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SPOTLIGHT ON JOHN WILLIAMS: A Prospero Classical CD release featuring new recordings of JW film music


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On 6/17/2021 at 6:07 AM, pete said:

That little section from 32 seconds... Is that in Williams' Signature Edition score? I know that the Sig. Edition is slightly different from the OST, and I heard him perform a version in London in 1998 with a different intro and ending, but that bit from 32 seconds is I think something I've not head before. Unless my memory from a few seconds of music heard 23 years ago is failing me.

 

 

It's the same Signature Edition that has always been available at HL, as also recorded by Erich Kunzel with the CIncinnati Pops and, more recently, by the Film Symphony Orchestra:

 

 

The Signature Edition differs from the version recorded for the OST album/end credits for a longer introduction, a small addition in the middle development section and an extended finale.

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What I am wondering, you hardly find one of these pieces recorded twice with the exact same arrangement.

Are all these changes in the arrangements made by the master himself?

Or are these done by others and they just get authorized by John Williams?

Or is every conductor doing those kinds of variations and changes on the sheet music as part of his or her interpretation of the piece?

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What do you mean? If you refer to the differences between the versions recorded for the OST album and the ones published for concert performances, yes, it's always JW himself writing new material, changing orchestration, adding or removing things here and there, etc. That is done primarily for two reasons 1) creating a musically coherent piece of music that can stand on its feet when performed in a concert hall and 2) adapting it for a standard symphony orchestra and give the piece more opportunity to be performed by virtually any orchestras in the world.

 

All the arrangements and adaptations done by others are usually not authorized by JW. There are plenty of takedowns and unofficial transcriptions out there and sometimes orchestra libraries end up getting those from intermediary agencies.

 

As for the podium changes, I guess any conductor might feel entitled to do some very minor revisions from a performance perspective, especially when rehearsing the piece with the orchestra, but it's usually tempi and dynamics, very rarely orchestration though. Some conductors might also adapt the "volume" of the orchestration depending on the venue's acoustics and things like that (as it's also done with classical pieces from the repertoire).

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I guess I hadn't listened to the Kunzel version in so long I forgot that ending change was included in that!

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I'd love to listen but I really got screwed over by Amazon when I chose to order from them.  Still no shipping notice.  What a joke

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On 6/16/2021 at 6:45 PM, Bayesian said:

No, don’t do that! What did I tell you to do last week?? Cancel that shit and order it from www.jpc.de. Mine shipped out two or three days after I placed the order with them, with tracking info. (DHL to the US, then USPS, full tracking the whole way.) Excellent packaging and great email communication from start to finish. You’ll pay less than what Amazon would charge, or at least very close to it (depending on state tax), because they charge next to nothing to ship. 
 

And you want this release. It’s beautiful and well made. The recordings are top shelf. And it’s got that European style of penmanship on the back, where the unit number goes. The way they use two lines to draw a “1” or swerve the horizontal part of a “2,” that kind of thing. It just classes up the whole thing in a way most people couldn’t care less about—but which is exactly why you should care.

 

I’m guessing Amazon will eventually get some copies, but the agony of waiting is just going to get worse. 

 

My primary reason from ordering from Amazon is that I get gift cards there through my work so why pay $$ for something when I can get it for free with a gift card?  :)

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2 hours ago, TownerFan said:

What do you mean? If you refer to the differences between the versions recorded for the OST album and the ones published for concert performances, yes, it's always JW himself writing new material, changing orchestration, adding or removing things here and there, etc. That is done primarily for two reasons 1) creating a musically coherent piece of music that can stand on its feet when performed in a concert hall and 2) adapting it for a standard symphony orchestra and give the piece more opportunity to be performed by virtually any orchestras in the world.

 

All the arrangements and adaptations done by others are usually not authorized by JW. There are plenty of takedowns and unofficial transcriptions out there and sometimes orchestra libraries end up getting those from intermediary agencies.

 

As for the podium changes, I guess any conductor might feel entitled to do some very minor revisions from a performance perspective, especially when rehearsing the piece with the orchestra, but it's usually tempi and dynamics, very rarely orchestration though. Some conductors might also adapt the "volume" of the orchestration depending on the venue's acoustics and things like that (as it's also done with classical pieces from the repertoire).

