Luke Skywalker

CONCERT: John Williams Tour 2012 Film symphony orchestra conducted by Constantino Martínez-Orts (Spain)

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Well i finally have some time to write some kind of review to this concert i attened on march 6 at Murcia Concert hall.

For starters, the price of the tickets was rather high IMO, the cheapest costed 20€, and the highest 30€. I attended other williams concerts in spain (and with the exception of the oficial 'music of star wars') all were cheaper. Anyway, the meaning of this was that since we are niche market the hall was practically empty. maybe a 30%-40% attendees. If it had been 10€ cheaper i'm sure more people would have gone, and i think the show was scarcely advertised too.

Well, on to the show. The program was this (i'll comment the different pieces as they go)

watching the podium, it seems that every arrangament were the official Hal Leonard librettos.

Part 1

Olympic fanfare an theme.

This was rather good to hear live. Ok the brass was a little off, more than any other orchestras i have seen. Williams' brass pieces are difficult but they could have done a little more rehearshals...

Princess leia's theme.

Now this was better performed, (is has less brass:P) at parts it sounded like the real deal more or less.

Harry Wondrous World.

Another decent performance

Angela's Ashes Main theme.

I liked listening to this live. The piano parts were good.

The Patriot Main theme

This was very different from the OST version. it had the flute intro at the end and several embellisments in the end also. Would be nice to have this on CD.

The Tale of Viktor Navorsky

IRRC same as the OST. Good performance, though the soloist struggled a little with the fast parts. almost ate some notes.

Born on the 4th of July Main theme.

OST arrangement. I feared the brass, but it looked like they had tuned up and did not sound that bad. I always forgot how good this piece is.

Superman March.

It was the regular march without the prologue. Again the brass suffered but only a little, the rest was rather good. Amazing to hear this live.

Part 2:

The cowboys overture

Good performance, brass and all. :) I always think this piece is too long but i enjoyed every bit of it live

Remembrances from schindler's list.

Nice, the violin solo was good. A different concert arrangement from the OST. I think i have heard it before, the violin solo does two or three times a hint of the main SL theme.

Jaws Main theme.

This was different, maybe the kunzel version? it started with pecussion doing a storm-waves sound. The rest was similar to the typical concert piece.

Across the stars.

Nice, like princess leia almost perfect, only the tubas faliled a little.

NBC news theme

Great performance, practically perfect. I loved listening to this live.

A whirl through academe

Good performance, sometimes a little slow. Same as the ost except the added ending (like land of the ewoks, keeping up with the jonesses) a flourish fanfare.

Throne Room and End Title.

Good performance overall but the brass went off a few times.


Hativah (The Hope)

Nice. I noticed it is a rather short piece.

Raiders March

Obviously, the brass struggled with this piece but the rest of the orchestra was fine. marion's theme very good.

The Olimpic Spirit.

Another gem to hear live, good performance

There was a fourth encore...but i cant remember what it was! Maybe Yoda's theme...

I must say that overall the best performers were the strings. they sounded very good.

There were lots of boom-tzz there :lol:

Well, overall i dont regret any bit attending to the concert. I would reccomend it for any spaniard that has this playing near home. I suppose they will get better tuned as the tour goes around.

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Looks like a great programme with some of the usual suspects and some great surprises like Angela's Ashes and Born on the Fourth of July.

The arrangement of Remembrances from Schindler's List is the concert version Williams wrote later and recorded with BPO for Williams on Williams album with Tamara Smirnova as the soloist. It does contain a longer coda which has a small quote of the main theme in it. I would love to hear this version live. All the Williams concerts I have attended have had the shorter album version of the piece. Interesting that they chose this secondary theme instead of the main theme but on the other hand it was a nice change from hearing the Theme from Schindler's List which has become pretty popular around the world in concerts and is almost played to death I feel.

And yes the brass players have to be resilient when it comes to Williams' greatest hits. He surely gives them run for their money. :lol:

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I attended the concert at the National Auditorium (Madrid). I think that the orchestra still have a lot to improve, especially, as Luke said, the brass section (and specifically the horns), but also the woodwinds. It wasn't a very enjoyable experience for me, because I cannot really dive into the music if I find myself constantly distracted by the failures of the musicians.

Another failure, probably caused by lack of budget, is that the orchestra is very small (70 people, when at least 90 people is usually needed). Add to this that the below par brasses play softer to avoid errors...

However, I totally support and encore this kind of shows, because film music is pretty much absent from concert halls here in Spain. Many initiatives like this one are needed if we want some day to have the finest orchestras performing here this kind of music. I love "academic" music, but I think we can do without yet another Beethoven performance and introduce some of this material, which is deservedly becoming a classic of our culture.

Another thing. The Nacional Auditorium, with a capacity of near 1000 seats, was completely sold out. That says something about the demand of film music in general and JW's in particular.

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