it was fun and full of energy.

Then Williams left the stage again, then came back, then left again! Then he finally came back out and grabbed his baton again. There was still no sheet music on his podium, and the orchestra launched into....

Stars and Stripes Forever

Another highlight of the night for me. This was incredible!!! SO FULL of awesome bombastic energy. The crowd was clapping along from the beginning.which at first I thought would be annoying, but it ended up giving the whole room an awesome buzz of energy and union. By this point red white and blue lights adorned the stage, making stars on the walls. At one point, Williams turned around and kind of made a motions for the audience to quite down, and the clapping stopped for the quieter bridge. Then when it geared up for the big finish, the audience was clapping again. At one point right at the end, Williams turned around and conducted the audience, helping us keep beat with our clapping! It was spectacular. After much more applause, Williams finally gave his patented "sleepy" motion, and this time when he left the stage, the rest of the orchestra followed.

It was a spectacular evening. I will be sad when the day comes that Williams no longer does this every May.

After we lingered a bit to take in the atmosphere of the room (my GF is a big architecture geek and enjoyed the molding and other aspects of the Hall), we headed outside to the stage exit where a largish crowd was gathered to try to get Williams' autograph. I met up with Trent (Hoyt) from the boards who was there with his friend. Always nice to meet a fellow board member. Unfortunately, there were several disreputable people there who clearly didn't attend the concert (despite it not being sold out) and where just there in shorts and tshirts holding FIVE LPs they were hoping to get signed. After about half an hour or so, Williams came out. As soon as he did, MORE clowns came out and CUT in front of all of us concert goes with signed pictures and stuff. Trent's friend succeeded in stopping one of them, but another one made it up front and had a nasty attitude when I told him that we had all been here first, how about being fair.

Williams didn't stay long to sign stuff, I think mostly because of the disgraceful people with multiple items that kept going "John! John!" and totally crowding him. it sucked. Ugh. Show some respect people! Eventually he got in his car and left.

I really think the BPO needs to either create a place inside for Williams to sign where only ticket-holders can get to, or perhaps create some kind of formal line outside where you must show a ticket stub in order to get in line, and ask people to only get one item signed. SOMETHING needs to change. The experience outside was the only mark against an otherwise fabulous night!

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Sounds great! Too bad about the stupid Star Wars fans. I guess it must have 'leaked' on some forum or so that he's there at Boston each year?

The programme looks awesome, I would have loved to hear Sabrina, and Night Journeys too - I heard the latter at Tanglewood two years ago, and it's such a great piece to hear in concert. Outside the regularly played ones, but still top-drawer.

What's Fiddle Faddle?

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I took a ton of pictures I will post soon. I also took video of Night Journey, Fiddle Faddle, and the Oboe Concerto I will post soon :)

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Thanks!

What was your favorite performances of the night?

For sentimental reasons I would probably say the Tribute to George and Steven. To see John Williams himself conduct my favorite music if all time, well there is just nothing like it.

The Far and Away suite has now been played at a few shows that I've been too and it has renewed my interest in that score.

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