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The Psycho Pianist

John Williams: Themes and Transcriptions for Piano (Simone Pedroni)

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Simone told me that The Book Thief was the first time that piano arrangements by Williams were published

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32 minutes ago, Jay said:

Simone told me that The Book Thief was the first time that piano arrangements by Williams were published

 

Ok, pheww.. I love that info, because I wondered how many piano arrangements I had missed!

 

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I forgot how much I absolutely adore Sabrina. I have no idea what I did with my CD of it. Wish I still had that full CD.

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On 5/29/2017 at 1:29 PM, artguy360 said:

I think this is the second JW piano album this guy has made or maybe there are even more, but something about the recording and transcriptions just don't work for me. Between the recording quality sounding not bad but very dry, and the renditions themselves, this great JW music ends up sounding boring. It's like a guide to how to write boring solo piano versions of JW's music. That sounds harsh but this approach just doesn't work for me.

Fair enough, but Simone's rendition of Buckbeak's Flight is maybe my favorite piano transcription of JW's work of all time.

 

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On 2017-6-5 at 5:22 AM, aviazn said:

Fair enough, but Simone's rendition of Buckbeak's Flight is maybe my favorite piano transcription of JW's work of all time.

 

Well, that's sure to catch the listeners' attention! :lol:

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Great album!  I'll be returning to this one all Summer.

 

On 6/9/2017 at 1:54 PM, Loert said:

 

Well, that's sure to catch the listeners' attention! :lol:

 

On 6/9/2017 at 2:13 PM, mrbellamy said:

Lol the intro? Yeahhh I dunno how I feel about that...

 

I think that transcription (or maybe the performance) is a little much. Sorta loses the character of the piece for me.

 

I can confirm that the opening is performed with actual drums on the album, then it goes into the piano transcription :) 

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6 hours ago, ymenard said:

Anybody has info on the first album he supposedly did with JW material?

 

This is Pedroni's first album with JW music. He performed a lot of these arrangements in his own recitals, but this is the first official recording.

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On 18/06/2017 at 5:02 AM, ymenard said:

Anybody has info on the first album he supposedly did with JW material?

 

You're probably thinking of this album.

http://www.jw-collection.de/compilations/enguerrand.htm

Not by Simone Pedroni, as mentioned earlier but rather by Enguerrand-Friedrich-Lühl, who I believe recorded more Williams music transcribed for piano.

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How does this album compare to Dan Redfeld's Across the Stars album?  I have to say, that isn't really one I'll return to very often.  The readings aren't very lively, and just don't really hold my interest.  Not sure if it's because they're piano solos, or due to the performance itself.  If anyone can offer a comparison, I'd love to know more.

 

For reference, this is the album I have and am referring to:

 

http://www4.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31142/ACROSS-THE-STARS-THE-FILM-MUSIC-OF-JOHN-WILLIAMS-FOR-SOLO-PIANO/

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3 hours ago, Miguel Andrade said:

I have the previous Dan Redfeld's disc (https://buysoundtrax.greedbag.com/buy/schindlers-list-the-film-music-o-0/) and it quite under impressed me. From what I've heard of Simone's playing, his disc should be vastly superior.

 

I wasn't impressed much by the Redfeld's album too. Anyway, this kind of album is always a candy mix... always one or two tracks that are good, the rest is filling.

 

But Pedroni's album seems to be on another level. And I pre-ordered it as soon as I learned that it's featuring some Williams's own arrangements.

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9 minutes ago, Miguel Andrade said:

Redfeld's also features Williams own versions (if not every single track, at least several of them). What bugs me is the playing and recording.

 

Ok I didn't kow, but like you said... there is the playing issue.

 

I don't know if new commers in "classical music" understand the differences that the "playing" can make on the listening experience.

 

I previously wrote about the "color" of an album, for me it's very important.  I usually like it totally or not, and there is no way I can explain it, except talking about the "color" of it :-)

 

Of course, there is a matter of taste also... and artistical approach.

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This album is a little bit disappointing.

 

A part from the great suites from Lincoln and The Boof Thief, it's really a candy-mix. I don't know what pieces like Asteroid Fields and Luke and Leia do on this album, they seems really lost on it. And Aunt Marge Waltz on the piano... Really?

 

Then, there is the playing.  Okay, Simone Pedroni is good, but he plays with such... hesitations... I usually hate those kinds of pianists. I feel I should slap them on the face to "unlock" them... and sometimes it really appears to be so painful for them to play, we would want to give them some Metamucil.

 

In overall, that's not bad... but it's not a great album.

 

That's not really the instant crush I had on the Lockhart album by example.

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I just got this one and I while I was a bit hesitant to get it as some of the previous piano-only albums have been somewhat iffy in terms of selection and performances am quite happy with the performances and selections here and Pedroni's own transcriptions aren't half-bad. :) 

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1 minute ago, Disco Stu said:

That "Asteroid Field" transcription is somethin' else, I'm tellin' ya.  Hoo boy that's good stuff.

