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Which concert was better, Vienna or Berlin?


bollemanneke
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Vienna Vs. Berlin, which one was better?  

36 members have voted

  1. 1. The Program

  2. 2. John Williams' Speeches

  3. 3. The Performances

  4. 4. Flubs, Timing Issues and Lacklustre Renditions



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11 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

The importance of Williams leading these orchestras is purely symbolic.  They haven’t been among the best in the world in very, very long time.

 

Of course, JW isn't as good a conductor as he was in his glory days either.

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23 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

The importance of Williams leading these orchestras is purely symbolic.  They haven’t been among the best in the world in very, very long time.

Good joke, bro.

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It's called pandering!

 

Even setting aside my (admittedly questionable) national attachments, I came up as a film music fan believing we didn't need the musty old institutions like the Berlin Phil and I still believe that.  They don't make film music more respectable by performing it, film music makes them more respectable!

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8 minutes ago, Steve said:

For the record, Williams said the Berliner Philharmoniker are the best orchestra in the world.

 

Didn't he say the same thing about the VPO?

 

6 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

It's called pandering!

 

Even setting aside my (admittedly questionable) national attachments, I came up as a film music fan believing we didn't need the musty old institutions like the Berlin Phil and I still believe that.  They don't make film music more respectable by performing it, film music makes them more respectable!

 

But you do like at least some classical music.

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The topic of Vienna VS Berlin seems to be a hot topic, and Berlin seems to be judged more favorably than Vienna by a majority of JWfaners.

 

Could that be because tickets were easier to obtain to Berlin - as well as  the chance to access a livestream - and that that is cause for a bias?

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50 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

Didn't he say the same thing about the VPO?

 

 

But you do like at least some classical music.

I think he said the VPO was ONE OF the best orchestras. Also, after the Berlin confession, he added 'I guess?' and then laughed. For me, the BP is definitely one of the best, if not the best now.

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Geez, i live in Berlin and didn't even bother to attend because of all these musty old Williams standards, regardless of which musty institution performs them. :biglaugh:

 

Or, to put it less inflammatory, i had the good sense to leave tickets for those in need.

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5 hours ago, apples said:

Just some personal thoughts… Vienna was the first European show after the disappointment in London. For me it was a combination of the venue, the snow that day, the fact that the shows were held in the morning (the odd time just gave it some extra) and the possibility that these could’ve been his first and last shows in Europe after all this time…. It was all kind of magical in a sense.

 

I love seeing emotional reactions like this to seeing the concerts.  I just get tetchy when I see others feel the need to put down great artists like Gustavo Dudamel or the Boston Pops to give what is ultimately their own emotional reaction a false veneer of objective aesthetic judgment.

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5 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

to give what is ultimately their own emotional reaction a false veneer of objective aesthetic judgment


Whereas your dismissal of European orchestras in favour of US ones is nothing like that at all, right? Sure thing, bub. You betcha. I’m convinced.

 

Mark

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Where did I say that?  Of course my cultural nationalism is primarily emotional.

 

BTW given that my two favorite composers (Williams and Copland) both had/have longstanding "special relationships" with the LSO, British orchestras are alright in my book ;) 

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Just now, bollemanneke said:

I guess I'm asking which one had th best flubs. I don't know. I just wanted to include flubs in the poll. I felt it was my duty to acknowledge the word after all the discussions about them.

 

As I've said before I don't have much issues with flubs, but timing issues on the other hand...

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3 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

So what defines a good flub, a good timing issue, and a good lacklustre rendition?

Obviously the degree to which you comment about it

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34 minutes ago, bigjimwilson said:

I also really liked the program. Although it was the Mutter arrangements (which I don't tend to prefer... other than Eastwick) I love that my first Williams concert included Cinderella Liberty and Sabrina, along with some expected favourites.

This 100%. Not a fan of the Mutter arrangements, but the Vienna program wins hands down.

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7 minutes ago, Locrius said:

(Oh, and "The Rise of Skywalker" would have been nice, too.)

 

What makes it even more frustrating is that (as far as I know) there's still no signature edition published for the piece either, which makes it very difficult for anyone other than JW to perform it right now.

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14 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

What makes it even more frustrating is that (as far as I know) there's still no signature edition published for the piece either, which makes it very difficult for anyone other than JW to perform it right now.

It is not published, but it has been fully prepared.  Very weird.  

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6 hours ago, publicist said:

Yeah, especially since Williams poured a lot of work into these new arrangements. The Berlin program by comparison was almost shockingly geared towards the march and fanfares people. 

According to the critic in the "Berliner Zeitung" Williams can only write marches. So he had no choice but play marches :D

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For me Berlin concert was better for many reasons: better program, better John Williams' speeches, better performance, better direction of the videorecording and better (and much more stable) on-line ticket-selling system. 

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11 hours ago, E-Wan said:

For me Berlin concert was better for many reasons: better program, better John Williams' speeches, better performance, better direction of the videorecording and better (and much more stable) on-line ticket-selling system. 

Can you elaborate on the better video directing? I'm interested.

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Thus far these recordings from both concerts have become my go-to versions for their respective repertoire:

 

  1. Vienna - Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  2. Berlin - Marion's Theme
  3. Vienna - Rebellion is Reborn
  4. Berlin - Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra
  5. Vienna - The Imperial March
  6. Vienna - Star Wars Main Title (tie with the Phantom Menace recording after I "fixed" the tpt flub)
  7. Berlin - The Adventures of Han (though the LSO one imho has better trumpets)
  8. Berlin - Far and Away
  9. Vienna - War Horse
  10. Vienna & ASM - Devil's Dance
  11. Vienna - Flight to Neverland* ("different-but-equivalent" tie with the 1993 Boston Pops one)

 

I was most surprised Berlin did a better Marion's Theme than Vienna, though I had to listen to it a few times unconsciously on the playlist to notice it. Marion's Theme is a little avenue of intimate hurt and comfort music, and the Berliners have proven it is better not to serve it too warm or glamorous.

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15 hours ago, Steve said:

According to the critic in the "Berliner Zeitung" Williams can only write marches. So he had no choice but play marches :D

 

Or, too put it differently, this shopworn selection is Williams' 'fuck you!' to Norman Lebrecht and his ilk. 

 

My best Williams concert by far remains the 1996 LSO/Barbicon one...all these pieces were not played to death back then and widely available via Youtube & Co. And as additional bonus he chose stuff like The Cowboys, Sugarland Express JFK and Sleepers, and even a brand-new Olympia thing (Summon the Heroes). And was running around the Barbican entrance area like a regular guy. 

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1 hour ago, publicist said:

My best Williams concert by far remains the 1996 LSO/Barbicon one...all these pieces were not played to death back then and widely available via Youtube & Co.

 

It probably helped that you weren't old and disillusioned back then.

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4 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

Can you elaborate on the better video directing? I'm interested.

 

I had the same feeling. Vienna's video wasn't bad I think, but rather static with a small number of camera angles. Berlin, though live, was more dynamic, with changing angles (e.g. more than one closeup angle on Williams) and good coverage of the orchestra groups. A nice side effect is that you also get to see more of the audience, which is nice (though irrelevant) because I'm in it (I was at both of the Vienna concerts, but there's only one very brief shot of my part of the audience (from Saturday) on the Blu).

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52 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

It probably helped that you weren't old and disillusioned back then.

 

No, it helped that there weren't 5,000 re-re-releases of the same stuff and millions of Youtube clips around.

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