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John Williams: Music From The City Of Angels


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Walt Disney Concert Hall

111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles Philharmonic

John Williams, conductor

Johannes Moser, cello

KORNGOLD Suite from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

NORTH "Forest Meeting" and March from Spartacus

HERRMANN "Scene d'Amour" from Vertigo

WAXMAN Excerpts from Sunset Blvd.

GOLDSMITH Theme from Chinatown

ROZSA Prelude and Finale from Double Indemnity

WILLIAMS Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha

WILLIAMS "Adventures on Earth" from E.T.

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I was there last night. I had a unique seat, right behind the percussion section, facing Williams. While I wouldn't recommend that vantage point for every concert, it was cool to say I did it.

The program was great and I had a good time at the show.

Neil

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Perfect. And from my seat I could see all the unique percussion being performed, including the piano runs, which was cool. And the pace was just right. Someone in the audience really liked it, shouting out "Yeah!" as soon as it was over.

Neil

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It was a great concert. The horns sounded fantastic and strings were rich and warm...not too much portamento for the older scores, but just a lovely glow. I've heard ET live maybe 20 times and every time it gives me goose bumps. Also, this was the best I had ever heard the Imperial March performed. It was terrifying, thrilling, and menacing. I think the reason it sounded so great was the accoustics made every thud of the percussion crystal clear and Disney Hall's accoustics are unmatched. I also really enjoyed hearing the Goldsmith and noirish works. Williams definitely emphasises the lonely, noir elements of the music in the first hour. I commented to my friends all the music felt very sad to me...well, maybe except for the Korngold. Geisha was a bit over long, but it was remarkable to hear him come up with something new at his age. Composer seemed more tired than usual. Hope he is doing ok.

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I saw the concert on Saturday night.

After the performance of the Memoirs of a Geisha suite, the cellist and John Williams received a very long and loud standing ovation from the audience. He came back out and did an encore performance of John Williams' "Elegy". Which ended up being one of the highlights of the concert, a very beautiful rendition.

At the end of the concert, after the "E.T. Suite", the audience exploded into a loud and long standing ovation again, and were treated to the "Imperial March" as an encore. This was followed by another standing ovation, and John Williams came out two separate times for a bow. And the audience seemed to get louder and louder, with hopes that there would be one more encore (we were a very greedy audience) and John Williams made a gesture of being sleepy by resting his head on his folded hands and left the stage.

Overall the concert was outstanding. The love theme from "Vertigo" in the first portion of the evening was another standout performance, just a beautiful, beautiful, haunting piece. The selections chosen were a complete potpourri of different styles and it was very interesting. I agree with one review where the orchestra did seem to perk up for the second half for the John Williams' composed music, which all sounded terrific.

The percussion sounded a bit too overbearing at times, and I would like to have had them softened. There were a couple moments where I was snapped out of the music by thinking that they were just too loud, stampeding over the other instruments.

John Williams did seem to be quite tired by the end of the concert. During the first half of the concert he spoke on all the pieces, but was so soft spoken that if somebody moved in their seat three rows down, you couldn't hear what he was saying. A pity, since it was a complementary examination of each of the composers featured in the first half, who he referenced as his personal favorites, and playing selections from what he considered their best scores. It was a nice insight into what John Williams considers great film music.

Absolutely loved the show, as did my entire family who attended with me. It made me want to travel more to see his other performances.

Does anyone know if he ever performs up in the Northwest? Has he ever performed in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR or Vancouver B.C.?

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So his favourites are Herrmann, Korngold, North, Rozsa and Goldsmith. Neat nearly matches my own list if favourites, great taste Williams has. ;) One of the reasons Williams is such a great film composer has got to be that he knows so well the best composers before he was around.

I'm so jealous of you guys getting to see this concert.

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Saw the concert Sunday Mantinee, sat 3 rows from the 2 pianos for Chinatown. Was truly breathtaking to see the Maestro so closely. It was truly remarkable to see his expressions and subtle hand gestures. He puts his hand over his heart on a lot of the softer endings. You could truly feel the emotion in his work. It felt like being at a scoring session being in such an intimate setting. If you're anywhere near Southern Ca this is truly the experience of a lifetime.

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