One of the most grown-up review sites around

2019
51,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here

     
  
 

 

International mailing


  Founder: Len Mullenger             Senior Editor: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

TROUBADISC

colourful imaginative harmony
Renate Eggebrecht violin


Leticia Gómez-Tagle
Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti


Guillaume LEKEU


Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website



Acte Prealable returns
with New Releases


Superior performance


Shostakovich 6&7 Nelsons
Notable


Verdi Requiem Thielemann


Marianna Henriksson
An outstanding recital


Arnold Bax
Be converted


this terrific disc


John Buckley
one of my major discoveries


François-Xavier Roth
A game-changing Mahler 3

........................................

Bryden Thomson


Symphonies


Vaughan Williams Concertos


RVW Orchestral

 

REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from

John WILLIAMS (b. 1932)
A John Williams Celebration
Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984) [5.18]
Soundings (2003) [15.27]
Schindlers List* (1993): Remembrances [6.04]; Jewish Town: Krakow Ghetto 1941 [4.17]; Theme [3.47]
Fiddler on the Roof* (1971) - Cadenza and Variations [5.13]
Catch Me If You Can (2002) Escapades: Closing In [3.01]; Reflections [7.26]; Joy ride [8.20]
Star Wars (1977) Throne Room and Finale [10.23]
and encores:
Amistad (1997) Dry Your Tears, Africa [4.39]
Jaws (1975) excerpt [2.44]
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Imperial March [3.06]
Bonuses: Interviews with John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel [13.45] and Itzhak Perlman [3.44]
Itzhak Perlman* (violin)
Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel
rec. live, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, 30 September 2014
High Definition; NTSC 19.9; PCM stereo DTS 5.1; Region Code 0 worldwide
C MAJOR DVD 730308 [103:00]

This DVD gives a representation of John Williams' diverse compositions. It is also artfully charming in so many of its visuals. My big reservation is that it too often treads a too familiar path - it would have been nice to see another side of his talents, including his music for The Accidental Tourist, for instance.

The Olympic Fanfare and Theme provided a spectacular opening to the concert with seven U.S. Army Herald Trumpeters, in dress uniform, adding their glory. Soundings is an intriguing composition commissioned for the opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003. Williams wanted the music to be "a dialogue between the orchestra and the hall". The music is modern in style - but accessible - as befits the hall's spectacular, skyward thrusting architecture. The movements evoke the hall's awakening, its glistening (with intriguing shimmering effects and percussion), response, singing and rejoicing. In parts I was reminded of Williams' music for Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Itzhak Perlman gave intense heart-felt renderings of the Schindler's List music - dramatic and tenderly nostalgic; plus John Williams's additional original music for Fiddler on the Roof.

One of the most interesting inclusions was the three jazzy excerpts from the Catch Me If You Can score. Williams was probably recalling his younger self as a jazz pianist? 'Closing In' is a humorous fast-moving little piece underlining the episodes relating to the Tom Hanks character's in-vain detective work and chasing. The quieter, more introspective 'Reflections' music is for Abagnale's (Leonardo DiCaprio) discordant family relationships. The 'Joy Ride' music is for Abagnale's world-wide escapades before he was caught.

The Star Wars finale music needs no introduction and was given the full noble, heroic treatment.

There followed a series of brief encores - all a visual treat with much humour. Amistad's 'Dry Your Tears, Africa' was sung affectingly by a choir of school children. They remained on-stage to be scared stiff by the music from Jaws. To great applause John Williams, himself came on stage to conduct his Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back. Behind him, to the delight of the audience, strode on-stage Darth Vader and a line of his robot-like storm troopers.

The bonus interviews were interesting with Williams turning Dudamel's sometimes none-too-clear questions into informative answers. I was particularly impressed with the composer's description of how he started in the film scoring business working for such composers as Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman and getting his break by orchestrating a little of Dimitri Tiomkin's music for The Guns of Navarone.
 
An entertaining concert showing so many sides of John Williams' great talent.

Ian Lace






 



We are currently offering in excess of 51,000 reviews


Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical


Nimbus Podcast


Obtain 10% discount



Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger