Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
John Williams: Echoes of London
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
Definetly for the Anglophile
Paco | New York, NY United States | 03/19/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For lovers of classical guitar and London, this album is a great addition to a good CD collection.John Williams plays many of the songs on this album accompanied by full orchestra and chorus, and while the album does not bring out the extent of William's talent as one the world's best classical guitarists, it does evoke whimsical memories of London and is very well crafted. Let me put it this way, this album is best enjoyed on a rainy afternoon with a hot cup of tea. It is beautiful relaxing music that will not be dissappoint you."
DON'T TAKE US FOR GRANTED
DAVID BRYSON | Glossop Derbyshire England | 01/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"John Williams is a great player of the guitar and no two ways about that. Apart from his solo and individual performances, I recall his duo concerts with Julian Bream. Williams would sit upright, poised, aloof and above-it-all while Bream sweated and laboured, but when it comes to sheer aristocracy as a player I can't think Williams is the equal of the great Bream.
This disc is a very odd medley indeed. Stephen Dodgson's 'Fantasy Divisions' is an original composition for the guitar, and no arrangement is attributed to the three Dowland numbers at the start of the disc, from which I infer that they must be lute works. The others are arrangements either by Williams himself or by Steve Gray, or, in the case of the Lennon/McCartney 'Fool on the Hill', by Leo Brouwer. There is a vague link of 'London' in the music -- obviously Handel's English career happened there and several of the other pieces have the capital's name in their titles, but I would have liked less eclecticism in the choice of music, and I don't believe we would have lost anything by abandoning the half-hearted London theme. The recital starts with mediaeval music, skips to Purcell and Handel and then, via Elgar's ever-fresh Salut d'Amour, to a a complete ragbag of 20th century offerings. Dodgson's modernistic Fantasy Divisions are not likely to share much of a public with Lennon and McCartney, I wouldn't have thought, although I hope Ralph McTell's 'The Streets of London' will appeal to anyone who is not tone-deaf and who has any love of any kind of music at all. In my own view a love of music is a serious impediment to being able to tolerate 'A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square', although I owe to this production the information that the world owes this work to one Sherwin Maschwitz. Otherwise the Gershwins are here, as is Stanley Myers's Cavatina which was adapted for The Deer Hunter. I own up to an abomination of Noel Coward that turns me off anything bearing his name, and I find that Sandy Wilson's 'A Room in Bloomsbury' was partly responsible, alas, for launching the career of Julie Andrews. There are some orchestral contributions, but the names of the participants, other than the conductors, remain understandably suppressed.
I can forgive just about any compositional atrocity when the performance is of a certain stature. However I have to measure this record against a recently acquired disc of 'Spanish'/Catalan works from Bream, and the playing here just does not seem to me to be in the same class. Maybe Williams deliberately adopts a certain sameness of tone to reflect English pallor, but I suspect that the wonderful creativity and versatility of Bream is just not Williams's way of doing things.
The recorded sound is fine if unexciting, and the liner note moderately informative. We are not told who is responsible for them, and I can't say I feel particularly curious either."