Soundtrack Producer Mike Matessino presents Intrada Records' new 2-disc expanded edition of John Williams’ score for Clint Eastwood’s alpine thriller, featuring the world premiere release of the original film recording and a remastered version of the 1975 soundtrack album

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

The restoration of Maestro John Williams’ rich filmography adds another pivotal item to its ongoing process of “future proofing”. Intrada Records has just released a 2-disc expanded edition of one of the Maestro’s most interesting and diverse scores of his pre-Jaws era: The Eiger Sanction, written for the 1975 alpine thriller directed by and also starring Clint Eastwood, in his one and only collaboration with the composer. The new release is produced and remastered by Mike Matessino, who continues to be the ultimate guardian of John Williams’ film score presentations through his universally admired painstaking methodology of soundtrack restoration, preserving the Maestro’s work for all future generations in the best and most accurate way.

The original soundtrack album issued on MCA Records at the time of the film’s theatrical release was a re-recording where Williams selected cues from the score expanding and repurposing them for a more cohesive listening experience. The brand-new 2-CD release by Intrada Records presents both a remastered version of the 1975 MCA soundtrack album and the premiere release of the original film recording, featuring a great deal of unreleased music, including never-before-heard material that was written and recorded for a longer cut of the film. All the material has been painstakingly restored and remastered by Mike Matessino. The end product is a wonderful musical journey that puts a well-deserved spotlight on one of John Williams’ lesser-known yet most fascinating and diverse scores to be found in his long and rich filmography. 

In this conversation, Mike Matessino returns to The Legacy of John Williams podcast to present this new 2-disc expanded edition of John Williams’ score for Clint Eastwood’s alpine thriller, spotlighting and documenting his own unique restoration work while offering thoughts and insights on the Maestro’s music for the film.

For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/08/10/the-eiger-sanction-podcast

Distinguished author Steven C. Smith and composer & conductor William Stromberg discuss the lineage that connects John Williams and the great composers of the Golden Age of Hollywood, including Bernard Herrmann and Max Steiner

John Williams is the film composer who, more than any other, was able to take the great tradition of the Golden Age of Hollywood's film music and revive it for modern audiences. Thanks to the impressive box office success of such films as Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Superman, the late 1970s saw a resurgence of the classic symphonic film score as intended by the great composers of the Golden Age: Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin, Miklós Rózsa, Franz Waxman, were the forefathers of what is commonly referred as "the Hollywood sound", i.e. the lush, romantic orchestral vernacular in vogue during the 1930s, '40s and '50s, mostly based on the great tradition of Late Romantic symphonic music from Europe, of which all the aforementioned composers were all natural descendants. This type of vibrant, colorful and emotional musical accompaniment defined Hollywood's film music until the dramatic turn of the tide known as the end of the studio era in the early 1960s. John Williams restored almost single-handedly that tradition with a sincere, heartfelt homage to those musical stylings and a new renaissance of film music began.

This is the starting point of this new episode of the Legacy Conversations series on The Legacy of John Williams podcast, featuring two very esteemed and distinguished special guests who are among the most respected authorities on the subject of classic film music: author Steven C. Smith and composer/conductor William T. Stromberg.

Steven is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer, author, and speaker who specializes in Hollywood history and profiles of contemporary filmmakers. He is the author of two acclaimed biographies: Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood’s Most Influential Composer (Oxford University Press), and A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (University of California Press).

William T. Stromberg is a respected composer and conductor working in the film music business since the late 1980s. Together with his artistic partner John W. Morgan, he produced an impressive amount of brand-new recordings of classic film scores from the Golden Age of Hollywood by Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Franz Waxman, Dimitri Tiomkin and other illustrious composers, including premiere complete recordings of such iconic scores as King Kong, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Fahrenheit 451, The Egyptian.

The profound expertise and knowledge of both Steven C. Smith and William Stromberg make them the ideal guests to talk about the lineage that connects John Williams to the great tradition of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s film music, especially to composers like Max Steiner and Bernard Herrmann.

