I'm looking forward to a John Williams concert in here in Sydney, Australia, this Saturday (01/03/2014):
Robertson conducts John Williams Music from the Movies
The Sydney Symphony orchestra (SSO) will play an evening of JW pieces under their new Chief Conductor, David Robertson.
I'll eagerly write a review of the concert in the days to follow.
It's the third SSO all-JW concert I have attended so far. Cynically, they tend to be a quick cash-grab for the orchestra by appealing to kids and other pop-culture buffs who wouldn't otherwise attend a symphony concert. The conductor, David Robertson, is using the concert as a way to demonstrate his embrace of American 'pops' music. I call it that, despite my deep resentment of JW music (or film music in general) being referred to 'popular'. As many will point out, 'popular' has a very stubborn musical connotation of 'inferior', and despite how far and wide JW's music has reached, it can barely be called 'popular' (in the commercial sense, despite it's immense success), and absolutely not inferior (or unsophisticated) - quite the opposite, but of course I'm preaching to the converted here.
The last JW concert here in Sydney was back in 2011 (I'm noticing roughly a 3-year cycle). It was a mediocre performance from the orchestra, who sounded almost like they were sight-reading. Broad appeal was generated by blending in the presence of prominent Aussie host/comedian, Shaun Micallef. Most of the night I wished he'd just shut-up and let the orchestra play. With Robertson (an American himself, hence the concert) hosting this time, I hope I can look forward to the orchestra playing with 'dignity'. Encouragingly, there will be voices involved, which gives me hope of Hymn to the Fallen being played (possibly my favourie JW piece). They will definitly be playing from 'Empire of the Sun' according to the press release.
Of course, in the end of the day, I'm extremely grateful for the orchestra recognising the appeal and importance of JW music (and film music in general), and I look forward to attending their concerts at any rate - no matter how much intellectual snobbery I may display in this writing!
The only step up at the moment is hoping for JW himself to come to Oz, but he seems very content with sticking to his homeland at the moment. Looks like I'll just have to try make it to Boston in June.
Review to follow!
This concert was recorded for later broadcast, and will be aired on ABC Classic FM on Sunday, 16/03/2014 at 2pm Australian EDST. 92.9FM in Sydney. The rest of the world can stream it through the ABC Classic website http://www.abc.net.au/classic.