Jump to content

Guess the Hollywood Bowl Concert Playlist ...


Eric Hester
 Share

Recommended Posts

Besides the obvious classics (Star Wars, Indy, Superman). He may play "Air and Simple Gifts" - but who will solo? Bing Wang ???

Perhaps a selection from "Home Alone" in tribute to John Hughes?

What is Lynn Redgrave's role? Narration or to sing a tune?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 23
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

According to the press release, "Williams leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a lineup of music from Harry Potter, Catch Me If You Can, Casablanca, Dracula and Superman and others. Actress Lynn Redgrave appears in the first half of the program to narrate The Magic of Harry Potter."

Good to see he likes to perform Dracula :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

According to the press release, "Williams leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a lineup of music from Harry Potter, Catch Me If You Can, Casablanca, Dracula and Superman and others. Actress Lynn Redgrave appears in the first half of the program to narrate The Magic of Harry Potter."

Good to see he likes to perform Dracula :)

Good indeed! Maybe Dracula will become standard John Williams repertoire before he passes...now all he needs to do is work on some other criminally under-looked scores....

By the way, is there any chance that this will be broadcast on either television or radio?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Probably not an official recording, but there'll be a billion videos on YouTube from concert goers.

I forgot to mention this in my last post, he also played "Dance of the Witches" at the rehearsal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A warm California night at the Hollywood Bowl...

First Half:

Harry Potter Grand Suite. Just like other performances, but I think it sounded even better. Note: Diagon Alley used the "full orchestra ending", which I had never heard before (although I had seen the score). It was much better than the "movement ending", which I heard last year in Boston, and which is the only version I've seen on YouTube.

Second Half

Tribute to the Film Composer. From the Academy Awards thing.

Escapades, from Catch Me If You Can. Saxophone concerto-esque piece - really good.

As Time Goes By, from Casablanca. An engaging violin solo (I've heard Williams violin solos that were not so engaging)

Devil's Dance, from The Witches of Eastwick. A little bit of Jaws, a little bit of Harry Potter...

End Titles, from Dracula. Good performance, but I could have done with Jurassic Park instead!

Superman March: Best performance I have ever heard. The LA Philharmonic brass is superb - no mistakes, and a truly powerful sound (especially the trumpets) - much better than the Boston Pops, who seem to flub a few major notes every time. I suppose the LA players are just better at this sort of film music.

The encores were:

1. Yoda's Theme. The cymbal player gave a HUGE crash on beat 1 and then, after his realization of what he had done, slumped over as though his favorite pet had died... I can only assume he assumed the first encore was...

2. Star Wars Main Title. About 100 people busted out their toy lightsabers. Great.

3. E.T. Concert Suite. A little slow for my tastes (slower than the recording).

4. Imperial March. Flawless. The lightsabers came back out, and the multicolor ones were turned to red!

Amazing! As is often the case, the encore was better than the "real" concert.

Here's hoping for Harry Potter 7!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Believe it or not, he was the best he had ever looked (I've seen him 4 times in the last 3 years). He was really funny - at one point a helicopter flew circles over the Bowl, which was really annoying (thankfully it happened in between songs), and eventually Williams cracked this joke about "Helicopters... now, that would be a good soundtrack. I've always wondered, are they in the key of C or the key of B flat?"

So as you saw, there were four encores, so Williams actually returned five times (counting the final "I'm going to sleep" gesture). Each time he shuffled off the stage, he looked kind of crazy - I would describe it as funny, wacky, and definitely sprightly.

Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention... during Superman, the video screens showed a montage of Superman and Batman clips, from the Routh/Reeve/Bale/Clooney/Kilmer movies... it was very distracting, and it made the Batman movies look MUCH better than they actually were!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Superman March: Best performance I have ever heard. The LA Philharmonic brass is superb - no mistakes, and a truly powerful sound (especially the trumpets)

I had the exact opposite impression during the "Dance of the Witches" piece. During the piece's climax, the trumpets are supposed to sound forth with melody line but they could barely be heard. You could see on the vid screen that they were playing, but all you could hear were the strings and winds doing their swirling arpeggio thing. Maybe the trumpets weren't miked right during that piece or something, but it was very perplexing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Yoda's Theme. The cymbal player gave a HUGE crash on beat 1 and then, after his realization of what he had done, slumped over as though his favorite pet had died... I can only assume he assumed the first encore was...

