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A John Williams Celebration, Opening Gala Concert - music from Star Wars, Catch Me if you Can, Fiddler on the Roof, Schindler's List; Amistad / Itzhak Perlman, violin [Blu-ray]

Notes & Reviews:

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. Featuring 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. Features include interviews with the main protagonists.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 103 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: Blu-Ray, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): PCM Stereo, DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: German, French, Spanish


Amazing concert from start to finish!
Well, right off the bat with Gustavo Dudamel and Itzhak Perlman on the bill, expectations are great. And greatness is indeed what is delivered here, as Mr. Dudamel is (as usual) so insanely in touch with the music that everything seems natural and just feels right. The program itself starts with the Olympic Fanfare and Theme, the commissioned piece Soundings, three works from Schindler’s List (featuring Mr. Perlman – this section is just amazing), a Cadenza and Variations from Fiddler on the Roof (delightful work from Mr. Perlman here too), three short works from Catch Me If You Can (Closing In, Reflections, and Joy Ride), and the Throne Room and Finale from Star Wars.

There are, of course, encores, and the first is “Dry your tears, Africa” from Amistad featuring the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. This piece is *amazing* on the DVD, and the harmonies are just unbelievably beautiful. This track is worth the price of the DVD by itself – it is stunning. This is followed by an excerpt from Jaws. Closing out the performance is John Williams himself being brought on stage to conduct the Imperial March from “The Empire Strikes Back”, and it is a real treat to watch Mr. Williams bring this work to life.

The DVD contains two bonus tracks – an interview with John Williams and Gustavo Dudamel, and an Interview with Itzhak Perlman. Both segments are interesting and warm, giving further insight into the compositional evolution of Mr. Williams and the musical material as well.

Needless to say, the Blu-Ray medium makes this experience all the more special. The audio quality is excellent, and the video footage is crisp and spectacular. I can’t say enough about the quality of the music making by the Los Angeles Philharmonic – they all play their hearts out, and the results are just unbelievable. This is a truly wonderful production from C-major, and is well worth owning if John Williams’ music is special to you. Very highly recommended!

Submitted on 08/18/16 by KlingonOpera 
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