John Williams - The Berlin Concert

John Williams - The Berlin Concert

Universal  4861713 (2 discs)



John Williams: 1984 Olympics (Fanfare, Theme), Close Encounters of Third Kind (excerpts), Far and away (suite), Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Hedwig's theme, Nimbus 2000, Harry's Wondrous World), Jurassic Park (Theme), Superman (March), Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Last Crusade (Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra), Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark (Marion's Theme, Raiders March), Elegy for Cello and Orchestra*, Solo: A Star Wars Story (The Adventures of Han), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Yoda's Theme, Imperial March), Star Wars: A New Hope (Throne Room - Finale), E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (Flying Theme)

Bruno Delepelaire* (cello)
Berliner Philharmoniker
John Williams (conductor)

A few weeks before his 90th birthday the legendary American film composer John Williams conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time! The Tagesspiegel summed up the event as simply “one of those great evenings”. Regardless of whether Star Wars, Harry Potter or Indiana Jones, the symphonic Hollywood sounds on the stage of the Berliner Philharmoniker thrilled the audience right from the start. The soundtracks of John Williams are among the most popular in the history of film and have received numerous prestigious awards, including five Oscars, five Emmys, four Golden Globes and twenty-five Grammys.

The album “John Williams – The Berlin Concert” celebrates the iconic composer and captures the impressive energy of this unique concert played by one of the world’s greatest orchestras. Under Williams’ baton, the musicians bring exceptional tonal beauty and an edge-of-the-seat intensity to a thrilling selection of his scores. “John Williams doesn’t need the films, the films need him,” wrote Rolling Stone after the concert. The album presents cult themes from Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Superman, Indiana Jones, Star Wars and other milestones in film history.

The recording is set for release on 4 February 2022, in time for the superstar composer’s 90th birthday just four days later.

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Resolutions (1)
  • Dolby Atmos 24bit/48kHz
Comments (5)

Comment by Don_Angelo - February 5, 2022 (1 of 5)

Owning a copy of this I wanted to clarify a few things from the description.
The Deluxe Edition linked in this page has 4 discs:
- A 2CD redbook.
- A pure audio blu-ray with 3 audio streams, one being PCM stereo on 24bits - 192Khz.
- A video blu-ray with the concert.

The concert was recorded on October 16th:

Comment by Gurkensalat - February 9, 2022 (2 of 5)

Thank you! And what do you think of the recording, especially on blu-ray multichannel?

Comment by Don_Angelo - February 13, 2022 (3 of 5)

Since I don't own a multichannel setup, I can't comment on this layer. I've watched this concert several times with friends and I've listened to the PCM Stereo layer of the audio only blu-ray.

The audio from the blu-ray left me with quite a neutral opinion can't say it sounds amazing or bad the orchestra has a nice presence and the balance feels right. Obviously, you can hear the audience here and there but I was actually surprised to not hear them more. In overall I'd say this recording sounds clean and could pass at times for a studio recording, even though I could complain about the timpani to sound a bit saturated. The Berliner feels more at ease with Mr. Williams' music than the Wiener (a recording which I own too), this performance feels lighter and more fluid. But I may be a bit biased there as the Berliners hold a very dear spot in my heart.

The video is I think a mixed bag. I watched this on my new 4K UHD TV and you can see technical flaws in the background of the picture that I did not notice when I was watching the stream from the Digital Concert Hall service. I have yet to do a side-by-side comparison to be definitive on this statement. You can clearly see noise on the audience in some of the wide shots, I don't think it is disturbing to enjoy the concert.

Comment by Gurkensalat - February 18, 2022 (4 of 5)

Thank you for your comment; I can agree in many respects. Meanwhile I own this also and have watched it/listened to it. The recording is clean and serviceable, but nothing special. In contrast I find the multichannel recording of the Vienna concert to be a masterpiece in concert realism, while the stereo Vienna recording is lacking in transparency. The video quality is disappointing since there is cleary detail loss due to compression visible which should not be necessary given the data space on blu-ray. It looks more like streaming than blu-ray. On the whole I prefer the Vienna concert due to recording quality and also the participation of Anne Sophie Mutter. Nevertheless the music and performance are fantastic in Berlin, too. Also it is another important historic document, and it is very recommended for everybody who appreciates the music.

Comment by Don_Angelo - March 15, 2022 (5 of 5)

I have seen a SACD listing for this title but no release date yet. Some other sites will list a MQACD version.
Has anyone actually seen a SACD release for this ?