John Wilson Orchestra

Weedon’s Wanderings: 22nd August 2019

John Wilson

My PROM-inent High Point

OK, the Proms aren’t over yet, but I doubt anything will exceed my personal high (and low) points of this season. I’m sure we all have different favourites, but if you’ve not seen The John Wilson Orchestra and Chorus performing Korngold’s ‘Tomorrow’, please give it a look/listen. There are few pieces that give me shivers and prompt tears of wonder, but this is one of them!

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was born and educated in Austria, where his classical works were marking him out as a worthy successor to Mahler. Indeed, the 12-year old Erich performed for Mahler himself in 1909, and the great composer said he should go for private lessons with a top professor, as his skills were already so great that no conservatoire could teach him anything - a view echoed by Richard Strauss. However, when Nazi Germany was on the rise in the 1930s,...

Weedon Weekly: 7th December 2017

Our view from the gods


OK, I confess:  just when I should have been penning this I was sitting up 'in the gods' in a packed concert hall listening to The John Wilson Orchestra and Chorus. If you've not come across this musical phenomenon, John Wilson is a young Geordie lad who decided the MGM film scores (all destroyed when the big screen musicals had apparently had their day) were too good to lose. So he sat down with the many, many hours of soundtrack recordings and re-wrote the orchestral scores in complete detail, all by ear. Now, I've done my fair share of transcribing by ear and like to think I'm no slouch, but I can't see how one life is long enough (or one pair of ears sharp enough) to perform such a herculean task. 

John Wilson looks barely out of his teens now, but he must have been conducting from a...

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