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Tanglewood 2019: ANH Live, "Across the Stars", Film Night and more

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8 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

With so many JWfanners in attendance I'm shocked this wasn't live streamed!

 

Oh I thought it were? Bummer. This is why we don't have a link yet.

 

:crymore:

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1 hour ago, crocodile said:

It was really lovely.

 

 

 

I'm curious since I have only heard the concert, how was the leading ladies montage set to Marion's Theme? Who did they show in the video? There were some laughs to some of the clips, so I figured at least a few of the actresses were doing comedy moments. Did that work overall? The music sure sounded great.

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9 hours ago, SilverTrumpet said:

 

Oh was that you? I saw you in the food area. My girlfriend was hoping I wouldn't spot you so she could find the shirt for me and surprise me. Where's it from?

 

Your girlfriend took Marian's shirt? I hope he brought a spare one!

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11 hours ago, lairdo said:

 

I was able to capture the complete concert. Will listen tomorrow morning, but my spot check of it was that it was fine. (Was actually watching A New Hope tonight during the concert!)

Great to hear. Please do NOT PM me (in case this is the procedure), I absoultely do not want to hear the concert.

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4 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

 

Seeing JW live is always a special experience and indeed very emotional. For me, it always felt like equally as if I was seeing Mozart or Verdi live. I’m very happy you and Marian managed to finally see him live! It’s indeed worth every penny.

 

The program looks a good mixture of uber-classics and less wore-out material. Very classy to dedicate a slot to the great Alfred Newman. I’m particularly curious about the Ryan and Jurassic Park segments performed live to film—were they actual sequences from the film, or just montage clip shows?

As I mentioned above, they were the actual scenes -- cemetery scene from the beginning of SPR and the Brachiosaurus reveal scene. Both were followed by montage clips accompanied by suite material.

 

Karol

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18 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

Oh, thanks! Curious choice.

It seems like a perfect balance between the standard concert and what you and David Newman discussed in one of your podcasts. As in that he prefers to perform music in context. I actually approve. :)

 

I am also happy that only the only three pieces that I've heard performed exactly in the sane form were the final three (including two encores). Everything else was either modified (shortened) or new to my ears. So that wad great. :)

 

Karol

 

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33 minutes ago, crocodile said:

It seems like a perfect balance between the standard concert and what you and David Newman discussed in one of your podcasts. As in that he prefers to perform music in context. I actually approve. :)

 

 

Yes, it seems like a good compromise. When I talked with Dave for my podcast, he specifically mentioned the opening sequence from ET as a good example of that.

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Thanks for the report, Karol!

 

I'm confident the concert went off alright. Can you tell me anything else about the rest of the trip? The meeting with other Williams fans? The social aspects? I'd be curious to know.

 

I'm obviously bummed I couldn't afford to go. But I've seen him live twice, and I'm content with that. The only thing missing is a personal meeting, and an opportunity to probe his memory about the early days. It will never happen. :(

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Wait, @TownerFan, what's your podcast?  I don't think I'm aware.  The site (or the forum) would benefit from a "podroll" summarizing all the places we know of where you can get JW- or film score-focused earbud filler.  @Erik Woods does something similar on his home page at Cinematic Sound, but it would be neat to see them listed here by forum poster as well.

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How the West Was Won is a classic, but I wouldn't say it's especially representative of Newman's music.  For being one of the 3 or 4 most important Hollywood composers of the 1930s-1950s, it's notable just how few Westerns he scored.

 

After listening to the concert, I have to say it was a real treat to hear the opening cue of Saving Private Ryan performed live.  Exactly the kind of underscore cue you don't get to hear performed often, and the sound effects for that opening are not especially intrusive so I could treat like a non-LTP perf.

 

Also Adventures of Han was taken too slow once again!

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4 hours ago, Jay said:

 

 

WILLIAMS “The Cowboys” Overture

 

At this point David Newman took the microphone and mentioned how that was from The Cowboys and that it was notable for being "the only film where John Wayne is shot by a good guy" which seemed like a bit of an odd (and spoiler-y) tidbit to mention. 

 

It's not only odd, but it's wrong! It's the only film where John Wayne is shot in the back (at least only western - not sure about his war movies). Bruce Dern plays Long Hair, and he shoots The Duke in the back as The Duke turns and walks away from him. In no way is the character a "good guy" nor is he trying to be or treated like one by anyone in the film.

 

In fact David Newman got two things wrong - The Cowboys is from 1972, not 1970.

