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 Posted:   Oct 25, 2012 - 4:49 PM   
 By:   neelyre   (Member)

Unless you live in LA, NYC, Boston, or London,

rarely do you get the treat to go see the Maestro conducting his work. And I've lived in Atlanta, Ga for 15+ years and aside from the token 'Music of JW summer concert' (which I do love), I never expected him to come here (he was last here n 1996 to debut 'Summon the Heroes' for the Olympic games held here).

But Wednesday 10/24, not only did Mr. Williams come for a one night performance of his film work with the Atlanta Symphony, In addition, Steven Spielberg was here to talk film music and make introductions to work. I of course jumped at getting tix and had little trouble convincing my fiancee' to come with smile

It was a packed house, lot of various folks, some with their kids, some dressed up, some snooty classical folk. The lights dimmed, 1st violin got the orchestra prepped, enter Mr. Williams a little slower than I had seen him at Hollywood Bowl years ago, but no mind (he's 80). The audience roared with applause cheers and a full standing ovation. Really neat.

The first piece was an arrangement 'Tribute to film composers'. The orchestra played what I'm thinking was nearly 40 different movie themes/motifs to different fllms, in rapid succession, accompanied by a movie screen showing clips of each movie in synch (Jaws, Out of Africa, Exodus, Psycho, Maginificent Seven, Gone with the Wind, Rocky to name a few). Absolutely Awesome.

Then an unusual piece - a suite from 'Far and Away' A favorite of mine, but not usually a regular piece for Williams concerts. He then made a quick announcement about his next work 'Harry Potter' and how he just heard it had been translated into 68 languages. He jokingly remarked he didn't know there were 68 languages smile Then he played three pieces from the film series accompanied by clips from the movie.

He then finished the first half with music from War Horse and the Main Title from Star Wars.

Off to have a quick drink.

2nd half, he starts with Jaws which gives everyone a chuckle, and then introduces Steven Spielberg, which garners another huge Standing ovation. He looks very fit and well dressed. Spielberg remarks about the history of film & Music and then introduces the essential role it had in Close Encounters. Williams then conducts a suite of it along with images from the movie on the screen.

Next they show the circus train scene from the third Indy Jones movie absent of music, and then replay with Williams conducting his music to the picture. He even has the clicktrack monitor (with the white line moving left to right for timings) Never seen that. Really cool.

The rest of the concert has the theme from Schindler's list, and the Finale from E.T. What made the last one neat was it WAS the true finale music completely, not the final minute of the film tied to the flying theme (there is a difference). After another standing ovation, and leaving the stage, Spielberg and Williams return and Spielberg announces that since it is the 40th year of their friendship and collaboration, it is only fitting they perform a piece from their very first film together 'Sugarland Express'. Awesome work with ASO's flutist getting center stage. And of course, you can't end a Williams film concert without a rousing performance of the Raiders March.

A great concert. I was in so much awe, when Spielberg and Williams stood together arm in arm, I failed to take a darn picture.

Oh well, I doubt I'll ever see him again in the ATL, so I'm glad I caught it. A great night and I wanted to share.


 Posted:   Oct 25, 2012 - 5:19 PM   
 By:   KMA   (Member)

Thanks for the review! I saw my first John Williams concert in 2003 and understand exactly how you are feeling today. smile

BTW, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has posted some photos of last night's concert on their facebook page:

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