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John Williams albums by Philips Records (Boston Pops)


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9 minutes ago, Jay said:

That's the Sony one I mentioned above as remembering as being good, that Sharky said wasn't!

 

"These Norwegians are getting quite out of hand. Even I can't understand their logic at times."

 

Star Wars: C-3PO [ISFJ] - Funky MBTI in Fiction

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When I was a kid, I made my own expanded version of ROTJ that combined the 1994 Arista box tracks with other sources.  For a bonus track after the end credits, I made a tape edit that combined the first half of Jabba The Hutt from the Gerhardt CD with the second half from the OST/Arista "Han Solo Returns" track when I learned on usenet that that's what that was

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“Out Of This World” is a fun album and makes a good companion album with “Pops In Space”.

 

I’m not crazy about the 2001 opener, it’s certainly a great piece of music but it isn’t a film score and also it’s been recorded by everyone and is included on so many compilations and collections. “The Planet Krypton” or  “The Day The Earth Stood Still” would have made a better album opener.  
 

Too bad Williams didn’t record more Herrmann, I think the only thing he ever recorded of Herrmann’s was “Devil and Daniel Webster” on Hollywood Sound.  I guess Williams figured Herrmann himself already recorded his own concert suites enough...

 
The concert version of Adventures On Earth has always been a disappointment, and it’s such a long piece that it takes up a lot of album space or concert time when Williams conducts it live.  And he conducts it live A LOT.

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Oh man, a re-recording of The Planet Krypton for one of these albums is such a good idea!  Damn!

 

Yea, the Adventure on Earth concert piece is such a mixed bag.  Like, the music within it is so legendary and amazing and worthy of endless re-recordings, but it is oddly arranged, and is very long; Especially on these older albums that only run for 40 minutes it can be a bit odd to devote 9 minutes to something that was already performed better (and not arranged weird) on the huge grammy winning OST album.  I do appreciate very much recordings of the concertized versions he doesn't record at the film's sessions, but there really isn't anything new and interesting about this arrangement, it's just a less good version of the original Bike Chase and Departure which sound great every time with no edits.  Oh well.

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15 minutes ago, Jay said:

Oh man, a re-recording of The Planet Krypton for one of these albums is such a good idea!  Damn!

 

 

Hey!  Erich Kunzel stole your idea!

 

 

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Love that Kunzel album, he nails Planet Krypton and Wrath of Kahn, and with Nimoy redoing his great voiceover.

 

And Kunzel knew that The Bicycle Chase and The Departure were better than Williams’ Adventures On Earth concert piece.

 

The only thing I dislike about Kunzel albums are the silly synthesizer and sound effects.  But this is a discussion for a different thread....

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1 hour ago, MrScratch said:

The only thing I dislike about Kunzel albums are the silly synthesizer and sound effects.  But this is a discussion for a different thread....

 

I always separate the effect tracks!

 

I hope someday, they'll release the masters without the effects!

 

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I've never had a problem with Adventures on Earth as a concert piece.  It's probably because I was so familiar with that version before ever really listening to the OST, that the differences didn't bother me (i.e., the build-up to nowhere, instead of the Flying theme where the bicycles take off over the Feds).  It is a longer work, but it's not overlong...9-10 minutes seems about right for a concert overture (such as The Cowboys).  Playing it through as written for the film would just make it longer.

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On 4/6/2021 at 9:19 AM, TownerFan said:

 

It appears JW is quite fond of that concert suite and it's easy to understand why. It really has the flow of a great symphonic tone poem in the tradition of Richard Strauss. As it is, it's a great summation of the score's main thematic elements retained from the film's climax. I too initially was never fond of the excision of the flying theme, but I see that my judgement is mostly based on my memory of how the music goes in the film. Here, Williams plays with tension and release, both musically and emotionally, so that when the Flying theme kicks in before the coda, it sounds really as the final release of that tension and the true apotheosis. It's really the definition of great adaptation of a film cue for the pure listening experience in the concert hall (anyone who listened to this live, possibly performed by a great orchestra, knows well how transformative the experience is).

 

Sure, the full 15-minute sequence as written and recorded originally for the film sounds magnificent as a piece of pure music and perhaps future scholar conductors will retain that original film version for concert performances, but, seen from the composer's perspective, I can understand the choices he made for the published concert suite.

