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Do you think John Williams' symphony will ever be released?

John Wiliams' Symphony  

52 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you think John Williams' Symphony No. 1 will ever be recorded and released?

    • Yes, in just a few years
    • Yes, but not before Williams has passed away
    • Yes, but not in my own lifetime
    • No, never!!


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Now I will start to compel our new open-minded chief conductor (26yrs), who will start next fall, to perform this piece!

"Listen kid, i was blowing brass when you still nothing but a hopeful glance in your momma's eyes!. Screw the Bruckner and program this!"

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Well there is a chance that's it's actually not very good and JW is right not to release it.

Or maybe it sounds like his film music and we'd love it but the criticism scarred Williams so much that's why all his concertos are the opposite of his film scores

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I am confused. Is the score released to the public or not? I thought the link above was to purchase/rent the score for orchestra, in which case it is released, just not recorded.

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I think people are confusing score and recording here. The score, i.e. the sheet music, apparently is available for rental but we do not have any recordings of the work, which most musically illiterate fans would love to have.

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I am confused. Is the score released to the public or not? I thought the link above was to purchase/rent the score for orchestra, in which case it is released, just not recorded.

yes, the score is available for rental.

But I can't understand why noone has asked for it to perform with an orchestra. It seems very strange!

Maybe they don't know about it?

I myself had asked of it for study purposes since i'm doing my Ph.D. on John Williams.

They told me to contact the European company, and they told me to contact a Greek representative (since I live in Greece).

After some emails, i gathered that i could aquire the symphony but it was way too expensive!

But I think it wouldn't be for someone living in USA.

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I do think it will be released before the Star Wars Prequels complete scores

I too find it aggravating that some of the most beloved and clamoured JW scores, some of the most iconic scores in history (e.g. Indy scores and SW hexalogy) suffer the fate of being owned by greedy and half-witted record companies in a time when nearly everything of note (and then some) is released by the labels in complete form. Naturally Williams' own anti-complete release tendencies do not help the case.

But yes it would seem even the symphony might come out before those scores in complete form.

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I do hope so. Regardless of what one thinks about C&C releases (pro or con), one has to agree that it's better to have SOMETHING of a given composition than nothing at all. Or?

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I emailed the Houston Symphony orchestra that had premiered the symphony, in case they had a recording in their archives.

I got their reply today, that even if they had it, their archives were flooded in 2001 by a tropical storm and thus destroyed.

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Why on earth they don't record these things?

You have John Williams. You have his 1st symphony. You have its premiere in Europe! and you don't record it?

Strange!

Back in those days, Williams still missed all the fame that came a few years later... if it was today, yes, it would have been a real mystery.

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I am confused. Is the score released to the public or not? I thought the link above was to purchase/rent the score for orchestra, in which case it is released, just not recorded.

yes, the score is available for rental.

But I can't understand why noone has asked for it to perform with an orchestra. It seems very strange!

Maybe they don't know about it?

I myself had asked of it for study purposes since i'm doing my Ph.D. on John Williams.

They told me to contact the European company, and they told me to contact a Greek representative (since I live in Greece).

After some emails, i gathered that i could aquire the symphony but it was way too expensive!

But I think it wouldn't be for someone living in USA.

How much did they say it would be?

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I am confused. Is the score released to the public or not? I thought the link above was to purchase/rent the score for orchestra, in which case it is released, just not recorded.

yes, the score is available for rental.

But I can't understand why noone has asked for it to perform with an orchestra. It seems very strange!

Maybe they don't know about it?

I myself had asked of it for study purposes since i'm doing my Ph.D. on John Williams.

They told me to contact the European company, and they told me to contact a Greek representative (since I live in Greece).

After some emails, i gathered that i could aquire the symphony but it was way too expensive!

But I think it wouldn't be for someone living in USA.

How much did they say it would be?

oh, that's funny.

I just found this thread again, searching in google about the Symphony.

Getting it through Chester Novello in Europe it would be £100 + £70 for shipping (i don't understand why the shipping is sooo expensive! after all, it would be just a small book). (this is around 205 euros in total or $286)

Has anyone asked in USA?

here's the original reply from Chester Novello to the Greek representative here:

We would supply this work but we are not the publisher. I have spoken to

them and we can get this score but the customer would have to pay £100 to

produce this and £70 postage.

