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John Williams Concert October 24, 2012 Atlanta


Mari
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Saw this today on twitter and am posting the info for all JWFans in the Atlanta area:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 8:00 p.m.: Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and

Academy Award-winning director and producer Steven Spielberg will join the Atlanta Symphony

Orchestra for “An Evening with John Williams, Steven Spielberg and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.”

Mr. Williams will guest conduct the Orchestra in a selection of his most popular original film

compositions while movie clips are shown on a giant screen and Mr. Spielberg will host the concert.

The proceeds from this performance will benefit the Orchestra and its education and community

engagement programs.

Link: http://www.atlantasy... - FINAL 4.ashx

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Hi all, longtime lurker :wave: I live in Atlanta and this is going to be the pinnacle of my life. If anyone else is going to this and wants to meet up, let me know!

Thanks very much for posting, Mari!

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Hi all, longtime lurker :wave: I live in Atlanta and this is going to be the pinnacle of my life. If anyone else is going to this and wants to meet up, let me know!

Thanks very much for posting, Mari!

Welcome to the board!

I hope you enjoy the concert and come back and share your experience with us. :)

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I just heard on the radio that there's a rumour that players of the orchestra shall boycott the evening. Apparently, there are some problems with the work atmosphere and work ethic of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

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Here are a few interesting entries on the subject of Atlanta Symphony and their financial and artistic situation by Norman Lebrecht and others on Lebrecht's blog.

http://www.artsjourn...-orchestra.html

http://www.artsjourn...-surrender.html

http://www.artsjourn...g-symphony.html

Tough times indeed but one of the ASO members mentions in the comments that there is no boycott of the Spielberg/Williams from the orchestra, quite the contrary they are eager to play in the concert.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the board!

I hope you enjoy the concert and come back and share your experience with us. :)

Thanks! I certainly will! The only Atlanta Symphony concert I've been to thus far was an outdoor performance of Williams music. This one should be more formal... I wonder if taking pictures would be appropriate? Because I'd really like to!

From Atlanta..... away until the day after this concert. Why do they do this to me?

I wouldn't wish this on anyone!

Here are a few interesting entries on the subject of Atlanta Symphony and their financial and artistic situation by Norman Lebrecht and others on Lebrecht's blog.

http://www.artsjourn...-orchestra.html

http://www.artsjourn...-surrender.html

http://www.artsjourn...g-symphony.html

Tough times indeed but one of the ASO members mentions in the comments that there is no boycott of the Spielberg/Williams from the orchestra, quite the contrary they are eager to play in the concert.

Thanks for the links, Incanus. That's too bad... glad the boycott rumor wasn't true, though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, the Atlanta concert happened yesterday! I was sitting in the fourth row, behind the orchestra pit seats, and it was a wonderful evening. To give some background, I attended one of the Film Nights at Tanglewood two years ago, and the 80th birthday concert at Tanglewood this summer. The Film Night I went to was Spielberg themed, although Spielberg wasn't in attendance, so as much as I enjoyed it I missed hearing Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Superman, and was really hoping for some of those last night. I was also hoping for Tintin and War Horse, and maybe Lincoln. Alas, Lincoln was a no-show but otherwise the program was fantastic:

Tribute to the Film Composer - a big montage of film clips, a few seconds each, with accompanying score. Some of the clips included Star Wars, Titanic, Psycho (like Jaws, this got a laugh from the audience), Rocky, Bridge on the River Kwai, The Magnificent Seven, and ET, which segued into Gone with the Wind for the finale. As the concert was held on the same street where Gone with the Wind was written and had its film premiere, this was a great note to end on. The screen went off for the next few pieces, which I was grateful for.

Suite from Far & Away

Hedwig's Theme - At this point Williams addressed the audience, saying this was his first time in Atlanta since the 1996 Olympics. That made me feel awfully lucky to be at this concert. He then announced the next three pieces, all from Harry Potter, meaning all my dreams were about to come true. He described Hedwig in what I'll call a very archetypal sense, as a "great, white bird who delivers the mail."

Fawkes the Phoenix - The highlight for me, as this is one of my favorites and I NEVER would have guessed he'd play it last night. It was also great to hear it the day after listening to the complete Chamber of Secrets score for the first time!

Harry's Wondrous World - Accompanied by some clips from the first four films.

Dartmoor, 1912 - Great to hear in concert. Very lush and sumptuous, and the solos were beautiful

Star Wars Main Title - The main event for me, along with Harry Potter. It was a great reminder that this is why I loved Williams in the first place. The orchestra gave the most powerful performance of the evening; the blasts during the star destroyer attack are so striking, almost primal, compared to the rest of the material in the program. I was also amused to see Williams mouthing the drum hits in the direction of the percussion section in the last few seconds of the piece.

- intermission -

Jaws - As usual, the audience laughed at the opening notes. This piece wasn't listed in the program.

Close Encounters - At last, Spielberg entered, introduced by Williams. He introduced each piece for the rest of the evening, except the final encore, and between each piece he went and sat in a chair on the side of the stage. Most of his introductions didn't give us much info we didn't already know, but of course they were welcome anyway, and it was fun seeing his and Williams' camaraderie. "I love John Williams," quoth he. The Close Encounters piece was played to clips from the end of the film.