For more information and the list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/06/10/steven-c-smith-william-stromberg-podcast

Legendary flutist talks her incredible career as a performing artist, the legacy of her own musical family, the phenomenal streak of work as a studio musician in Hollywood and her many collaborations with John Williams on such iconic scores as Hook, Jurassic Park, War Horse and many others.

Flutist Louise Di Tullio is one of the true icons among the generation of musicians performing in the Los Angeles area who came on the scene between the late 1950s and early 1960s. In an amazing career spanning almost six decades, Louise performed both as a world-class classical player and studio musician, often in the position of principal flute, for countless film scores, recording projects and live performances.

A native of Los Angeles, Louise Di Tullio comes from a family of very distinguished musicians who had incredible careers as classical players and studio musicians. Louise started to play flute at a very young age and soon began to take lessons to become a professional musician. Before reaching the age of 20, Louise joined the LA Philharmonic, playing piccolo in the flute section, following in the footsteps of her father and two uncles. After six years with the Philharmonic, she found success in all aspects of the recording world. Louise started to perform in Hollywood studio orchestras, mostly as a piccolo player, and was contracted regularly to play for big name film composers including Alfred Newman, Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry and of course John Williams

Louise’s first session with John Williams dates back in 1969 for the score for The Reivers. You can hear Louise’s playing, often performing both delicate and virtuosic piccolo parts, on such iconic scores as The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Fury, 1941 and E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

In 1990, Louise inherited the first chair from Sheridon Stokes as principal flute for John Williams and from this moment onward her career as studio musician became the stuff of legend. As principal flute, Louise Di Tullio can be heard performing on many John Williams’ scores since 1990, including Home Alone 1 and 2, Hook, JFK, Far and Away, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Rosewood, Seven Years in Tibet, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, War of the Worlds, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, and The Book Thief.

Besides her work in countless John Williams’ scores, Louise Di Tullio served as principal flute for many other great film composers, including Jerry Goldsmith, John Barry, James Horner, Lalo Schifrin, Bill Conti, James Newton Howard, Bruce Broughton, Danny Elfman, among others. Over the course of her extraordinary career, Louise performed on more than 1,200 motion pictures and tv films including some of Hollywood's biggest hits of the last 50 years.

In this conversation, Louise reminisces for the first time since many years about the legacy of her extraordinary musical family, the first steps as a classical player, including performing under Igor Stravinsky. Louise talks extensively about her many years recording film scores with John Williams, from her first experiences playing piccolo on The Reivers and Jaws, to her playing as principal flute on scores like Hook, Jurassic Park and War Horse, recollecting many memories and sharing her point of view about the music and the art of Maestro John Williams.

Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/05/28/louise-di-tullio-podcast/ for more informations and the list of the musical excerpts featured in the episode.

The English-born conductor talks about the brand-new recording "Spotlight on John Williams", the debut album of the Swiss-based City Light Symphony Orchestra, a 2-CD collection of some of John Williams' film masterpieces

Spotlight on John Williams presents the City Light Symphony Orchestra conducted by English-born Maestro Kevin Griffiths in a 100-minute musical journey throughout some of John Williams’ movie masterworks, featuring such acclaimed soloists as Valentine Michaud, Reinhold Friedrich and Paul Meyer. The selections include 21 tracks, including music from many of the popular film franchises the composer is associated with the Star Wars saga is represented by a 4-movement suite from The Force Awakens and the Indiana Jones movies with the riveting “End Credits” suite from The Temple of Doom, while the Harry Potter wizarding world is featured with four selections from The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban. The stirring themes from such beloved film scores as Hook, Jurassic Park, Superman are also represented, but there is space for other Williams’ gems like “Viktor’s Tale” from The Terminal, the patriotic themes from JFK and Born on the Fourth of July, the jazzy 3-movement “Escapades” suite for alto saxophone from Catch Me If You Can, the lively opening credits from The Adventures of Tintin, and the stirring Americana of The Cowboys Overture.

The recording is a real showcase of the City Light Symphony Orchestra’s brilliancethe performance is tight and vigorous, the spectrum of sonorities they bring out is sparkling, full of colours and nuances, but always focused and sharp at the same time.