I meant exactly the first part that you eplained. Thanks for that.

Usually, as in case of the Lost Would the piece was even in the OST album an orchestra arrangement that did not appear like that in the film. Of course JW can rewrite his pieces how ever he wants. But very often I prefer the first version I knew.

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I got an update from Amazon a couple hours ago

 

Quote

New estimated delivery date:
Monday, June 21, 2021

 

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4 hours ago, Holko said:

It's obviously this one.

 

4 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

I don't even see how there could be any confusion about it?

 

Well, it's a pretty low number, for me to be receiving now in the US, months after everyone in Europe got theirs.

 

And it doesn't really look like a one to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  If it did, I wouldn't have brought it up.

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13 hours ago, Jay said:

Well, it's a pretty low number, for me to be receiving now in the US, months after everyone in Europe got theirs.

 

Ah. Well, we've seen before that the numbers seem to be distributed pretty randomly. Mine is 0199, and I absolutely wasn't one of the first to get it.

 

13 hours ago, Jay said:

And it doesn't really look like a one to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  If it did, I wouldn't have brought it up.

 

I was briefly wondering if it might be the difference between the European (German?) style "1" (with slant) and the US (English?) style "I" (without slant) for the hand written version of the "one" digit, but surely you see the slanted version in computer fonts and printed text all the time. But it really looks very obviously like a proper "1" to me.

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1 minute ago, Marian Schedenig said:

Mine is 0199, and I absolutely wasn't one of the first to get it.

Mine's 0178 and I just got it!

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Anyway, I'm looking forward to finally listening to this entire album later this week!

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Looks like that caused a delay.  I kept my original pre-order and got it already!

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I'm really looking forward to seeing what's on the next release. The Lost World Theme is all we know at this point.

Others I'm hoping for from Williams' sig. series - all of which Williams hasn't himself recorded:

 

"The Flag Parade" - I've never really liked the other recordings of the concert version, and it's one piece I really really wish Williams would record.

 

"Wide Receiver" (NFL) - this would be the first orchestral recording

 

And the most recent "Han Solo and the Princess" because there can never be enough recordings of that.

 

"Irina's Theme"

 

Those are the first few that came to mind. 

 

One more - or three more: The JFK Suite: Theme, Motorcade, and Arlington.

Probably no chance as the theme appeared by itself on the first CD. Just there are some new transitions bars linking the three pieces.

 

And while I'm at it, two more Williams hasn't recorded: Far and Away Suite and The Patriot.

 

And this is a little strange:


https://www.halleonard.com/feature/980001/john-williams-signature-series

 

Not all of the signature editions appear there: The Adventures of Han, Wide Receiver, The Chairman's Waltz, and Han Solo and the Princess, but they are on Hal Leonard's site elsewhere:

https://www.halleonard.com/product/4490828/wide-receiver-theme-from-nbc-football

https://www.halleonard.com/product/4492354/the-adventures-of-han

https://www.halleonard.com/product/4490950/the-chairmans-waltz-from-imemoirs-of-a-geishai

https://www.halleonard.com/product/4492295/han-solo-and-the-princess

 

And lots more: concertos, Sound the Bells, Fenway, Rounds, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull suite, The Book Thief, Superman Love Theme, The Devil's Dance, Lincoln, BFG....

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Halfway through initial listening of CD1, I've been very impressed so far!  I purposefully didn't listen to any of the links in this thread beforehand.  

 

The packaging is top-notch!  Spared at no expense and well worth the $30 or so for the set.  Can't wait for the follow-up release!

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
55 minutes ago, Thor said:

I wish there were more 'offbeat' selections and less evergreens that we've all heard a million times before, but performance is topnotch. So is the packaging.

I always thought someone should do a "rare and obscure" JW album. Even if it contained a few better known things (but leaving out Star Wars and most Spielberg) as an enticement for the more casual listener I think it would still sell fairly well. Silva could probably do one from their large back catalogue although the performances are a bit variable. Some re-recordings of suites of his TV music would be great  like those Label X and Varese re-recordings of music from the original Star Trek or the Twilight Zone recording that Varese did. This seems an especially obvious thing to do given that the original tracks are in mono and generally don't sound quite as good as the original Star Trek TV music tapes. I'm guessing this would be more of a JW not being interested situation as I imagine a CD of Lost in Space, Land of the Giants and Time Tunnel suites would go down pretty well.

