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TownerFan last won the day on December 15 2022

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  1. Should also be noted that the reviewer is the esteemed Christopher Palmer, i.e. a distinguished film music historian and also a fabulous composer, arranger and orchestrator--he collaborated with Miklos Rozsa, Bernard Herrmann and Elmer Bernstein among others. His book The Composer in Hollywood is an essential reading for any true film music aficionado. I also love the notes he wrote for the TESB re-recording by Charles Gerhardt as printed on the Varèse Sarabande release, it's a sort of mini-essay on JW:
  2. I saw the film last Saturday and I liked it a lot. Is it a masterpiece? No. But it's perhaps Spielberg's most sincere and heartfelt film so far, possibly unlike anything he ever did before. The closest in tone and style is perhaps Catch Me If You Can, but the level of poignancy in The Fabelmans is imho on a different league. Imho, it's a profound film that touches deeply anyone who decided to follow the muse and tried to create something with it, and how all of this inevitably ties with your own story and your own roots. It's a film that speaks truthfully about many things. I was touched about the feeling of nostalgia for things that now belong to the past and that we miss dearly. Plus, I loved how the references to virtually each of his own films throughout all of it (some of them very clear, others very subtle). In this way, it almost felt like his own swan song, even though Spielberg stated clearly that it's not. John Williams scores the film in the only way he could have possibly done, i.e. with the utmost respect toward the personal story of Spielberg, who is first a friend for him and then a colleague. It's his most restrained score in decades and yet it's touching and very poignant. He let source music, classical pieces and also classic film music bits have the more prominent role, and reserved for the original score a minimum role mostly to offer a comment on the emotions of the characters. I found this choice very moving and also very humble in how Williams decided to stay out of the way most of the time. I only detected one cue that isn't on the album, but I'm trying to figure out if it's actually JW because it didn't sound like him at first glance. I'm referring to the cue that accompanies the moment where Sammy is filming the "long walk" of the final scene of Escape to Nowhere. It features a Morricone-esque solo electric guitar, and later strings and horns join in. It's almost a source music-like moment and initially I thought it was a selection from a classic score, but the recording was too clean and crisp as all the classic film score selections that appear in the film are used when Sammy is actually showing the films to the audience and they're clearly sourced from the original recordings.
  3. When I spoke with people of La Scala last week, they told me no audio or video recording was planned. The theatre always has an audio/video feed grabbing the performances for internal archival documentation (usually a single-camera wide shot of the orchestra and a stereo mic over the podium), but that doesn't account as a proper recording. Now, a crew with multiple cameras was actually in the theatre on December 12 as evidenced from footage now available, but from what I gather it was not meant for an actual filming of the concert like Vienna 2020 or Berlin 2021, but just to have material to be given out to press for articles and specials etc., and also for the Filarmonica's social media channels and internal documentation for future usage. Of course they grabbed the whole thing, but it doesn't look like it was actually live-directed, as you need a larger crew and many more cameras to edit everything properly. From what I was told, the RAI OB-van outside the theatre wasn't used for the Williams concert. That's all I know.
  4. First of all, I just want to say that I am deeply sorry for not being able to set up a proper fan gathering in my hometown. I had a very intense and busy 6 weeks leading to the concert on many fronts (busy work schedule, house renovations, extra activities tied to Legacy of JW, family issues, even Covid got in the way) and it really didn't come to me until Jay started poking me here that something should be done. I am sorry the original plan to go that pub-restaurant screwed up at the last minute and that the Park Hyatt replacement didn't work for everyone. So please accept my sincerest apologies! I just hope Milano treated well all of you who came to visit, that you weren't overcharged for any service and that you got to do some nice sightseeing around while waiting for the Maestro to lead the Filarmonica and that maybe one day you will come back for more concerts or perhaps just to visit more of the city. I wish I was be able to say hello to each one of you who was there and I am sorry I didn't catch so many of you. Since my face now is pretty well known I guess (lol), next time you'll see me just don't be afraid to stop me to say hello Everyone who did said some very nice things about Legacy of JW and it really warms my heart that people appreciate the work we're doing and want to say it in person. Having John here was really the realization of a dream. I wished to see him performing at La Scala since I was a kid and to see this happening was really magical. Dreams can really come true, especially when there is someone so special like John Williams involved.
  5. My two cents: https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2022/12/14/john-williams-in-milan-2022/ I needed a couple of days to collect thoughts, I hope it's worth your reading time.
  6. Saying that the orchestra played badly is totally unjust. I don't know what the standard references of these people are, but the orchestra was absolutely great. Was everything perfect? Of course not, as virtually any live performance is. It's known that London or US brass sections are always more powerful and precise than any European orchestra, but the brass of the Filarmonica yesterday did a great job nonetheless, especially the horn section, whose principal did some tearjerking playing on the Love Theme form Superman and the big Princess Leia solo. The trumpets perhaps weren't as powerful as Berlin or Vienna, and played in a more "Italian" fashion during the Raiders March, but that's one of the perks of hearing these pieces performed by orchestras who are not used to them. It should also be said that the theatre has a characteristic opera house acoustic (i.e. very dry, without virtually any reverb, but with lots of low-end frequencies becoming very prominent) and that's something that surely made the music sound a bit different than usual, especially if compared to Berlin's Philharmonie or Boston's Symphony Hall.
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