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World Premiere of Tintin and War Horse in concert!


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#41 Incanus

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 06:42 AM



Well having witnessed some struggling from a few Finnish orchestras with Williams' more lively material, and those were professional great orchestras by the way, to me it seems Williams' music is not always easy to play.


Oh please? Finnish orchestra's?


For Stefan:http://www.grammy.com/nominees Nr. 71 C Rautavaara : The Mine Opera

And about Williams' music, it is not necessarily THAT difficult, I'm sure R.Strauss' operas and tone poems are
more difficult(horn parts that I know) but these Williams' live concerts can be very heavy, for brass section at least.
For compare, try to play 1812 overture 13 times in a row, some mistakes might occur for sure...

:lol: True. Brass players are always given special credit after or during the concert when Williams' music is involved. It happened in Lahti a few years back and that concert was all Williams and did contain his most popular and thus brassy pieces.

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#42 Stefancos

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Posted 08 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

Wow the Fins...Finish orchestras really are world class! I am gobsmacked!

Really...

#43 TownerFan

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 10:29 AM

So, who did attend this last night? Any reports?

#44 KingPin

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:50 PM

I went last night. I can provide a more detailed report about the full program later (I'm at work and I left my concert program at home, but the whole program was stellar), but for now I'll say that the Tintin piece was "The Adventure Continues", and the War Horse piece seemed to combine elements of both "Dartmoor, 1912" and "The Homecoming," with a slightly expanded flute solo. Also performed were "Adventures on Earth" from E.T., and then as an encore, "The Imperial March." All were performed well. Really great concert.

#45 Jay

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 04:52 PM

Hearing "The Adventure Continues" performed live must have been incredible

I would LOVE to hear that new War Horse arrangement live!!

#46 Sandor

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:06 PM

Hearing "The Adventure Continues" performed live must have been incredible

I would LOVE to hear that new War Horse arrangement live!!


Count me in! ;)
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#47 SF1_freeze

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:19 PM

Live or not live, i want to hear that new arrangement even if it means a low quality concert recording ;). Still, i'm confident he will play these in Tanglewood too and then we can record the higher quality concert radio stream

#48 Incanus

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

Interesting how Williams chose The Adventure Continues as the piece from Tintin. Could it be that this was originally the alternate swashbuckling main title version Conrad Pope mentioned in some interview or facebook a while back?

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#49 Jay

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 05:45 PM

I highly doubt that. And I in fact don't find it that interested at all that he chose it, I think it was too be expected. The only concert arrangements we know of he wrote for Tintin are that one and Snowy's Theme, and Snowy's Theme would require someone extremely adept at piano playing to be performed live.

#50 Incanus

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:09 PM

I highly doubt that. And I in fact don't find it that interesting at all that he chose it, I think it was too be expected. The only concert arrangements we know of he wrote for Tintin are that one and Snowy's Theme, and Snowy's Theme would require someone extremely adept at piano playing to be performed live.

Of course I was wishing for a true concert arrangement of Tintin's Theme. ;)

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#51 Jay

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 06:40 PM

There never was much hope, just a fool's hope....

#52 KingPin

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:26 AM

OK, so as promised, here's the full program will some of my own personal reactions to the performances.

Conducted by Richard Kaufman:

SMETANA: Dance of the Comedians, from The Bartered Bride
WALTON: Galop Final, from Music of the Children

Conducted by Teddy Abrams:

BEETHOVEN: Third Movement (Rondo), from Piano Concerto No. 1 (Ray Ushikobo, age 10, piano soloist)
COPLAND: Fanfare for the Common Man

Conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas:

RAVEL: La Valse

Conducted by Joey Newman:

R. NEWMAN: Suite, from Toy Story

Conducted by John Williams:

WILLIAMS: The Adventure Continues, from The Adventures of Tintin
WILLIAMS: Selection, from War Horse
WILLIAMS: Adventures on Earth, from E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial
WILLIAMS: The Imperial March, from The Empire Strikes Back (encore)



Overall, the concert was a very technically challenging program. Aside from the War Horse selection, every piece performed seemed to required some athletics and stamina from the performers. The Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra played exceptionally well, so much so that had I been blindfolded, my highly trained ear would not have been able to tell the difference between the YMF players and a world-class symphony orchestra. Intonation was near impeccable (except in one minor case, detailed below). This was my first time attending a performance at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and I must say that the acoustics were very good.

