John Williams Conducts Maestro of the Movies

Hollywood Bowl Amphitheater ~ Hollywood, CA

When I saw Mr. Williams late last summer, the opening half of the concert was merely ‘okay.’  I wasn’t drawn into the historical selections that he picked. This time however, I was shocked that he managed to pick some of my all-time favorites – one after another:

  • ‘Parade of the Charioteers’ from “Ben-Hur” by Miklos Rozsa (1959)
  • ‘Main Theme’ from “The Adventures of Robin Hood” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1938)
  • ‘Scene d’Amour’ from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” by Bernard Herrmann (1958)
  • ‘Tara’s Theme’ from “Gone with the Wind” by Max Steiner (1939)
  • ‘Main Theme’ from “Now, Voyager” by Max Steiner (1942)
  • ‘Main Theme’ from “Lawrence of Arabia” by Maurice Jarre (1962)
  • ‘Lara’s Theme’ from “Doctor Zhivago” by Maurice Jarre (1965)

The song from “Vertigo” played amazingly well and the themes to “Lawrence” and “Zhivago” are particular favorites.  Then he launched into:

  • ‘Superman Theme’ from “Superman the Movie”
  • ‘Lois’s Theme/Can You Read My Mind’ from “Superman the Movie”

A great start to the John Williams-composed section of the concert.  He followed those with more recent fare:

  • ‘Closing In’ from “Catch Me If You Can”
  • ‘Reflections’ from “Catch Me If You Can”
  • ‘Joy Ride’ from “Catch Me If You Can”

They had a quartet that performed in isolation on the stage, but it didn’t do much for me.  This score was applauded at the time for not being ‘Typical John Williams,’ but one selection would have been enough.  The next group of songs were:

  • ‘Chamber of Secrets’ from “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
  • ‘Aunt Marge’s Waltz’ from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”
  • ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

This was appropriate given that the 5th “Harry Potter” film had just opened on Wednesday. Although, Mr. Williams’ association with the series came to an end after the 3rd film… (he’s rumored to be returning for the final films).  Next up was back to some of the classics:

  • ‘Throne Room and Finale’ from “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope”

A long selection that includes the major themes from the first “Star Wars” films. He exited after this was done, but came back for a first encore of:

  • ‘Imperial March’ from “The Empire Strikes Back”
  • ‘ET Theme’ from “ET”

He left the stage and then came back to perform:

  • ‘Sayuri’s Theme’ from “Memoirs of a Geisha”

He left the stage and again came back, this time to perform:

  • ‘Raiders March’ from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”

Giant applause, of course.  It had just been announced this week that John Williams would… obviously… be back to do the now-filming “Indiana Jones 4″… in theatres next Memorial Day weekend.

The audience got the ‘sleepy’ signal from Mr. Williams and the orchestra got up to leave.

D.S. Christensen
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