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RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK - Live to Projection Concerts


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Alrighty, here's my report from my concert attending last week.   I went to Lucerne together with two dear friends last Tuesday (December 29) t

Here is a very good quality clip of the opening dozen minutes or so of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's live to picture performance of Raiders of the Lost Ark, conducted by Richard Kaufman.  Was this

It was great! The Pops really performed with gusto throughout.    The sound mix heavily favored the music at all times, which meant that occasionally you couldn't hear the dialogue in the mi

On 13/1/2016 at 1:34 PM, WilliamHorne97 said:

Indeed. But Think about the quality and acoustics of the live orchestra.

 

I'd be happy with the orchestra playing all the music without the picture, pretty much as they do with ballet music in a concert hall (Daphnis et Chloé came to mind) but I know only a few of us would be interested on that.

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16 minutes ago, Scarpia said:

 

I'd be happy with the orchestra playing all the music without the picture, pretty much as they do with ballet music in a concert hall (Daphnis et Chloé came to mind) but I know only a few of us would be interested on that.

 

While it would be definitely interesting, it's not the best way to present this kind of music in a concert setting imho. The difference between ballet scores and film music is that the former is written and conceived as the foreground aesthetic component, while the latter is usually background accompaniment to images and story on screen, not meant to be performed just by itself. Of course we already listen to it this way on disc, but record playing is a different beast altogether than concert performance. While Raiders is definitely a score musically interesting enough that would likely stand well as a symphonic concert piece without any visual reference, I think the live to projection performance is really the best compromise to experience it at its greatest value. You really have the best of both worlds--hearing the full score performed live by a full symphony orchestra (often very much in the foreground) while still enjoying the film and realizing more than ever how much the music makes the movie.

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I agree with you, and it's the most sensible thing to do.

 

I was thinking precisely how Raiders music can stand on its own when I imagined a concert with all the music. One day I'll be rich, and will arrange for this to happen, inviting all JWFans that would like to go, of course!

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

i somehow didn't realize until now that this is coming to Massachusetts in August!  I'm gonna go!

 

https://www.bso.org/Performance/Detail/77824/

 

 

It's also coming to the Symphony Hall in June!

 

You posted this link/pdf in the Film Night thread

 

http://groupevents.bostonpops.org/uploads/files/home/16POPS-brochure.pdf

 

Friday June 3rd at 8pm

Saturday June 4th at 3pm & 8pm

 

Tickets go on sale February 22nd!

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On 26.1.2016 at 2:27 PM, TownerFan said:

 

While it would be definitely interesting, it's not the best way to present this kind of music in a concert setting imho. The difference between ballet scores and film music is that the former is written and conceived as the foreground aesthetic component, while the latter is usually background accompaniment to images and story on screen, not meant to be performed just by itself. Of course we already listen to it this way on disc, but record playing is a different beast altogether than concert performance. While Raiders is definitely a score musically interesting enough that would likely stand well as a symphonic concert piece without any visual reference, I think the live to projection performance is really the best compromise to experience it at its greatest value. You really have the best of both worlds--hearing the full score performed live by a full symphony orchestra (often very much in the foreground) while still enjoying the film and realizing more than ever how much the music makes the movie.

 

 

For me the ideal compromise would be live to projection of the film, but without sound effects, only dialogue during the passages with music. in my Raiders concert, the sound effects sometimes overpowered the music too much.

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5 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

I hear they played Crystal Skull music as an encore?

 

Not exactly, Steef.  The orchestra played The Adventures of Mutt as a sort of overture to the second half of the film immediately after the intermission.

 

The Desert Chase sequence was just phenomenal, in fact the whole thing was.  My favourite film, my favourite score, my favourite composer.

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Yeah, the choir is what makes Map Room: Dawn a transcendental musical experience for me, and sadly they didn't have it as a synth or anything (or at least I couldn't hear it). Still, the orchestra played very nicely and it sounded good enough without the choir. In fact, that big chord which goes with the sun beam centering on the location of the Well of the Souls, and all the tinkly percussion that goes with it, sounded incredible and was probably the most "holy shit" moment of the concert! 

 

But as a whole sequence, the highlight was definitely Desert Chase. That thumping bass riff sounded brilliant alongside a brilliant action sequence.

 

The intermission happened just after Indy digs his spade into the sand when he's standing above the Well of Souls and looking out onto all the other diggers. If I'm not mistaken, this is around that last note at 3:45 in "Reunion in the Tent, Searching for the Well" from the Concord album. After the orchestra played this note, they sort of played a round-off based off the music played when Indy flys off in the biplane near the beginning of the film (the bit starting from 1:24 in "Flight from Peru" I believe). After the interval, the conductor came on stage, the orchestra played about 1 min (it was really short and condensed) from Adventures of Mutt, as a sort of overture, then the film continued from the scene where Indy appears against the sunset.

 

In terms of the mix, the film seemed to have the entire bass cut off, so it sounded quite tinny. This obviously gave good space for the lower instruments of the orchestra, but the film still was comparably loud and you could barely hear some of the higher bits, e.g. the pizzicato strings in "Flight from Peru" were virtually completely drowned out. Wondering if anybody who also went sees where I'm coming from? Probably a lot of the issue comes from where I was sitting (mid-left from the stage, in the stalls). Anybody who sat right up in front of the orchestra would've probably heard everything played!