The Smetana piece has always been one of my all-time favorite orchestral works. Full of comic energy and light-heartedness, the woodwinds and strings handled the technical passages like pros. Always a fun way to open a concert.

The Walton piece was a piece I was not familiar with prior to the concert, but after hearing it for the first time, I'm now resolved to find a good recording of it. The piece was loaded with a jaunty rhythms and heroic themes, perfectly executed by the YMF.

The Beethoven movement was a real treat, mainly because the soloist was only 10 years old, yet he had more poise than I suspect many adults would have. I was amazed at how expressive he played the rhythm-driven Rondo for his age, and he was certainly no technical slouch either. He nailed every note with a certain dignity and finesse. It was 100% evident that he truly felt the music and had a passion for what he was performing. He sort of looked like a miniature clone of Lang Lang. Easily one of the major highlights of the evening.

I must admit, I'm usually a sucker for Fanfare for the Common Man, but for some reason the piece just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the program. Whereas the majority of the selections were fast, rhythmic pieces that utilized the entire orchestra to the fullest extent, this piece (as many of you probably are aware) featured only brass and percussion, and relies on broad legato chords to carry it thematically. It was a chance for the woodwinds and strings to get their only real break in the concert, but the brass certainly had their work cut out for them, and it showed. Although it was still performed well, this was the most flawed performance on the night. The percussion was way too loud in my opinion, and the brass, probably already feeling some exhaust from the preceding portion of the concert, was struggling in some areas to reach the high notes. There were a few cracked notes and a few chords that started with shaky intonation, although the players were quickly able to fix these issues.

Ravel's La Valse was, in my opinion, the most challenging piece of the night, and definitely one of the most intense and exciting. I relished the opportunity to hear it, primarily because it was my first time seeing San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, and former London Symphony Orchestra conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas, conduct live. Another stirring highlight of the concert, the demanding piece was played perfectly and expertly.

The last "block" of the concert (there was no intermission) was dedicated to film music, and the first selection was from Randy Newman's score to Toy Story, conducted by Joey Newman, cousin to Randy and an accomplished composer in his own right. I'm not familiar ebough with the score to be able to tell you which excerpts were included in the suite, but the piece was played with spirit and precision - a truly fun piece to listen to. The players looked like they were having fun too. After the piece ended, Joey Newman got on the microphone to tell an anecdote of how Williams flew from Boston to LA in order to attend Newman's wedding reception. According to Newman, Williams landed that day and got to the reception, but Newman and his bride were late to the reception and managed to only get a quick hello with Williams, after which Williams had to leave on a flight back to Boston that night to resume his duties with the Boston Pops. It was a warm, yet slightly awkward (Newman had sort of a nervousness on the microphone), introduction to Williams, who immediately took the stage.

The program did not list the specific titles of the Williams selections, only the films from which they were extracted from. Much to my own delight, the Williams segment opened with The Adventure Continues, one of my personal favorite tracks from the Tintin album. The orchestra maintained the level of energy and technical expertise as on the soundtrack album, and I was particularly pleased that the audience refrained from clapping after the multiple trick endings (not surprising considering the audience consisted mainly of parents of classically trained music students and other music professionals, so they clearly understood proper concert etiquette).

War Horse was next, featuring some of the most beautiful flute playing I've ever heard. The soloist had a crisp, clean tone, seamlessly moving between registers without a break in the tone, and unbelievable expression and intonation. I'm not as familiar with this score as I am with Tintin, but I've listened to it enough times to recognize the different thematic motifs, of which the concert selection incorporated many of them. It sounded like Williams combined the Dartmoor, 1912 and The Homecoming tracks to create a single concert presentation, with the flute solo part expanded in some parts, including an extended cadenza. The lush melodies were sweeping in the acoustics of the hall, and I'm certain that it brought my friend's wife, who was sitting next to me, very close to tears (she has yet to see the film but she's rumored to have cried at the trailer alone).

Adventures on Earth was standard fare, again performed with precision and energy by the orchestra. A classic way for Williams to close a concert - so classic that Williams didn't even bother to open the conductor score.

To everyone's surprise, Williams returned to the stage for an encore, The Imperial March. This provoked many cheers in the audience naturally, and the tempo was much faster than usual, especially surprising considering the orchestra was comprised of youth players. Then again, it they were able to tackle the high demands of the rest of the evening's program, why I should be surprised that they wouldn't be able to handle a faster rendition of this piece, I have no clue. A rousing end to an overall outstanding evening.