 

Oddly, on the radio broadcast, the host Ron Della Chiesa got a few things wrong too. First, he announced we had just heard Dry Your Tears Africa, when in fact, that was coming up next. (Saving Private Ryan had just played.) And, he called David Newman by his father's name, Alfred Newman. But he did know The Cowboys was from 1972!

 

 

1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

How the West Was Won is a classic, but I wouldn't say it's especially representative of Newman's music.  For being one of the 3 or 4 most important Hollywood composers of the 1930s-1950s, it's notable just how few Westerns he scored.

 

 

I completely agree. I would have gone with Captain From Castile or The Greatest Story Ever Told. But, I think How The West Is Won is better known. All three were academy award nominees. His winners that are known are mostly adaptations (Camelot and The King and I for examples.) 

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5 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Also Adventures of Han was taken too slow once again!

 

Was definitely way too slow. Didn't Williams himself conduct the OST track? Kinda weird that he's gone for such a slower tempo live. 

 

Meanwhile, Scherzo for X-Wings went the opposite way (for the better). 

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On 8/25/2019 at 8:46 AM, crocodile said:

Luke and Leia was the shortened version.

 

I meant to ask someone about this. It was the exact same arrangement but they just cut some measures out of the intro, outro, and middle part. What was the purpose of making these changes? 

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1 minute ago, SilverTrumpet said:

 

I meant to ask someone about this. It was the exact same arrangement but they just cut some measures out of the intro, outro, and middle part. What was the purpose of making these changes? 

 

Yes, it's that ungratefully cut version. I seem to remember that shortened version originated for the old Star Wars In Concert tour--I think some bars were cut to accomodate the footage accompanying the music. JAKMS did music prep for that concert and my guess is that they sent it over to Boston when JW wanted to conduct it there and that is the version BSO is keeping in their library.

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6 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

 

Yes, it's that ungratefully cut version. I seem to remember that shortened version originated for the old Star Wars In Concert tour--I think some bars were cut to accomodate the footage accompanying the music. JAKMS did music prep for that concert and my guess is that they sent it over to Boston when JW wanted to conduct it there and that is the version BSO is keeping in their library.

 

Bummer. It was the first time I heard that version and it felt like turning and walking into a wall after hearing the original version for so many years. 

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I remember JW conducting the full version in Chicago in 2005, it was beyond gorgeous.

 

It's quite a mystery why sometimes he goes for these shortened versions (like Hymn to the Fallen, or more recently the Olympic Fanfare). My theory is that since these pieces are often performed in concert with accompanying film clips, sometimes he cuts a measure here and there, and that's the version that is being kept in the orchestra's library.

 

Oh well. At least the official published versions on Hal Leonard are the ones without the cuts.

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On 8/26/2019 at 5:58 PM, Jay said:

Boy, what a fun night in western Massachusetts I had Saturday night!

 

I arrived, bought my lawn ticket for a mere $23, walked through the gate and immediately saw @crocodile and @Marian Schedenig waiting on the other side!  They introduced me to @Tanglehead who had posted those videos from Williams' appearance conducting at Tanglewood last month, and then @Foxfan came over as well.  @Tanglehead was smart enough to grab a selfie of us (I always forget to do that) before he headed to his seats and the 4 of us grabbed a beer at the beer tent nearby.  We discussed travel, accents, Karol and Marian's first trip to the US, and how it was clear why JW loved being out here so much before we quickly had to find out seats as the concert was starting.  I grabbed a spot on the lawn and sat down to enjoy the first half!

 

I didn't know what a night "hosted" by Williams meant, but we found out right that it started with him coming out to start the show and talk for a bit.  I really enjoyed this because he ended up talking for a longer period of time than I've ever heard him do before!  I cannot remember now everything he talked about, but with the concert being streamed online and on the radio hopefully someone posts a transcript.  I remember him talking about how he had been coming to Tanglewood for almost 40 years, and that the venue had been there for 80, but he was "just a bit" older than that or something along those lines.  He also talked about the importance of performing film music in concerts and how this orchestra has always done so well with that, and ended by talking a bit about the legacy of the Newman family and how Alfred Newman had more Oscars than he did, and introduced David Newman.

 

David came out and started the first piece right away!

 

WHITING/arr. WILLIAMS Hooray for Hollywood

 

This was played to a video montage of classic Hollywood moments.  I've heard this arrangement live, set to either this same or a very similar montage more than once before, but it's always a nice way to start any film-focused concert.  Very fun!