Indy's Very First Adventure - I hadn't expected to hear any Indy other than the Raiders March, so this was a really nice surprise. Spielberg and Williams stood and watched the screen as the whole train scene from Last Crusade played, sans music. The audience was very responsive and laughed uproariously at all the gags, with Spielberg himself laughing at all the jokes too. They played the whole scene again with accompaniment from the orchestra; I was struck by how meticulously Williams planned and timed all the little touches in that cue, like the motif for the cross of Coronado, but how quick and effortless he makes it look while conducting.

The Adventure Continues - Introduced as "The Duel" by Spielberg, and presented with a montage of "swashbuckling" film clips. The clips were pretty distracting to be very honest with you. But I was pleased to see one from Muppet Treasure Island.

Theme from Schindler's List

Adventures on Earth - around the end of the piece I could see Spielberg tapping his hand, clenching a fist, etc in time with some of the big orchestral flourishes.

- encore -

Sugarland Express - Haven't heard the score, so I don't know the name of the piece, but it was a nice detour from the rest of the evening and featured a flute solo for pretty much the duration. I thought Lincoln would make a nice bookend with this, but instead we got...

The Raiders March - To thunderous applause. This was the only time throughout the evening where I could find fault with the performance; the tempo was a little slow, although I assume that was Williams' preference. Nevertheless it was a great way to end the evening.

Other details... Star Wars and Schindler's List both got ovations. There was a snobby guy behind me before the show who was asking his friends who would be conducting, and insisted that John Williams "doesn't conduct." :P I brought my Raiders LP to try for an autograph, but both of the big dudes got in SUVs inside a huge garage in the building, so there was no chance. I did meet some other fans with really impressive and humbling posters covered in Star Wars cast and crew autographs. Someone told me Williams had been in Atlanta all week. According to one of the staff, he was flying out the same night. The highlights of the evening for me were the Harry Potter music, the Star Wars theme, War Horse, and Indy's Very First Adventure. After only seeing Williams conduct once before, and from very far away, and omitting some of my non-Spielberg favorites, this concert was really special!

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Great review Smeltington. Re: Indy's first Adventure. I'm really into that piece right now, it's just amazing, and has always been one of my personal favs. I read somewhere there is something like 50 'hits' that sync with stuff happening on screen. He's done it a few times, where they show the scene with no music, and then with music. i guess it's a good example of just how much JW's music adds. What a treat you got to see/hear it. I'm also really enjoying "The advneture continues" from TinTin. How cool you got to see both, very jealous. :)

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Glad you guys enjoyed the writeup. I wish ALL the JWFans all over the world could have been there!

russds - I've started to appreciate Indy's Very First Adventure more on its own terms lately, too. I overlooked it for a while because it's kind of self-contained vs. the rest of the Last Crusade score, but you can tell Williams put a lot of thought into it, with all the sync points as you mentioned. And Adventure Continues is my favorite from Tintin as well!

Thanks for the link, Maurizio! I found a few more. I hadn't seen the interview Williams did about the concert:

http://www.ajc.com/news/entertainment/steven-spielberg-and-john-williams-to-host-benefit/nShgZ/

Then there are more photos by the same photographer on his site:

http://jeffroffmanphotography.com/blog/john-williams-steven-spielberg-the-atlanta-symphony-orchestra/

And high res versions of the Facebook pics on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/atlantasymphony/

Getty has some photos too, but they're nowhere near as nice as Roffman's:

http://www.gettyimages.com/editorial/benefit-concert-pictures

The program indicates that a recording of the concert may be broadcast on WABE FM 90.1 and Georgia Public Broadcasting. I haven't found any info on their sites about it, but here's hoping for a streaming version eventually! Here are the sites in case anyone wants to take a look:

http://www.wabe.org/

http://www.gpb.org/radio

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russds - I've started to appreciate Indy's Very First Adventure more on its own terms lately, too. I overlooked it for a while because it's kind of self-contained vs. the rest of the Last Crusade score, but you can tell Williams put a lot of thought into it, with all the sync points as you mentioned.

There's actually a Prague Symphony recording of it as well, which is interesting because it is treated more like a concert piece with more dynamics and adjustments in tempo. It could easily be a great modern piece of symphonic music on it's own.

The program indicates that a recording of the concert may be broadcast on WABE FM 90.1 and Georgia Public Broadcasting. I haven't found any info on their sites about it, but here's hoping for a streaming version eventually! Here are the sites in case anyone wants to take a look:

http://www.wabe.org/

http://www.gpb.org/radio

Nice, please let us know if you hear anything, i would love to hear it.

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Wow! Sounds like it was a fantastic concert. I've had the priviledge of attending several John Williams concerts but none with Steven Spielberg also present. Many thanks for the write up. :)

p.s. Hlao-Roo (Alan) It's still not February. :wave:

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RussDS, thanks for that write-up, I really enjoyed reading it!

Next year I think I might do some continental travel based on where JW will be playing :)

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