Oh dear, how awkward :o How did JW (and the audience) react to that? Had I done that in concert as a percussionist - and in a JW-conducted concert - I would have died of shame, quite possibly on the spot ... :lol::P

2. Star Wars Main Title. About 100 people busted out their toy lightsabers. Great.

People actually bring these things to a concert and start waving them around?! ;) Well, I can understand that possibly, this is normal in the US, but in EU, it would have been quite outrageous ... :P;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. Star Wars Main Title. About 100 people busted out their toy lightsabers. Great.

People actually bring these things to a concert and start waving them around?! :o Well, I can understand that possibly, this is normal in the US, but in EU, it would have been quite outrageous ... ;):lol:

Not only do they bring them, the gift shop at the Bowl sells them. An outdoor summer-night concert like this is very informal. People wear jeans and t-shirts and shorts and it's not anything like a standard symphony concert when it comes to decorum. Williams himself was delighted to see all the lightsabers glowing in the dark. He gave them all a thumbs up right before turned around and launched into the Star Wars Overture.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are my thoughts on the concert:

Harry Potter Grand Suite - Overall it was very good. I was really ticked off, however, because the people behind me were talking throughout the entire suite. I gave them several "signals" in the form of turning around and glaring at them for a moment, and finally at the last piece of the suite ("Harry's Wondrous World") I turned around and asked them to be quiet. They were fine for the rest of the concert, but I wish I would've asked them sooner. Anywho, the breakdown of the suite:

- "Hedwig's Theme" -- great performance. I always thought it'd be difficult to get that very (for lack of a better word) mechanical or untheatrical opening at a live performance, but the celeste player pulled it off marvelously. The rest of the orchestra was great also.

- "Aunt Marge's Waltz" -- also great, Williams did a pretty good job of keeping up with the images on the monitors. The orchestra did a great job of capturing the bombast of the original.

- "Diagon Alley" (or as it's printed in the program, "Daigon Alley") -- I had never heard anything other than the version that appears on the OST, so it was nice to hear the theme expanded and enhanced so much. Nice solos by Bing Wang.

- "The Knight Bus" -- this always seemed like it'd be a difficult piece to master by any orchestra, so when I first heard it at the rehearsal I was pretty surprised (I've never taken the time to research what the "HP Grand Suite" is comprised of). It was understandably a bit shaky in terms of performance, but still a solid one. I was glad Williams was playing some of his less accessible stuff.

- "Fawkes the Phoenix" -- marvelous. One of the highlights of the evening.

- "Nimbus 2000" -- again, it was nice to hear a concert version of this theme. A great performance by the woodwinds.

- "Chamber of Secrets" -- The performance itself was fantastic, although the images didn't always seem to blend harmoniously with the music.

- "A Bridge to the Past" -- I've never heard this secondary concert version of the theme, so it was very nice. Great performance.

- "Harry's Wondrous World" -- once again, a great performance.

A Tribute to Film Composers--this one was great fun to hear live, along with scenes from the films. Everytime a Williams composition began to play the crowd would start cheering so loud the music was barely audible (particularly with Star Wars), there was great energy.

Escapades:

- "Closing In" -- I've heard these selections from CMIYC performed live twice before this concert, once at the Bowl in 2007, and both times I thought that the piece suffers a lot from a live performance and all the obstacles that come with it. While I like to know that Williams likes his score to CMIYC, and I like to hear him doing stuff other than his popular works, I think this single cue is better heard on CD.

- "Recollections" -- this works much better, a great job by Higgins. The base solo at the end didn't do much for me, I wonder if that was improvised or not?

- "Joy Ride" -- This also worked much better. Good performance.

As Time Goes By from Casablanca -- nothing special for me, although Wang did a good job.

