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Next message Tricky  posted on Thursday, 08 September, 2005 - 09:02 pm
BBC info on John Williams appearance on the Last Night Of the Proms. ITS THIS SATURDAY - THE 10th. If I read the info correctly, the proms are split between BBC 1 and 2. Digital video recording gear has been verified is on standby. Now if only we can win the ashes.....
Next message Richard posted on Saturday, 10 September, 2005 - 12:05 pm
A minor family emergency meant that I had to go away for two weeks, but I'm back now and hope to make some inroads into my email backlog. At least I managed to get the update out of the way in time!

Tricky: the first half (i.e. pre-interval) of the concert is on BBC2 from 7.30 and the second half (including the pieces for which the Last Night is famous) is on BBC1. The CDA is the penultimate piece of the first half:

I notice you've admitted to having digital recording set up... Any chance for a copy in due course? Although I haven't yet got a DVD recorder I am planning to get one soon (I would've got one last week if not for my absence), but won't be in time for tonight...

Note also my separate message in the News topic re. tomorrow morning...
Next message Tricky  posted on Saturday, 10 September, 2005 - 01:49 pm
Assuming nothing goes wrong (recording/transmission/acts-of-god - see Below) digital files, cdrs, dvdrs, P2P (I really must convince everyone to set up P2P sometime !!!) will be available.

I don't yet have a dedicated DVR, yet, (see Below) - I'm not certain which models create PC compatible files - I DO have:-
a) a PC which can WILL record from a set-top Freeview digital box.
b) a second PC which can WILL record from analogue signals.
c) a third PC which can WILL record from a PC DVDB (digital) tuner. (I'll have to send my son to the pub while I commandeer it).
d) a VCR which can WILL record from a second Freeview digital set-top box.

Needless to say (see Below), they'll ALL be running.

The timing of this is (thankfully) right. To give you an idea of the week I've had and haven't bought a DVR yet:-
1) 3 weeks ago builders were supposed to renewing my soffits/gutters, while I did some heavy-duty gardening/fencing/pointing etc. They wanted scaffolding. I got a scaffolder. After 3 weeks the builders told me they were too busy. The scaffolder wanted his scaffolding back. I sacked the builders and asked the scaffolder if he knew anyone. He did. 48 hours later (today) it's been sorted.
2) Took a school bus (a bit of part-time) into Manchester, parked up and was promptly hit by another bus - not my fault. Smashed 3 of the windows - had to throw my only brew away because it was full of glass.
3) Wasn't paid for the some hours I'd worked - (I have now - most people don't argue with me for long).
4) Wasn't paid for the last bank holiday - (I have now - most people don't argue with me for long).
5) Rewired/repaired my parents central heating system (that electricity hurts!!).

All this is as well as the normal niggles (run out of sugar, fuse blown in extension lead, stepped in dog poo, etc, etc, etc)

In all, it's been a s**t week so far. Still, mustn't grumble.
Next message Tricky  posted on Saturday, 10 September, 2005 - 03:26 pm
OOPS! Sorry Richard. I sound very impersonal and antagonistic in my last post (must be stress - note the lack of smileys). Everyone should stay away from dark alleys for a couple of days

I'll record the whole of LNotP (there may be some context value), post my progress in this thread and email you when I've burned (not literally) a dvd.

(Stress levels slowly falling)
Next message Tobias Moeller  posted on Saturday, 10 September, 2005 - 09:28 pm
Any chance of the recording hitting the internet? =)

I would Love to have a copy of this. I were amazed when i saw John Williams play on TV, just 20 minutes ago.
Next message phil posted on Saturday, 10 September, 2005 - 11:40 pm
Magnificent performance at the Proms tonight.
Next message Tricky  posted on Sunday, 11 September, 2005 - 12:18 am
Richard, Tobias, anyone else, - watch this space...

But first, a quiz:- What's brown, curly, about 4 inches long and something I have to avoid stepping on at night?


A:- I've got a lizard in my garden!!

And now.... I've just (successfully?) recorded this from freeview - digital stereo, about 7 Gig, 704x576 pixels, 4:3 aspect ratio, but widescreen (11:9 - black bars top and bottom - no choice). (Drunk too!). As Richard has pointed out, it will be available from the BBC website - but audio only apparently. I'm not waiting 10 years for their dvd - I'll make one now.

The VCR blew me out, c) suffered from bad reception because of the weather - but a) and b) (see above) recorded OK. Why?

I've never watched LNotP in full before. What have I missed? - it's a damn sight more entertaining than I ever thought! Just how many people where watching this one?. (Look out for Scotland's contribution).

It's a good job I decided to record it all. Despite the Beeb's info, JW was in both halves - and there was barely time to flip channels in between. Interesting how he takes charge without seeming to. I could create files of just JW but the context etc. DOES matter here. In any case, it's All worth watching. I don't want to lose any quality on this, so it's probably going to run to 2 dvds - when you think about it, at over 3 hours it would.

More soon....