Agreed.

 

 

2 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

:lol:

Meaning they are quite good. ;) 

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Just now, Bespin said:

For me it's an horror to mix appels and oranges ike this on an album.

 

If he makes 2 or 3 more, the "best-of" could be listenable.

Speaking of these compilations have you heard Keisuke Wakao Plays the Music of John Williams? Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous stuff even though not arranged by the composer himself. Oboe, string quartet, piano and harp and Williams making a cameo on the last track, Stepmom.

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Just now, Incanus said:

Speaking of these compilations have you heard Keisuke Wakao Plays the Music of John Williams? Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous stuff even though not arranged by the composer himself. Oboe, string quartet, piano and harp and Williams making a cameo on the last track, Stepmom.

 

My only comment about this album is : geeedddbbllblfhhhpffff

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3 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

My only comment about this album is : geeedddbbllblfhhhpffff

You were impressed enough to be rendered speechless?

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I had never heard of this album and I am loving this arrangement of The Accidental Tourist theme.

 

 

Is there any way to hear this beyond finding a used CD?  Doesn't seem to be on streaming services?

EDIT:

 

Youtube playlist of the full album:

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Incanus said:

Meaning?

 

Excuse me my doctor tries new medecine on me.

 

The Oboe piano reduction wrote by Williams himself, and played by Williams himself is the highlight of the album. The rest is sometimes candy mix, personnaly, I don't like those kinds of albums. You have to pick 2 or 3 cues you like, but it's rather impossible to listen to it from the beginningto the end, it'S pretty much shambolic. Like the album of Pedroni.

 

It's sometimes grand art, it sometimes : "Look 'ma, without the hands!!!".

 

Does this album will propulse the career of these artists, I mean using the name of "JOHN WILLIAMS" in big on their album.  I sincerely hope.

 

Will they become stars of the business instantly just because of this? Never.

 

Do you still wonder why the Wakao album is still hard to find those days?

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1 minute ago, Bespin said:

 

I only speak for me and the 194 persons in my head at this moment!

 

Uh huh?  Oh that's very interesting.

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*sprints*

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4 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

Uh huh?  Oh that's very interesting.

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*backs away slowly*

 

*sprints*

 

Wait, are your trying an exorcism on me? :P

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The fact that Williams himself plays the piano makes this Keisuke Wakao album completely essential to me (yes this album went from being unknown to me to essential in the space of a morning).

 

Listen to John's beautiful playing on the Sabrina theme!  Unless the credit on the video description is incorrect.

 

Cue someone telling me the credit is incorrect.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Disco Stu said:

The fact that Williams himself plays the piano makes this Keisuke Wakao album completely essential to me (yes this album went from being unknown to me to essential in the space of a morning).

 

Listen to his John's beautiful playing on the Sabrina theme!!!

 

 

Williams only plays on the last track, the Stepmom arrangement.

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1 hour ago, Bespin said:

Does this album will propulse the career of these artists, I mean using the name of "JOHN WILLIAMS" in big on their album.  I sincerely hope.

 

Will they become stars of the business instantly just because of this? Never.

 

Do you still wonder why the Wakao album is still hard to find those days?

Keisuke Wakao is a very respected oboist, member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a world class musician in his own right who I think has made his name for himself over the years. Ann Hobson Pilot, the harpist on the recording is another major harp player name in the US retired from the ranks of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Borromeo String Quartet is another respected US ensemble. So I don't think they were out to make their name on Williams with the album. More likely Wakao's association with JW and Boston Pops (the more recent oboe concerto is written specifically for him) was the initial spark for the album.

 

Pedroni's transcription of A Window to the Past is quite beautiful, very delicately performed.

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I got this for my birthday and am listening now.  I'm really enjoying it!  Some of the scores are maybe not my favorites (Sabrina, Book Thief, Lincoln), but it's nice to hear them from a different point of view.

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1 minute ago, Disco Stu said:

Is that a recent photo???  Should we expect a sequel to Pedroni's sublime album from last year?

 

The tweet is only a few hours old so quite possibly! 

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Gratitude, inspiration and joy after a very special music “lesson “ with the kindest and greatest man I’ve ever met: John Williams.


Playing for him with incredible cellist Cecilia Tsan his own works Elegy and Memoirs of a Geisha Suite was one of the most amazing, rewarding and intense experiences of my life.
I will perform this repertoire with Cecilia at Alagna Music Festival on August 5th.

 

https://www.facebook.com/simone.pedroni.39/posts/10212367462878594

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On cloud nine after an incredibly moving and inspirational morning with one of the most extraordinary musicians of all times, the great John Williams. As suggested by him a few years ago and in anticipation of our August recital in Italy, fantastic pianist Simone Pedroni and I went to play his Elegy and the Memoirs of a Geisha Suite for the Maestro. Awe, gratitude, inspiration, happiness, all emotions are now dancing in my head.

 

https://www.facebook.com/cecilia.tsan/posts/10214010578352237

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