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John Williams & Berliner Philharmoniker 14th/15th/16th Oct 2021


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45 minutes ago, Steve said:

They don't play Jaws though 😁

 

48 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

I'm guessing JW made sure that was the case this time. ;)

 

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How was THE ADVENTURES OF HAN SOLO? Thats what I'am interested in hearing the most! -its one of the most exciting 'Solo' themes he has done in the post Anakain Skywalker period.

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6 minutes ago, Amer said:

How was THE ADVENTURES OF HAN SOLO? Thats what I'am interested in hearing the most! -its one of the most exciting 'Solo' themes he has done in the post Anakain Skywalker period.

It is the only piece of the evening that was not composed more than 20 years ago, if we do not count Marion's Theme, which is basically a 40 years old theme. 

Anyway, I am looking forward to every performance tonight. 

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Will he perform the exact same setlist all 3 nights?

Also I'm really enjoying reading everyone's posts about the concerts, keep it coming!

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During the finale of the Raiders march, I noticed some extra rhythmic power from the percussion, probably from the timpani and maybe even the bass drum. Not sure if this was a slightly new arrangement for the percussion or if it was all in the performances and acoustics of the venue, but it sounded incredible. 

 

I'm not up-to-date on the various variations of his music that JW has been playing in concerts over the last few years so perhaps this isn't new at all, but it did surprise me yesterday.

 

EDIT: I listened to the Raiders March on the Vienna album and the percussion in the finale definitely sounded different in Berlin yesterday. 

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1 hour ago, Ricard said:

 

Nice video, Jurassic Park sounds fantastic there!

 

So it appears Saturday's livestream is being repeated on Sunday at an earlier time:

image.png

 

Certainly more convenient for other timezones (1900 in Berlin is 4am here, not ideal).

 

Not sure why they wouldn't make the concert available on-demand though? 

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For those who were on the back of the orchestra, maybe I hope you can see yourself!

 

222730.jpg

 

sorry for the slightly blurred photo, it was not easy to take photos during the concert, especially when you were right in front...I didn't want to do the end that the "autograph hunter" did before the encores.

 

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29 minutes ago, Hugo said:

For those who were on the back of the orchestra, maybe I hope you can see yourself!

 

222730.jpg

 

sorry for the slightly blurred photo, it was not easy to take photos during the concert, especially when you were right in front...I didn't want to do the end that the "autograph hunter" did before the encores.

 

 

This is pretty much the exact same view I had. I was probably setting right beside you!

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2 hours ago, Remco said:

Yes. I’ve never heard the runs in Harry Potter as well as yesterday. Also the warmth in their sound is amazing.

 

I can also confirm what Remco said. Amazing warmth. I loved too The Harry Potter runs. With my left ear the "high" violins, then violas section and my right ear the "lows" celli and basses. They sound spectacular togheter in the runs. A great help to this success comes also from 1st and 2nd violin in these runs. Just my opinion.

2 hours ago, Damien F said:

 

This is pretty much the exact same view I had. I was probably setting right beside you!

 

The two people to my right were together, if so it was probably you!

 

So you felt exactly how I felt and you know what I mean when I say it was wonderful. For example as I just wrote in the Harry Potter runs and in the tutti passages.

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24 minutes ago, Hugo said:

 

I can also confirm what Remco said. Amazing warmth. I loved too The Harry Potter runs. With my left ear the "high" violins, then violas section and my right ear the "lows" celli and basses. They sound spectacular togheter in the runs. A great help to this success comes also from 1st and 2nd violin in these runs. Just my opinion.

 

The two people to my right were together, if so it was probably you!

 

So you felt exactly how I felt and you know what I mean when I say it was wonderful. For example as I just wrote in the Harry Potter runs and in the tutti passages.

 

I was sitting in row 3, seat 12.

 

Yes, I do know what you mean, it sounded incredible.

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2 hours ago, Damien F said:

 

I was sitting in row 3, seat 12.

 

Yes, I do know what you mean, it sounded incredible.

 

Exactly, seat 13 for me...I was the one with the special mask with two blue elastics on the sides and a front bow. I remember you very well. Too bad I didn't know, if I had known I would have certainly gladly exchanged some impressions pre and post concert. Well at least we attended the concert together. And how many standing ovations we made!

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8 minutes ago, Biodome said:

Can't wait for tonight's concert! The weather is great as well, with clear, starry skies above. Anyone up for post-concert drinks at Lindenbräu?

20211015_190814.jpg

 

Are some of you gathered outside? At which entrance?

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6 minutes ago, obiwan71 said:

 

Are some of you gathered outside? At which entrance?

I think most people will be inside right now, although I'm not sure who from JWFan is going to today's concert. I haven't met anyone yet.

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11 hours ago, Thor said:

Ah, I see. I waited for 15 minutes too (probably prior to YOUR 15 minutes), during which the aforementioned three people showed up

 

Is there even a "main entrance"? I walked by during daylight today, and there seemed to be two big entrances/exits. I probably just waited at the wrong one (the left one). Hope it works out tomorrow.