 

This very thing came up on a recent(ish) Facebook thread and I made similar comments that I always felt that cutting off just as the flying theme appears kills the momentum of the piece. I can kinda understand the argument that cutting it out earlier in the suite gives more weight to the statement in the Departure, but the contexts are different. In the Bicycle Chase segment, it's a dramatic release as they escape after pursuit and the bikes take off. In the Departure, it's more stately and grandly emotional. The former doesn't spoil the impact of the latter, Williams builds up to each statement in different, but equally expert ways.

 

If we're comparing it to a Straussian tone poem, the concert version of Adventures of Earth is only about 10 minutes and adding the flying sequence would only add about a minute. Most tone poems are 15/20 minutes; I reckon there's probably a more extensive tone poem version of the ET score in there somewhere. A bit like the version of the CE3K suite recorded by Charles Gerhardt which is significantly longer than the "standard" concert suite (which is basically the opening and departure/end titles joined together), which is much more representative of the score as a whole and takes the listened on a proper journey.

 

 

 

Whatever your feelings on the concert arrangements, the finale is nothing without music... It's almost staggering just how much nothing goes on during the last couple of minutes. I assume Spielberg cut it together knowing that JW would fill the spaces with some exceptional music, which he duly did...

 

 

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08 On Stage 01-1920.jpg

08 On Stage 02-1920.jpg

 

08 On Stage 03-1920.jpg

 

On Stage (1984)

 

Much like That's Entertainment, this is all-instrumental arrangements of Broadway tunes, which I enjoy as a way to appreciate the fine composition work being done in that world (I tend to not care for the singing in most of this style of music).  

 

There's No Business Like Show Business from Annie Get Your Gun (Irving Berlin arr. Morton Stevens) is a proper album opener, gets things off to a peppy start!

 

Overture from A Chorus Line (Marvin Hamlisch) - which should really have been called "Medley" as its several song arrangements back to back and not really an overture - features for the first time something already heard in this series: it opens and closes with an arrangement of that "One singular sensation" song already heard on Aisle Seat.  Interesting choice, but not the last time they'd do something like that in this series...

 

Here You Come Again from Dancin' (Barry Man & Cynthia Weil arr. Don Sebesky) was my favorite track - what a catchy melody!  Looking it up after listening, it turns out it was a song written for Dolly Parton and appearing on one of her studio albums before later being added into a Broadway show that used all existing songs.  How about that.

 

A Tribute to Duke Ellington from Sophisticated Ladies (arr. Ralph Burns) didn't do anything for me.  I can't say I've ever been into jazz at all (sorry)

 

Memory from Cats (Andrew Lloyd Webber arr. Eric Knight) is another highlight track.  I can't say I've ever been compelled to see this play, but you can't deny this is a legendary song

 

A Salute To Fred Astaire (arr. Alexander Courage) didn't do much for me either.  It wasn't bad, and I enjoyed it more than the Duke Ellington track, but it didn't leave much of an impression on me either.

 

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue from On Your Toes (Ricard Rogers arr. Robert Russell Bennett) was interesting, a ballet-esque composition from 1936.  I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

 

The packaging is interesting.  It's now the fifth album in the series to not put JW on the cover, after the first 3 releases all did.  The back cover returns to the same font of most of my other Philips titles, unlike the new better looking font my copy of Out Of This World used.  My copy is also in a jewel case unlike any others I own; It looks the same from a distance, but when you pick it up you can tell the front cover portion is a different plastic without any ridges, it's all smooth.  Huh.

 

By now they've stopped bothering to commission any interesting logo drawings for the inside of the booklet, and we just get nothing at all.  The liner notes do a good job of giving a bit of information about all the selections.

 

Things get interesting next, as the other 1984 releases in this series go in a new direction - a Jessye Normal album, and then Peter and the Wolf!

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I don’t own “On Stage”, not my cup of tea whatsoever.  I’m sure it’s a well performed and programmed album though.  I may eventually get this just for the sake of collecting them all.

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Yea, it's not in my top tier.  And probably Aisle Seat is more fun if you're into this kinda thing

 

EDIT: Oh, how I wish I could have your avatar....

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9 hours ago, Jay said:

Overture from A Chorus Line (Marvin Hamlisch) - which should really have been called "Medley" as its several song arrangements back to back and not really an overture


At least they spelled ‘Overture’ right.

 

5 hours ago, Jay said:

EDIT: Oh, how I wish I could have your avatar....


Temple of Doom is the first soundtrack I ever bought at the time of the film’s theatrical release.  Even at 8 years old I noticed all the missing music.

