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John Williams with Yo-Yo Ma in Philadelphia, Tuesday Feb 20, 2024


Jay

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Very fun news.  I wish I lived out east (well, not really, but in this case it would be nice).  I would have been blown away had it said Cello Concerto #2.  Either way, open with the damn Vienna Fanfare!  

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Whoa. I convinced my wife we needed to take a trip to Philly last year to see JW. Then I convinced her we needed to go to NYC for the concert in April. Think I can convince her that we need to go back to Philly in 2024?

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I initially read this as this year.  Just another indicated, though, that Williams has no plans to slow down. 

 

Anyway, should we start taking bets on whether Williams will have, yet again, revised this thing by next Feb?  

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On 27/01/2023 at 7:49 AM, Tom said:

I initially read this as this year.  Just another indicated, though, that Williams has no plans to slow down. 

 

Anyway, should we start taking bets on whether Williams will have, yet again, revised this thing by next Feb?  

Of all the revisions, I like the one performed with Ma and the Houston Symphony some years ago.  Better opening and stronger ending, in my opinion.

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  • 5 months later...
3 minutes ago, clockleader said:

I'm coming all the way from Melbourne for this!  Might I see any of you there?

.

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  • 4 months later...

Concert Program:

 

Williams Just Down West Street … on the left+
Williams Cello Concerto+
Williams Olympic Fanfare and Theme++
Williams Excerpts from The Book Thief++
Williams “Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra,” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade++
Williams “Helena's Theme,” from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny++
Williams “The Raiders' March,” from Raiders of the Lost Ark++
Williams “Princess Leia's Theme,” from Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra++
Williams “Adventures on Earth,” from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial++

 

John Williams Conductor+
Stéphane Denève Conductor++
Yo-Yo Ma Cello

 

The times when the Maestro himself conducted the entire concert are slowly coming to an end, I'm afraid. This is of course completely understandable. He will be 92 years old then.

 

I hope this or Carnegie Hall get filmed by Sony and released on Blu-ray. If not, it'll be a missed opportunity. It's nice that there are rarities: "Just Down West Street ... on the left", of course "Cello Concerto", Excerpts from "The Book Thief" (!!), "Helena's Theme". On the other hand, again a very familiar repertoire, "Raider's", "Motorcykle", "Leia", "Advetures on Earth"... 

 

I'm surprised there aren't more from the "A Gathering of Friends" album.

 

Williams will likely return for two or three encores. Hopefully together with Yo-Yo Ma.

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Nice lineup.  Williams has been doing the half concert thing for years.  The last couple of years of doing the whole things have been the exception.  He must have recently had the symbiote removed.    

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I wonder if The Book Thief and perhaps Helena's Theme will be new arrangements for cello and orchestra? And I had thought that the previously announced new piece Williams intends to write for Yo-Yo Ma would be premiered at this concert - although no timeline for the piece's completion was announced. Perhaps it's not completed and maybe not even begun? 

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1 hour ago, pete said:

I wonder if The Book Thief and perhaps Helena's Theme will be new arrangements for cello and orchestra? 

I would guess "no."  I think the concerto is the Yo-Yo moment--maybe an encore or something.  Maybe the Tintin piece with a violinist?  

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  • 2 weeks later...

Program has been revealed. Same as Carnegie Hall, as expected. Like I said in the thread for that concert, it's a bummer that Williams is only conducting the first two pieces, but I have no doubt he'll come back for an Imperial March encore or something similar at the end of the performance.
 

Quote

 

John Williams Conductor+

Stéphane Denève Conductor++

Yo-Yo Ma Cello

 

Williams Just Down West Street … on the left+

Williams Cello Concerto+

Williams Olympic Fanfare and Theme++

Williams Excerpts from The Book Thief++

Williams “Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra,” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade++

Williams “Helena's Theme,” from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny++

Williams “The Raiders' March,” from Raiders of the Lost Ark++

Williams “Princess Leia's Theme,” from Star Wars: Suite for Orchestra++

Williams “Adventures on Earth,” from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial++

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

My partner and I are looking forward to this concert. Has anyone seen the Philly orchestra  before, do you know if there is a specific dress code ? We’re coming from the UK so need to know if we pack the suite or not!!

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Looks like Helena’s Theme got removed from the program? That’s unfortunate — maybe it’ll be an encore.

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23 minutes ago, Will said:

Looks like Helena’s Theme got removed from the program? That’s unfortunate — maybe it’ll be an encore.


Williams seems to be pretty fond of performing it, so yeah, I expect he'll do it himself as an encore, followed by the obligatory Imperial March.

 

If we're graced with three encores, like at Film Night last year, what would you want to hear...? I'd love to hear him perform Yoda's Theme live just once.

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19 minutes ago, DangerMotif said:

I assume he’ll do his encores before intermission.


Is that usual for his half-and-half concerts where he starts? I expected him to come back out for the encores after Denève's half, giving him a chance to rest. It would certainly be a better way to end the evening. I guess we'll see...

 

18 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

YodaForceLift.webp

 

Yep, that's what I'll look like while listening. :D

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1 hour ago, Mr. Hooper said:

Is that usual for his half-and-half concerts where he starts? I expected him to come back out for the encores after Denève's half, giving him a chance to rest.

 

Pperhaps he uses the co-conductor's part of the programme to escape from the fans and go home.

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Just now, Marian Schedenig said:

 

Pperhaps he uses the co-conductor's part of the programme to escape from the fans and go home.


I don't know about Philly, but in New York he'll be the guest of honour at the benefit gala dinner after the show, so there will be no easy escape from the fans willing to wait outside in the cold for hours to toss flowers at him as he exits into a waiting car...

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1 hour ago, Mr. Hooper said:


Is that usual for his half-and-half concerts where he starts? I expected him to come back out for the encores after Denève's half, giving him a chance to rest. It would certainly be a better way to end the evening. I guess we'll see...

 

Yeah I've been wondering about that. I'm not sure if there's much (any?) precedent for JW conducting only the first half. Definitely hoping he does encores after the second half--would be weird to have the concert end without its star performer!

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1 hour ago, DangerMotif said:

Is there an available recording for it?

Thus my hinting ...   

 

It was revealed by the BPO insider guy on the board that the piece had a significant revision.  I think the newer version has been performed, but I don't think we have a recording.  Though, I could be wrong.  

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

Thus my hinting ...   

 

It was revealed by the BPO insider guy on the board that the piece had a significant revision.  I think the newer version has been performed, but I don't think we have a recording.  Though, I could be wrong.  

Never heard the original piece, there’s no recordings for it online 

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I heard it in a full concert BPO broadcast.  It is more in the vein of his concert style, but it is very peppy.  The last part was a bit too similar to the last movement of Soundings, for my tastes.  Maybe the revision changes things a bit.  

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Just Down West Street... was premiered by the TMC Orchestra under Stephen Asbury and that performance was available for a short period on the BSO website. That same year, Stephane Deneve conducted the piece, again with the TMC Orchestra, during Tanglewood on Parade.

Deneve did conduct it at least once more, in Los Angeles, with an orchestra I can't recall right now (it wasn't the LA Phil). 

The piece was part of the program of Across the Stars at Tanglewood, but was replaced by Galaxy's Edge.

9 hours ago, Tom said:

I heard it in a full concert BPO broadcast.  It is more in the vein of his concert style, but it is very peppy.  The last part was a bit too similar to the last movement of Soundings, for my tastes.  Maybe the revision changes things a bit.  

 

I actually find it rather accessible. Maybe it shares some of the same musical dna of Soundings or For Seiji, but then again, as Herrmann would put it... Well you know his angry reply, don't you 😅

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Don't get me wrong, I liked the piece (as I do like his concert style).  However, my favorite Williams's concert piece moment might be the last movement of Soundings.  Hearing such a similar take later was a bit jarring.  

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After being completely sold out for half a year, three seats opened up this morning - one left orchestra aisle seat in row M, and two partial view ones all the way up on the third balcony. I grabbed the M one, and the two balcony ones were already gone by the time I finished checking out. But if anyone else is still hoping to attend this, keep checking up until just about showtime!

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6 minutes ago, rpvee said:

Relatively major plot twist! Interesting that Williams and Yo-Yo wouldn’t share the stage together, but

 

9 minutes ago, Spencer Christofferson said:

[There is] A new development that I'm thrilled about.

 

6 minutes ago, Saxman717 said:

[There is a] Special change of schedule included in the program.... "In tonight's concert Stephane Deneve will conduct the first half of the program and John Williams will conduct the second half" (!!!!!!) 

Combined, for fun

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