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 Posted:   Jan 5, 2011 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   HM1313   (Member)

I just posted about John Wilson/BBC SO's outstanding 2007 BBC Proms performance of Walton's "Battle in the Air" from _The Battle of Britain_
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75052
If this coupling's track record holds up, the upcoming 09 January 2011 performance should be a treat:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/orchestras/events/226
++++++
John Wilson, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Symphony Chorus celebrate the golden age of Hollywood with an afternoon of music from the great film composers. The concert includes music by Korngold, Waxman, Rózsa and others, many of whom had emigrated from Europe in the 1930s, and whose opulent and dramatic scores played a vital part in films from the 1930s to the 1950s.
Korngold King’s Row - Main Title
Waxman Prince Valiant - Suite
Raksin The Bad and the Beautiful - Theme
Kaper Mutiny on the Bounty - Overture
Rózsa Madame Bovary - Waltz
Porter arr. Salinger Silk Stockings
Stothart/Arlen The Wizard of Oz - Suite
Newman Airport - Main Title
Newman The Song Of Bernadette - Suite
Herrmann North by Northwest - Suite
Steiner Gone with the Wind

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

Attended this concert in London yesterday and I must say it was an afternoon well spent! Mr Wilson's rather flambouyant conducting took a bit of getting used to (it seemed like his lengthy baton was attached to his hand by a rubber band) but the audience was won over by his panache.

Mutiny on the Bounty and Airport were the highlights for me - marvelous to "see/hear" - and the orchestra was first-class. A dreary item from The Wizard of Oz seemed interminable however - although, this being an afternoon performance, I noticed a fair amount of children in the audience and perhaps 'Oz' was the main appeal for some of them.

It was good too to meet up with film music acqaintances; Alan, Jerry, Doug! The concert was recorded by the BBC for broadcast in June of this year on Radio 3.

- James.

 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   dave norris   (Member)

I also attended and apart from The Wizard of Oz which totally leaves me cold it was a fine concert.

Highlights for me were Prince Valiant,Mutiny on the Bounty and my own personal favourite North by Northwest-a 4 part suite played magnificently but could have gone so wrong being so complex.

Well done to John Wilson and all the superb musicians involved.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Bill Finn   (Member)

Would be great if BBC Music Magazine (which always include a free CD, usually recorded under the BBC auspices) would release a CD of this concert in some future issue.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 11:37 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

I certainly second what James and Dave have said (I too was entertained by John Wilson's flamboyant conducting technique!). The MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY Overture certainly sounded epic and I have never heard the MADAME BOVARY Waltz played so well but I think the highlight for me was The Vision from THE SONG OF BERNADETTE. Alfred Newman's string sound is notoriously difficult to get "right" but Wilson, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus seemed to bring out the ethereal quality of the music beautifully.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 11:56 PM   
 By:   HM1313   (Member)

Glad you attendees enjoyed it. Not sure why Wilson needs to be "flamboyant"? In the 2007 Proms (BAFTA), I noted him (in a posting on another forum about the Walton piece) as:

"...But this one from BBC Proms 2007 blew me away: Very tight, dynamic, and CONTROLLED performance. Conductor John Wilson (who, importantly and from the start, appears to be very much INTO this piece) directs with an almost mechanical precision, and his tightly-coupled orchestral "gears" (indiv. players/instrument sections) respond very effectively. The performance is fast-paced but never rushed. "Rushed" with what I might call "asymmetric tempo/meter" is how I'd describe Arnold's orig. 1969 performance (but he may have HAD to do this -- i.e., sacrifice pace and flow performance, by compressing or stretching tempo/meter -- to fit film edits/cues)."

Maybe his style has changed since 2007???

EDIT: On the question of "flamboyance", can someone name another "flamboyant" conductor (YouTube link showing this style would help).
Here's the Walton piece from 2007 Proms (is Wilson's style "flamboyant" here?):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feJsR1Kgibc
Note that this is not the BBC SO but the BBC Concert Orch.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 11, 2011 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

How nice to see the concert reviewed in the London TIMES by one Geoff Brown - describing the Mutiny on the Bounty Overture as "barren" and Newman's Airport "twaddle". Gone With the Wind is "...a musical hot air balloon in need of a sharp prick". Where do they find guys like this? (And why do they send them to review concerts that they would appear to have no affinity for?)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 11, 2011 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Yes the traditional disdain for Hollywood still lives on amongst high-minded music critics. I doubt whether things will ever change. Here's the full review:

Concert
BBCSO/ Wilson
Barbican
***
The programme’s title was Hollywood Rhapsody, and with a swirl of John Wilson’s baton — it looked like the longest baton in the world - we were off with the BBC Symphony Orchestra on a voyage through the most opulent and twinkling of screen soundtracks. If horns didn’t ring out, trumpets did. Strings wept buckets, harps cascaded, percussion shivered the timbers and the BBC Symphony chorus wafted wordlessly, conjuring somewhere over the rainbow or the Virgin Mary’s halo. Pleasing in bits, yes. But laid end to end over two hours, the selections offered all the thrills of a course of electric shock treatment.

It’s well enough at the concert’s start to be whammed and frazzled by Korngold’s Kings Row theme and a clamorous suite from Waxman’s score for Prince Valiant. But when the voltage keeps on jolting, without the pauses for dialogue that a complete movie would provide, excitement can quickly turn to fatigue.