#53 Incanus

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 06:57 AM

A fantastic report from what must have been a fantastic concert KingPin! :)

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#54 TownerFan

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:47 AM

What a fantastic programme!

War Horse was next, featuring some of the most beautiful flute playing I've ever heard. The soloist had a crisp, clean tone, seamlessly moving between registers without a break in the tone, and unbelievable expression and intonation. I'm not as familiar with this score as I am with Tintin, but I've listened to it enough times to recognize the different thematic motifs, of which the concert selection incorporated many of them. It sounded like Williams combined the Dartmoor, 1912 and The Homecoming tracks to create a single concert presentation, with the flute solo part expanded in some parts, including an extended cadenza.


Oh, my... I wanna hear this.

#55 fommes

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 12:02 PM

Another one to add to the list of beautiful concert suites (we'll never hear in good sound quality until 2050)! ;)

#56 Jay

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 02:09 PM

Wow KingPin, that sounds absolutely incredible!

I gotta start flying cross country for some of these greate events held in LA

#57 karelm

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 06:02 PM

Excellent review and I completely agree with Kingpin. Glad to add Maestro is looking fit and energetic and chose to spend his time with the Debut orchestra as a fundraiser than at the Golden Globe for which he was a best score nominee (for Warhorse). I completely agree that solo flute was stunningly played.

#58 Richard Penna

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:59 PM

Wow KingPin, that sounds absolutely incredible!

I gotta start flying cross country for some of these greate events held in LA


I'd have no problem flying to L.A. to one of these if a plane ticket cost as much as a bus pass....

#59 APBez

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

Just stumbled across this short video clip from the War Horse selection which showcases the stunning flute work...

http://www.tumblr.co...gged/flute-solo (fourth post down)

#60 TownerFan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:25 AM

Nice find! It seems he wrote a beautiful extended cadenza for this concert suite.

Time to write a new Flute Concerto, Mr. Williams...

#61 Hedwig

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:27 AM

Oh that was just beautiful!! Someone must have filmed the whole thing ughhhh I want to see it so badly :angry:

#62 TownerFan

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:30 AM

It's quite ironic that a minute just before watching this clip I was finishing to listen to The River... The flute writing in War Horse is almost an extension of that one.

#63 crocodile

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:32 AM

Which one is it? I can't find it.

Never mind, I've found it.

Karol
"Modern, serious music has become embroiled in an intellectual discussion that has no place in music. Certainly, the great composer of the past were geniuses and used their intellect, but only to serve their emotions and guide their craft. Not to dictate to them what they should or shouldn't write" - Michael Kamen, 1995

 


#64 Incanus

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:44 AM

A beautiful extension of the flute writing from the score as per usual for the Maestro. His rethinking of the score material usually turns out almost superior to the original. And The River is certainly a score that comes to mind when searching for similar flute writing in his discography. As you say Maurizio, time to write another flute concerto Mr. Williams. :)

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-


#65 Tom

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 11:40 PM

With all the talk on the board lately of plagarism and self-plagarism, i think what Williams has done here is relevant. the flute cadenza in the warhorse piece does sound like The River. Is that bad? in this case, unequivocally "no." Very few people are even aware of the River score and it is never performed in concert. So Williams takes the main flute lines from there, adapts them to this piece, which likely will stand the test of time in terms of performances, and now we have a wider audience for such great material. I am not saying this is what was running through his mind, but it makes no difference. Now a wider audience of film music and more general audiences may now enjoy such wonderful flute writing. End rant/analysis/whatever this is.

#66 Incanus

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 05:25 AM

I do not think anyone is saying he actually borrowed the flute solos from The River. We have been mentioning it as a stylistic similarity for the writing for flute is in similar vein in both. This does not detract from either score since they are very different in most other ways. The other is contemporary Americana through and through and the other leans more to the Celtic and English musical tradition. And the flute writing in War Horse is some of the most beautiful Williams has ever written.

Ars superior est vita hominum.

 

"We pop out and come into the world and music is there. We didn't invent it - it's all organised in the atmosphere by divinity or whatever. It's a miracle." - John Williams-

 

I think music is a stream of some kind. It could be blood. It could be water. It could be ether. Whatever it is it seems to be a living, organic force that’s in motion, that serves humanity and is part of humanity and part of what describes us as humans. We sing, play, dance, all the things that we do. And there is a vibrant and great literature we have been given. ... As musicians, we join the stream. We swim in the stream with all the other millions of music makers. It’s a life force, a strong one, surrounding us and we are part of it. -John Williams-





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