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Fabulin last won the day on October 12

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    the observer

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  1. The one whose first words I quote in translation?
  2. Inviting Williams to Berlin was initially a Waldbühne project, but after Williams diplomatically excused himself with conflict schedules and yet came to Vienna to their hall, they Berliners seem to have gotten the hint and invited him to their main hall as well. It's still better than it used to be. Late Karajan or Abbado would have never performed film music, not even in the Waldbühne the way Rattle did. And back in 1980 there might not have been an audience for an expensive concert of American marches and fanfares in Germany. I also feel that just a decade ago the critics would have slammed ithe Berliner Phil for these concerts instead of writing"nothing bad should be said", or pretending not to see them. The gains might not seem massive, but they are qualitative. Long way to go, sure.
  3. On Wednesday there were no standing ovations at all. At the very end I stood up, but to my ire nobody else joined, so after a few seconds I did sort of an angry hand wave at that crowd of bricks (which made some heads turn towards me) and sat back down. Some 20 seconds of applause later, a few people stood up here and there, but they too stood alone. felt like a pilgrim in an unholy land
  4. In Europe, these orchestras are state-financed and treated as a common good and long-serving custodians of cultural heritage. They are subsidised well-enough to attract top professionals, many of whom are doubly active as scholars and educators. The Vienna and Berlin philharmonics are flagships of their kind recognized not only in their specific countries, but in the whole of Europe, and even beyond. There are some amongst the public who care about preserving what is worthwhile in the surrounding culture, and since John Williams is to not so few of them the last titanic representative of pencil-and-paper era orchestral composers, there is obviously some commotion, beginning with civil discussions, to fix the aforementioned institutions so that they do not ignore such state of matters. Myself, I work for one of the world's most acclaimed classical music institutions (can't say more because of my contract), and I am a fan of countless recordings made by other great orchestras of Europe over the past century, so I do not feel like giving up on whether the orchestra I support with my work plays some of the best music composed in living memory in front of a jubilant public, or whether it behaves like a mixture of a dusty museum and a loony political rally. There is nothing more optimistic to me than a happy applause at the beginning of a piece of classical music. Such attitudes cumulated over the past two decades, including people voting with their wallets accordingly, until we have all been gifted Williams conducting two sets of extremely succesful "tribute" concerts at the litmus halls of European cultural conservatism. It's nice to see such a healthy and positive generational shift at play. La Scala under Williams and the Concertgebouw under Denève next!
  5. Thus far these recordings from both concerts have become my go-to versions for their respective repertoire: Vienna - Close Encounters of the Third Kind Berlin - Marion's Theme Vienna - Rebellion is Reborn Berlin - Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra Vienna - The Imperial March Vienna - Star Wars Main Title (tie with the Phantom Menace recording after I "fixed" the tpt flub) Berlin - The Adventures of Han (though the LSO one imho has better trumpets) Berlin - Far and Away Vienna - War Horse Vienna & ASM - Devil's Dance Vienna - Flight to Neverland* ("different-but-equivalent" tie with the 1993 Boston Pops one) I was most surprised Berlin did a better Marion's Theme than Vienna, though I had to listen to it a few times unconsciously on the playlist to notice it. Marion's Theme is a little avenue of intimate hurt and comfort music, and the Berliners have proven it is better not to serve it too warm or glamorous.
  6. From the bazillion filming leaks on the internet, the film looks as crowded with things happening as TROS. I expect the music to consist of short cues like in TROS, although hopefully at least in a Williams-chopped form, not editor-chopped. This film will either be something of a repeat of the last Star Wars, or a borderline miraculous save by Mangold & Co. One thing is sure though: there will be a lot of fun action music.
  7. yeah, remember when Beethoven conducted and played as a soloist in an over 4-hour long concert of his own works?
  8. muted? I just wanted to post that the BPO absolutely owned that moment! "Yeah, that's us, and we are badass!" The mechanical rhythm of the strings brought to the front gave it more of a feel.
  9. But it's whole 'nother year... Pray for Williams's health, guys.
  10. Yeah, in many places it sounded skilled but very by the book, indeed like a better cousin of the Dudamel recording. The Viennese took more risks, for both better and worse. But that's a bit like comparing Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
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