Well, today is the day when my package with Deutsche Grammophon’s John Williams/Berliner Philharmoniker: The Berlin Concert – Deluxe Edition is due to arrive here. Earlier this morning, I received an email from the U.S. Postal Service that said I can expect it to be delivered some time before 8 PM. Per the Postal Service’s Informed Delivery service, of which I have been a member since 2016, it’s marked as being Out for Delivery.
When my Deluxe Edition of John Williams/Berliner Philharmoniker: The Berlin Concert gets here, it will bring to an end another long saga of waiting for an online preorder plagued with frustrating delays – on the part of Amazon, no less – and a last-minute cancellation so I could place an order with a third-party seller.
I don’t know if you remember, but I pre-ordered this 4-disc set (two compact discs, one video Blu-ray, and one audio-only Blu-ray) in February, well in advance of a March 4 North America “drop date.” Well, March 4 came and went, and Amazon’s order status never changed from Preparing to Ship. I waited two weeks for Amazon to get its act together, but when the needle had not moved on my order’s status – I mean, how long does it take the world’s largest e-retailer to prepare a small package that measures 6.89 x 5.51 x 0.98 inches and weighs 2.82 ounces for shipment – I canceled the February pre-order on March 18 and re-ordered it from I-Deals Store, which promised to deliver it between March 23 and March 25.
According to Deutsche Grammophon – which is still based in Berlin but is owned corporately by Universal Music Group, this is going to be a magnificent addition to my collection:
Two musical legends shared the stage last year – in a glorious debut, John Williams conducted the Berliner Philharmonic Orchestra for the very first time. John Williams – The Berlin Concert, captured live by Deutsche Grammophon during a series of sold-out concerts, presents some of the world’s best-known film music performed by one of the world’s greatest orchestras. The DG album is set for release this Friday (4 February), in time for the renowned composer’s 90th birthday just four days later. “John Williams doesn’t need the films, the films need him,” wrote Rolling Stone after the concert, while Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel summed up the event as simply “one of those great evenings”.
This once-in-a-lifetime event continues DG’s celebration of the work of the multi-award-winning composer. The label’s chart-topping John Williams in Vienna set the mark as the best-selling symphonic recording of 2020. John Williams – The Berlin Concert now complements that programme with a tracklist made up of additional repertoire and familiar favourites.
“For any musician to be standing in front of this orchestra, and to be here with you for these few moments, is truly a great honour and a privilege,” he confided to the players before giving the first downbeat. The feeling was clearly mutual.
The album includes beloved hits such as the “Superman March”, the Theme from Jurassic Park, excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the Star Wars, Harry Potter and Indiana Jones films. There are also works such as the Suite from Far and Away and the moving Elegy for cello and orchestra, that may be less familiar but are no less brilliant.
Released digitally and on 2 CDs, John Williams – The Berlin Concert will also be available in a limited deluxe edition (2 CDs + 2 Blu-ray discs), including a Surround 5.1 version and a breath-taking Dolby Atmos mix. Dolby Atmos – in video and audio only – delivers the experience of a multidimensional sound with incredible clarity and detail that allows you to hear details you’ve never heard before. A limited gold vinyl 7-inch disc featuring the “Superman March” and “Harry’s Wondrous World” from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be available exclusively D2C from 4 February. A limited 180g vinyl edition (2 LPs) of the album will come out on 29 April, with an exclusive D2C gold vinyl version released the same day.
For more than half a century, John Williams has shaped the history and sound of film music, his instantly memorable themes and consummate orchestrations gracing some of the finest movies of modern times. His extensive catalogue also includes other symphonic and chamber works, as well as innovative adaptations of his own cinematic themes.
I am so excited! I am looking forward to enjoying this concert, which was recorded in October of 2021, more than a year after a similar concert by Maestro Williams in Vienna, Austria with the Wiener Philharmoniker.
Well, that concludes this report, so I’ll close for now. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
Edited to Add: Shortly before I got ready to post this blog entry on WordPress, the mail arrived, and, yes, my copy of John Williams – The Berlin Concert arrived. I didn’t feel like rewriting the entire post, but I figured I should include this new development nonetheless.