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 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Of the upteenth concerts I have attended at the years I don't think I haven't been so deliriously happy at any more than last night's. A deluxe treatment of the score that introduced Williams to me, THE REIVERS, and a wonderful rendition of the score that started me on my score collector's journey, Alfred Newman's HOW THE WEST WAS WON, were just two of the highlights. I don't think I have heard more composers ever represented in one of his concerts: Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Ennio Morricone, Miklos Rozsa, Jerry Goldsmith, Hugo Friedhofer, Elmer Bernstein, James Horner, Max Steiner, John Barry, Bill Conti, Ernest Gold, Henry Mancini, Maurice Jarre and many others had their moment. The playing was wonderful and we had the added bonus of having James Taylor, who unfortunately had to replace Morgan Freeman on THE REIVERS narration, singing his only cowboy song "Sweet Baby James".
Added to that I don't think I've bumped into more FSMers at one of these, the first being Superman1701 and drivingmissdaisy who were in the section behind us and were nice enough to visit us twice! And then there was LoriMagno, adviseandconsent, Josh and Holly Mitchell who we chatted with which ended a perfect night.

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I was there, too, with my wife and kids. We all had a great time. (I've taken my boys to Williams concerts before, but it was a first for my daughter, who's seven.) By astonishing serendipity, while Williams is my favorite, my wife's favorite singer of all time is James Taylor! We couldn't have asked for a better combo!

I very much enjoyed the Williams-arranged opening piece, "Tribute to the Film Composer," a four minute piece consisting of…

Warner Bros. fanfare
Casablanca
Citizen Kane
20th Century Fox fanfare
Star Wars
The Sea Hawk
Spellbound
Titanic
Psycho
Jaws
The Pink Panther
Exodus
Out of Africa
Dr. Zhivago
Bridge on the River Kwai
Patton
Rocky
The Magnificent Seven
The Natural
Cinema Paradiso
The Godfather
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Gone With the Wind

Well chosen! (I was less pleased with the second-act opener, a similar but clunkier medley of Steiner's "King Kong," "Jaws," "Casablanca," "An Affair to Remember," "The Adventures of Robin Hood," and "Superman.")

His performances of longer selections from "Dances with Wolves," "How the West Was Won," and "Cinema Paradiso" were on the lovely. The shakiest performance, surprisingly, was on Williams' own suite from "The Cowboys" (still a fun, lively piece). He also played "Hedwig's Theme," the obligatory "Star Wars" cues, and enjoyably showed the Circus Train sequence from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" without music (explaining as we watched what moments he wanted to hit), then again with the score performed live to picture. Wonderful!

And "The Reivers" suite for Narrator and Orchestra was just terrific, although Taylor screwed up one of the last lines by saying "years" when he meant to say "days." I think most people realized the error.

Also, there must have been at least five hundred lightsabers waving in the crowd, if not more, and two in the orchestra on stage!

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   dogplant   (Member)

The sun came out last night and sang to me (and 16,961 others).



Edit: to elaborate on the above... After the third encore (yes, three!) and second curtain call (accompanied by James Taylor) with Johnny's customary 'time for bed' gesture (palms together, resting on the side of his head) I had to sit there and let the crowd disperse. It takes quite a while for that to happen when you have nearly 17,000 people shuffling out of a hillside auditorium, so I chose to take my time leaving because, like Mr. Morricone above, I was really flying.

I've been lucky enough to see John Williams multiple times over the years, dating back to my first orchestral concert when I was 14 years old and my father took my brother and I to see LSO in Space the Royal Albert Hall in London. That was followed by several more appearances there while I was in my 20s, then one time with my good friend Judy the Hutt and her husband in Tucson, Arizona, when I got to briefly chat with the maestro, and then a few times at the Bowl while I've been living in LA, including one time in the really cheap seats, no binoculars, no cushion.

It had been seven years since I last saw Johnny there and, I admit, I had become complacent. I thought I'd seen all his concert suites before. But last year I regretted not attending and so I was determined to rectify that this year. Seeing him strolling out onto the stage, the man whose music meant so much to me for so long, I began to wonder how could I have taken him for granted? The opening montage had me welling up, and it made me appreciate what that is all about: it's a tribute to the concept of the film composer. We've lost a lot of great film score composers in the last half dozen years, it's quite a legacy to be aware of, and it's important to celebrate the lineage. JW has been doing that for years now.

That was really hammered home by JW's Salute to the Hollywood Western, culminating with the shot of Justus D. Barnes pointing his revolver at us all from the final shot of the 1903 'Great Train Robbery' -- hot damn! By the time Williams got to his own Cowboys Overture, I was just transported. The point of these concerts is to celebrate what's great about film music. It's not some rarified experience for those in the know; it's bringing unique and vibrant imaginative music to a popular culture. And it's intoxicating to experience that in a crowd of Biblical proportions.

Williams' stage presence remains as personable as ever, although he manages to remain as sweet and unassuming as possible when addressing a Cecil-B-DeMille-sized crowd. It was very touching to experience a spotting session with him as he took us blow-by-blow through Indy 3's circus train chase, and then he acknowledged it took him a few days to write the music. Very, very cool, too, of Spielberg and Lucasfilm to have provided the special mix of effects and dialog only. What a treat to hear this performed live. Forget 3D! This was cinema in the fourth dimension!

