Celebrating John Williams

Celebrating John Williams— Simone Porter, violin, Robert deMaine, cello; Los Angeles Philharmonic/Gustavo Dudamel (DeutGram 29939)

“There can be no real statistics to back up any of this, but it is surely obvious that John Williams has written by a long shot the most widely heard orchestral music of our time.”  So began LA Times critic Mark Swed’s review of the January 2019 concert contained on these two CDs. Mr. Swed continued, “How could it be otherwise with his scores that have all but defined blockbuster after blockbuster, decade after decade?  Certainly, no living composer has had more orchestral concerts devoted entirely to his music.  At 86, Williams himself may have lost count of his honors, to say nothing of his 51 Academy Award nominations, five Oscars, 23 Grammys and all the rest.  Is he the most popular film composer of all time? No question. Is he the most popular composer alive, period?  Can you think of anyone other than the dean, king and, for some, deity of musical Hollywood?   All of this is to say that it takes a lot to make a John Williams tribute stand out.  Again, I can’t prove it, but there could be little question that Gustavo Dudamel’s Los Angeles Philharmonic celebration of Williams at Walt Disney Concert Hall…was the greatest.”  This spectacular set is featured for two weeks in May and is the source of not one, but two, editions of Film at Five, Saturdays at 5pm.

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