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Omen II

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Omen II last won the day on October 23 2023

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  1. I went to a wonderful concert with the LSO at the Barbican in London a few weeks ago. I am happy to see at least one movement (the lovely Romanza) from Ralph Vaughan Williams's sublime fifth symphony on YouTube, one of my absolute favourite symphonies by anyone. The conductor is Sir Antonio Pappano. Music doesn't get much better than this.
  2. I visit here for this sort of quality content. There is one bit of unreleased music from Stepmom which really struck me when I saw the film many years ago. I swear that Williams briefly references the theme from The Towering Inferno in a shot when the camera pans over the World Trade Center. The film was released in 1998.
  3. I saw Laurie Johnson with his London Big Band about twenty years ago in Croydon's Fairfield Hall of all places. It was really good. Although Laurie Johnson must have been in his mid-seventies then, he was a positive youngster compared to some of the other musicians on stage, a few of which were in their nineties! I seem to remember that Jack Parnell and Don Lusher were among those in the orchestra. While a lot of his most famous TV themes and film scores were just a little bit before my time, many are so familiar to British listeners even if they do not necessarily know who composed them - Animal Magic, This Is Your Life, Whicker's World and many more. His themes for The Professionals and The New Avengers should make the shortlist if ever Great Britain needs a new national anthem.
  4. “I Can’t Believe It’s Real Estate” 👽👽👽
  5. I noticed that this new biography about Elmer Bernstein by his son Peter was available on Amazon: Elmer Bernstein biography Has anyone here read it? If so, would you recommend it?
  6. It was interesting to see the harp positioned immediately in front of the conductor for the violin concerto, given its prominent role in the work. It reminded me of those old photos of Max Steiner or Alfred Newman in front of some Hollywood studio orchestra from back in the day. I have yet to explore the second violin concerto beyond a couple of listens all the way through, but hearing it live certainly whetted my appetite for diving deeper into it. This was my first time seeing Anne-Sophie Mutter play live so it was also my first live experience of any of the pieces which Williams has arranged for her. I would say that the pieces from The Long Goodbye and Cinderella Liberty worked best for me, possibly because Mutter's style of playing has quite a breathy, flautando quality to it which is not always to my taste but very much suits those two jazzy, vocal pieces. As Tom mentioned above, it seemed a pity that the concert could not have closed with more orchestral Williams, as great a score as Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront is. I felt a little sorry for the horn player who flubbed a couple of notes in his first two solos, although I am not sure most people other than pedantic film music geeks like me would have noticed. It is amazing to think that John Williams gave the London premiere of his symphony in the same venue more than fifty years ago, with Bernard Herrmann in the audience! I grabbed a few photos for the record.
  7. Here is a copy of the free programme for tomorrow's concert with the LPO, if you are interested: LPO Programme
  8. I have been reading The British Bloke Decoded by stand-up comedian Geoff Norcott. It is very funny, although you might need to be British and, er, a bloke to fully appreciate the references and humour. He deals with such important subjects as our favourite motorway service stations, football and, of course, why British blokes want medals for performing basic tasks. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to read two positive references to John Williams in successive chapters. In a chapter entitled 'Hero Daydreams' (come on, we all have them) he writes: His Williams fandom is then confirmed just a few pages later in the next chapter about the ending of Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader "decides he's had enough and lobs the emperor into a giant recycling bin." Here he is, for the uninitiated:
  9. I'd settle for a Fanfare for Carlton Palmer if it came from the pen of John Williams! As well as in Stepmom, there are also some football scenes in Story of a Woman, but I cannot remember if any of them are scored by Williams (pun intended). The main character played by James Farentino is a footballer and is shown scoring a goal intercut with what appears to be some genuine footage of a match between AS Roma and Juventus, I think. Perhaps our Johnny is looking at combining a concert trip to Berlin with the Euro 2024 final so that he can have it large.
  10. Is that Perry Botkin (front row) the composer of Skyjacked and Mork & Mindy fame? And Gene Estes (next to him) the renowned drummer?!
  11. I got this CD recently and just wanted to say how much I am enjoying it. I have been aware of Laurence Rosenthal for as I have been interested in film music, but I remained largely unfamiliar with most of his output, with the exception of a couple of things I had on compilations such as Meteor and The Return of a Man Called Horse. This CD therefore is a most welcome summary of some of Rosenthal's most notable works for film and television. If you love top quality orchestral film music, I cannot recommend this recording highly enough.
  12. “Dip-lo-matic immunity!” It’s just been revoked. 😢
  13. Not me, but my dad served in the British Army (Intelligence Corps) after enlisting initially in the Royal Air Force when he was seventeen. Despite this he was the least warlike person you could imagine. He was posted to West Berlin which is where he met my mum.
  14. Look what arrived today! The front of the CD case is cracked but worse things happen at sea and the cat doesn’t seem to mind.
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