By Geoffrey Maingart
Hollywood, CA(Hollywood Today)9/7/12/—The one concert to always look forward to in our city is the performance with John Williams at the Hollywood Bowl that took place last Saturday, Aug. 31st. As usual the sold out audience came prepared with light sabers in hand for the Star Wars finale. The LA Philharmonic gave a riveting performance throughout the evening and was joined in the first half by the wonderful renowned violinist soloist, Gil Shaham.
The concert brought us some of the great movie scores and themes by Williams including of course the great collaborations with Steven Spielberg who helped prepare some of the special films that were shown during the performances. The concert opened with a salute to the Olympic Games and included some of the most famous fanfares familiar to the world including “Bugler’s Dream,”” Song for World Peace” and “The Olympic Spirit.”
We then were treated to “Dartmoor, 1912” from War Horse, one of the newest scores from this brilliant composer. This was followed by a real treat. Williams spoke about hearing seeing the great sword fight battles in movies when he was a kid and was always sad that he never had a chance to score for an Errol Flynn or Basil Rathbone. He did finally write the fighting music for Tin Tin and Spielberg made a montage of the greatest sword fighting scenes throughout the film history and it was delightfully shown while the orchestra performed the music. The film ended with the famous scene of Harrison ford dispatching the sword fighter with his pistol in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Gil Shaham then joined Williams in a great performance of his arrangement, originally done for Itzhak Perlman, of the Tango from the film, Scent of a Woman. The playing was magnificent and Gil was having fun with the piece throughout. This was followed by Remembrances from Schindler’s List, also beautifully played and heart felt. The excerpts’ from Fiddler on the Roof (film version originally written for Isaac Stern) was one of the highlights on the program. They returned to the stage and did a Klezmer style encore that was riveting.
The 2nd half brought out the big guns of any John Williams concert. It began with the march from Superman, which gave the audience a chance to warm up their light sabers. Marion’s Theme followed this from Raiders of the Lost Ark. The Cal State Fullerton University Singers joined the festivities in three famous selections: “Call of the Champions,” “Dry Your Tears, Afrika” from Amistad and “Duel of the Fates” from Star Wars Episode 1.
The finale was very special. This being the 30th anniversary of ET The Extra-Terrestrial, the last reel of the film was shown while the orchestra performed the sound track. The vocal and sound effect tracks were left in and the sold out audience was left in tears as ET says “I’ll Be Right Here.”
As an encore the great Star Wars theme was played and the audience had a chance to really show off their various light sabers and the effect of thousands conducting the piece with the swords was dazzling.
Back stage after the concert is was fun to see Gustavo Dudamel in attendance with light saber in hand. A great performance by all.
2012 Season/Hollywoodbowl http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/