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It's one of my favorite scores of all time and I'd love a MM edition more than any other score

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I gave “On Stage” a listen on Spotify this evening, I recognized a number of tunes.  An enjoyable album for what it is.  While listening I couldn’t help but think: what if Williams had included a 10-minute “Thomas and the King” suite on this album?  The Boston Pops players’ revolt of ‘84 would have been much uglier.

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On 3/31/2021 at 1:05 PM, Tom Guernsey said:

Just wondering if you were referring to the 20 second coda that's on the opening, short version of the Raider's March on the DCC version but is (oddly) attached to the end credits version on the Concord release? If so, I don't think it's ever been included on any other recording that I've heard (and I have about a dozen versions)

 

Actually, I just discovered (or remembered) that the full version appears on this album:

 

 

 

Actually, in addition to the soft coda after the big finish, somebody added two final bars with a sudden fortissimo ending (and sounds rather tacky; I can't imagine Williams wrote it).  It's also a bit of a sloppy recording, so I wouldn't recommend it.  I bought it off iTunes several years ago and I think I listened to it once (that's why I forgot about the extended Raiders March...)

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On 3/31/2021 at 12:28 PM, Disco Stu said:

This is the Chariots arrangement to rule them all.  I’ve listened to it an embarrassing number of times.  Sooo great.

 

That's a different arrangement than on the Summon the Heroes album, right?

 

I'm a big fan of quite a bit of Vangelis' stuff, but I'm afraid both Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire are mostly atmospheric synth noodling to me - the latter more so, because it doesn't even seem that atmospheric. I love them theme in its original synth version though. But I also think the Summon the Heroes version works perfectly well as the only orchestral arrangement I know.

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2 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

That's a different arrangement than on the Summon the Heroes album, right?

 

I'm a big fan of quite a bit of Vangelis' stuff, but I'm afraid both Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire are mostly atmospheric synth noodling to me - the latter more so, because it doesn't even seem that atmospheric. I love them theme in its original synth version though. But I also think the Summon the Heroes version works perfectly well as the only orchestral arrangement I know.


Yeah it’s a different arrangement.  For me, it’s more fun and oddly joyful than the Summon the Heroes version.

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15 hours ago, Matt S. said:

 

Actually, I just discovered (or remembered) that the full version appears on this album:

 

 

 

Actually, in addition to the soft coda after the big finish, somebody added two final bars with a sudden fortissimo ending (and sounds rather tacky; I can't imagine Williams wrote it).  It's also a bit of a sloppy recording, so I wouldn't recommend it.  I bought it off iTunes several years ago and I think I listened to it once (that's why I forgot about the extended Raiders March...)

 

That was one of my very first film music compilations and while is far from perfect, it holds a special place in my collection. I would guess that Stanley Black did the arrangements, most likely from the music that was already at the LSO library.

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15 hours ago, Matt S. said:

 

Actually, I just discovered (or remembered) that the full version appears on this album:

 

Actually, in addition to the soft coda after the big finish, somebody added two final bars with a sudden fortissimo ending (and sounds rather tacky; I can't imagine Williams wrote it).  It's also a bit of a sloppy recording, so I wouldn't recommend it.  I bought it off iTunes several years ago and I think I listened to it once (that's why I forgot about the extended Raiders March...)

 

Thanks for that - I had never heard that before!  The performance overall is a little... off?  Sounds like it was under-rehearsed, maybe...but it's very interesting to hear that entire ending.  The coda bit that we know from the original recording sounds different, a bit more peppy I guess... but yea, that additional ending after the ending.... it's weird!  I think I kinda like it?

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1 hour ago, Bespin said:

Just purchased!

 

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I just realised that I used to have this album. Must have given it away. Wasn’t the original cover green and fairly generic?! Funnily enough the thing I remember most from it is the trumpet solo and guitar opening to The Magnificent Seven which I don’t recall hearing anywhere else. 

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2 hours ago, Bespin said:

Just purchased!

 

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This is one of the first compilations I had on tape. Can you send me a link with pls! 

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5 hours ago, Miguel Andrade said:

 

That was one of my very first film music compilations and while is far from perfect, it holds a special place in my collection. I would guess that Stanley Black did the arrangements, most likely from the music that was already at the LSO library.

Yes, now I remember this. I loved the extra slambang coda after the first coda. I always thought it was cool. The brass is very good on this one. I suppose the same members of the orchestra from the actual soundtrack sessions was here again. 