 

WILLIAMS “The Cowboys” Overture

 

Oooh boy I liked this quite a bit!  I never had the old 90s Varese CD and still have not seen the film, so my first exposure was hearing this Overture in Boston once before, which I really enjoyed at the time.  Since we got the terrific Matessino production of the complete score and I came to REALLY enjoy the entire score and it's bevy of themes.  Hearing this Overture again knowing what all the themes are, and hearing all the unique aspects to it that aren't in the original score anywhere, was a real treat.  This was shown to a montage of Western movies that I believe I had seen before.

 

At this point David Newman took the microphone and mentioned how that was from The Cowboys and that it was notable for being "the only film where John Wayne is shot by a good guy" which seemed like a bit of an odd (and spoiler-y) tidbit to mention.  He then indicated next would be two pieces from Jane Eyre, which he said like The Cowboys from from John's "early" period, before Jaws, and that they would be followed by a selection from Raiders of the Lost Ark from 1980.

 

WILLIAMS Two selections from “Jane Eyre”: Reunion—To Thornfield

 

I hate to say it but over the years I've just never been able to get into this score and this performance did nothing to change my opinion.  Maybe some day!

 

WILLIAMS Marion’s Theme from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

 

This was the wonderful arrangement from 2008, set to the same montage of Hollywood's classic heroines that I've seen in concert many times.  No matter how many times I hear it, I still love this arrangement of the theme!

 

David then took the microphone again to talk a bit about his father and his family's relationship with John Williams.

 

Celebrating Alfred Newman

NEWMAN 20th Century Fox Fanfare

NEWMAN Theme from “How the West Was Won”

RODGERS The Carousel Waltz (film orchestration supervised by Alfred Newman)

 

The 20th Century Fox Fanfare was a blast to hear live!  When I saw Star Wars live to projection they played it there too, but I can't remember if that had the CinemaScope extension or not, which this one did.  Very cool!  I am not familiar with much of Alfred Newman's work, but I really enjoyed the How The West Was Won piece!

 

At this point the intermission arrived and I went to find Karol and Marian, but someone ended up not being able to find them.  As the second half of the show began, I was able to snag a seat in the shed so was able to enjoy the second half from a proper chair!

 

 

The second half started with David Newman returning to the stage without saying anything, and launching right into the next piece!

 

WILLIAMS Theme from “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge”

 

I dunno about this piece, I like it but I don't love it.  Perhaps if I were to visit the park I'd get into it more.  I will say I enjoyed this performance quite a bit, it is a fun lively piece!

 

Opening sequence from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”

 

This was really cool and I was surprised Newman didn't set it up before hand, though there was a funny moment when he was ready to begin but looked up and saw that the screen hadn't finished rolling down yet so he had to wait :) So this piece skips past the main titles set to that wind sound, and begins right with the flute solo that properly opens the score as we see the forest.  It was the entire 6 minute opening of the movie, so both 1M1 The Forest and 1M2 Keys Arrives, with the revised ending, with all the sound effects and dialogue (what little there is during the opening) in the mix.  I have seen the entire ET Live To Projection concert before so this wasn't my first time seeing this, but it is pretty wonderful every time nonetheless.  Wonderful music and the audience seemed to really enjoy it.  I had kinda forgotten how cheesy some of the effects are in this part of the film though :)

 

David Newman then spoke a bit about how you can understand so much better the role film music plays when you watch footage from a film with it removed, and then brought out the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and set up the next 3 pieces they would perform with the orchestra.  He ended by saying that there would maybe be a "surprise" after those, which we all knew what it meant!

 

Excerpts from “Jurassic Park”

 

This was wonderful!!  Since the full Jurassic Park: Live to Projection concert hasn't come to New England yet, I haven't seen it, so it was quite a pleasure to hear 3M2 The Dinosaurs performed like to film!  Those those more familiar with OST titles, this is the middle of "Journey To The Island", so after all the helicopter and early jeep riding business, and without the ending approach to the main visitor's center.  It begins with Ellie examining the planet and Grant turning her head, goes through the entire dinosaur reveal scene, ending shortly after the "Welcome to Jurassic Park" line.  It was wonderful to hear this live, especially because the chorus sounded different than the film/album version we're all used to, which made it feel more real and reactionary than a more familiar performance would have.  As the cue climaxes, it immediately segued to the end of the end credits set to a montage of various scenes from the whole film, and no more sound effects or dialogue, until the end which was the classic "When dinosaurs ruled the earth" shot that had the T-Rex's roar mixed it.  It was all very effective and got a big applause from the audience.  I loved it!

