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


MaxTheHouseelf

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Yes, which somehow Thor thought wasn't.

 

That's right, sorry about that. I've never owned the Gerhardts in any shape or form (although I sampled them many years ago, and mostly JEDI), so I heard this version post-2000 for the first time. But I'll gladly admit that my STAR WARS music knowledge is a tiny blip on the radar compared to you guys. :D

 

It's a peculiar version nonetheless.

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I have a silly question:

 

On which CD do I find the Olympic Fanfare conducted by John Williams?

 

I may be blind, but I didn't find it on Sound of Glory and American Journey. Only found it on Dude's DG LA.

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3 minutes ago, BB-8 said:

I have a silly question:

 

On which CD do I find the Olympic Fanfare conducted by John Williams?

 

I may be blind, but I didn't find it on Sound of Glory and American Journey. Only found it on Dude's DG LA.

The original arrangement is on "By request". The combination of "Olympic Fanfare " & "Buglers dream" is on "Sound of glory" / "Summon the heroes"

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Interesting. I always thought, I have that one on CD, but I heavn't. On the Call of the Champions Album are just "Call of the Champions" from 2002 and "Summon the Heroes" from 1996 and in the Sony 4-disc box is in addition "The Olympic Spirit" from 1988. But the 1984 piece is probably just on the albums, you mentioned @Jay. Thanks.

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56 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

That's right, sorry about that. I've never owned the Gerhardts in any shape or form (although I sampled them many years ago, and mostly JEDI), so I heard this version post-2000 for the first time. But I'll gladly admit that my STAR WARS music knowledge is a tiny blip on the radar compared to you guys. :D

 

It's a peculiar version nonetheless.

 

The concert arrangement is also on the Skywalker symphony album, although I understand if you don't want to own that one.

58 minutes ago, Thor said:

I've never owned the Gerhardts in any shape or form (although I sampled them many years ago, and mostly JEDI)

 

Jedi is Gerhardt's most disappointing film music album, performance-wise.

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5 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

The concert arrangement is also on the Skywalker symphony album, although I understand if you don't want to own that one.

 

I actually have that. On CD, even. But probably not listened to it since the early 2000s.

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John Williams wrote this concert arrangement in 1977 and has conducted it for live audiences ever since

 

There have been at least two recordings of him conducting it released

  1. 1990, conducting the Skywalker Symphony, on the album "The Star Wars Trilogy"
  2. 2005, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, on the album "Revenge of the Sith" (inside the track "A New Hope and End Credits")

 

And many recordings by other conductors released as well

  1. 1977, Charles Gerhardt conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra, on the album "Music from John Williams' Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars"
  2. 1977, Zubin Mehta conducting Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, on the album "Suites From Star Wars And Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"
  3. 1984, Erich Kunzel conducting the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, on the album "Time Warp"
  4. 2004, Paul Bateman conducting the City of Prague Orchestra, on the album "Music from the Star Wars Saga"
  5. 2019, Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, on the album "Celebrating John Williams Live At Walt Disney Concert Hall"

 

It was also performed by the London Symphony Orchestra in 2018 at the concert John Williams was supposed to conduct

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In addition this arrangement was contained in the Star Wars album of the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and for a reason that I never understood the new section was plugged into the end titles of Revenge of the Sith on the OST even though it is not part of the end titles after the actual movie.

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30 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

for a reason that I never understood the new section was plugged into the end titles of Revenge of the Sith on the OST even though it is not part of the end titles after the actual movie.

 

57 minutes ago, Jay said:

2005, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, on the album "Revenge of the Sith" (inside the track "A New Hope and End Credits")

 

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I think a lot of people did!  Definitely nothing to be ashamed of, as many young fans wouldn't have sought out those other albums before hearing the ROTS OST

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6 minutes ago, Tom said:

I believe this is the first Williams's recorded version of the extended Throne Room

 

1 hour ago, Jay said:

1990, conducting the Skywalker Symphony, on the album "The Star Wars Trilogy"

 

~

 

I wonder if he conducted it with the Boston Pops in the 1980s at a concert that ended up on TV?  He never recorded it for one of the Philips albums, recording the "Main Theme" arrangement instead, for the first album "Pops in Space"

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

2018, Robert Ziegler conducting the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, on the album "Music From The Star Wars Saga - The Essential Collection"

 

Actually, this recording is NOT the extended concert arrangement, but the film version.

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You're right!  I just dug it out to put it on when I noticed the length was so short!  Rectified!

