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lairdo

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About lairdo

  • Birthday 12/07/1967

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  1. My first impression was yes as well. As soon as it started, I thought so and actually thought that was going to transition into the title music (instead of the rescored prequel flashback edit).
  2. I love it. That being said, for a classic original trilogy character, the suite feels more akin to the recent sequel suites (not surprising given the time of writing). Yet it does seem to really fit the mood of Obi-Wan at this stage. It's not Old Ben's theme or young Obi-Wan's theme. It's in-between as merited by the time period of the show. And as a standalone and just as music, it just works. I hope to hear this in the concert circuit, perhaps as soon as the June ones in DC and maybe at Tanglewood in August. I am positive it will show up at the Hollywood Bowl in early September. Maybe even La Scala in December. Very glad they officially released it today, and I expect it to also be on the Obi-Wan full soundtrack that will likely drop around the time of the 6th episode on June 23 or 24.
  3. Many movies in the 80's had that configuration. Superman III and InnerSpace (as you likely are remembering) for example plus many others with only 1-2 score tracks. Even Always has a number of songs before transitioning to score. SpaceCamp happily avoided this fate, perhaps in part that the songs are not very prominent and only in the first 40 mins of the movie.
  4. I like the performance for sure from the Memorial Concert. But I think the recording (microphone placement and overall sound) is not quite as good as the 100th Anniversary one with Williams conducting. So it's a balance of those things. We're fortunate really (as we are with the Violin Concerto No. 2) that there have been multiple performances broadcasted and/or available of this piece.
  5. Very well put, and agreed that Highwood's at Tanglewood was not perfect for sure. Maybe it was more spontaneous? Plus, I think it likely benefited from the energy of celebrating Lenny's 100th. I think that whole concert is wonderful.
  6. Agreed. The vinyl for this album comes out in August. It will be interesting to hear that. Yes!
  7. I agree about seeing it live. I wonder if that might actually happen and where. One can hope nearby and that it is streamed on video and even released. As for the mastering, I feel that the loud sections then the timpani sounds are pretty much crushed. Those moments sound ragged, something that could not possibly happen when hearing it live. I just don't get why those mastering it needed to max it out in such a fashion. There are creative uses for such things in many audio situations - I think Platoon's movie sound mix is deliberately distorted in places to add to the sense of war and horror. Certainly many types of rock music are at max volume too. I find it very odd. But even with that, listening to the music is a a great experience. For me with the cello concerto, the music is first rate. My 2nd listening reinforced that I like this version very much. I understand the enjoyment of the original's opening with a triumphant flourish, but this new version starting more quietly, almost magically, is lovely. I very much like this revision, and it is almost like 2nd cello concerto other than using the same themes. Maybe a version 1.5. The other tracks are appropriate to the album. As I wrote earlier, this version of Highwood's Ghost is not as appealing to me as the one on the Bernstein 100 Blu-ray. That's not to say I don't like it here. Just the one with the Boston Symphony sounds more coherent. Perhaps it is the mastering issue since the big orchestra section is not compromised sonically on that recording. What's interesting about the Schilndler's List suite and the Lincoln and Munich's tracker is that they seem closer to tone and spirit with the cello concerto and Highwood. While the cello and Highwood venture into musical tones and ideas that rarely feature in Williams' film pieces, all 10 tracks fit cohesively here in terms of seriousness and in a straight play through. I think that does not happen as much with Markings on the deluxe Across the Stars album as that piece seems to be too different from the film arrangements proceeding it. It will be interesting to hear how Violin Concerto No. 2 feels followed by the 3 film arrangements on that upcoming album. Overall, mastering aside (and I wish the issues on CD were not also in the digital versions, but they are), A Gathering of Friends is a treat and a lovely, long overdue, follow up to Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams.
