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GREAT DIRECTORS AND THEIR COMPOSERS: STEVEN SPIELBERG & JOHN WILLIAMS

John Williams and Steven Spielberg met at the beginning of the 1970s. At that time, John Williams was a fully-fledged composer of music for TV series, film comedies and film adaptations of literary works. In JAWS (1975) – his second cooperation with Steven Spielberg, who was not yet thirty at the time – ominous incessant cello and double bass sounds unite to entrench themselves in the collective consciousness in a manner similar to the shrill violins in PSYCHO (1960). Just two notes are enough to inspire fear and terror in the audience – the associated visual images are not even required.

John Williams, who writes film music for large symphonic orchestras, expertly retells the tales of cinematic storyteller Steven Spielberg, whose film images make us believe the unbelievable. When the protagonists in E.T. (1982) and HOOK (1991) defy gravity and step outside time and space, fiction and reality start to blur. It is the film music that creates our belief and confidence in the cinematic images.

John Williams’ idea of presenting his film compositions for Steven Spielberg and other directors in the form of independent concert pieces as evidence of their musical content and craftsmanship is exemplary. For some time now, he has published the concert version of his best-known themes in his own John Williams Signature Edition.

With regard to the sequence of the works during the concerts, we have ensured that the individual pieces are linked in terms of their content: For example, we put together CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977) and WAR OF THE WORLDS (2005) – two Spielberg films that centre upon encounters with extraterrestrials. While CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND is a cinematic vision of peaceful coexistence between humans and extra-terrestrials (Spielberg later revisited this idea in E.T.), WAR OF THE WORLDS portrays a dark future for humankind.

In this film music concert, the hall will be converted into a light show theatre. This is different from the normal cinema or film theatre experience where audiences sit in the dark watching events unfurl on screen.

Instead, we will stage a musical and visual interplay between light and darkness, allowing the audience to immerse itself in the world created by Steven Spielberg. In our light show theatre, cinematic images disengage themselves from the screen and images, emotions and people become bigger than the screen onto which they are projected.

The light concept we chose focuses on the interplay between light and darkness, between orchestral sound and musical colouring. The different light ambiences are closely linked to the colours flowing from the screen and the orchestra into the hall. Orchestral music, cinematic images and light all form a unit, complementing each other in their mutual dependency.

 

Concert order

Themes from JURASSIC PARK

Two Pieces from JAWS

     1. The Shark Theme

     2. “Out to Sea & The Shark Cage Fugue“

“Dartmoor, 1912“ from WAR HORSE

Two Pieces from SCHINDLER‘S LIST

     1. “Jewish Town“

     2. Theme from SCHINDLER‘S LIST

Music from the Indiana Jones movies

     1. „Swashbuckler! (The Adventures of Mutt)“

     2. “The Crystal Spell“

     3. “A Whirl through Academe“

     4. The Raiders March

- - - Intermission - - -

“The Flight to Neverland“ from HOOK

Suite from WAR OF THE WORLDS

Excerpts from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND

“Viktor‘s Tale“ from THE TERMINAL

“Adventures on Earth“ from E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL

- - - Encores - - -

“A Prayer for Peace“ from MUNICH

The March from 1941

Main Title from STAR WARS 

Duration:
95min.
Ensemble:
large orchestra (from 46 Musicians)
Instrumentation:
1+2/alto/pic.2+1/ca.2+1/ ebcl/bcl.1+2/cbsn - 4.4.4.1 - timp.5perc - pno/cel - hp - str

Press review:

Belfast Telegraph, March 21, 2013

Setlist

The production requires (detailed information upon request):

- digital film projection

- screen video monitoring for the conductor

- video monitoring for the projection management

- stage management

- stage platforms for the orchestra

- chairs

- music stands

- music stand lighting etc.

- 1 project manager

- 2 projection technicians

- 1 manager stills and film excerpts

- 1 light designer light schedule

The whole production (including the above staff plus sheet music, film and stills, rehearsal and press material) is available from the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE.

A production commissioned by the Kölner Philharmonie.

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