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3 hours ago, Jay said:

The original version he recorded in 1984 was only released on a rare CD in Japan titled "The Official Music Of The XXIIIrd Olympiad Los Angeles 1984":

 

https://www.discogs.com/release/544704-Various-The-Official-Music-Of-The-XXIIIrd-Olympiad-Los-Angeles-1984

 

Later, in 1987, Williams recorded a version with the Boston Pops, released on the album "By Request":

 

https://www.discogs.com/master/458519-John-Williams-4-and-The-Boston-Pops-Orchestra-By-Request-The-Best-Of-John-Williams-And-The-Boston-Po

 

Later, in 1996, Williams recorded a version with the Boston Pops that replaced the opening with some of "Bugler's Dream", for the "Summon The Heroes" CD:

 

https://www.discogs.com/release/3296687-John-Williams-4-Boston-Pops-Orchestra-Summon-The-Heroes

 

Later, in 2003, Williams recorded a version with the United States Marine Band, which was released as a free download in 2021

 

https://www.jwfan.com/forums/index.php?/topic/33366-new-williams-live-album-out-now-for-free-download-“john-williams-and-the-president’s-own”/

 

Though not 100% confirmed that Williams conducted it, there's also the recording on the NBC in-house CD for the 1992 Olympics broadcast, presumably recorded in 1992 or thereabouts.  This is the same CD that features "Prime Time Tease", "Contemporary Tease", and "Dramatic Tease", all including variations/bits of "Olympic Fanfare and Theme".

 

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

I believe this is the first Williams's recorded version of the extended Throne Room:

 

 

Good example of how the trumpet is supposed to sound, at 4:22, compared to what you hear in Berlin (for 2 of the 3 days, anyway).

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43 minutes ago, thx99 said:

 

Though not 100% confirmed that Williams conducted it, there's also the recording on the NBC in-house CD for the 1992 Olympics broadcast, presumably recorded in 1992 or thereabouts.  This is the same CD that features "Prime Time Tease", "Contemporary Tease", and "Dramatic Tease", all including variations/bits of "Olympic Fanfare and Theme".

 

 

Very true, though that was an internal CD and not one available to the public, at least not as a commercial product

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A question for our JWFAN members from Germany:

 

Would it have been inappropriate for Williams to have the orchestra perform something from "Schindler's List?"  As an ignorant American I wonder if there were legitimate cultural sensitivities at play in deciding the program.  It is, after all, one of his most famous and successful scores, and he LOVES telling the story about the better composers being dead and all.  But I honestly don't know how the subject matter of the film in question is treated in Germany these days.  Somebody earlier made a comment about the Nazi theme making a brief appearance in the "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra," perhaps jokingly wondering if it was played down during the perfomance?  It also seems to me that, program-wise at least, the "Elegy" took the spiritual place of either the Theme or Remembrances from SL (as a chance to showcase one of the group's soloists).  I know Anne-Sophie Mutter performed Remembrances at the Vienna concert, so maybe it's not an issue?  Just curious... thanks

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2 hours ago, Matt S. said:

 

Actually, this recording is NOT the extended concert arrangement, but the film version.

 

Not quite. The Slovak recording features the ROTJ ending, and the beginning of the credits music has trombones playing the theme (instead of horns).

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Didn't the ROTJ ending replace the original ending in signature edition and anything lent to orchestras ever since 1983?


See here

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

 

Very true, though that was an internal CD and not one available to the public, at least not as a commercial product

 

Agreed! Point taken.

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17 minutes ago, Locrius said:

Not quite. The Slovak recording features the ROTJ ending, and the beginning of the credits music has trombones playing the theme (instead of horns).

 

Interesting!  I wasn't aware of the differences in orchestration, I just knew it didn't use the extended Throne Room.

 

10 minutes ago, Jay said:

Didn't the ROTJ ending replace the original ending in signature edition and anything lent to orchestras ever since 1983?

 

The so-called "ROTJ ending" was in use since 1977, on both the Gerhardt and Mehta recordings.  What's inconsistent, however, is the ending of the Main Title.  The Gerhardt, Mehta, and Kojian recordings use the '77 OST ending, while the WIlliams version from Pops in Space uses the "ROTJ" ending.  I would imagine, when recording a full suite, it makes sense to use a different ending for Main Title and Throne Room to avoid repetition.

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16 minutes ago, Jay said:

Didn't the ROTJ ending replace the original ending in signature edition and anything lent to orchestras ever since 1983?


See here

 

Could be. I guess the orchestration of the beginning of the credits was changed too for pretty much all published editions? Seems like just about every recording I hear of the piece features the trombone version of the main theme (that was first heard in the TESB credits, as well as every subsequent SW film).

 

6 minutes ago, Matt S. said:

 

Interesting!  I wasn't aware of the differences in orchestration, I just knew it didn't use the extended Throne Room.

 

Yep! ANH is the only SW film to feature the horns playing the main theme at the start of the credits. Once you notice it, it really sticks out every time you listen to the OST.

 

Listen at 1:45:

 

 

Compare with 1:56:

 

 

EDIT: Whoa, they're also in different keys! The extended version is used to get us into the same key as all the other films' credits.