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I'm bumping this thread because I read the liner notes to Hooten's CD and saw it claimed (once again) that JW wrote two symphonies... and then I found this thread, which answered my question about whether he wrote one or two symphonies (thanks, Miguel!).

 

So, JW has only written ONE symphony (plus a sinfonietta). But he wasn't happy with it and withdrew it. Except that it exists as sheet music that can be rented and, presumably, that means it can be recorded. And no one has done so yet, which is kind of mystifying. 

 

But I wonder... if JW wasn't happy with it, why would he allow it to be published as sheet music?

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12 hours ago, Iron_Giant said:

Except that it exists as sheet music that can be rented

 

Are you sure that it can be rented (and from where)? If I remember correctly some old discussions, it might have been available for rental decades ago, but then it was withdrawn exactly because JW wasn't happy with that work. So, it should not be available anymore. But I might misremember, of course.

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9 hours ago, karelm said:

 

I think a more appropriate description is that he was critical of it which is frankly how he feels about much of his work.  It could be better.  So there is much tweaking and revising.  Much of these changes are very minor but can drive a composer nuts if they always thought a passage wasn't quite right and it's played a gazillion times.  I think the problem with the symphony is two fold.  First, he got a major discouragement from Bernard Herrmann after it's premiere that the work was unsubstantial/unworthy of the title (Herrmann himself struggled with his duel identity as a "legitimate" composer of symphonies, cantatas, opera, etc., and commercial/film composer).  Second, he is a constant reviser of his work.  For example, I understand "Indy's First Adventure" from TLC had been revised as recently as 2018.  Perhaps the Symphony is something he hopes to revisit some day. We will definitely hear it eventually.  But perhaps never really know what JW hoped it would be.  As for the second symphony, my thinking of this is slightly different from my very informed friend, Miguel.  The Sinfonietta is not the Symphony No.2 but rather JW considered the revisions of Symphony No. 1 to be so significant to warrant this being a wholly different work.  Sort of like how Prokofiev has two different Symphony No. 4.  Prokofiev has Symphony No. 4, op. 47 and Symphony No. 4, op. 112 which to me sound like two completely different works.  Prokofiev was unsatisfied with the original version and vastly revised it so much that the new version is published separately and I for one love them both.  JW adored Prokofiev and this is clear in his own music but I would argue in his nomenclature as well.  JW's Symphony No. 2 really just means a vastly revised version of No. 1...so much so that it feels like a different work.  Meanwhile, there is a Sinfonietta which is available. 

 

I think you nailed it perfectly, Karim. He's constantly revising things (I noticed little changes in a few pieces on the Gustavo Dudamel/LA Phil recording, btw), as this is his attitude as artist and he expressed it eloquently several times. I think you're right to see this connection with Prokofiev's attitude, as I too think he's always been one of JW's heroes.

 

About the Symphony, he planned to perform the revised Symphony in Houston, TX in 1987 (where the piece was originally premiered by his friend André Previn in 1968), but he then changed the program with some film music. It's still unknown the amount of revisions he did for this never-performed revised version, but I guess it was substantial. Still, he wasn't satisfied enough to have it performed. I very much hope he will revisit it one day, even though at this point he might feel this is something from the past he doesn't want to return to.

 

15 minutes ago, Score said:

Are you sure that it can be rented (and from where)? If I remember correctly some old discussions, it might have been available for rental decades ago, but then it was withdrawn exactly because JW wasn't happy with that work. So, it should not be available anymore. But I might misremember, of course.

 

The original version was actually available to rent through Schott Music publisher, as the work was originally published through Warner/Chappell. However, the work was withdrawn a few years ago and any performance of the work has been vetoed.

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11 hours ago, karelm said:

As for the second symphony, my thinking of this is slightly different from my very informed friend, Miguel.  The Sinfonietta is not the Symphony No.2 but rather JW considered the revisions of Symphony No. 1 to be so significant to warrant this being a wholly different work. 

 

I seriously doubt that. It's more likely that people are confusing the Sinfonietta as a second symphony.

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