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Omen II

RSNO / John Williams concerts

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It looks like The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be giving a concert devoted to the music of John Williams in March 2014. Many of us will be familiar with the RSNO's fine renditions of Superman, Amazing Stories, Midway and others that included much Williams music until then unavailable elsewhere. The press release for the forthcoming season mentions the concert here:

http://www.rsno.org.uk/press/?p_id=68&action=Read+More

Although the RSNO website does not give a date, venue or conductor (as far as I can see), I note from his website that conductor Richard Kaufman is due to conduct the RSNO on 8th March 2014. Now I am no Sherlock Holmes, but I wonder if the two events could be related? The RSNO + Richard Kaufman + John Williams would be sure to be a winner.

:D

EDIT: The RSNO has just announced its 2013-14 season and this concert is indeed in their brochure. It will take place at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday 8th March 2014 and will be conducted by Richard Kaufman. I will keep an eye out for a proper link.

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Nice selection, though mostly the usual suspects. Great to see Sayuri's Theme in there, and I wonder what would be the 13 minute long Star Wars suite.

I would wager some kind of combination of the Main Title, Pricess Leia's Theme, Little People and Throne Room and Finale.

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The text at the bottom seems to be a message from Williams himself.

I suspect he has some kind of default text template for these occasions.

He will send whatever message the trees dictate to him.

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The text at the bottom seems to be a message from Williams himself.

I suspect he has some kind of default text template for these occasions.

He will send whatever message the trees dictate to him.

:D

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I remember there is some sort of medley that had those minus "The Little People"...

Sadly, they never seem to perform that. And that is one of the coolest pieces from the saga.

Karol

Agreed. Such a lovely quirky evocation of both place and character.

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Apparently so successful was this concert that Richard Kaufman will be coming back in March 2015 for three more John Williams concerts in Scotland, one in Edinburgh and two in Glasgow the following day (one for Rangers fans and the other for Celtic fans, perhaps?).

http://www.rsno.org.uk/whatson/?c_id=247&action=Read+More&month=3&year=2014

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The selections to be played at these concerts are now listed on the RSNO website (see link in post above) and there are several rarely performed pieces to look forward to, including Sabrina, Midway, Jim's New Life from Empire of the Sun and even Yes, Giorgio! When was that last played in a John Williams concert?

Interesting. Very interesting.

P.S. Jay / Incanus, any chance of updating the thread title to show March 2015, please?

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Did anyone here attend any of these concerts in Edinburgh yesterday or Glasgow today? There are many very complimentary posts about it on the RSNO's Twitter page, so it would be great to hear from anyone that went.

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I was at the Edinburgh performance at Usher Hall. The conductor Richard Kaufman was quite informative when introducing pieces, such as the fact that his hands replaced those of Jack Nicholson during the cello scene in Witches of Eastwick, and he curiouy asked how many in the audience had actually seen Yes, Giorgio, to which only myself and one other person raised our hands. Midway was nice to hear live for the first time, as was Jim's New Life for which apparently Kaufman got JW's personal authorization to perform. Oddly enough, 1941 was selected as the encore. I'm not sure how many in the audience knew what it was.

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There is a very nice interview with conductor Richard Kaufman in the Daily Record, in which he talks about his work as a violinist on Johnny's scores for Jaws, Close Encounters and The Eiger Sanction. Apparently one of the violinists on Jaws was so scared she stopped playing and had to cover her eyes!

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/entertainment/man-strike-fear-your-heart-5328976

I am also pleased to report that Richard Kaufman will be returning to Scotland next year for more John Williams concerts in Edinburgh on 5th February 2016 and Glasgow on 6th February 2016 with the RSNO.

http://www.rsno.org.uk/live/concert-listing/concert-information/?c_id=373&action=Read%20More

JS58980976.jpg

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A different interview with Richard Kaufman in The Herald gives some insights into working as a session musician on Williams's scores.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/arts-ents/film/rsno-conductor-richard-kaufman-on-working-with-john-williams-a-little-film-called-sta.1426260150

Working for John as a violinist was thrilling, both personally and professionally. Sitting in the studio on one of John's sessions was a challenge and an honour, and while the music was always remarkable, I can't think of a kinder or more distinguished human being to work for than John Williams. He is the consummate musician, and because of his background as a studio player himself, he has great respect for the musicians who bring his music to life. And in turn, the musicians return that respect with passionate playing, and a tremendous appreciation for the opportunity to be part of a John Williams score.

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Wow!  The line-up for the RSNO's John Williams concerts in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee next weekend again includes some wonderful rarities such as Liberty Fanfare, The Terminal and Marion's Theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

 

:eek2:

 

Is anyone here going to one of these concerts?  If so, you know what you have to do.  JWFan is counting on you.

 

RSNO concert listing

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Here's an article about the concerts from earlier today (including a preview video of the RSNO rehearsing Rey's Theme):

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/watch-royal-scottish-national-orchestra-7315153#chd9Oc1cPUtYs066.97

 

Quote

 

THE Royal Scottish National Orchestra will perform the new Oscar-nominated score from Star Wars: The Force Awakens in a series of special concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh this weekend.

 

The shows will be the first time the new score has been performed in public outwith the United States.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Mari said:

Here's an article about the concerts from earlier today (including a preview video of the RSNO rehearsing Rey's Theme):

 

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/whats-on/music-nightlife-news/watch-royal-scottish-national-orchestra-7315153#chd9Oc1cPUtYs066.97

 

 

 

Fantastic!  Thank you, Mari.  The video of a complete run through of Rey's Theme in rehearsal is an unexpected bonus.

 

I love it when the Scots use the word 'outwith'.  Does anywhere else in the English-speaking world use that word?

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Liked this quote:

 

Quote

Richard said: “When people think of John Williams they probably think of Star Wars first and the body of work he has created for those films. The new score he has created for the force awakens is remarkable, and people recognise it all over the world. The Motion Picture Academy certainly do because he has just received his 50th nomination.

“Everybody is rooting for him to win, not as a sentimental thing, but because it’s a great score.”

 

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The RSNO has just announced its 2016-17 program, which will include the return of Richard Kaufman in 2017 to conduct a concert entitled John Williams and Friends, apparently focusing on his work with Steven Spielberg.  More details are promised tomorrow, but for now here is a link to the general press release:

 

http://www.rsno.org.uk/scottish-orchestra-is-125-years-young-the-201617-season/

 

Maybe it's about time I ventured north of the border for one of these fine concerts.  It looks as though the concerts will be on 24th, 25th and 26th February 2017.

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Classic FM's Full Works Concert with Jane Jones on Monday just gone (17th October) featured a fantastic live recording of selections from the RSNO's John Williams concerts at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall earlier this year.  Richard Kaufman conducts.

 

The performances and sound quality are excellent (check out CE3K, for example), but best of all is that the orchestra performs some rarely heard Williams gems such as the concert version of Marion's Theme, the new version of Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra, Letters From Hogwarts and the Liberty Fanfare.  Could these be the best quality versions of the first two available to date?

 

I am not quite sure how to link to it, but you can still listen to the broadcast by going to the Classic FM website http://www.classicfm.com and clicking on the 'Listen' button near the top of the page, then (after the advert plays), click on the 'Listen Again' tab and select 'Full Works Concerts with Jane Jones' and then the concert for 17th October.

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On 07/02/2016 at 6:23 PM, Omen II said:

The RSNO's 'Hollywood Heroes and Superheroes' concerts at the beginning of March will now include The Jedi Steps and Finale from The Force Awakens.  Would that be the European concert premiere?

 

http://www.rsno.org.uk/live/concert-listing/concert-information/?c_id=337&action=Read More

Nope :)

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Thanks, I noticed that on classicsfm, they only keep the third last links for each program. So the concert is ready gone. I don't know what they think when they design such websites.