 

On a semi-related note, are there any good re-recordings of his Lost in Space, Land of the Giants and Time Tunnel themes? They appear on a number of Silva compilations but the performance is a little shaky at times. Has anyone else recorded any of these?

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9 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

I always thought someone should do a "rare and obscure" JW album. Even if it contained a few better known things (but leaving out Star Wars and most Spielberg) as an enticement for the more casual listener I think it would still sell fairly well.

 

That's exactly what Lockhart / BPO did with their album Lights, Camera, Music! :) Except for leaving out SW...

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4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

That's exactly what Lockhart / BPO did with their album Lights, Camera, Music! :) Except for leaving out SW...

 

A less obvious selection, yes, but still fairly famous titles. My dream remains an album containing far, far more "obscure" selections.

 

14 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

On a semi-related note, are there any good re-recordings of his Lost in Space, Land of the Giants and Time Tunnel themes? They appear on a number of Silva compilations but the performance is a little shaky at times. Has anyone else recorded any of these?

 

Album-wise, I don't have an overview. But the Cincinatti Pops did a live performance a few years back:

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Thor said:

My dream remains an album containing far, far more "obscure" selections.

Do you have some examples of how such a playlist of your dreams would look like?

I guess, Lights, Camera, Music! is as far as we will ever get to such an album.

 

One issue with this might be, that fans would prefer to only get original arrangements of the tracks by the maestro himself, and I don't think, that Williams is interested in digging into his early TV work for example.

 

The most obscure thing from a listening experience for me is the almost complete score of Jurassic Park arranged for two pianos. I don't listen to that one too often.

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2 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

Do you have some examples of how such a playlist of your dreams would look like?

 

There was a thread awhile back about our 'ideal concert programmes'. I think my list in this thread would also work as a great album:

 

1. Selections from early film scores

 

DADDY-O - "Main Title"

THE SECRET WAYS - "Main Title"

NONE BUT THE BRAVE - "Main Title/Kuroki's Introduction"

HOW TO STEAL A MILLION - "Two Lovers" (with choir)

NOT WITH MY WIFE YOU DON'T - "Hungarian Jungle Music"

Song medley from NOT WITH MY WIFE YOU DON'T, PENELOPE and GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN

 

2. TV music

 

M SQUAD - "The End"

WAGON TRAIN - "Golden West"

ALCOA PREMIERE THEATRE - "Theme" and suites from "Jeeney Ray" and "A Moment of Decision"

KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATRE - "Theme" and suite from "The Hunt"

BOB HOPE PRESENTS CHRYSLER THEATRE - "Theme" and suite from "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch"

Theme medley from TAMMY GRIMES SHOW, AND BABY MAKES THREE, WHO GOES THERE, CHECKMATE, BACHELOR FATHER and LOST IN SPACE

 

3. Less-played films

 

JANE EYRE - "Restoration" OR "Theme"

STORY OF A WOMAN - "The Cortina Sequence"

THE REIVERS - "The Road to Memphis"

IMAGES - "In Search of Unicorns"

CINDERELLA LIBERTY -  "New Shooter" OR "Neptune's Bar"

THE EIGER SANCTION - "Main Title"

STANLEY & IRIS - "End Credits"

ROSEWOOD - "Look Down Lord" (with choir)

ANGELA'S ASHES - "Angela's Prayer"

 

4. Encore

 

THE LONG GOODBYE - "Theme song" (male vocal version)

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Thanks @Thor.

While reading your list, I thought, it would be great to have an album just featuring Willams' choir works,

I think, we discussed this in another thread before. 

Maybe even pure accapella versions would be great, also for pieces like Duell of the Fates, the choir pieces from A.I., the spirituals from Rosewood, Anthem of Evil and others would be a terrific mixture, I think.

 

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14 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

Thanks @Thor.

While reading your list, I thought, it would be great to have an album just featuring Willams' choir works,

I think, we discussed this in another thread before. 

 

Yes, that would be fantastic. Also an album featuring just a jazz ensemble rather than an orchestra, performing many of his early jazz compositions for film, tv and beyond.

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