"Devil's Dance" -- another concert highlight. Fantastic performance, great energy. I've also never heard the concert version of this theme--is it available anywhere else?

"Love Scene" from Dracula -- to me, this was the absolute best moment of the concert. A great performance of a work that I've barely heard, accompanied by a scene from the film that makes me really want to see it. I really hope this CD gets a rerelease sometime soon.

"Superman March" -- Well of course this was a good one, althoguh the video from Batman films didn't really match up

ENCORES:

"Yoda's Theme" -- no symbal crash here, and a good performance

"Star Wars Overture" -- the crowd went nuts here, waving their sabers to the rhythm of the piece

"Flying from E.T." -- the crowd as a whole seemed to be a bit dissapoitned that it wasn't "Raiders March," but they cheered appropriately

"Imperial March" -- great performance, crowd loved it

This concert really emphasized two things to me: how much I want Williams to play different stuff at his concerts, and why he doesn't. My favorite moments, for the most part, where those that included atypical stuff--Dracula and Devil's Dance. The classics are nice, but I'd prefer new stuff. In addition, most of the classics have been played by the LSO at some point, so an orchestra's attempt to reproduce them will surely be slightly dissapointing (this isn't a reason to not play the classics, but a reason why they're less impressive when heard live than most of JW's other works). I don't necessarily mean stuff that wouldn't excite the casual fan--Williams has done plenty of bombast and fast paced music that is unknown and underplayed in the general public. On the other hand, the crowd I was in seemed to be mainly composed of casual fans who wanted to hear SW, Indy, etc. When Williams aunnonced his next piece would be Superman, somebody near me shouted "Finally!" The roars heard when any SW related music was played were enormous, as was the amount of sabers in the crowd. And I heard a few requests for "Raiders!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can hear the Yoda's Theme mess-up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-yPJD83Zdo&feature=channel_page

It's a shame the video monitor cuts from Williams to the orchestra right as the symbol crash occurs, I'd like to see his reaction.

:o:lol:... seems like Williams again reworked his music for concert performaces!

"..hmm I think a cymbalcrash at the beginning is just what's needed for that piece..."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2. Star Wars Main Title. About 100 people busted out their toy lightsabers. Great.

People actually bring these things to a concert and start waving them around?! :unsure: Well, I can understand that possibly, this is normal in the US, but in EU, it would have been quite outrageous ... :P;)

Not only do they bring them, the gift shop at the Bowl sells them. An outdoor summer-night concert like this is very informal. People wear jeans and t-shirts and shorts and it's not anything like a standard symphony concert when it comes to decorum. Williams himself was delighted to see all the lightsabers glowing in the dark. He gave them all a thumbs up right before turned around and launched into the Star Wars Overture.

Um, OK, thanks for the explanation! ;)

And for the cymbal crash-enriched Yoda's Theme! ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can hear the Yoda's Theme mess-up here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-yPJD83Zdo&feature=channel_page

It's a shame the video monitor cuts from Williams to the orchestra right as the symbol crash occurs, I'd like to see his reaction.

:unsure:;)... seems like Williams again reworked his music for concert performaces!

"..hmm I think a cymbalcrash at the beginning is just what's needed for that piece..."

Of course! I was wondering what that press release meant when it said that John Williams had "painstakingly rewritten" the music....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are my thoughts on the concert:

This concert really emphasized two things to me: how much I want Williams to play different stuff at his concerts, and why he doesn't. My favorite moments, for the most part, where those that included atypical stuff--Dracula and Devil's Dance. The classics are nice, but I'd prefer new stuff.

My thoughts exactly. I thought there was a bit too much Harry Potter for my taste. The entire first half of the concert was Harry Potter. It wasn't until after intermission that we got a taste of something else. I like the Potter scores well enough (much better than movies, which I can barely remember after watching them) but with so much else for Williams to choose from out of his repertoire, a little Potter goes a long way. Especially with gems out there like "The Duel" and "Battle in the Snow" from Empire and "Desert Chase" and "Miracle of the Ark" from Raiders, which have never been played in a concert setting as far as I know. And that's just to name a few.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.