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 Posted:   Mar 30, 2001 - 3:38 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yesterday was a particularly exhausting day at the university, chockful of meetings, lectures and obligatory reading.

A sense of relief came over me as I was finally able to leave campus in the late afternoon. As I left the subway area on my way home, a sudden sour wind married to snowy drizzle caused my already swamped head to spin. I hadn't eaten in several hours. I put my hands firmly into my pockets and increased the walking pace. The faster I got home, the sooner I could relax.

My apartment is situated a skimpy 100 meters from the Oslo Concert Hall, residence of the world-famous Oslo Philharmonic under the usual baton of Mariss Jansons.

As I passed the large, grim-looking funkis-style building, I noticed a car pull up in front of me. I think it was a silvery Mercedes, but I didn't pay attention, really. I then noticed two or three blackly-clothed journalists waiting on the pavement, obviously for that very car. Out of it stepped three gentlemen. There was the driver, and then two from the backseat - one dressed in a business-suit, the other in a black coat. The slim, elderly, black-coated guy was soon targeted by a series of snapshots from one of the journalists. Obviously a musical celebrity of some kind.

As I passed the party casually, I exchanged a few looks with the droopy-eyed and fluffy-haired protagonist himself. Yes, he looked familiar. Where had I seen him before? My mind was spinning again. I was tired and hungry. I simply could not focus; I could not remember. Damn it! How annoying.

I turned around to get another glimpse of him, but he had already entered the music hall with his tail of human backup.

The first thing I did when I got home was to look up the "what's happening?" column in today's newspaper. I skimmed the happenings and then noticed "Today at Oslo Concert Hall: André Previn conducting the Oslo Philharmonic in a concert of works by Mahler and himself". Andre Previn! Of course. How stupid of me. I should have known.

I thought about how great it would have been if I'd had Howard L's "celebrity hook-up"-skill at that moment when I passed him. Perhaps I could have shouted "NO MINOR CHORDS!!!" or something. Then again, maybe not...

For a brief moment I considered going to the concert, but an equally brief glance at the admission fee told me - in capital letters - that the only way to do so would be to live without food for the next two weeks. Besides, I'm sure it was sold out already.

So close, yet so far away...
[This message has been edited by Thor (edited 30 March 2001).]

 Posted:   Mar 30, 2001 - 4:25 AM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

Hey Thor,

Was in Oslo only five weeks ago--went to Tromso for the day as well--to research Norwegian folk music on a self-study project.--spent many hours in Norsk Musikkforlag! I hear Ole Borendal (Danish director) is currently filming "I Am Dina" there and that Marco Beltrami is scheduled to compose the film's score. Do you have any news on this?

Almost forgot my "brush with film music greatness" story: Almost ten years ago I called over to Amblin to get a mailing address for John Williams, was put on hold, and then transferred--to Williams himself! Though the conversation lasted exactly 47 seconds, he kindly supplied me with the mailing address info I requsted (and this was during the time he was working on both Hook and JFK!)

PS--Pepe's sure has expensive pizza!

[This message has been edited by BillB (edited 30 March 2001).]

 Posted:   Mar 30, 2001 - 5:07 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Bill, you should have let me know you were in Oslo; we coulda "hooked up"!">

You know, Norsk Musikkforlag is probably the most expensive CD shop in Europe, with prices for a single CD hovering at $25. But they've got a lot of interesting reading material (which I'm sure you were there for).

There is a lot of buzz about the DINA-production in the media these days, more so after Gerard Depardieu decided to star in it. It's the most expensive film made in Norway. It's also a film plagued by disasters...recently, for example, they discovered that the shooting of the film in the northern part of Norway will coincide with a large NATO military drill (correct term?). Kinda looses some of the credibility when an F-16 swishes by or a tanks enters the streets of a 19th century coastal village...

>>PS--Pepe's sure has expensive pizza!<<

Right. And that's not the only thing that's expensive over here (which I'm sure you experienced!).

How long were you in Norway and did you find the stay useful?

Nice Williams anecdote, btw.
[This message has been edited by Thor (edited 30 March 2001).]

 Posted:   Mar 30, 2001 - 7:18 AM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

That would have been cool to meet. Unfortunately, I didn't even know about the FSM message board until about two weeks ago, by which time I was back into my States routine.

Yeah, coming from Prague--as I was before visiting Norway--one experiences considerable "sticker shock" when in Oslo--Even the beloved Freia's "Firklover" candy bar (my former girlfriend's favorite!) cost over a $1.00!

I was in Oslo (Munchs Gate area) for four days finding out what I could about Norwegian folk music and found a treasure trove of great material at Norsk Musikkforlag--including a book on the music theory of Norwegian folk music (which I didn't buy because it was all in Norwegian!) I also learned about the Norwegian Music Center, which unfortunately I didn't have time to get to--maybe next trip.

Definitely are going to try to make it back later this year. If you like, you can e-mail me at It'll be good learning more about you and your film music interests.

All Best,
Bill B

 Posted:   Mar 30, 2001 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   Beatty   (Member)

A military "drill" is usually smaller scale practice. What NATO is doing is probably termed an "exercise" although the more cynical would refer to it as "war games."

------------------" TARGET=_blank> np: See it live! (Mostly!)

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 2:15 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

An exercise, yes.

Anyways, board members, what are some of your personal "brushes with fame"-stories (I know we had a thread like this awhile back, but it is sadly no longer available)?

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 3:39 AM   
 By:   Marian Schedenig   (Member)

Well, I've seen a couple of Austrian comedians walk by on the street, but I don't think anyone of you has ever heard of them (although SOME of you might have seen the Austrian film Indien (India), I believe it was quite a success internationally).

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 4:30 AM   
 By:   Matt Perkins   (Member)

Not a composer but a few weeks ago I was in Selfridges (the big London department store) and next to me was Anthony Daniels (aka C3PO) trying out an electronic body massage - seemed to be rather enjoying it. Disappointingly he was not wearing his all-in-one gold suit but was speaking in the unmistakeably camp tones of everybody's favourite protocol droid. Does that count?

Oh and along with about a million other people, I shook John Barry's hand at HMV a couple of years ago - he was very nice and said "thanks mate!". Have also met James Bernard (famed Hammer horror composer) on several occasions - lovely bloke, a real charmer.

As you can see, I really know how to mingle with the stars.


 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 10:52 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I've seen André Previn on a regular basis the last few months.

(Am I a jerk of a show off or what?"> )
[This message has been edited by Nicolai P. Zwar (edited 02 April 2001).]

 Posted:   Apr 1, 2001 - 11:03 PM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

I drove over 500 miles--and without my driver's license!--to see Patrick Williams conduct a concert of his original band compositions at Duke University (his alma mater). I remember the concert was the night of the 1986 Academy Awards and we both felt it a forgone conclusion that John Barry would win his third (no, fourth) Oscar for "Out of Africa"--which of course he did!

I was lucky that my brush with greatness did not coincide with another brush...WITH THE LAW!

Dems were exciting times--when I wore a younger guy's clothes!

[This message has been edited by BillB (edited 02 April 2001).]

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 12:38 AM   
 By:   medhorn   (Member)

Well, Thor at least you caught a glimpse of this great composer-conductor-pianist-arranger-whatever you like! of the 2oth and 21st century. As a kid my musical bread and butter were his outstanding recordings with the LSO during his tenure with that phenomenal orchestra, as well as his TV music series ANdre Previn´s Music Night, with that exciting French horn fanfare. Your account of this encounter with the great man makes me feel compelled to play Shostakovich's 6th right now...

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 12:52 AM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

I never saw Previn's" Music Night", but when Previn was conductor in Pittsburgh he had a weekly show on WQED called, appropriately enough, "Previn and the Pittsburgh" which also featured a stirring horn-based signature tune--wonder if it was the same piece?

 Posted:   Apr 2, 2001 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

Hey medhorn, isn't Previn's 1977 LSO recording of Vaughn Williams "Sinfonia Antartica" (Antarctica in the States) just (bar none) THE BEST?!

[This message has been edited by BillB (edited 02 April 2001).]

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 4:44 AM   
 By:   medhorn   (Member)

Dear BillB: regarding the first question, I don't know if the signature music for the Pittsburgh concert series is the same one for the LSO series (Now, you leave me wondering how the Pittsburgh signature music sounds like!) Regarding Previn's 1969 recording of the Sinfonia Antarctica for RCA, I do like it very much, but if I have to be honest, I think the version recorded by Adrian Boult with the London Philharmonic is better -awe-inspiring and with a terrifying sense of tragedy-. Some people recommend Bernard Haitink's recording with the LPO, but I still prefer Boult. Still, we have Leonard Slatkin with the Philharmonia Orchestra -I think!- but I haven´t auditioned it yet. Regards!

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   heywhiskeyman   (Member)

Yes, I remember that Previn Pittsburgh fanfare opening: It's in D flat or D and ends with a mid-range horn trill crescendo-ing into a Sforzando tutti orch hit. Rather a bracing piece.

[This message has been edited by heywhiskeyman (edited 03 April 2001).]

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Hey Thor, you've got me wondering what I might say to him upon a chance encounter. Probably would express appreciation for his work on the film versions of Porgy & Bess and Paint Your Wagon.

--I know. Purists eschew anything but the original Porgy arrangements. But man, the Porgy soundtrack is fantastic in its own right. And I freely admit Wagon's a sinful personal pleasure. Just wish I knew offhand Mr. Previn's precise contributions to Wagon, all I know is that he contributed!

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 1:43 AM   
 By:   medhorn   (Member)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by heywhiskeyman:
Yes, I remember that Previn Pittsburgh fanfare opening: It's in D flat or D and ends with a mid-range horn trill crescendo-ing into a Sforzando tutti orch hit. Rather a bracing piece.

Hmmmm, that description of the Pittsburgh fanfare resembles a lot the fanfare for LSO: Horn theme in D, D-Eflat trill with a crescendo leading to the final fortissimo chord.

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 2:30 AM   
 By:   T.J. Turner   (Member)

Whats wrong with minor chords?

 Posted:   Apr 3, 2001 - 4:01 AM   
 By:   Bach-Choi   (Member)

Well, Medhorn I would say it is a fair bet that the themes for "Music Night" and "Previn and the Pittsburgh" are in fact one and the same. I will add that the piece I remember starts out with an almost call/response sequence between the horns (playing in unison) and the (answering) orchestra. I only remember part of the second phrase of the main horn motif (memory fades after twenty-two years!): A (crochet) D-D (dotted quaver, semi-quaver) B-E-F# (quaver, crochet, quaver) C#, A (two crochets), and a 4-note descending quaver sequence landing on some sustained "off" fifth pitch (an E-flat, I think.) It's a good piece--one from which Previn has (apparently) gotten a fair bit of use!

[This message has been edited by BillB (edited 03 April 2001).]

 Posted:   Apr 4, 2001 - 6:25 AM   
 By:   medhorn   (Member)

Well, that's quite some memory, BillB!!! Your reconstruction has solved the problem: definitively, both themes are the same. Now, we can affirm that it is Previn's own signature music, not the LSO!

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