In this conversation, conductor Kevin Griffiths talks with The Legacy of John Williams about the challenges of recording the album, how the project was put together and how he worked with the City Light Symphony Orchestra to bring out all the marvelous nuances and details of John Williams’ music. He also talks about the differences of conducting live to picture vs. traditional symphonic setting, how the audience’s perception of film music has changed throughout the years, and what John Williams’ music meant for him since childhood, while also reflecting on the legacy of the Maestro.

Spotlight on John Williams is released on Prospero Classical

For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/04/09/kevin-griffiths-city-light-interview/

Legendary harpist talks her distinguished career as former Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, including the many collaborations with John Williams and the premiere of the Harp Concerto On Willows and Birches, composed for her by the Maestro in 2009

Ann Hobson Pilot is one of the most talented women in the classical music who ever performed in United States and also a distinguished international soloist, teacher, mentor and moving force behind music educational programs for underserved minorities. She has been Principal Harp for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops for almost 30 years, from 1980 until his retirement in 2009. She joined the BSO in 1969 as Associate Principal Harp after stints in the Pittsburgh Symphony and Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra where he performed as Principal Harp for 3 years (1966-69). Ann has the distinguished credit of being the very first African-American woman to land a Principal role in an American orchestra, building herself a career through her talent and unique sensibility back in a time where the classical music scene was still a predominant white male-driven environment.

Ann Hobson Pilot started to perform for John Williams in 1980, when the Maestro accepted the post as Principal Conductor of the Boston Pops. After many years performing under former Pops’ music director Arthur Fiedler (who died in 1979), Ann immediately got in perfect harmony with Williams’ musicianship (“he brought a breath of fresh air”, she said) and his own fabulous music. She was frequently featured as soloist in concerts and recordings with the Boston Pops often performing many of the Maestro’s exquisite passages for harp, including music from Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter and Angela’s Ashes, all of which feature extensive writing for harp. Ann was also principal harp on the original soundtrack recording of Schindler’s List, where he performs in duet with violinist Itzhak Perlman.

When Pilot announced her retirement as BSO’s Principal Harp, Williams set to write a Concerto for Harp specifically for her, titled On Willows and Birches. The composer wrote the concerto during the spring and summer of 2009, and the piece was premiered on September 23, 2009, as part of the Opening Night of BSO’s annual subscription season.

In addition to her career as musician, Ann Hobson Pilot spent a lifetime devoted to teaching and mentoring young students in distinguished music schools and conservatories (including the New England Conservatory of Music and Boston University) and appearing in masterclasses and seminars at the Tanglewood Music Institute. She’s currently affiliated with the State College of Florida, in addition to the Tanglewood Music Center and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. 

In this conversation, Ann talks about her incredible life and career as classical musician, her challenges and obstacles of being an African-American woman playing in an environment predominantly white and male-driven and her many collaborations with John Williams, including the thrill and the honour of having a concerto written for her by the Maestro. She also talks about the recording of the film score for Schindler’s List and many other favourite memories of working together with John Williams for almost 30 years.

For more information, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/02/22/ann-hobson-pilot-podcast/

Legendary saxophonist and woodwind specialist talks his career as studio musician in Los Angeles, from his early days as session player to his collaborations with Maestro John Williams, including the stunning alto saxophone solos he performed on the score for Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Catch Me If You Can

Saxophonist and woodwind specialist Dan Higgins is unquestionably one of the most talented session musicians on the planet and also highly respected among his peers. His stunning skills both as saxophonist and woodwind player on several instruments (including clarinet and flute) have been appreciated by a wide variety of composers and musicians with whom Higgins collaborated throughout his amazing career. He has performed in the woodwind section on several John Williams' film scores since the mid-1990s, but he's first and foremost remembered for the stunning alto saxophone solos he recorded on the brilliant score Maestro Williams composed in 2002 for the film Catch Me If You Can, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hanks.

Born in Boston, MA, in 1955, Dan Higgins first distinguished himself as an outstanding saxophonist while attending University of North Texas. After moving to Los Angeles, Dan started to work as a freelance studio musician, mostly on record dates, but also on many recordings for television shows, including playing on live shows and specials, following the footsteps of other great saxophone players like Gene Cipriano, Ronnie Lang and Plas Johnson.