 

Excerpts from “Saving Private Ryan”

 

This was my favorite piece of the night!  Again the main titles were skipped, with the footage starting right on the American flag shot, and 1M1 Revisiting Normandy was played!  This was so cool, especially since the whole scene has no dialogue so apart from the sound of the camera shutter, it was mostly just music we were hearing.  After the film transitions to Normandy and the Omaha Beach is shown, as the music ended it segued into Hymm to the Fallen, with the video now showing a montage of footage from the whole film, pretty much in order from what I could remember, ending with the final scene and the final shot of the American flag like it started with.  I found the entire performance very moving, from beginning to end, especially with the footage set to it.  I loved this and hope it becomes a standard piece at concerts from now on.

 

Dry Your Tears, Afrika, from “Amistad”

 

This was very fun too!  I am not as familiar with this as I am many other Williams pieces, but I believe it is the revised version like as heard on Spielberg/Williams III.  Good stuff!

 

Newman then left the stage and Williams came out to a massive round of applause, and he immediately began conducting the next piece without any commentary

 

The Adventures of Han from “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

 

Oh boy this was great!  I pretty much liked this piece as soon as I heard it, which was conducted by Williams in Boston in 2018, and have listened to the album recording many times.  I found this performance to be noticeably slower than that take, which was a bit unfortunate, but it was still lively and the false endings still made me smile.  I think Williams enjoys this piece quite a bit.

 

Luke and Leia from “Return of the Jedi”

 

This is the new shorter version and while I only see complaints online about it, I personally don't mind the short version at all.  I think this was very nice!

 

Williams then took to the mic and told his usual story of not knowing when they made the first one that there would be any more, and revealed he had written 100 minutes of music for Episode 9 and had to return to LA the next day to begin recording 40 minutes more, which he called "his other job" which got a nice laugh.

 

Star Wars Main Title

 

I have to say even though I've heard this performned live by Williams countless times, it never really gets old to hear in concert!  I thought this was a very energetic and lively performance that I enjoyed quite a bit.  After it ended he left the stage to massive applause that never died down until he returned to perform an encore.  He briefly introduced it by thanking the audience, the orchestra, and David Newman, and then telling a little anecdote about "Yoda's little theme" by saying George let him know Yoda was 900 years old but had only been teaching Jedi for 800 years, so it took him 100 years to hone his art.  The things Williams remembers vs not remembers makes me chuckle sometimes!

 

Yoda's Theme

The Imperial March

 

Not too much to say about these as I've also heard them performed countless times by Williams, but both were performned very well and the audience was having a great time.  I was hoping for one final encore but after another massive round of applause the house lights finally came on after leaving the stage.  Such a wonderful night in Tanglewood.

 

After the concert, @Marian Schedenig, @crocodile, @Foxfan and I chatted about a variety of topics while the traffic let out, which was also wonderful.  I believe a great night was had by all!

 

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It was seriously so cool. I mean, you never expect a quiet underscore cue like Revisiting Normandy to be played in concert! But doing it this way, synced to footage (that is so in tone with the music), and acting as a lead in to HTTF, is such a good way to get something like this performed. I loved it! 

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On 8/25/2019 at 10:15 AM, lairdo said:

 

I'm curious since I have only heard the concert, how was the leading ladies montage set to Marion's Theme? Who did they show in the video? There were some laughs to some of the clips, so I figured at least a few of the actresses were doing comedy moments. Did that work overall? The music sure sounded great.

 

I can't possibly remember all the names - a lot from the days of black and white films.  The laughter you heard was when they showed Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie and Miss Piggy.

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Interesting post in the YouTube comments:

Quote

Nice to see Sarah there. I hope he conducts the Berliner when he travels to Vienna next year.

 

Perhaps an insider who knows something that hasn't been announced? Could Williams be preparing to attempt Vienna again? Clearly it's a bucket list item that he wants to accomplish and 2020 makes perfect sense; he'll be done with Star Wars and Spielberg has nothing on the horizon except Indy 5 in 2021. Can't think of anything else precluding him from travel to Europe in October.

 

And for those wondering, he's referring to Sarah Willis the horn player (of the Berlin Philharmonic), seen clearly in the orchestra.

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Do we know why the Wiener Philharmoniker is on his bucket list? He’s never conducted it before, AFAIK. I’m just kinda curious why that one and not, say, the Berliner Phil or the Royal Concertgebouw or the Orchestre de Paris?

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I'd say it's more about the venue and the city, @Bayesian

 

Has he ever conducted in Vienna, or even visited Austria? I never really followed his conducting career or travels through the 70s-80s-90s, other than knowing he spent many years in London. Perhaps he has some interest in Beethoven's career there.

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