Some of Wilson’s choices didn’t help, such as Bronislau Kaper’s barren overture to Mutiny on the Bounty and Alfred Newman’s Airport twaddle; while Steiner’s score to Gone with the Wind must be counted a mixed blessing - for some the pathway to a golden glow, for others a musical hot air balloon in need of a sharp prick.

Throughout, the BBC Symphony Orchestra played with that hard-edged brilliance that shouts panache but shrinks from warmth. Yet some of the programme’s few tender moments still hit home, even Newman’s The Song of Bernadette — music piously sentimental, but devised with considerable tact. And the great Bernard Herrmann eventually arrived to smash away plush 19th-century sounds with the chiselled sound blocks and madcap whirl of his score for Hitchcock’s North by Northwest.

More selections with that individuality would have been helpful. And from the BBC I’d have liked to have seen a little stick with the carrot, such as actual information about the composers whose works we were listening to — half of whom emigrated from Europe (Steiner learnt piano with Brahms) and helped to lock American film music into ways of thinking and sounding that still persist today. Oh well; another time.

Geoff Brown

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2011 - 4:04 AM   
 By:   tommy   (Member)

Just be grateful Geoff Brown came to the concert at all. Most of the time, critics don't bother to come to film music nights.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2012 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)


The wonderful John Wilson Orchestra will, once again be appearing at this year's Proms, at the Royal Albert Hall on Monday, 27th August, 2012.

This year's concert is "The Broadway Sound" and will be shown on BBC TV on Sat.1st, September.

Details here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2012/august-27/14300

If it's half as good as John's previous concerts, I shall be very happy !



There was a semi-staged Prom performance of "My Fair Lady" last Saturday.
Whilst John did a great job with re-creating the movie's orchestrations, I thought the cast rather let him down, and came across as forced and under rehearsed. Disappointing, overall !

There are no plans for a TV showing yet. Maybe just as well !

It is still available for the rest of this week on iPlayer.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2012 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

The Wizard of Oz -- dubbed "dreary" and "leaves me cold". Charlatans. It's just as good and equally cinematic as any of the "dramatic" pieces.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2012 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

What some of you might not know about the John Wilson Orchestra is that it is not the conventional symphonic orchestra. It has been structured to match the orchestra makeup of the original performances of the pieces Wilson conducts.

For his homage to MGM musicals, he used the same basic setup that matched the MGM orchestra. There is a DVD of his conducting of a BBC Proms from several years back and he is most notably NOT flamboyant...any more than Andre Previn or Miklos Rozsa was flamboyant.

He is, however, highly enthusiastic about the music he's conducting, most of which he painstakingly reconstructed from conductor scores (the original MGM orchestrations having long ago been destroyed).

He is a huge fan of the Conrad Salinger "sound" and arrangements.

Whether anyone here -- or indeed, the "established" concert reviewers -- likes this music or not is irrelevant. He packs them in wherever they perform and the reception is astoundingly positive and vocal.

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2012 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

What some of you might not know about the John Wilson Orchestra is that it is not the conventional symphonic orchestra. It has been structured to match the orchestra makeup of the original performances of the pieces Wilson conducts.

For his homage to MGM musicals, he used the same basic setup that matched the MGM orchestra. There is a DVD of his conducting of a BBC Proms from several years back and he is most notably NOT flamboyant...any more than Andre Previn or Miklos Rozsa was flamboyant.

He is, however, highly enthusiastic about the music he's conducting, most of which he painstakingly reconstructed from conductor scores (the original MGM orchestrations having long ago been destroyed).

He is a huge fan of the Conrad Salinger "sound" and arrangements.

Whether anyone here -- or indeed, the "established" concert reviewers -- likes this music or not is irrelevant. He packs them in wherever they perform and the reception is astoundingly positive and vocal.


He really loves the music he performs, and that love conveys itself to the audience, who are usually falling off the roof by the Finale !

He's touring with his orchestra, later this year...doing the "Rodgers & Hammerstein at the Movies" concert from last year's Proms. ( Lots of Newman !)

Details of concerts and new CD here:

http://www.theatrealerts.com/index.php?action=message&l=51&c=1694&m=1648&s=87320b8ecdc0b89882f5b56377cf1eb8

I'll be there with bells on !

 
 Posted:   Jul 17, 2012 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Yes, I pre-ordered that CD a couple of weeks ago. Am hopeful they'll issue more DVDs of those Proms concerts.

What is evident from the DVD (and the YouTube presentations of numbers from other Proms') is that the orchestra members equally enjoy performing this music.

FWIW, some of the instruments are "period", meaning they are using harps and drums and other instruments that were played in original performances of the 40s and 50s.

 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2013 - 10:02 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

This year's John Wilson Proms Concert has been announced.

Prom: 59 - "Hollywood Rhapsody" will take place on Monday, 26th August and will be broadcast live on Radio 3.

It will be shown on BBC Four on Friday, 30th August.

Featuring music by: Alfred Newman, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Max Steiner, Franz Waxman & others, i'm sure it will be up to John Wilson's usual high standard of authenticity.

Bring it on !

Further details of the programme are here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms/whats-on/2013/august-26/14686



 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2013 - 4:26 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

Don't forget....the splendid John Wilson's "Hollywood Rhapsody" Prom Concert is being shown tonight (Friday 30th) on BBC Four, at 7:30 pm.

There is a teaser from it here.....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01fsjmq

Like the new "Hank Marvin" glasses, John smile

 
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