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As in previous years, for the RSNO's John Williams concerts in February 2017 Richard Kaufman has programmed a good number of Williams pieces that we do not hear all that often in concert:

 

http://www.rsno.org.uk/concert-listing/concert-information/?c_id=632&action=Read More

 

They will play Summon the Heroes, American Journey and Always amongst others!

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Wow, what a nice description of the concert! I thought that the booklet was an interesting read, but what you've said about the pieces was even more informative!

 

I couldn't add much to what you've said about the performances, so I'll just say that this was my first ever live concert featuring John Williams' works, and I really and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's such a great feeling to hear the music being performed before your own eyes, instead of listening to it digitally. I also made a few friends in the Usher Hall - the audience around me was amazing, ranging from small kids to the elderly. During the Indiana Jones theme some of them even began "conducting" the orchestra, clearly loving the music. It's fun to see how these scores unite so many people from so many generations. Many composers would dream of creating even a single good iconic theme, but Williams' career is full of them, making concerts like these no less powerful than concerts featuring any of the great world musicians.

 

As a side note, one interesting thing I recall from the concert is from the beginning of the Jaws theme. Did you notice how Lynda Cochrane played the piano not by hitting the keys, but by plucking the strings with her fingers? I had never seen that technique before, and it made for a nice effect, somewhat similar to what a harp would do, but with a different, distinct quality. I wonder if that's actually in the score, and if that's how Jaws is usually played, because I don't recall hearing that sound when I listened to the theme before.

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On ‎27‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 4:53 PM, Omen II said:

Maestro Kaufman related how when sharing conducting duties with Williams at last year’s Tanglewood Film Night he had wondered whether it would be appropriate to include any of John Williams's music in his half of the concert, to which Williams had responded, “No, you should - that’s why they’re coming!” 

:)

 

Beautiful report, Omen II! And beautiful-looking hall with a huge pipe organ.

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Grazie, Maurizio!  Yes, Usher Hall is a lovely venue and with good acoustics to boot.

 

4 hours ago, Biodome said:

 

As a side note, one interesting thing I recall from the concert is from the beginning of the Jaws theme. Did you notice how Lynda Cochrane played the piano not by hitting the keys, but by plucking the strings with her fingers? I had never seen that technique before, and it made for a nice effect, somewhat similar to what a harp would do, but with a different, distinct quality. I wonder if that's actually in the score, and if that's how Jaws is usually played, because I don't recall hearing that sound when I listened to the theme before.

 

I did indeed notice this, @Biodome.  The low sonorities heard at the opening of the Jaws theme are usually a combination of the harp, low piano and bass drum whenever I have seen the piece played by other orchestras such as the LSO or CBSO.  This was the first time I can remember the pianist strumming the lowest register strings rather than touching the keys softly.  I would like to think that perhaps Richard Kaufman had some insider knowledge from the original sessions that he was able to share with the orchestra.

 

I am glad you enjoyed your first John Williams concert.  You certainly picked a good one to start with!  Make sure you get a ticket to Raiders of the Lost Ark live with the RSNO when they go on sale tomorrow.  I saw it in London last year and it was superb.

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4 hours ago, Biodome said:

As a side note, one interesting thing I recall from the concert is from the beginning of the Jaws theme. Did you notice how Lynda Cochrane played the piano not by hitting the keys, but by plucking the strings with her fingers? I had never seen that technique before, and it made for a nice effect, somewhat similar to what a harp would do, but with a different, distinct quality. I wonder if that's actually in the score, and if that's how Jaws is usually played, because I don't recall hearing that sound when I listened to the theme before.

 

The sheet music for the piano part just says "very low rumble both hands". I have seen this done most commonly on the actual keys, but I've also seen a Boston Pops video where the pianist used percussion mallets to gently roll on the lowest piano strings. Seems to be subject to the musicians' and/or conductor's interpretation.

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It looks as though Richard Kaufman will be returning to Scotland to conduct the RSNO again next year (2019), firstly in March for concerts devoted to the music of Harry Potter then in April for concerts devoted to the music of John Williams.  It will be interesting to see if there are any more unusual / rarely played Williams selections, as is his wont, when details of the concerts are announced.

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