To those of you patiently awaiting the release of my text+audiolinks album JOHN WILSON AN ENGLISH CONDUCTOR: Sorry, you’ll have to wait a little while longer—my pdf software, which I’ve had no problems using when converting shorter works, is giving me grief because the collection of John’s work has grown sooo voluminous I’m going to have to make cuts. But where??? Now aiming for it to come out in time, in some shape or form, for my bonny lad’s fiftieth birthday. On va voir.
If you can get over to Belgium, this’ll be almost as good as the The John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms. Performing at the 5 year-old, acoustically perfect, 2000-seat Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra under John’s baton will be offering a Saturday evening filled with old favorites:
Gimadieva made her UK debut at the Proms with John and the John Wilson Orchestra in their program Hollywood Rhapsody, which included pieces by my favorite screen composer Bernard Herrmann. I’ve been a fairly knowledgeable fan of Herrmann since my teen years, but somehow I never got around to hearing the entire aria until—yes! yes! are you getting bored hearing this again?—I fell in love totally and completely with English conductor John Wilson and craved to hear all the music that he is part of. To my delight, he backed this brilliant singer well.
Above my bonny John making nicey-nice with a soprano for once: “O cruel!” (Salammbo’s aria) from the film Citizen Kane. Herrmann planned to write an entire opera based on this scandalous Flaubert novel but, daunted by the task, as Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff before him, never got around to it.
And for good measure, here’s Gimadieva doing Donizetti’s “O luce di quest anima” with The Hallé the way I’d like to have sounded in my last trimester jury at music school.
Disappointing to hear that John won’t be doing Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Wilton’s Music Hall in London this month. So, to cheer everybody up, here’s the full 2-hour program of my John and The John Wilson Orchestra at the Proms, 2013. That’s Jane Monheit, John, and Matt Ford below.
DAMN! UPDATE 16 JAN 21: Both DailyMotion and BiliBili have DELETED this video of the complete 2013 BBC concert! If I find it again I’ll reinstate the link. (Links to selections available on YT are in red.)
As a compensation, here are ALL the other, complete JOHN WILSON AT THE BBC PROMS available on my blog:
SONG MEDLEY (YT): – “An Affair to Remember” (from the 1957 film; 20th Century Fox) / Harry Warren, Leo McCarey (the film’s director), Harold Damson – “Something’s Gotta Give” (from Daddy Long Legs; 20th Century Fox, 1955) / Johnny Mercer – “Young at Heart” (from the 1955 film; Warner Bros) / Johnny Richards, Carolyn Leigh – “It’s Magic” (from Romance On the High Seas; Warner Bros, 1948) / Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn – “The Tender Trap” (from the 1955 film; MGM) / Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn – “My Foolish Heart” (from the 1949 film; Samuel Goldwyn/RKO) / Ned Washington, Victor Young – “Three Coins in the Fountain” (from the 1954 film; 20th Century Fox) / Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn – “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” (from the 1955 film; 20th Century Fox) / Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster – “That’s Amore” (from The Caddy; Paramount, 1953) / Harry Warren, Jack Brooks – “Que Sera, Sera” (from The Man Who Knew Too Much; Paramount, 1956 / Jay Livingston, Ray Evans – “All the Way” (from The Joker is Wild, 1957; Paramount) / Jimmy Van Heusen, Sammy Cahn
A Place In the Sun (suite from the 1951 film; Paramount) / Franz Waxman
Most people* seem to discount the idea that Bernard Herrmann’s score for Psycho is actually a near-perfect work for strings (given that it was written exclusively for strings anyway) and that, given the right setting, is a very listenable chamber piece that doesn’t need to reference the film. Here’s the Tippett Quartet performing this arrangement by Richard Birchall at Kings Place, 2011.
John Mills, Jeremy Isaac, Lydia Lowndes-Northcott, and Bozidar Vukotic: the London-based Tippett Quartet.
* Like Mister Grumble. This is the second-most heated debate** between us: whether or not movie music (for narrative films not musicals) can be considered truly concert-worthy.
** (The most heated debate between us is whether Oswald did it or not. This one gets us both really het up, as one of us has a slight connection with the actual case.)
The leader of the Tippitt Quartet (circa 2011), John Mills, is also the leader of The John Wilson Orchestra to date.
This is what the greatest film composer of the 20th century looks like conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall (2:24). From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (Paramount, 1956). This is a chorale entitled “The Storm Clouds Cantata” arranged by Herrmann and composed by Australian Arthur Benjamin specifically for the movie.
Saw this first run in New York in 1976 with my boyfriend, another huge Brian De Palma fan. The loopiest, nuttiest romance in all of moviedom. In fact I like this movie better than Vertigo, another nutzoid Bernard Herrmann-scored love story: this one’s much more sexually transgressive, always a sure-fire turn-on for me.