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The concert at Orange County


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This is more or less a review of the Pacific Symphony's 25 Anniversary Finale concert with John Williams.

The Orange County's Pacific Symphony celebrated its 25th anniversary, founded in 1978 with mostly studio musicians from the Los Angeles area, many of them feature in film score recordings. Carl St.Clair, for the ocassion wanted to celebrate with the man that introduced him to the orchestra, John Williams had guest conducted with the Pacific Symphony in 1989, shortly after this came the Boston Pops season in May of that year, St.Clair was assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony and Williams told him of this orchestra and that it was looking for a music director, the following year St.Clair was named conductor of this orchestra. So now you know one more deed by the man who is reveered in this community.

For me this has been the most exciting concert I've ever attended, for the first time I get to see a big chorus live. I've seen choruses of 20 or 30 people, but this one was 130 strong. When the orchestra had tuned, members of the chorus took their place behind the orchestra. Mr. St.Clair entered to applause and not wasting any time got to the first selection, Sound the Bells! it sounded much better than the recording available. Mr. St.Clair introduced John Williams as he came out the left side of the stage to applause and also got to the podium and quickly started with Call of the Champions, the 2002 Winter Olympics theme. It sounded marvelous, this opening pieces have something that you never think of when listening on CD, there's some timpani parts that the percussionist playing it seems to be dancing.

Maestro Carl St.Clair returned to conduct Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme with principal cellist Timothy Landauer, this one has a nice tune, which of course has seven variations or so, some parts require virtuoso playing, it was very enjoyable piece. For the following selection, the whole orchestra left because they didn't need to be there, Ogoun Badagris by composer Christopher Rouse ust calls for five percussionists. Inspired by Haitian drumming patterns from Voodoo rituals, it was one of the most exciting parts of the whole concert, a highlight, no less. Next came principal clarinetist James Kanter as soloist on the Adagio from Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major. This movement was featured in the 1985 film Out of Africa. Mr. Kanter has been featured as soloist in many soundtracks including many by John Williams.

Full orchestra returned of the final piece before intermission, and again from the left side of the stage Mr. James Self with his tuba and John Williams after him to play the third movement of his own Tuba Concerto. Mr. Self, also a performer with the studio orchestras has been featured in film score recordings including the famous conversation scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, he played the mothership dialogue in the original soundtrack recording. The performance of the Tuba Concerto was wonderful, you notice a lot of stuff you never think about when playing it on CD like the part after the brassy flourish with the whole orchestra playing, then only the brass stay to put the rhythmic tempo when the tuba enters for the fast paced finale, also some percussion that I didn't notice in the old Boston Pops recording. Mr. Williams left very quickly to Mr. Self got all the applause, and then he played an encore called "Clarinet Boogie" I think. It recieved a great cheer by the audience.

After intermission they showed us video of the future of the Pacific Symphony, and construction of the new hall for the orchestra, the video was something that even if you're not from there, made you feel part of their community. Mr. St.Clair came and conducted Williams' Tributes!. This piece was originally titled "For Seiji!", it's always great to hear it. I got the chance to hear it for the first time in February 2002 when Williams conducted his 70th Birthday concert in Los Angeles, like Kathy Allen said in another review, a tour-de-force for the entire orchestra. Next Mr. Williams returned with the orchestra's concertmaster Raymond Kobler for "Three Pieces from Schindler's List", this time Mr. Williams conducted them in reverse order starting with "Remembrances", followed by "Jewish Town" and the theme. Beautiful music. After the applause Mr. Kobler returned to his seat as concertmaster and as he tuned the orchestra from both sides of the stage came the red jacketed boys choir, the All-American Boys Chorus, then Mr. Williams came and conducted them in his "Exsultate justi" from the film Empire of the Sun, this one was a treat for me, I never thought I'd get to hear it live with Mr. Williams since he doesn't program chorus in his Hollywood Bowl concerts, he siezed the opportunity this time, I guess.

For the conclusion of the concert, Mr. St.Clair returned to conduct Verdi's spectacular "Triumphal March and Chorus" from Aïda, fantastic music, and with that the concert ended, but not the night. Mr. St.Clair invited us outside to have cake and champagne for all 3000 guests with live jazz music, the entire audience for the celebration of the orchestra's 25th season, he thanked Mr. Williams and balloons came out from the ceiling while the orchestra played "Happy Birthday". And with that the concert ended, on a happy note.

This is the program:

ORANGE COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

Segerstrom Hall

Friday & Saturday, June 4 & 5, 2004, at 8:00 PM

ORANGE COUNTY'S PACIFIC SYMPHONY

Carl St.Clair, Music Director

2003-2004 Hall and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Classics Series

25TH ANNIVERSARY FINALE

Carl St.Clair & John Williams, conductor

Raymond Kobler. violin - Timothy Landauer, cello

James Kanter, clarinet - James Self, tuba

Pacific Chorale, John Alexander, artistic director

The All-American Boys Chorus, Wesley Martin, director

WILLIAMS....................... Sound the Bells!

WILLIAMS....................... Call of the Champions

................................................ Pacific Chorale

TCHAIKOVSKY................  Variations on a Rococo Theme

................................................ Mr. Landauer

ROUSE...........................  Ogoun Badagris

................................................ Pacific Symphony's Percussion Section

MOZART.........................  Adagio from Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A major, K. 622

................................................ Mr. Kanter

WILLIAMS.......................  Allegro Molto from Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra

................................................ Mr. Self

INTERMISSION

WILLIAMS.......................  Tributes!

WILLIAMS.......................  Three Pieces from Schindler's List

................................................. Mr. Kobler

WILLIAMS.......................  Exultate justi for Children's Chorus and Orchestra

................................................. The All-American Boys Chorus

VERDI............................  Triumphal March and Chorus Gloria al l'Egitto from Act II from Aïda

................................................. Pacific Chorale

Hector's memories of his first Williams concert

John Williams 70th Birthday Celebration

The Star Wars Grand Suite at the Hollywood Bowl 2003

:wave: Williams Exsultate justi for Children's Chorus and Orchestra

American Boychoir; James H. Litton, music director

The Boston Pops Orchestra

John Williams

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Wow Hector!

It sounds like it was a really great concert. Thanks for the review. :jump:

And, even though it's a few days late,

:wave:

Happy Birthday Hector!

Kathy

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Thank you! smile002.gif

Also my friend Claudia, who came with us, and Maestro Carl St.Clair have birthdays around this time of the year. So the cake and champagne was a nice touch smile009.gif

I forgot to mention during the "Clarinet Boogie" that Mr. Self played with the tuba, he inserted the five note theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which got a laugh.

Also in the final piece, the Triumphal March and Chorus from Aïda, they brought six herald trumpeteers, three on each side, very spectacular, what can I say. Which more people from hear had come. At least the ones that can appreciate the music.

;) Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme

Yo-Yo Ma, cello

Leningrad Philharmonic

Yuri Temirkanov

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I meant the other musc that is not by Williams. There's some people here that just can't let their ears hear other music outside Williams or fimmusic

:roll: :roll:

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