Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
John Williams' Violin Concerto/Flute Concerto A Must Have
Andrew Day | Long Island City, NY United States | 07/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Almost everyone has heard of John Williams' music, even if the name doesn't ring a bell. Just hear the two notes from "Jaws" and most people will think of a man-eating shark. Just about everyone can sing the theme to "Star Wars" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark." But there may not be too many people who know the classical side of JW. I first heard the violin concerto two summers ago performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Mr. Williams himself. It was so beautiful that I had to find a recording of it for myself. What a relief it was to find it still in print. The first movement, "Moderato", begins with a violin solo. The violin sounds lonely and almost sad. Much like the solos from "Schindler's List". The orchestra is slowly layered in with the violin until the entire ensemble explodes into action, as if it is trying to cheer the violin. Although Williams says his major inspiration is Ravel, at this point this piece sounds very much like something from Prokofiev. The ensemble drops out and lets the violin continue on with it's own sad tune. Near the end of the first piece, the violin finds something cheerful and goes into a little dance tune, almost gaelic in nature. The piece ends with the violin skipping off in search of happier times. The "Adagio" is very much like a lullabye. This piece is very relaxing. Anyone listening to it could be drawn to thoughts of simple and peaceful times. Again, the piece starts off quiet and peaceful, then in the middle builds as piece of the orchestra joins in to have its say. This is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written by Mr. Williams. After the listener is lulled to sleep by the "Adagio", the final movement, "Maestoso-Presto", explodes on the scene making one jump back to life. The violin is wild, jumping and moving from note to note. The orchestra joins in with jolts and sound explosions, much like the ones heard on "The Last Battle" cue from "Star Wars". This is one of the more "modern" of the pieces. What I mean is that it doesn't stick with one discernable theme. You don't go away humming the tune as you could in either the "Moderato" or "Adagio" or in any of Mr. Williams' movie themes. The piece going back and forth between the violin's melancholy voice and the almost violent orchestral explosions. By the end, the violin has caught on to the mood of the rest of the instuments and goes into a wild dance. The reason I didn't give the album five stars is because in addition to the Violin Concerto, there is also a thirteen minute Concerto for Flute and Orchestra. The Violin Concerto is a definate five-star piece, while the Flute Concerto doesn't appeal to me as much. I give it three stars. The Flute Concerto is a lot of dissonent chords and quick, loud blasts from both the flute and orchestra. It reminds me of music that Mr. Williams wrote for the film "Images". I recommend this album for anyone who is a fan of John Williams, the "film" composer. It will show the listner the vast range and talent of John Williams, the composer."