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2 minutes ago, Locrius said:

Yep! ANH is the only SW film to feature the horns playing the main theme at the start of the credits. Once you notice it, it really sticks out every time you listen to the OST.

 

Not only that, but the first measure of triplet figures is played by woodwinds (leading into the horn statement of Luke's Theme), whereas from Empire on the triplets are played by the trumpets.  I have to say, I might actually prefer the OST version!  It's a little less forceful and on-the-nose than it became later on.

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Good catch! Also note the difference in key, which I just pointed out in my edited comment. So the Slovak recording is especially unique, because it is the original key, but with the trombones. Trombones are never heard playing the theme in that key in any of the films' credits; all the later films that have the trombones doing it, are up a step.

 

Now that I think about it, it's really interesting how JW chose to do the concert version of the piece, because he both started in the original key as heard in the film, and then shifted up into the key of the other films' credits for continuity (and it just sounds more "right" that way, since every other time we've heard the credits it's been in this other key).

 

He got the best of both worlds in that arrangement; your ears aren't thrown off by starting in a different key, and they also aren't thrown off by hearing the credits in a weird key you're not used to. Really well-done.

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9 minutes ago, Locrius said:

EDIT: Whoa, they're also in different keys! The extended version is used to get us into the same key as all the other films' credits.

 

Yes!  The extended version has the recap of the Elgar-like processional up a whole step, so the "end credits" section needs to be, as well

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I don't think I ever consciously thought of the keys before (I'm looking at my Signature Edition score right now). What's crazy is that, almost immediately, the keys change and the different versions align.  As the "credits" music begins, the OST plays the theme in D-flat major while the concert version is in E-flat.  The theme is played once, followed by a single bar flourish that leads into the Rebel theme.  By the time the Rebel theme hits, both versions are in the same key (with low brass and strings hitting low G's on the off-beats).  A few statements of the Rebel theme lead back to Luke's Theme in C major.

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Whoa, you're right... I never realized before that he changes the key in the ANH version at that spot (and so masterfully and quickly!).

 

EDIT: There's also a slight difference in the trumpet triplets leading up to the Rebel fanfare; in ANH, the last triplet goes down for the second note and then back up, whereas TESB is a continuous upward motion.

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While we're at this, the Berlin concert made me realise why I love the LSO 77 original Throne Room so much: the first Force Theme statement on the brass after the fanfares is played kind of dirtily, not a grand polished concert hall proceeding but one with a lot of personality for these ragtag rogues that just instantly makes you half-grin and nod along.

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2 hours ago, Matt S. said:

A question for our JWFAN members from Germany:

 

Would it have been inappropriate for Williams to have the orchestra perform something from "Schindler's List?"  As an ignorant American I wonder if there were legitimate cultural sensitivities at play in deciding the program.  It is, after all, one of his most famous and successful scores, and he LOVES telling the story about the better composers being dead and all. 

 

Not at all, it has been performed here multiple times, and is one of JW's most cherished compositions, same as elsewhere. The film, like others (e.g. Downfall, The Pianist, etc.) that depict this period in a serious way, is well regarded. It's the comedic handling of the subject matter that makes us squirm uncomfortably in our seats, like buddy-Adolf in Jojo Rabbit.

 

And the story made it into the Berlin programme booklet at least, as the final punchline of the text ;)

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3 hours ago, Matt S. said:

A question for our JWFAN members from Germany:

 

Would it have been inappropriate for Williams to have the orchestra perform something from "Schindler's List?"  As an ignorant American I wonder if there were legitimate cultural sensitivities at play in deciding the program.  It is, after all, one of his most famous and successful scores, and he LOVES telling the story about the better composers being dead and all.  But I honestly don't know how the subject matter of the film in question is treated in Germany these days.  Somebody earlier made a comment about the Nazi theme making a brief appearance in the "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra," perhaps jokingly wondering if it was played down during the perfomance?  It also seems to me that, program-wise at least, the "Elegy" took the spiritual place of either the Theme or Remembrances from SL (as a chance to showcase one of the group's soloists).  I know Anne-Sophie Mutter performed Remembrances at the Vienna concert, so maybe it's not an issue?  Just curious... thanks

 

He performed it in Vienna. You could argue that it would feel less "inappropriate" here because Austria still acts like we were a victim of WW2, but I would argue that that reasoning would make it less appropriate, if anything. (I'm not saying it was inappropriate, and I don't think it was, but the reasoning would be). In contrast, Berlin acknowledges its role in the war, as countless prominent memorials attest. I don't think performing it would have been (or been interpreted as) inappropriate.

8 hours ago, Archive Collection said:

It's been like that for a while, at least since the Gerhardt re-recording was done in December 1977.

 

Also, it doesn't just "restart" the processional and doesn't just change its key, but also adds counterpoint.

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