The sea of lightsabers was great fun, an audience-participation cultural event that has become famous in its own right, where everybody's heads and cel phone cameras turn away from the music to capture the experience for YouTube. I noticed the lightsaber wavers were not just kids in the upper decks, but quite a few gentrified folk in the boxes joined in, and it was lovely to see two members of the LA Philharmonic with lightsabers raised during the final ovations. Johnny acknowledged this, too, waving his baton two-fisted: he obviously still appreciates the gesture.

My favorite moment happened earlier in the show, I forget exactly when, sometime in Part One. It may have been just before the Cowboys Overture. Johnny gave a little spoken introduction, turned to face the orchestra and one lone man's voice echoed out from the upper left of the auditorium, perhaps from the region of P2: 'We love you, Johnny!' Williams froze a moment, right before the downbeat, and then he turned with a huge grin and blew a kiss, which cracked everybody up, then he was back to business. What a pro, what a gent, and what a treasure he is.

A few more of my pictures here: http://i53.tinypic.com/11brvup.jpg

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 7:27 PM   
 By:   Michaelware   (Member)

I was there. It was seriously one of the best things I saw in my life, because it was the 1st time I ever saw JW live (wow he's a real person and not just a name and figure on dvd supplements!)- and the performance was beautiful. There were cool nuances in the readings of cherished staples, and the power was thrilling.

I never heard the Raiders march sound defiant and more like a fight song before last night. It's like he found details and feelings in there never given voice before. The Brass roared. I loved it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 8:07 PM   
 By:   indy4   (Member)

Glad to hear the concert went so well. I usually go to this, but unfortunately this year I had other obligations the weekend of the concert.

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 8:41 PM   
 By:   Holly   (Member)

The concert was spectacular. Our very first time seeing Williams in concert, and hopefully not our last. My favourite part was Williams' rendition of Alfred Newman's HOW THE WEST WAS WON. I was blown away. Another spectacular highlight (as Schiffy mentioned) was the Circus Train sequence from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade." It has been ages since I have viewed that film in particular, and then to have John talking about his approach and then performing it was the cherry on top.

Cannot wait to attend next years venue and see all our family and friends. What a fabulous way to end the summer! And of course, we brought a light saber home for Ayla. (Who is wielding it as I type.) Hopefully, she'll be lucky to see JW perform in the next few years...just like Schiffy's daughter smile

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 8:56 PM   
 By:   JimWynorski   (Member)

I agree with everyone. The night was spectacular. And to hear Williams add his own style to Barry's DANCES WITH WOLVES was amazing.

 
 Posted:   Aug 28, 2011 - 9:51 PM   
 By:   Neil S. Bulk   (Member)

I agree with everyone. The night was spectacular. And to hear Williams add his own style to Barry's DANCES WITH WOLVES was amazing.

Was that a Williams arrangement? I'd never heard it before.

Neil

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 2:23 PM   
 By:   CCW1970   (Member)

I agree with everyone. The night was spectacular. And to hear Williams add his own style to Barry's DANCES WITH WOLVES was amazing.

Was that a Williams arrangement? I'd never heard it before.

Neil


The program didn't indicate who did the arranging for DANCES. But, it certainly sounded like a Williams arrangement.

I have to echo what everyone else here has said. I went to the Friday night show. It was spectacular.

While Taylor flubbed the narration a bit here and there (it's more of an actor's skill than a singer's), THE REIVERS suite was a joy to see, as it contains two sections of music that I love which are not on the soundtrack CD (the first is the section right after the narration "a yellow Winton Flyer - the first car in town; the second is during the narration "we weren't even surprised to find the road contained another automobile").

I've gone to the Williams Bowl concert every year he's played since moving here in 1996. This was a special night, as my mom and older brother Randy were in town for a visit.
I'm so glad my brother was able to finally get out to LA to see this show (it was the 2nd show for my mom).

More than anyone else, Randy's responsible for getting me hooked on movies and film scores. It was especially fun to hear THE COWBOYS suite. I recall my brother and I playing and replaying that suite from the "By Request" Boston Pops CD while visiting my sister at Western Illinois University back in the late 1980s.

So many memories. Such great music. It does indeed take a while to let all the marvelous creativity and beautiful playing by the LA Phil sink in. A great night.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Jon Broxton   (Member)

Was that a Williams arrangement? I'd never heard it before.

Me neither. It's almost as though he wrote a bridge piece for oboe to link the two performances of the theme together, with a slightly altered flow of the theme. I was surprised when I heard it, but by the second time it came around I found myself rather liking it.

 
 Posted:   Aug 29, 2011 - 11:03 PM   
 By:   Superman1701   (Member)

It was truly awesome! My only wish was that he performed Jurassic Park and more of the Superman theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2011 - 12:45 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Was that a Williams arrangement? I'd never heard it before.

Me neither. It's almost as though he wrote a bridge piece for oboe to link the two performances of the theme together, with a slightly altered flow of the theme. I was surprised when I heard it, but by the second time it came around I found myself rather liking it.



Is this the arrangement he played at the Bowl?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiRAARfv8jU

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 30, 2011 - 12:50 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Here's James Taylor doing the Narration for THE REIVERS with John Williams

at this years HOLLYWOOD BOWL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMNrG_IJH9w

 
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