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I listened to the Magnificent 7 and Lawrence of Arabia tracks after I checked out the Raiders tracks... They were good too! 

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On 3/31/2021 at 1:39 PM, Tom Guernsey said:

Very interesting... maybe it's because I'm used to it that way, but from an album production perspective, the 3 minute, short version with the coda makes for an ideal album opener as on the DCC release; it tempers some of the  finality of those final 5 notes usually used to end the piece, kind of a hint that this is just a taster of the theme and there's more to come. At the end of the actual full end credits it feels a bit redundant. I mean, I can't imagine a 30 second version of the Star Wars theme played on flute and snare tagged onto the end of the 5 minute main theme arrangement/end credits.

I onow this is an older post but, 1941 March pretty much does the same thing...

 

5:26

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9 hours ago, Falco said:

I onow this is an older post but, 1941 March pretty much does the same thing...

 

5:26

Yes I suppose it does! Although guess it kinda fits in more with the comedy vibe somehow, a bit of a bait and switch ending?! Although Williams exorcised the coda in his concert version as he did with Raiders. Clearly he likes writing them in the first instance but realises that a live audience aren't going to hold on for another 20 seconds when they think the piece is over.

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16 minutes ago, Miguel Andrade said:

Still sure the version I owned had a green cover... I don't think this album ever had a nice cover ;-)

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I don't think Jay will be getting to Pops Britannia for a good while, but I listened for the first time in a while this morning and was reminded how much I enjoy "An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise."  This piece by the English composer Peter Maxwell Davies was actually commissioned by the Boston Pops for its centennial and premiered by Williams in '85 literally the same week as his Tuba Concerto.  It's great!

 

 

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I hope to accelerate my pace of listening through this series soon!

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1 hour ago, Disco Stu said:

I don't think Jay will be getting to Pops Britannia for a good while, but I listened for the first time in a while this morning and was reminded how much I enjoy "An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise."  This piece by the English composer Peter Maxwell Davies was actually commissioned by the Boston Pops for its centennial and premiered by Williams in '85 literally the same week as his Tuba Concerto.  It's great!

 

 

It is a lovely piece and a very enjoyable album. Especially the JW Jane Eyre suite of course. 

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Jessye Norman - With A Song In My Heart (1984)

 

No thank you.  I was not a fan of her singing style at all.

 

It is cool that JW performed piano on "Love Is Here To Stay", and the orchestra is credited to "John Williams and the Boston Pops" (Did he conduct first and record the piano separately? Did someone else conduct?), but the really nice background music cannot overcome the singing for me.

 

He also arranged one track ("I Love Paris" by Cole Porter) but it didn't stand out to me from the other tracks.

 

Basically, just not my cup of tea!  I won't even be giving it a second listen.

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I am definitely more open to operatic style than you I'm guessing Jay, but even I have just never enjoyed Jessye Norman's voice.  She's no Leontyne Price, that's for sure.

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I can't think of any opera singing I've ever enjoyed at all, nope

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Just now, Jay said:

I can't think of any opera singing I've ever enjoyed at all, nope

 

I know it's wordless so a different thing, but I'm guessing that doesn't include something like Renee Fleming in LOTR?  Like when Gollum gets the ring *goosebumps*

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I purchased both of the JW / Jessye Norman CDs used on Amazon, thankfully I didn't spend too much on them!  I'm with Jay, terrible albums that will never get another spin in my CD player.  Just doesn't do it for me.

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The material is right in my wheelhouse.  That 20s/30s Tin Pan Alley semi-classical theater style is very much one of "my things."  But Norman's voice is just all wrong for the style.  Kiri Te Kanawa did a similarly awful Gershwin album in the 80s.  I mentioned the great opera singer Leontyne Price above because she recorded a similar kind of album with Andre Previn in the late 60s and she was able to adapt her style to that much more convincingly.

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Indeed, I quite liked the music being played, when I could hear it in between or under her voice.  But her voice grated on me, that made me want to leave the volume low the whole time

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7 hours ago, Jay said:

It is cool that JW performed piano on all tracks (clavier on "Love Is Here To Stay"), and the orchestra is credited to "John Williams and the Boston Pops" (Did he conduct first and record the piano separately? Did someone else conduct?)

 

It's not unusual for conductor pianists to do conduct from the piano while also playing. I think both Mozart and Beethoven did it, Bernstein did it, and Barenboim often does it - just some examples.

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