His career as studio musician for the film and television industry is impressive: he has worked on 700+ motion picture scores and is a featured saxophone soloist on many great films with such notable composers as John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Marc Shaiman, Randy Newman, David Newman and Alexandre Desplat among others.

Dan Higgins has worked extensively with John Williams for more than 25 years. His first collaboration was playing alto saxophone on a few “period music” source pieces that Williams arranged as part of the musical score for Schindler’s List (1993). However, the big breakthrough came in 2002, when the Maestro called upon Dan’s talents as soloist on alto saxophone for the score to Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can. The film was a box office hit and the score garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. The success pushed Williams to prepare a three-movement concert suite based on the main thematic material from the score called Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra. Higgins premiered the concert suite with the Maestro on the podium conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra in May 2003 and subsequently appeared as guest soloist to perform the piece with notable orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In this conversation, Dan talks about his amazing career as studio musicians in Los Angeles, his early days as jazz musician, how he picked up the legacy from legendary studio saxophonists like Gene Cipriano and Ronnie Lang and also how he learned discipline from them. Dan talks extensively about the projects he did with John Williams, with a special focus on his soloist work on Catch Me If You Can, remembering the recording sessions for that film and offering his own unique insight into the creative process of Maestro Williams. Dan also recollects the work on The Adventures of Tintin and the unique instructions John Williams gave him before recording the zany “Canto Bight” jazz piece for The Last Jedi.

For more information and the list of the musical excerpts, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2021/01/08/dan-higgins-podcast/

Exclusive video podcast with soundtrack record producer Mike Matessino discussing his restoration work on John Williams's thrilling score for the sci-fi classic directed by Steven Spielberg in 2005

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Steven Spielberg's big-budget adaptation of the sci-fi classic novel by H.G. Wells War of the Worlds marked the 22nd collaboration between the esteemed director and composer John Williams. The film turned out to be a very unique and perhaps even personal project for the director, who took the opportunity to craft a grim moral tale disguised as an action-packed sci-fi drama.

The movie presented a unique challenge for composer John Williams. The music accompanies the drama with his usual skillfull dramatic sensibility, giving the film's action sequences its necessary propulsive energy, but at the same time avoiding any kind of leeway to conventional scoring. Instead the music enhances the dark, grim tone of the film through violent Herrmann-esque orchestral colors (12 horns, 2 tubas, 5 trombones, 2 sets of timpani playing antiphonally), unstable harmonic language and an overall tone of fragilty and uncertainty. 

The new remastered edition released by soundtrack specialty label Intrada Records has been meticolously restored and produced by Mike Matessino, who worked from the original audio elements to rebuild from scratch the mixes and all the performance edits. The new release is spreaded on two CDs--Disc 1 presents the complete 80-minutes film score with all the cues in chronological order as they appear in the film (including unreleased and extended material), while Disc 2 offers the remastered original soundtrack album, plus a slew of alternate cues that reveal Williams' meticolous creative process for the film.

In this conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Mike Matessino offers his deep thoughts about how this new release of War of the Worlds came about, how the perception on the film and some of its most controversial aspects changed throughout the years and became even more relevant in today's world, the role of the music within the film and how the new edition was meticolously assembled and produced.

Special Thanks to Mike Matessino and Tim Burden, and to Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson at Intrada Records

War of the Worlds - Expanded and Remastered 2-CD Edition available for purchase at http://store.intrada.com/s.nl?it=A&id=12263

Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com for more information

Talented Los Angeles-based cellist talks on her career as studio musician in Hollywood, her friendship with Yo-Yo Ma and her experiences playing for John Williams on many film soundtracks and recordings

Among the studio musicians who are regular members for John Williams's recordings in Los Angeles in the more recent years, cellist Cécilia Tsan is certainly one of the most luminous and talented of that pool. Born in Versailles (France) from Chinese musician parents, Cécilia started to be immersed in music since a very young age, and began playing at the age of five with the same teacher as her childhood friend Yo-Yo Ma, who continues to be a dear friend and a source of inspiration for her.