  8. Interesting. That is possible that Presto does not have Sony digital distribution rights in the UK. It's also interesting that 7Digital is only offering CD resolution (both in the UK and US) when other sites have the 96/24 versions.
  9. Presto and Qobuz both carry the Sony digital files. And indeed, like HDTracks, the album is now available at both online stores in 24/96 format. I guess something about the release timing required them to wait until later today to post them Presto - $18 https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/9328085--a-gathering-of-friends Qobuz - $16.59 ($11.09 if a Sublime streaming member) https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/album/a-gathering-of-friends-john-williams-yo-yo-ma-new-york-philharmonic/af72fsapf143b Attached is the waveform from With Malice Towards None from A Gathering of Friends. It's pretty similar in dynamics to the Spielberg/Williams album. Upon listening to it, the cello is very prominent and seems to have had a microphone very close to it. It doesn't seem to have been overly limited though (closer than a Prayer for Peace, for example). I believe this is from track 3 the Cello Concerto Scherzo. It's the same on the hi res digital files, and the timpani hits are partly what is driving those max waveform movements. This is the worst moment of the issues, but it happens in other sections of the Cello Concerto and in the middle of Highwood's Ghost too. The other tracks seem ok.
  10. I've been listening on Tidal. I really enjoyed the revised Cello Concerto. I now have to go back and listen to the original version (which I did a few weeks ago), but I want to pay more attention. It's really a very modern work - generally more so than Violin Concerto No. 2, and I think the revision pushes this aspect further. I feel it is more complete than before despite being shorter overall. Or might be because of that. So far, Highwood's Ghost is not grabbing me as much as it did in the Bernstein memorial concert premiere.
  11. Well, HD Tracks appears to have posted the Hi Res digital version. https://www.hdtracks.com/#/album/626fdd93962aaf2480692b49 $20.99. HDTracks usually sends out a new released discount code on Fridays, so that will be available for 20% off for the weekend. <Update: 20% code is released: HEADPHONEHD. And the email even highlighted A Gathering of Friends in the big albums released this week.> Oddly, I don't see Presto Music having the digital version yet (despite the time being 4 AM in the UK) or Qobuz which usually posts based on France's midnight (5 hours ago). And these two are not usually region locked like Spotify. I wonder if the European retailers are being held back until Friday US EDT (which doesn't explain why HDTracks has already posted since it is only 11:25 pm EDT). Edit - I guess the release window for them was later than midnight. Presto and Qobuz are both up now: Presto - $18 https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/products/9328085--a-gathering-of-friends Qobuz - $16.59 ($11.09 if a Sublime streaming member) https://www.qobuz.com/us-en/album/a-gathering-of-friends-john-williams-yo-yo-ma-new-york-philharmonic/af72fsapf143b
  12. This is referring just to the Japanese SACD version and our speculating on the newly announced Berlin Philharmonic concert coming to SACD on June 3. See my post at 8:04 pm PDT May 15 for the start of the discussion.
  13. Oh, I forgot that Vienna was just stereo. That does make me think we will only get stereo here too. The CDJapan site does not have any details yet, and Tower Records Japan does not list the disc at all.
  14. I completely agree; this is really for completists only. The Blu-ray really is better in terms of having the stereo and surround mixes + Atmos too. I assume the entire concert was mastered at 24/192 so the higher rate of the DSD files might just be upsampled. SACD is still popular in Japan though, and the Blu-ray audio disc assumes you have a display connected. Some people have audio only listening set ups (as I do in my office actually). Then there are nutty people like me outside Japan who just enjoy SACD as a format. My guess is that it is the exact same content as the CD - edited concert with speeches but no orchestra tuning as on the video release. Really, I think they they are just taking their Hi Res Blu-ray audio PCM & DTS 5.1 Masters and converting to SACD format (stereo and multichannel). I suspect that because the album has done so well around the world that there was enough interest for DG Japan to request the additional release. I think the timing on June 3 is a bit odd since they are also releasing Violin Concert No. 2 that day, but maybe they think that people might buy both. (But VC2 is not in a SACD format.) Anyway, whatever gets the Maestro's music into people's hands, ears and hearts is fine with me!
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