John Williams composed The Five Sacred Trees for Judith LeClair, the principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic in 1995, to honor the orchestra's 150th anniversary. The first performance was given by LeClair and the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur on April 12 of that year. The orchestra consists of three flutes and piccolo, two oboes and English horn, two clarinets and bass clarinet, two bassoons and contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones and tuba, timpani, harp, piano, celesta, and strings. Performance time is approximately 26 minutes. Inspiration for the work also comes from the writings of British poet and novelist Robert Graves.
The new box contains no fewer than three different Williams recordings of that most popular of all guitar works, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – from 1964 with the Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1974 with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orchestra, and from 1983 with Frémaux and the Philharmonia Orchestra – plus a performance of its much-loved Adagio in Williams’s celebrated 1993 “Seville Concert”.
For the 2014/15 Opening Night Concert and Gala, the Los Angeles Philharmonic paid loving tribute to composer John Williams, one of the most popular and successful American composers of the modern age and long a champion and close friend of the orchestra. Gustavo Dudamel, an awestruck fan of the musical icon, led the orchestra in a cross-section of Maestro Williams' matchless canon. The concert features Itzhak Perlman with a very special musical performance of pieces from Schindler's List as well as the cadenza and variations from Fiddler On The Roof. Jazz elements fill the air during Escapades from Catch Me If You Can, and may the force be with you during the iconic tunes from Star Wars. The Blu-ray bonus features include interviews with the main protagonists, including Gustavo Dudamel, John Williams, and Itzhak Perlman.
John Williams, classical guitar virtuoso, is known for his wide-ranging approach to repertory, which includes appearances playing electric rock guitar and international music. (…) Williams has toured throughout the world. He has performed and recorded nearly the entire standard guitar repertory, plus a large quantity of transcriptions. Several of these transcriptions are by his own hand. He was a professor of guitar at the Royal College of Music in London from 1960 to 1973. However, he also has a strong tendency to explore music outside the classical tradition. He does session work on film soundtracks, has arranged Beatles songs, and plays electric guitar in Sky, a classical-rock fusion band. He has also formed his own ensembles, John Williams and Friends and Attacca, to explore other music.