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How long is the total show (including intermission)?

 

Cant wait until tomorrow 😍😍😍

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10 minutes ago, jensenh said:

Absolutely brilliant today!!  Even though they skipped Luke and Leia, they definitely gave their absolute best. Hopefully tmr will have something special for the last show in Berlin :music:

122B0661-F0E5-4D1B-9383-46CE9213CCA7.jpeg

87545CF9-4697-4C6A-8F49-00F6F2CCA6E7.jpeg

I'm at your pic. Right above the camera, in blue.

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9 hours ago, Damien F said:

During the finale of the Raiders march, I noticed some extra rhythmic power from the percussion, probably from the timpani and maybe even the bass drum. Not sure if this was a slightly new arrangement for the percussion or if it was all in the performances and acoustics of the venue, but it sounded incredible. 

 

I'm not up-to-date on the various variations of his music that JW has been playing in concerts over the last few years so perhaps this isn't new at all, but it did surprise me yesterday.

 

EDIT: I listened to the Raiders March on the Vienna album and the percussion in the finale definitely sounded different in Berlin yesterday. 


i also noticed this straight away. I’d assumed maybe it was because I sat at the back, above the percussion. Sounded brilliant though. 

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22 hours ago, Fabulin said:

Here is my review for Donnerstag, den 14. Oktober 2021 performance by John Williams and the Berlin Philharmonic.

 

After the welcoming standing ovation, the concert opened with the sounding of the Olympic Fanfare, which introduced the reliably disciplined and strong sound of the Berlin Philharmonic. This was followed by The Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which, in contrast to the Viennese direction that mirrored Charles Gerhardt's legendary recording, here were conducted by Williams with more liberty.

 

Afterwards, Williams took a while to compliment the city, which he said to have driven around over the past few days. He said that, in contrast to Los Angeles and New York with their abundant cars, it was great to see so many pedestrians and cyclists in Berlin. He added that the city has great history in its antique architecture, a thriving present, and in the faces of the many children in the park he saw that it is set for a great future as well. 

 

Next came his introduction of the Far and Away suite, which Williams said was a project with a need for Irish music, something that he had always wanted to do at the time. He described the Doonybrook segment, written as a non-seriour brawl that in tone harkened back to the times of pies thrown in people's faces in Hollywood comedies. The execution of this suite by the Berlin Philharmonic was solid, with the ever-energetic concertmaster convincingly taking on a role of a country fiddler. The Donnybrook segment stood out thanks to the great vitality coming from the lower strings.

 

The introduction of the selections from Harry Potter was brief, and their execution conservative (as far as world's greatest orchestras go). Hedwig's Theme is a fitting piece where I should mention that the oboe soloist (a young lady with a flaxen hair) was outstanding throughout the concert among the woodwinds. Overall, for this reviewer the highlight of the segment was Hogwarts' theme in Harry's Wondrous World, a guilty pleasure it always is.

 

The final piece before the break was the concert arrangement of Jurassic Park, In contrast with the original 1993 direction, where one can relax and stirr a tea between the phrases of the maestoso, this rendition followed Williams' recent tendency for much faster tempi. The main theme at today's speed resembled a single lyrical utterance, closer to an aria, credit to the skill of the Berlin Philharmonic which played it with grace. The island fanfare was played by the trumpet section with gusto, I daresay rivalling the legendary original performance of Malcolm McNab and his colleagues. The BSO's trumpet section is young and strong, precise in attack, and very cohesive, which continued to be felt throughout the concert. It is not improbable that all of the trumpeteers who played today grew up with Williams' music and knew it's big moments by heart. What an uncommon and wonderful compliment to an old composer this is!

 

---Intermission---

 

The second part of the concert resumed with a mighty performance of the Superman Theme. The excellence of the bassline, if it persists until Saturday, should be felt on the recordings, and the BSO certainly can hope to produce one of the go-to recordings of this piece.

 

After Superman, a selection from the Indiana Jones series was introduced in Williams' standard fashion. The difference was the mention of contemporary events - Harrison Ford having recovered from an accident and filming the next installment in London, and Williams planning to begin the writing of the score upon a return to Los Angeles. It also involved what to me was the most comical event of the evening, when the maestro forgot Sean Connery's name and the crowd in the front rows begun trying to yell it to him through muffling masks.

 

The Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra to me was one of the highlights of the evening. The BSO was a flawless machine in this one, fitting for a piece most of all related to Berlin. Marion's Theme was a solid show, although I confess that I missed the spoiling plushness of the strings of the Vienna Philharmonic. Raiders March on the other hand was directed by a noticeably more vigorous hand than the one in Vienna, and the eventual recording, if safe from any misfortune, might well prove superior to the one made by Simon Rattle at the Waldbühne a few years prior.

