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About lairdo

  • Birthday 12/07/1967


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  1. I love how engaged the Maestro seems with the orchestra. The Nimbus 2000 piece with the woodwinds featured him intently concentrating and almost micro-conducting each player. He then gave a joyous smile at the end indicating he was pleased! (Which was warranted in my opinion.) And Far and Away earlier was amazing - felt a tad slow versus other performances, but the playing and sound was magnificent. (Also, I don't mind the masks. It's a snapshot in time of October 2021. In fact, in some ways they are creating a bit more light falling on people's eyes and in some ways when I see the behind JW, they seem more connected to the music. In Vienna, the light level is much higher so we could see people relatively well, but in Berlin it is pretty dark. The masks are oddly helping. Are they giving these out at the door? It seems everyone is wearing the exact same kind.)
  2. I had a chance to watch the movie. I have never seen it before. In fact, I am not sure I've ever seen a movie with Bibi Andersson, and the only Robert Stack movies that jump to my mind are Airplane! and Joe vs the Volcano. I am sure I have watched James Farentino in things given his extensive work, but only The Final Countdown jumps out at me on his IMDB page. I don't know the work of the director, Leonardo Bercovici, at all. This was one of only three movies he directed as his career was mostly as a writer. In fact, I probably have seen the episode he wrote for The Streets of San Francisco since I used to watch the show all the time. From a movie perspective, it was so-so. Not really bad but not that compelling either. There are other films that I have enjoyed with similar love triangles, but this one was only ok. It's hard to see it as all that shocking with 2021 eyes although in 1969 it was promoted as such. Photographically, there was some nice work with a lot of natural settings in different seasons. The movie was filmed in Rome, near Stockholm and in Cortina plus interiors shot in Rome. There are some stock shots from Washington DC and maybe even a shot or two of 2nd unit shot somewhere in the US, but it's very much a European film. The dubbing (even of English actors back into English) was a bit annoying at times but nothing unusual for an Italian production. Probably better than Sergio Leone films but as those are less realistic, and so the dubbing bothers me less in those situations. But of course, I only watched the movie to hear John Williams' score. And that was worth the purchase and 90 minutes for sure. I had only heard the theme but not sought any of the clips on YouTube! or related sites. While we know the score was hastily written and he did not even oversee the recording, it's still compelling and works relatively well. The song is nice and makes a few appearances. Credit goes to the director for having some sequences that play almost entirely with just music or music and minimally invasive background sound effects. I felt the music was given a bit of time to breathe. I heard many ideas Williams would use again later in character driven movies from Images to Always and beyond. Three things that stood out to me which worked well: 1. Karin (Andersson) visits a Rome farmers market early in the film. There is a lovely musical score over this sequence which lasts a few minutes. It is celebratory and clearly resonates with her mood of happiness and being part of the local culture (despite not being from Italy). Later in the film after much has happened, she returns to the market, and we hear the music again. But not exactly the same, and the music reminds us of how great she seemed to feel early in the movie and now has lost to some extent. 2. Karin goes into the snow and into the water at various times to reflect, think, have fun. A few of these are scored, often beginning and containing some solo piano. As Karin is a near classical pianist in the film, this choice by Williams makes sense. 3. Long before the LA Olympics, Williams scored the 1968 Grenoble Winter Olympics! In the film, Karin ends up at what I have to assume is those same Olympics because she sees a number of winter sport events (hockey, figure skating, ski jumping, slalom skiing). Most of this is scored by Williams in an active manner. The film does not identify this as the olympics, but given the range of competitions seen and that one of the hockey teams is wearing USA jerseys, I suspect it such. I thought it was funny given how much Williams has included the Olympic music this past summer at Tanglewood and the Hollywood Bowl and that he is kicking off Berlin with the fanfare too. Finally, I wonder if Williams had any say into the piano pieces and few source songs in the film. I suspect not as I think he came in late to the film. However, there are a large number of diegetic musical numbers. Negatives? I think the score lacks some cohesion at times. It feels a bit rushed as was the case. Still amazing to hear in context, and maybe "never" will happen someday and we'll get a release. As I wrote above, the film, for me, is just ok. Final thoughts: As an early "John Williams" score - no longer billed as "Johnny" - I can hear him developing and becoming the great composer he now is. While perhaps a throw away assignment, he does not waste the opportunity to give us some wonderful musical moments.
  3. That was my impression as well. I still really enjoyed it, especially the harp and violin layering in the piece. Looking forward to hearing it again, and I am sure this will be on the album with VC2. So, we will have Across the Stars (2021 arrangement), Marion’s Theme and maybe Han and the Princess?
  4. Update from Gloria Cheng's Kickstarter communications - she has been filmed playing the full Conversations piece and it is on YouTube! The description lists this as the occasion of the recording: "Hear Now Celebrates The 10Th Annual Festival Festival Of New Music By Contemporary Los Angeles Composers" From Gloria: https://www.facebook.com/MontageFilmComposers
  5. Interesting that ASM is performing as part of a quintet (as well as in the final piece) - but very nice she is playing with Harrell's widow for it. And of course, no JW composed pieces but that does not really shock me. I suspect he would have thought it too egoistic to program his own music.
  6. Agreed! Thanks, @Junion! Looks the album was paired with another Four Freshman album and released on CD. Available fairly inexpensively, so I ordered a copy.
  7. There is free registration to attend virtually for those interested. I signed up so as to be able to stream the musical pieces.
  8. My sister, cousin and 6-year old niece went to the performance last night. My niece has been to the bowl before, but not to see John Williams. Her review is succinct: ”I had no idea idea this would be so magical. I wish this night would never end.”
  9. Thanks @Jay for keeping this updated (and starting it back in the day). Just noticed that the new "Images" under Quartet got listed with the main European year of release. I think 1972 is correct for the first release at festivals and in the US (as you have it listed for Prometheus' version).
  10. My wife and I are out driving to friends but the timing worked out perfectly and we heard Casablanca, then the recorded Yorktown March. And then the big (well small) new piece which we both loved. My wife said after it finished “I want that.” I assured her I would capture the stream later tonight and put it on her phone. (And once again proving she is my true soulmate as she has been for nearly 30 years.) Now enjoying BFG’s suite. (The Olympic theme was nice too as always. Which was done for ABC for the LA 84 games not NBC but who is going to correct him?)
  11. Very nice to see this come out although almost all of the albums have been pretty findable over the years. I was so excited for each new release when they came out at the time. Even with having them all, I'll double dip. The timing (January) feels like the beginning of a series of releases for JW's 90th Birthday (Feb 8, 2022). It will be interesting to see what the various labels beyond this.
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