For the 2014/15 Opening Night Concert and Gala, the Los Angeles Philharmonic paid loving tribute to composer John Williams, one of the most popular and successful American composers of the modern age and long a champion and close friend of the orchestra. Gustavo Dudamel, an awestruck fan of the musical icon, led the orchestra in a cross-section of Maestro Williams' matchless canon. The concert features Itzhak Perlman with a very special musical performance of pieces from Schindler's List as well as the cadenza and variations from Fiddler On The Roof. Jazz elements fill the air during Escapades from Catch Me If You Can, and may the force be with you during the iconic tunes from Star Wars. The Blu-ray bonus features include interviews with the main protagonists, including Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, and Itzhak Perlman.
John Williams, classical guitar virtuoso, is known for his wide-ranging approach to repertory, which includes appearances playing electric rock guitar and international music. (…) Williams has toured throughout the world. He has performed and recorded nearly the entire standard guitar repertory, plus a large quantity of transcriptions. Several of these transcriptions are by his own hand. He was a professor of guitar at the Royal College of Music in London from 1960 to 1973. However, he also has a strong tendency to explore music outside the classical tradition. He does session work on film soundtracks, has arranged Beatles songs, and plays electric guitar in Sky, a classical-rock fusion band. He has also formed his own ensembles, John Williams and Friends and Attacca, to explore other music.
The Australian guitarist John Williams has long been universally recognized as a true master , to quote the Guardian. The centrepiece of Sony s new reissue of his Bach recordings is formed by the Suites for solo lute. Also contained on these 4 CDs are Williams s inspired transcriptions of the E major Violin Concerto (with the English Chamber Orchestra), preludes and fugues, chorales and movements from various suites. John Williams is a superb technician, wrote MusicWeb International, and justifiably deserves the accolades heaped on him during his long career. His rendition of these works is most authoritative and executed with admirable fluidity.
From the fanfare of the opening crawl to the abrupt cutaway zing of the closing credits, John Williams' soundtrack to The Force Awakens does not disappoint. Williams has always been an integral part of the Star Wars experience, as familiar as the movies themselves, comforting and nostalgic. The fan anticipation and legacy baggage that came with the seventh film in this iconic series was overwhelming, being the first new film since 2005's Revenge of the Sith and the direct sequel to 1983's Return of the Jedi, yet the results are not crushed by outlandish pressure. For The Force Awakens, Williams began work in late 2014, before recording began in Los Angeles in June 2015 (the first time a Star Wars film score was not recorded at Abbey Road). He enlisted a freelance orchestra and, with the help of William Ross and Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, produced a 23-song journey connecting the past and the future of the Star Wars universe. Here, Williams combines the old and the new with expert subtlety, creating a lush experience that rewards repeat listens. Those familiar with his work on other big-budget sagas (Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones) will instantly recognize the blaring horns that propel the action, the stirring strings that intensify the tension, and the bombast that contribute to the excitement as much as the scenes portrayed on the screen.
Music both old and new, but all of it inspired by the timeless modal harmony of medieval and Mediterranean cultures: this is the subject of John Williams's brilliant guitar disc for Sony, which also features his debut as a composer. The main work is his own "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, based on both original and 14th-century tunes (one of which, the "Saltarello," appeared on early-music pioneer David Munrow's disc called Instruments of the Middle Ages). The suite is a lovely piece of writing, deftly composed, and neither tacky nor pretentious. It's paired with an inspired assortment of spiritually related but diverse arrangements and original pieces by Satie, Theodorakis, Domeniconi, and an emotionally intense four-movement work called "Stélé," by Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Naturally, Williams performs each piece expertly, but most important, he makes his instrument sing, and that's just what the music demands. Simply super.
John Christopher Williams is an Australian virtuosic classical guitarist renowned for his ensemble playing as well as his interpretation and promotion of the modern classical guitar repertoire. In 1973, he shared a Grammy Award in the Best Chamber Music Performance category with fellow guitarist Julian Bream for Julian and John (Works by Lawes, Carulli, Albéniz, Granados).Guitar historian Graham Wade has said: "John is perhaps the most technically accomplished guitarist the world has seen."
A new album release by guitarist John Williams is always cause for great anticipation, not only for another opportunity to marvel at his virtuosity, but also to experience music from unheralded areas of the repertoire. EL DIABLO SUELTO is a survey of the guitar music of Venezuela, a vibrant mixture of elements from the cultures of the indigenous Indians, Spanish colonists, and the Africans originally brought to the country as slaves. Williams demonstrates a thorough understanding of the music's heritage, and his commitment is evident in performances that are dynamic and incisive. Williams' remarkable technique allows him to easily negotiate the complexities of these intensely rhythmic pieces, but his keen musical intelligence renders these accounts more than exercises of technical expertise. He skillfully wields a broad palette of tonal colors to express the rich harmonic language and beautiful melodies in works arranged by his mentor, the great Venezuelan guitarist Alirio Diaz.
La-La Land Records and 20th Century Fox proudly present the remastered and slightly expanded 2-CD release of acclaimed composer John Williams' (JAWS, STAR WARS, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SCHINDLER'S LIST) orchestral score to the 1992 blockbuster holiday sequel HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, and directed by Chris Columbus. Williams builds upon his marvelous HOME ALONE score, giving the Yuletide saga of Kevin McCallister a festive and joyous, Big Apple spin that will have you smiling through the holiday season! Produced by Nick Redman and Mike Matessino, and mastered by Dan Hersch and Mike Matessino, this special release, limited to 3000 units, features exclusive, in-depth liner notes by John Williams historian Mike Matessino. Yesssss!
Silva Screen Records presents the most comprehensive collection of Music to mark the 80th birthday of John Williams, the 5 time Oscar and 18 time Grammy award-winning world's No.1 Film Composer. This unique collection includes: 6 Compact Disc box set - 88 tracks and 7 hours of music. In the history of film music over the last six decades one name stands supreme as the most prolific and celebrated composer working in cinema today - John Williams His astounding collection of awards remains unrivalled including 47 Oscar nominations (five wins) surpassed only by Walt Disney. Add to that four Golden Globes, seven BAFTAS and twenty-one Grammys. His themes have become part of the fabric of the history of cinema, part of a cavalcade of blockbusters that include the Star Wars saga, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Jaws, Superman and many, many, more that are all included on this superb collection. The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra pay tribute over this six CD set that defines his monumental career. With 88 tracks and over seven hours of music this release is the ultimate collection of this outstanding composer who celebrated his 80th birthday on February 8th this year and has now observed a 40 year screen partnership with Steven Spielberg. (amazon).
John Williams skillfully utilizes the formidable talents of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and equally beloved violinist Itzhak Perlman to flesh out director Rob Marshall's celluloid rendering of the bestselling novel by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha. Elegant and predictable, Williams sticks to the source, building grand Western themes off of traditional Japanese melodies with a heady mix of regional instrumentation (shakuhachi and koto) and cinematic know-how.