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John Williams & the Vienna Philharmonic: January 18/19 2020


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Some fact snippets I gathered from people who talked to people (in the orchestra etc.):   - The Philharmoniker were big fans of Williams as a conductor and specifically pointed out his sensi

In this topic, there has already been some speculation about WP seating on JW concerts and we had a good chat of our own with @Marian Schedenig so I decided to ask my friend who plays double bass in t

2 hours ago, handz said:

Sadly, I have used just audio recording and it seems that apple is now using much larger compression on them  (videos has much better audio quality) I think it sounded pretty good though, loved the tempo which was very close to the original and it had a nice flow....

Karlsplatz.m4a 1.23 MB · 20 downloads

 

Holy crap, those Vienna horns on the theme at 0:12... Nice to hear it played so powerfully. I love other renditions where it's played more lyrically, but there's a certain guilty pleasure to be had with Vienna horns!

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12 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

- The Philharmoniker were big fans of Williams as a conductor and specifically pointed out his sensible and no-nonsense style as opposed to exaggerated theatrics by many of their regular famous big name conductors. 

 

This is cool, and not surprising given that the all the rehearsal footage over the years points to this.  But it is nice when top-tier performers see it so clearly--they are in the best position to make this sort of evaluation.  

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4 minutes ago, Tom said:

This is cool, and not surprising given that the all the rehearsal footage over the years points to this.  But it is nice when top-tier performers see it so clearly--they are in the best position to make this sort of evaluation.  

I am not surprised. Can anyone really imagine JW to be not a nice person to work with? He always shows a generous amount of humility, kindness and modesty. 

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30 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

The Williams concerts marked the first time that I heard the same concert on two successive days, once from a parterre seat and once from the balcony. And the balcony sound was fantastic - slightly more reverb than below, but never at the expense of clarity. I didn't feel I missed a single detail, and in fact heard a few new ones I'd never been aware of. I could swear I could actually hear the piano in the Imperial March. In short, I've rarely heard such a powerful and yet transparent performance at the Musikverein - a testament to Williams as a conductor and an orchestrator, and with music that was originally written for a single studio recording.

I agree! I had a chance to listen from 3 different places and the sound was surprisingly quite good everywhere. I also heard many details which are hard to notice on the recordings. Especially in the strings - his writing and divisi orchestrations are just beautiful.  Honestly being it classical or film music - I love the full, loud sound of the first rows the most, it is not ideal balance wise,  but it has the raw orchestral power😎

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4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Also: In both concerts, Williams said more or less the same things. He added a little anecdotal detail here, and left one out there (and apparently forgot to introduce Tintin today - he gave his comments on it afterwards, prompted by ASM)

 

Yes, and he gave us both pronunciations of "Tintin": the international "Tintin"... and the correct one ;)

 

4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

And he also said Luke and Leia was from the second film... :P)

 

And if I understood correctly he said that George Lucas told him that Luke and Leia were siblings before the second film... We need to warn the Star Wars theorists in the GD threads who keep arguing that Lucas never had a long term plan while filming the original trilogy ! :lol:

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7 hours ago, eitam said:

What can I say after today ? This was a moment that will stay with me till the end of my life. First and probably only time seeing John Williams conduct his own music. I won't deny I teared up a bit at some points. For example when Anne-Sophie Mutter started playing Hedwig's Theme, or during E.T.'s final, or during Cinderella Liberty. And I don't think I'm projecting if I say I felt emotion amongst the public and the orchestra as well. 

 

The music itself was magnificent. The brass in Jurassic Park ! Anne-Sophie Mutter virtuoso playing ! It was a blast hearing so many great pieces live for the first time, all those Among the Stars arrangements, plus The Rebellion Is Reborn, War Horse, Shark Cage Fugue... And the usual suspects didn't disappoint obviously, with special mention to Raiders March and Imperial March, which I don't think I have ever heard sound better, and were a terrific way to close the concert. 

Certainly the same here! My first time seeing JW conducting, and had tears in my eyes in numerous pieces, and goosebumps in the rest. I certainly agree with you re. the feeling among the public - it was as though you were in a hall where everyone is your friend!

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6 hours ago, Mr. Breathmask said:

 

He also mentioned that he wrote a love theme for the original Star Wars. So from Williams himself: Across the Stars wasn't the first one after all!

Maybe he doesn't remember he wrote 3 romantic themes for an entire trilogy and confuses them all the time. 😂

 

Karol

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What the? So he travels all the way to Europe in good health for the first time in decades and just flies straight back to the US? What's the rush? Seems bizarre... he could live like a king in any number of countries for months, if he wanted. Maybe, as speculated, it was just a bucket list item and his only real interest was ticking that box. :(

 

John, can Australia please be another bucketlist item? The Sydney Opera House would be a great venue for your music... :)

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55 minutes ago, St0rMl0rD said:

Seriously though, after an incredible concert on Saturday, and just half a day later another one, he flies out of the country a few hours after? That seems way too rushed, hope he'll be fine.

 

Seriously, with a city full of potential stalkers (JWFans), I'd do the same!

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WOW! I had no idea different varieties of brass instruments could carry such different weights, but the heft and richness to these Vienna Horns is astounding! This will sound absolutely glorious in high quality audio, no doubt.

 

Even revisiting the classic LSO recording for ESB, the difference is astonishing. The newest LA recording for TROS is a surprising improvement (even if this particular section was omitted) but, generally speaking, I don't recall the LA horns having the same punch in the sequel trilogy. What type of horns are likely to be used by LA musicians and why is the difference so stark?

 

Bravo to these Vienna musicians is all I can say. Absolutely gutted I couldn't get tickets for this, it sounds like a once in a lifetime confluence of good fortune. I can only hope Williams was so enamored by the trip that he considers further overseas concerts in the next few years (and if it's in Vienna again, I'll definitely pay that membership fee to secure early tickets, rather than get caught up in another website crash debacle).

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

 

 

Even revisiting the classic LSO recording for ESB, the difference is astonishing. The newest LA recording for TROS is a surprising improvement (even if this particular section was omitted) but, generally speaking, I don't recall the LA horns having the same punch in the sequel trilogy. What type of horns are likely to be used by LA musicians and why is the difference so stark?

 

 

 

I think they are mostly american style horns, Conn 8Ds, solo horn Bain had once Lukas horn. I just love that LA SW horn sound and I love also that horn sound we heard in Vienna😍😍😍 I have vienna horn at home, going to sell all my double horns away!! 😜😜😎😎

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38 minutes ago, hornist said:

 

I think they are mostly american style horns, Conn 8Ds, solo horn Bain had once Lukas horn. I just love that LA SW horn sound and I love also that horn sound we heard in Vienna😍😍😍 I have vienna horn at home, going to sell all my double horns away!! 😜😜😎😎

What horns do the LSO players use?

 

Karol

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