After graduating in Paris and attending perfecting classes in Italy, Cécilia started to perform regularly across Europe in classical concerts and recitals. In 1991, she moved to Los Angeles and started to work as a freelance musician. In 2001, she began performing as a studio musician for film recordings.

Cécilia has performed in virtually all of John Williams's scores recorded in Los Angeles during the last two decades, including Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Memoirs of a Geisha, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse and the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Cécilia was also part of the orchestra hand-picked by Williams which recorded the album Across the Stars, the collaboration between the composer and internationally acclaimed violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter

Besides her intense activity as studio musician, Cécilia continues to devote a lot of time to classical music, playing both as soloist in symphonic repertoire (performing cello standards by Elgar, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Haydn) and chamber concerts. In 2018, she was invited by Van Cliburn Gold Medal winner Italian pianist Simone Pedroni to perform at the Alagna Music Festival, where they played together the three pieces from Memoirs of a Geisha and the Elegy for cello and piano by John Williams. 

In this conversation, Cécilia Tsan talks with The Legacy of John Williams about her musical career, the incredible story of her family, her friendship with Yo-Yo Ma and her many experiences recording with John Williams as part of his orchestra.

For more information and the full list of music excerpts featured in the episode, visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/07/28/cecilia-tsan-podcast/

World-renowned violinist, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, discusses his career as studio musician in film recordings in L.A. and his collaborations with John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

L.A. Studio Legends is a new series of podcast talks on The Legacy of John Williams dedicated to legendary orchestra musicians from the Los Angeles area who performed in hundreds of film soundtrack recordings, including many by composer John Williams. These artists are not only responsible for playing in some of the most iconic movie scores in the history of cinema: they’re some of the truly finest and talented orchestra players of the 20th and 21st century. The first guest of this new series is certainly a musician who can be defined in a class of himself, who also enjoyed a global recognition throughout his distinguished career: world-renowned violinist Glenn Dicterow.

Glenn Dicterow has established himself as one of the most prominent American concert artist of his generation and lived through a varied and storied career through more than four decades. He has been the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic for 34 years (from 1980 to 2014) and served as that orchestra leader under esteeemed music directors Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur and Alan Gilbert.

Before landing the position in New York, Dicterow was member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, starting in 1971 as associate concertmaster, and then becoming concertmaster there before turning 25. During those years, he also worked extensively as a studio musician for film and television soundtracks recorded in Los Angeles (along with many other L.A. Phil members, including his father Harold Dicterow), playing in literally hundreds of scores, including many by John Williams. Among the works he did for him, Dicterow played in the violin section for The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws 2 and 1941.

After becoming concertmaster of the NY Phil, Dicterow continued to work as featured soloist for film soundtracks including Altered States by John Corigliano, The Untouchables by Ennio Morricone and Interview with the Vampire by Elliot Goldenthal.

In this wide-ranging conversation, Glenn talks about his long and distinguished career both as concertmaster of one of the world’s leading ensembles and his life as a studio musician, where you can face unexpected challenges. Dicterow offers his own views on how the style of playing in Hollywood orchestras evolved through the years, and how it ties with its European roots. Dicterow talks extensively about his friendship and collaboration with John Williams throughout the years, but also spends time talking about his experiences with the legendary Leonard Bernstein.

For more information and the full list of musical excerpts featured in the episode, visit thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

The esteemed British conductor talks on his work as a specialist of Live to Picture concerts and his love and admiration for the music of John Williams

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto

Ben Palmer is one of Europe’s foremost specialists in conducting live to film. He conducted many of the most successful film concerts in the UK and across mainland Europe, appearing in prestige venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London. Palmer conducted virtually all of the John Williams films available in this format, such as the Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic ParkE.T. the Extra-TerrestrialJawsHome AloneRaiders of the Lost ArkHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Palmer became also a profound connoisseur and student of John Williams's music, developing an intimate and profound knowledge of the composer’s style and language. I

n this long and engaging conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Ben Palmer talks in-depth about the details, the intricacies and the challenges of conducting live to picture performances of John Williams’s film scores, while also offering his own insightful thoughts about Williams’s place in music history, sharing his deep love and admiration for the music of the Maestro.

For more information and the list of all musical excerpts, go to thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com

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