 

Next came the introduction of the Elegy for Violoncello and Orchestra, which Williams selected because he personally associated the sound of the cello with many different emotions, and the Elegy is well-suited for individual interpretations by the listeners. Indeed, it sounded generally solemn and emotional; clearly could work well as a score to many different films, and was a fine choice as an ambassador for Williams' concert works.

 

Without much ado, the Star Wars pieces were announced, and to my pleasant surprise, in the opening Adventures of Han, the Philharmoniker roared to life as if they had just been reborn, no doubt owing to the shrewd contrast produced by pairing this piece with the Elegy. Overall it was my favourite performance of this piece to date, matching, and possibly exceeding the original one, and joined the Scherzo as another highlight. After it, Yoda's Theme came in with unexpected nobility, courtesy of the Berliner horns, and upon it's completion earned an immediate standing applause. Afterwards followed the final piece in the official programme, Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars. The performance was a very fine one, and the eventual recording is likely to be added to the list of ones we so much like to compare and favour. The trumpeteers should be mentioned once again, since a lot in the Star Wars pieces depends on their excellence, and they provided it in spades today. Overall, with energy reserves of the orchestra fully engaged and just about every piece a barn-burner, the second part of the concert was especially strong, not unlike in Vienna.  It should also be noted that the percussion was astutely disciplined – certainly less error-prone than that of the VPO.

 

Then came the encores, known to me beforehand since the concertmaster named them loud to the orchestra during the public-open rehearsal on Wednesday. Princess Leia's Theme, after a standard introduction, much like Marion's Theme, was a solid performance, and the principal horn was distinguished by Williams and orchestra colleagues to stand up three times to receive a standing ovation. The second encore was Flying from E.T., begun in a racing tempo from the final bike chase and welcomed by the audience with some happy noise. Then Williams feigned leaving the stage again, and returned with the final piece – The Imperial March. The public reacted with a welcoming ovation, one even longer than what I remember from the initial Viennese concert. With the composer-conductor overjoyed, and the orchestra firing on all cylinders, the piece was over not long after it begun. It was decidedly faster than the one in Vienna, although to my ears the horns lost their discipline and got a bit uneven, and so the Viennese ones remain unmatched. I regret I cannot single out the principal flute for praise as much as I could the oboe, or the flutes in Vienna, but that is the beauty of having these live performances with different orchestras and different strengths - back then they were strings, horns, and flute; today - trumpets, percussion, and the oboe. I am sure the orchestra will continue to make quick gains during the two performances it still has ahead of it, since it most certainly already did between Wednesday and Thursday.

 

I am looking forward to your reviews after the next concerts.

 

P.S. It should be noted that I was seated behind the orchestra and cannot speak about all nuances of balance or judge the string performance. I am sure those at the front might have praise to add in these areas.

P.P.S. The audience seemed slightly inhibited by all the circa-epidemic restrictions. Had it been like in January 2020, when all everyone cared about was a ticket, I am sure the crowd would have been more freely jubilant.

 

Yours, 

Fabulin

I agree with your great post. Just one thing: I noticed a desynchronization in the drums at the end of Flying Theme. Fortunately, I recorded a video and saw that Williams makes a disapproving gesture (sec. 10). Except for that detail, the piece sounded awesome.

After the concert, I waited outside with some more geeks. When Williams left I thanked him and asked him to come to Spain... I think he responded with a head gesture. I can boast that I have had a conversation with the Master. 🤣🤣🤣

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40 minutes ago, bigjimwilson said:


i also noticed this straight away. I’d assumed maybe it was because I sat at the back, above the percussion. Sounded brilliant though. 

 

Good to hear I wasn't the only one who noticed that. I was sitting in the third row of the stalls so it wasn't just due to your location.

 

I hope the eventual audio release captures it well because I'm looking forward to hearing it again.

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58 minutes ago, Pauling said:

I agree with your great post. Just one thing: I noticed a desynchronization in the drums at the end of Flying Theme. Fortunately, I recorded a video and saw that Williams makes a disapproving gesture (sec. 10). Except for that detail, the piece sounded awesome.

IMG_5219.MOV

After the concert, I waited outside with some more geeks. When Williams left I thanked him and asked him to come to Spain... I think he responded with a head gesture. I can boast that I have had a conversation with the Master. 🤣🤣🤣

IMG_5148.MOV

 

Hm, for some reason when I click your video links, I am brought to a page that says "Sorry! We could not locate the item you are trying to view." Is anyone else having this issue?

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10 minutes ago, Locrius said:

 

Hm, for some reason when I click your video links, I am brought to a page that says "Sorry! We could not locate the item you are trying to view." Is anyone else having this issue?

Same here.

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Have we already discussed the "Schalltrichter auf" by the horn section in Olympic Fanfare and E.T.?

 

And, why no flowers on Thursday?

 

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52 minutes ago, BB-8 said:

Have we already discussed the "Schalltrichter auf" by the horn section in Olympic Fanfare and E.T.?

 

And, why no flowers on Thursday?

 

Did they do that? Bells up!!

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