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The Official Soundings Thread


Dixon Hill
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6 hours ago, loert said:

I don't know how he arrived at Star Destroyers, the end of Soundings sounds nothing like Star Wars!

 

 

Well John Williams wrote the music for Star Wars, ergo anything and everything else ever written by him must include little references to it so that the cultured Telegraph-reading audience members can smile knowingly as they recognise yet another note for note lift by the low-brow American hack...

 

I wonder if he even attended the concert.  The review states that the concert improved considerably in the second half, yet the Andrew 'I-was-born-in-1979-so-my-music-must-sound-like-it-is-from-a-video-game' Norman piece was in the second half, while the Ginastera piano concerto that the critic enjoyed was in the first half.  I have no problem with anyone hating, loving or being indifferent to any of the music, but I agree that this Telegraph review is needlessly supercilious.

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  • 5 months later...

Have people heard this radio recording (at 25:40)? I just stumbled upon it while trying to find out if Williams' Hollywood Bowl concerts were being broadcast on the radio (they're not). 

 

 

Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Sergio Tiempo, piano

JOHN WILLIAMS Soundings
GINASTERA Piano Concerto No. 1
ANDREW NORMAN Play: Level I
COPLAND Appalachian Spring

 

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The concert was broadcast by KUSC a few months back, likely the source for that youtube video.

Soundings was performed at Tanglewood in 2004, Williams conducting the Boston Symphony. If memory serves, that concert included Williams own Horn Concerto, with BSO's James Sommerville as soloist and Copland's Emily Dickson poems, with Dawn Upshaw singing.

Kunzel conducted Soundings in Cincinatti, but I can't remember when. At the time there was reference of Williams making minor changes so that the piece would fill the hall acoustics.

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I think the premiere performance by Williams himself at the Walt Disney Concert Hall opening in 2003(?) is still the benchmark from which all other performances are judged.

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

I think the premiere performance by Williams himself at the Walt Disney Concert Hall opening in 2003(?) is still the benchmark from which all other performances are judged.

 

Well, right now, we only have one commercial release, conducted by Dudamel. Not everyone has listened to the complete piece from the premiere performance, as the youtube video, taken from the Great Performances broadcast, includes only about half of the work.

Personally I love the three performances we have (the premiere conducted by Williams, of which I have a radio recording since October 2003 and the two Dudamel conducted). Can't really say which I prefer, though the composer conducted one has always a sort of authority missing from the others. But I do hope that the performance from 2004 with the BSO was recorded (most likely was broadcast by WCRB back then) and eventually surfaces on a similar project as the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary releases of broadcasts (which included three Wiliams related releases).

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  • 1 month later...
Quote

In this company, Mr. Williams’s inert “Soundings,” commissioned for the orchestra for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, was thoroughly outclassed: never less and never more than professional, without a moment of the sparkling originality that permeates the work of Ginastera and Mr. Norman. Why not have cut it and instead delivered the full 45 minutes of “Play”? (And what orchestra will bring that complete score to New York?)

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/16/arts/music/review-los-angeles-philharmonic-makes-the-familiar-feel-fresh.html

 

Who art thou, Zachary Woolfe, and what evil possesses thee?

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He's something of a Williams fan. Gave some admiring musings on his 80th, critical but respectful.

 

Interestingly he also used "inert" there to describe "Going to School." Also not quite sure if he was being sarcastic when he called the summer blockbuster a "great American genre" but it doesn't seem like he was, actually.

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  • 1 year later...

I hope Williams would find a good hall and record Soundings with himself conducting. I only have the youtube 720p audio extract of Soundings (Dudamel conducting). But I want JW's version, maybe he'll even change a few bars or make some subtle changes to suit the acoustics of the studio/hall. 🤤

 

It's perfect JW. I don't get why some people would just step on JW when JW's music is just better than like 99% of 🎼 on the planet. 

 

👻

 

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  • 3 years later...

I just listened to this again on the Dudamel Blu-ray, it's a terrific piece.

 

I'm sure a release would be mentioned here if there was one but I just wanted to double check i hadn't missed a CD or download audio only release of the piece?

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31 minutes ago, John Chambers said:

I just listened to this again on the Dudamel Blu-ray, it's a terrific piece.

 

I'm sure a release would be mentioned here if there was one but I just wanted to double check i hadn't missed a CD or download audio only release of the piece?

Williams has said he conceives of the piece as a dialogue between orchestra and hall and such is necessary to experience it.  I do not think he will authorize a straight recording as that part would be lost (at least to him), but I am happy the DVD opportunity led to his approval of the version we have.  

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