Home Theatre John Williams returns to Tanglewood, whereas Jussen brothers and BSO enchant in Mendelssohn and Berlioz – Seen and Heard Worldwide

John Williams returns to Tanglewood, whereas Jussen brothers and BSO enchant in Mendelssohn and Berlioz – Seen and Heard Worldwide

John Williams returns to Tanglewood, whereas Jussen brothers and BSO enchant in Mendelssohn and Berlioz – Seen and Heard Worldwide


United StatesUnited States 2023 Tanglewood [5] – John Williams Movie Night time: Elita Kang (violin), BU Tanglewood Institute Younger Artists Vocal Program Refrain (director: Penelope Bitzas / conductor: Katie Woolf), Boston Pops Orchestra / David Newman and John Williams (conductors). Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, 5.8.2023. (CSa)

John Williams conducts Elita Kang taking part in the Theme from Schindler’s Listing at Movie Night time © Hilary Scott

Richard Whiting – Hooray for Hollywood! (arr. John Williams)
John Williams The Cowboys Overture
Bernard Herrmann – Scène d’amour from Vertigo
John Williams – Suite from Far and Away; Theme from Jurassic Park; Love Theme and March from Superman; The Adventures of Mutt from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cranium; Name of the Champions; Dry Your Tears, Afrika from Amistad; Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Theme from Schindler’s Listing; Alternatives from Star Wars: The Asteroid Subject, Anakin’s Theme, Throne Room and Finale

The films could also be dying and the cinema in its loss of life throes, however a blockbuster viewers in extra of 18,000 crammed the Koussevitsky Shed and thronged the Tanglewood lawns on a heat summer time night to listen to the Boston Pops Orchestra exhibit its chops within the Competition’s annual ‘John Williams Movie Night time’.  Williams, the occasion’s eponymous hero, is a dwelling legend. A former Director of the Pops and a sprightly 91-year-old composer and conductor, Williams has acquired many accolades, most lately in 2022, when he acquired an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire from the late Queen Elizabeth. Sir John has been accountable for a few of the hottest and acclaimed movie scores in film historical past. The night’s wildly fashionable programme was a veritable journey down film Reminiscence Lane. The primary half of the live performance, which was performed by movie music creator David Newman, opened with Williams’s pacey association of Richard Whiting’s ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ from Busby Berkeley’s 1937 traditional movie Hollywood Lodge. Then got here The Cowboys Overture which Williams wrote for the 1972 movie that includes John Wayne as an getting old Montana cattle rancher driving his steers to South Dakota. In an homage to composer Bernard Herrmann, we heard a luxurious Scène d’amour, the theme from Hitchcock’s 1958 psychological thriller Vertigo. Subsequent up: Williams’s suite from Ron Howard’s 1992 Irish household drama Far and Away adopted by Theme from Jurassic Park. Because the final, lush chords died away, the orchestra segued into the Love Theme and March from Superman, an apt option to accompany a photographic biography of Williams’s lengthy life taking part in out above the viewers on overhead screens.

John Williams conducts Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at Movie Night time © Hilary Scott

After the interval, the maestro took David Newman’s place to conduct the second half of the programme: musical extracts from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cranium, adopted by Name of the Champions, written for the 2002 Winter Video games, rousingly supported by the Boston College Tanglewood Institute’s Younger Artists Refrain and illustrated by a number of Olympic movie highlights. In a dramatic change of temper, the orchestra performed Dry Your Tears, Afrika from Steven Spielberg’s Amistad and, joined by violinist Elita Kang, gave a young account of the Theme from Schindler’s Listing. The extraordinary stock of Williams’s film compositions would have been incomplete with out some reference to Star Wars. The viewers thrilled to a variety which included The Asteroid Subject, Anakin’s Theme, Throne Room and Finale. The night closed with a hat trick of encores together with Williams’s  latest Helena’s Theme from Indiana Jones and the Dial of Future in addition to the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Again. The latter, maybe, a passing musical reference to Darth Vader and his darkish forces and a gently humorous tribute by a Knight of a as soon as mighty empire to a different.

2023 Tanglewood [6] – Mendelsohn, Berlioz: Lucas Jussen (piano 1) and Arthur Jussen (piano 2), Boston Symphony Orchestra / Kazuki Yamada (conductor). Koussevitzky Music Shed, Lenox, 6.8.2023.

Lucas and Arthur Jussen

Mendelssohn – Concerto in E for Two Pianos and Orchestra
BerliozSymphonie fantastique: Episode from the Lifetime of an Artist, Op.14

There was additionally a sure cinematic high quality to Sunday afternoon’s live performance, and a sprinkling of stardust. Dutch born brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen, 29 and 26 respectively, are a extremely completed and internationally lauded piano duo graced with Hollywood attractiveness. Underneath the expressive baton of Kazuki Yamada, they joined the BSO in a virtuosic efficiency of Mendelssohn’s Concerto in E for Two Pianos. Mendelssohn composed this work in October 1823 when he was a mere 14-year-old, and which he supposed to play together with his pianist sister Fanny.  Though melodically and textually spinoff of Mozart and Beethoven, the work is delicately ornamented and its construction astonishingly refined contemplating Felix’s age on the time he wrote it. The 2 live performance Steinways had been positioned on reverse sides of the rostrum, which enabled the brothers to face each other and to hold on a well-balanced musical dialog, which they achieved with antiphonal grace. The vivacious opening Allegro was taken at a vigorous tempo, the pianos fantastically coordinated, whereas the stately Adagio was artfully embellished with exactly executed keyboard scales and trills. The work’s ultimate Allegro, dispatched in a blaze of knife-edge virtuosity, unsurprisingly aroused whoops and hollers of pleasure from the duo’s devoted fanbase.

The second half of the live performance comprised one work: Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. Infatuated together with his muse, Harriet Smithson, in 1829 Berlioz wrote to a pal: ‘For a while, I’ve had a descriptive symphony in my mind. When I’ve launched it, I imply to stagger the musical world.’ The work, which Berlioz entitled ‘Episode from the lifetime of an artist’, is split into 5 sections, which embody descriptive headings resembling Reveries and Passions, March to the Scaffold, and Dream of a Witches’ Sabbath. Written by Berlioz beneath the affect of opium, Leonard Bernstein described the symphony as ‘the primary musical expedition into psychedelia’. The BSO’s efficiency of this dreamlike work was exceptional in each respect. Yamada used his baton with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel to put naked the intricacies of the orchestration underlying the floor of the music. The end result was an distinctive readability of texture. Eliciting a wealthy sonority from the strings, a piercing precision from woodwind, and clarion energy from brass and horns, this younger conductor directly managed and liberated the gamers. The dynamic vary of the orchestra was rigorously managed from nearly imperceptible pianissimos to nice swells of sound, notably within the ominous March. The macabre, infernal Witches’ Sabbath – replete with devilish skirls of the piccolo, and funereal bells – made for a compellingly dramatic finale and introduced the live performance to an exhilarating conclusion. One was left questioning what Hollywood’s musical legacy would have been like had Berlioz written for the films.

Chris Sallon



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