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Best concert suite (re)recordings?


Anthony
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I'm a huge fan of these concert suites, though I'm not sure which versions I've got or whether they are the best recordings.

 

Could you point me in the direction of the best (re)recordings of the following please?

 

Excerpts from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Flight To Neverland
Marion’s Theme
Princess Leia’s Theme
The Jedi Steps
Throne Room And End Titles (the one that's based on the ROTS end credits)
Jurassic Park Theme (even though I believe this is technically just the End Credits from TLW?)
The Asteroid Field

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1 hour ago, Anthony said:

I'm a huge fan of these concert suites, though I'm not sure which versions I've got or whether they are the best recordings.

 

Could you point me in the direction of the best (re)recordings of the following please?

 

Excerpts from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Flight To Neverland
Marion’s Theme
Princess Leia’s Theme
The Jedi Steps
Throne Room And End Titles (the one that's based on the ROTS end credits)
Jurassic Park Theme (even though I believe this is technically just the End Credits from TLW?)
The Asteroid Field

In fact the ROTS End Credits used the concert version of the Throne Room (that was prepared several years before ROTS)  and not the oposite. 

 

I also like the "extended" album versions Williams prepared for his album rerecordings of The Fury (specially the gorgeous variation on the main theme in "Epilogue") and Jaws. Another favorite concert extension is his "Parade of The Slave Children" from ToD 

 

On favorite recordings of the pieces you mentioned here are some of mine:

 

"Excerpts from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind" - I particularly like the longer version at "By Request..." Williams & The Boston Pops

 

"The Jedi Steps" - Spotlight On John Williams - City Lights Orchestra (2021)
 

"Throne Room And Finale" - Charles Gerhardt - Star Wars & Close Encounters (slightly slower tempo makes it sound more epic)
 

I'd add:

 

"Parade of The Slave Children" from Spielberg Williams collaboration Vol.1

 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Excerpts from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Throne Room And End Titles

 

There is no comparison:

Classic_films_John_Williams_26982RG.jpg

 

46 minutes ago, Anthony said:

Princess Leia’s Theme

 

It's not the original version, but it's fairly close, and the interpretation might be the best:

71C7afRfimL._SL1200_.jpg

 

46 minutes ago, Anthony said:

The Asteroid Field

 

I know most disagree, but I like the more measured, less hectic pace in this version. It gives it a majestic, monumental touch:

61untiJ47rL.jpg

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49 minutes ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

There is no comparison:

Classic_films_John_Williams_26982RG.jpg

 

 

 

I love it also, but the recording of Close Encounters in this album is an extended 21 minutes piece that is not exactly his concert "Excerpts From..." version.

 

Maybe the best thing would be to take pieces with multiple recordings and open a poll thread on each, listing the different recordings available.

 

I'll post one for Close Encounters.

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Is there an archive somewhere of all of the different recordings of all the concert suites? There are so many Williams compilations/re-recordings it's a bit daunting to try and identify them all.

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I actually like all of the concert versions from Empire of the Sun, those are incredible. That's actually my favorite Spielberg movie, Jurassic Park. I really enjoy Always as well, the concert version and film, which nobody really seems to like either.

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On 5/22/2021 at 6:45 PM, Anthony said:

I'm a huge fan of these concert suites, though I'm not sure which versions I've got or whether they are the best recordings.

 

Could you point me in the direction of the best (re)recordings of the following please?

 

Excerpts from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Flight To Neverland
Marion’s Theme
Princess Leia’s Theme
The Jedi Steps
Throne Room And End Titles (the one that's based on the ROTS end credits)
Jurassic Park Theme (even though I believe this is technically just the End Credits from TLW?)
The Asteroid Field

 

Close Encounters - Zubin Mehta/LA Philharmonic (if you discount the Gerhardt version but that's much harder to find)

Flight to Neverland - Williams on Williams compilation

Marion's Theme - Spielberg/Williams volume 3 (not many to choose from)

Princess Leia's Theme - Probably the original soundtrack recording, but most recordings of these are pretty terrific

Throne Room - I assume you mean the extended version with the quieter mid section? If so, probably the Skywalker Symphony version but I've never loved the extended one. The original soundtrack version with the woodwind and strings transition to the main theme (which I vastly prefer to the brassier version he used from Empire onwards) would be my go-to.

Jurassic Park Theme - Tough call between Erich Kunzel's version (Great Fantasy Adventure album, but appears on other Cincinnatti Pops albums) or Williams on Williams again, although I think Kunzel might have the edge here.

The Asteroid Field - For the concert arrangement, the Kojian recording on Varese from the 80s is excellent but the Skywalker Symphony performance is pretty great too. I actually prefer the original version which, to me, didn't really need any arranging. From the starling flute trills that start it to the gloriously romantic version of Han and Leia's Theme that ends it, it's just perfect. The only thing you might need to change is the echoing woodwind figure at the end so that it ends a bit more conclusively.

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On 5/22/2021 at 8:20 PM, danbeck said:

"The Jedi Steps" - Spotlight On John Williams - City Lights Orchestra (2021)

But that does not contain The Jedi Steps as extended single track. That I only know from Boston Pops' "Lights, Camera... Music!".

Apart from that for all the Star Wars tracks this:

On 5/22/2021 at 8:36 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

 

61untiJ47rL.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Guernsey said:

The Asteroid Field

 

The Gerhardt might be my favourite, but there's several strong recordings.

 

1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

Apart from that for all the Star Wars tracks this:

 

The soloist on Jabba the Hut makes me cringe every time.

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14 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

The soloist on Jabba the Hut makes me cringe every time.

I agree. But that track is not on the list on top.

 

For The Asteroid Field the version on the OST is still my favourite. I never warmed up with the suite arrangement.

Either the film version or the piano version from Simone Pedroni.

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5 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

That's right. But obviously Williams wanted to write the Imperial March out of it.

Interestingly the film version has overall a much better tension arc than the concert arrangement. The concert suite has some unnecessary repetitions towards the end.

That sounds entirely plausible, but I totally agree about the dramatic arc, the original has much more drama.

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Flight to Neverland - Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores

Marion’s Theme - The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration Part III

Princess Leia’s Theme - Star Wars Trilogy: The Original Soundtrack Anthology

The Jedi Steps - Lights, Camera...Music!

Throne Room - Skywalker Symphony

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Adagio - Celebrating John Williams

The Asteroid Field - Skywalker Symphony

The Duel - Across the Stars

Rey's Theme - Across the Stars (personnal favourite)

 

By the way I find that too sad that Williams didn't choose to rearrange Hymn to the Fallen for Mutter, I think it would have been a perfect piece

 

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