 

WfxURby.jpg

(the venue was completely packed!)

 

So yeah, as others have said, an amazing performance by the 21st Century Orchestra. The playing was impeccable all around. And that's no mean feat, considering how technically demanding a score it is to play (as are most of Williams' popular scores). Let's just hope we get a LtP of Temple of Doom soon... :D

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I was there tonight. Absolutely amazing. I didn't hear a duff note and the orchestra didn't miss a beat.

 

As others have said, Desert Chase was the highlight. 

 

Testament to how great an experience it was is my partner grabbing my leg in excitement during Map Room and Desert Chase, entirely because he was blown away by the performance of the musicians. He's never been a score but and attends these concerts for me. He's now asking when we can go to another :D

 

Loert423, I get what you mean about the mix. It did sound a little off at times but it didn't take away from the experience. I also agree that the only (very minor) disappointment was the lack of a choir. The synth choir barely came through.

IMG_20160312_183217.jpg

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The lack of choir was most certainly hugely disappointing, especially given the scale of the performance and venue, along with the obvious value of it to the relevant points within the score. Especially so as there was one for Home Alone (granted it's used much more) in the comparably far smaller Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

 

Overall though (I was at yesterday's performance also), I can't really fault the performance at all. The entire brass section was perfect, from the heroic trumpets on the Indy theme to the deep brass trombones when the Nazis are on screen. In fact, it's pointless singling out sections as there weren't really any weaknesses. If anything, the film dialogue mix was poor with subtitling on the entire film as some of the speech was completely inaudible due to the huge reverb tail inside the RAH!

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5 hours ago, Romão said:

How does the orchestra manage when tracks are edited and cut down in the finished film, like Desert Chase or Miracle of the Ark?

That's one of the things that impress me most about the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra. They're able to perform those edits and make them sound good!

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5 hours ago, Jay said:

Why wouldn't they include the original choir in the film audio track coming out of the speakers? That's how they did STID in Philly

STID in London had a choir.

 

Call me crazy but I think I heard a recording of a choir somewhere in there.  Unless it was just playing in my head. ;) Maybe they had a 21 Century Chorus tracks with them? Could they use the original film version? I mean, was it recorded separately?

 

4 hours ago, Romão said:

How does the orchestra manage when tracks are edited and cut down in the finished film, like Desert Chase or Miracle of the Ark?

They just play it as it appears in the film. And they often restore bits, like that burning crate cue.

 

Karol

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11 hours ago, ciarlese said:

I have been today too: amazing performance.

I was expecting the choir and not having it was the only disappointing bit (if you don't mind people crunching pop corn next to you for the whole concert...).

 

I agree that it would have been wonderful to have the choir, although the fact that I had prepared myself for the possibility that there would not be one lessened any disappointment.  That said, I attended the (equally wonderful) Western Music In Concert with the same orchestra the previous evening and the 21st Century Choir sang in the second half of the concert, which does make me wonder if they could have "stayed another day", as East 17 once sang.

 

Fortunately there were no popcorn munchers around me yesterday but I do feel your pain, ciarlese.  When I went to see Ennio Morrricone at the O2 Arena last month these two women in the row in front talked to each other loudly throughout the whole thing or hummed along (out of tune, of course) to the few pieces that they thought they recognised.

 

Perhaps you should have bribed a one-eyed Egyptian to pour poison into their popcorn, placed a dead simian at their feet and - catching a piece of the confectionery that the ne'er-do-well was scoffing - calmly stated, "Bad...popcorn."

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30 minutes ago, Omen II said:

 

Fortunately there were no popcorn munchers around me yesterday but I do feel your pain, ciarlese.  When I went to see Ennio Morrricone at the O2 Arena last month these two women in the row in front talked to each other loudly throughout the whole thing or hummed along (out of tune, of course) to the few pieces that they thought they recognised.

 

 

I am not able to understand how people can spend any amount of money for such an experience and than feel the right to annoy who is seating next to them or chose to live the experience in a totally ruined way.

I feel frustrated about the fact I am not able to enjoy a single movie screening without any idiot using mobile, talking, laughing...People spending more than the average for a premium seat at Imax3D and feeling the right to feel in their own living room. Recently I went to watch TFA on a Thursday afternoon screening, several weeks after the movie was released (so I could avoid the occasional audience, which are usually less interested). There were maybe 20 people in total, but still 2 of them close to me, laughing every minute (likely drunk). We asked them politely to be quieter and the women replied "are you serious???".

Back to yesterday, there were not such people, but I wouldn't expect a concert venue to sell crunchy snacks...

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28 minutes ago, Omen II said:

Here is a video clip from one of the London performances, as well as a glowing review.

 

 

On the subject of the choir (or lack of it), in which cues in the score does it feature?  I hear it in Washington Men, The Map Room: Dawn and The Miracle of the Ark.  Is it anywhere else?

 

The choir also appears in "Uncovering the Ark".

 

That video reminds me...the trumpets during the boulder sequence were so on point! I was half-expecting that rapid tonguing to come out as a mess, but I was pleasantly astounded by what I heard.

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