Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jay

NEW CD: Across the Stars: The Music of John Williams For Solo Piano

Recommended Posts

Across_Stars_BSX-600.jpg (600×600)

 

Los Angeles-based composer Dan Redfeld announces the recent release of Across the Stars: The Music of John Williams For Solo Piano from BSX Records.

 

“The music can translate to pretty much anything and it will still communicate an incredibly emotional, powerful idea,” said Redfeld of John Williams’ work. “We hope the public hears that John isn’t just a one-note, blockbuster composer. His skills are much more multi-faceted and he has a created a body of work which is complex but always memorable and melodic. He’s definitely the greatest American composer since Bernstein or Copland and in a class all by himself.”

 

Distilling the orchestrations down for solo piano allows the listener to hear the purist form of Williams’ melodies. “Williams’s music tends to have a dense texture, both harmonically and contrapuntally,” Redfeld explained.  “It’s difficult to translate the counterpoint on the piano and also captured all that color on one instrument. So it’s distilling it down to the basic melody we hear as an audience, and then filling in to get some approximation of the counter-line or harmonies.”

 

American composer, conductor, orchestrator, pianist and producer Dan Redfeld has had his music and arrangements performed internationally from the concert hall to the musical theatre stage to the recording studio. He received his training at Boston’s New England Conservatory before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he graduated with a degree in composition with an emphasis in conducting. Instructors include composers William Thomas McKinley, Irwin Kostal, and David Raksin, and conductors Jon Robertson, Sir Simon Rattle, Zubin Mehta, and Roger Norrington.

 

Later this year his debut classical recording A Hopeful Place will be released by Navona Records.  In May 2015, Mr. Redfeld’s Arioso for Oboe, Percussion and Strings premiered with the Santa Barbara Symphony under the direction of Maestro Nir Kabaretti and oboe soloist Lara Wickes. January 15, 1947 - An Impromptu for Solo Harp, Mr. Redfeld’s latest opus, was commissioned and premiered by harpist Alison Bjorkedal. The piece took Third Place in the American Harp Society Los Angeles Chapter Composition Competition and was recorded in 2014 for a release in 2016. His Fantasy for Violin & Piano was written for and premiered by violinist Elizabeth Hedman and pianist Robert Thies in 2009. Mr. Redfeld’s Travels for Piano Quartet was premiered in June of 2011 by Central4. In 2013, he and Central4 were featured at the Festival Internacional Bravissimo in Guatemala City. Travels received its international premiere to great acclaim along with Les Miserables Fantasy, a new 12-minute suite arranged for piano sextet by Mr. Redfeld based on material from the hit musical. Additional concert works include A Heart’s Journey for Piano & Orchestra, Fanfare & Theme for Orchestra, Dance Sketches, Vineyards for octet, Serenade for Piano Trio and the celebratory string quartet, Jubilation Fanfare.

 

Among Redfeld’s twenty-five film scores are the AFI-produced Clinic E and film noir Moustache, which garnered him several awards. He has also composed music for more than twenty silent classic films and in 2013, participated in a five-city West Coast tour for the Library of Congress premiering his work for the restored Mary Pickford classics, Sparrows and Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall. Visit him at www.danredfeld.com.


BSXCD9115

 

Across The Stars: The Film Music of John Williams for Solo Piano

Performed by  Dan Redfeld, Piano

$15.95

 

 

THE NOVELS
1. Love Theme from JANE EYRE (4:59)
2. Main Theme from ANGELA’S ASHES (4:57)
3. Medley from THE BOOK THIEF (8:48)

AMERICANA
4. Suite from THE REIVERS (3:20)
5. Love Theme from THE MISSOURI BREAKS (4:00)

TRAGIC ROMANCE
6. Love Theme from STORY OF A WOMAN (4:17)
7. Across the Stars from STAR WARS: ATTACK OF THE CLONES (5:49)

THRILLERS
8. Main Theme from THE EIGER SANCTION (4:50)
9. End Credits from PRESUMED INNOCENT (4:15)
10. End Credits from FAMILY PLOT (4:07)

A TRIBUTE TO STEVEN SPIELBERG
11. ET and Me from E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL (5:50)
12. Main Theme from SCHINDLER’S LIST (2:12)
13. Cadillac of the Skies from EMPIRE OF THE SUN (4:40)
14. Suite from LINCOLN (5:34)
15. Main Theme from JURASSIC PARK (7:58)

 

 

http://buysoundtrax.stores.yahoo.net/acstfimuofjo.html

 

http://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/31142/

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, TownerFan said:

Is it just my ears playing tricks on me or this is actually digital piano? The sound is quite thin.

 

It's a digital piano.

 

Here's Dan playing an excerpt from The Rocketeer for a James Horner recording BSX is producing.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Their Harry Potter for harp release was digital.  Their last Williams release, "Schindler's List," was all live instrumentation if I recall correctly.  I'm not too bothered one way or the other, as digital piano these days sounds like the real thing.  If we made it through the bad MIDI rip-off Star Wars CDs of the 1990s and early 2000s, we'll make it through some decent synthetic recordings ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At first I thought it was an acoustic piano, but when the sustain pedal is not used so much the sound is quite dry in a way which would come from a digital piano.

 

Some nice arrangements though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can never get enough of Jane Eyre myself. Was very pleased to see the album available of itunes.

 

I'd like to see a solo (or duo) piano arrangement of 'To Thornfield' sometime, which I think is JW's most accomplished scherzo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to @TownerFan pointing out that this new CD was on Spotify (Why isn't BSX promoting this release themselves at all??), we listened to it last night while painting.


It's a nice CD, for sure!  I enjoyed the blend of established hits we've heard a million times with some deep cuts that showcase how the maestro's always been on the top of the game.

 

I think my favorite tracks after the first listen were Family Plot (really fun!), The Book Thief (great arrangement), Lincoln (ditto, the simplicity makes the melodies shine), and ET (wonderful).


I'll be listening again for sure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree on all counts, and I'd add "The Reivers" to that list.  Who covers The Reivers?!  As someone who periodically searches for random John Williams pieces on Spotify just in case there's an amazing piano or violin or cello (or jazz) cover lying in wait, I also appreciated the deep tracks.

 

Also, bold move putting The Book Thief right after its fraternal twin, Angela's Ashes.  I've never been so able to tell those two themes apart as I was 30 seconds into the second one here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Jay said:

Thanks to @TownerFan pointing out that this new CD was on Spotify (Why isn't BSX promoting this release themselves at all??), we listened to it last night while painting.

 

Well, they are.... sort of.  All of their PR is done through Beth Krakower.

 

-Erik-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The selections are very good and it's nice to have some hidden gems among more famous pieces. However, I'm not that crazy about Redfeld's playing. He's competent for sure, but not a great pianist, imho. I very much prefer Enguerrand-Friedrich Luhl and Simone Pedroni when it comes to these things, whom both showed more skill and bravura to this kind of stuff (I'm looking forward to Pedroni's upcoming JW piano solo album on Varèse). Also, I don't like the choice of doing it on digital piano--even though Clavinova sounds good, there's no comparison with the sound of a real concert grand piano.

 

I hope I'm not sounding too hard. It's a nice collection of pieces to have and I'm glad it's been released. I hope it'll help to open the gate to more releases of arrangements by other musicians---yes, Marc Papeghin, I'm thinking of you and your gorgeous horn arrangements! ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.. Any chance you could make those videos available worldwide? Are there some kind of licensing restrictions stopping you from doing that??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×