Have to be up and awake by 08:30 THIS morning to catch JW on BBC1's Sunday AM (Broadcast at 09:00. The alarm's in a vandal-proof steel cage)

(Stress levels falling slowly, alcohol levels rising fast, rum bottle emptying even faster)
Next message The Ovenbird posted on Sunday, 11 September, 2005 - 10:27 am
Very dull performance. Very poor 2nd movement. And he didn't even have his usual excuse of being technically flawless.
Next message Richard posted on Sunday, 11 September, 2005 - 03:47 pm
Tricky, your first Last Night?!? Shame on you! :-)

The Last Night has been a constant fixture in my life since I was a teenager (although I only bothered with the silliness of the Second Half until I was a bit older). Although I'ver been to a few "ordinary" Proms in my time (when I lived in London), I've never been lucky enough to get into the Last Night.

There's been some discussion on the Proms forum on the BBC site about how silly some people are during the Last Night (in particular the people honking car horns during the Fantasia on Sea Songs), but my view has always been that however silly and downright anti-convention this might be, for one gig a year, I say the conventions of classical music should be allowed to be ignored. If the audience wants to make noise, let them! Anyway, it's not as if the Sea Shanties (in particular) are Great Classical Music which should be listened to with absolute reverence!

I would, however, expect the conventions of classical music to be maintained during the First Half and I grimaced along with JW and Paul Daniel when a sizeable proportion of the audience broke into applause after the CDA first movement. It's a concerto, so even if folks had never heard it before, it can be assumed to include 3 movements, not to mention the fact that the programme indicated a durtation of 22 minutes. People attending classical gigs should know that you don't clap between movements!

The big revelation of the concert to me was Andreas Scholl. I'm not a huge fan of "bel canto" solo singing (choirs are different) and apart from Carmen, I'm a million miles from being an opera fan.

I have, of course, heard of him, but I've never heard him (or, indeed, to my knowledge, any other counter-tenor) perform. The noises he came out with were just astonishing. And the purity of the sound beats spots of just about any vocal performance I've ever heard. I don't think I could manage a whole concert of that vocal range, but as interludes it was an awe-inspiring experience. Especially conisdering when he gave his short interview on air beforehand, his speaking voice is squarely in the middle range for an adult male.

On top of that, the two duets with JW in the second half were magnificent. I think JW and Scholl should definitely work together again - my own impression is that the guitar and counter-tenor seems to work even better than the usual tenor-guitar pairing one hears fairly often (is is just because most men sing in the tenor range?).

Tricky, I'm glad you recorded the whole gig, as apart from the Scholl, I certainly want to experience the Lambert and Korngold pieces again (both were new to me). Knowing that you were recording, I didn't bother, although I wish I had as writing about it now I'd really like to listen all over again (I'm currently listening to it online but it's not the same thing, especially as I'm having a few streaming problems).

On to JW's main contribution with the CDA. I agree with "The Ovenbird" (hi!) - it was a downright lacklustre performance. JW has played the CDA so many times that he could probably (quite literally) play it with his eyes closed. And if I hadn't seen it on TV, that's the way he seemed to be playing - entirely on auto-pilot.

I've witnessed JW play the CDA live probably a dozen times in my time (including, as it happens, conducted by Paul Daniel when he was with the LSO) and this was probably the least enjoyable. Maybe it's partially that I wasn't there, but even so...

I'm a bit strange in that the third movement is my favourite and normally I'm ready to explode with enthusiasm when it finishes. Yesterday I was nowhere close.

My other comment is that I'm completely baffled by what possessed the programmers to include this piece in the Last Night anyway. Apart from the general raucousness of the Last Night crowd which just doesn't fit this piece, it stuck out like a sore thumb from the overall theme of the evening (and indeed the whole 2005 Proms season), which was about the sea (partially because of this year's Battle of Trafalgar anniversary) and the usual triumphalism.

Don't get me wrong, I'm overjoyed to have an opportunity to hear JW play, but I don't think this was it - especially given his poor form last night. I'm surprised at myself for thinking this, but I'd've been happier to hear him play more with Andreas Scholl.
Next message Tricky posted on Sunday, 11 September, 2005 - 10:34 pm
Richard, yes - the first time I've ever watched it all! After the stress and pressures of the week (yeah! sure!) I tend to turn into a lager lout at weekends. But I still prefer the pleasures of Saddleworth to Oldham town centre for a pint though!

After the effort involved in recording this I decided to order a DVD/HDD recorder this morning. Getting up at 08:00 to set a PC to record JW on "Sunday AM" - with a mild hangover - finally convinced me that lying in bed was preferrable. Myke has said you get better results too. I can believe it. More on this later in case you decide to get one.

I was taken aback when the clapping started in-between movements. Mild expletives formed on my tongue. Some of the audience weren't as smart as they thought.

The silliness in the second half? I rather liked it. Reminded me of HF playing Tuba Smarties at Westminster. It was nice to see people in the "cheap seats" genuinely enjoying themselves without a glass of ale in hand. Besides, they were being encouraged.

I liked the band (can't remember the name - can't access the file while the video editor's crunching away either) playing at Glasgow Green too. It made a rather surprising and enjoyable change.

I'm not sure LNotP was the right venue for JW playing (partially) solo, considering that the BBC new the rest of the content would not be purely classical. The Proms (at least this one) seem more geared to orchestral accompaniment. He just didn't seem to be in his element. Part of my enjoyment of listening to/watching him is the disbelief that there is only one guitarist playing multiple tunes simultaneously. My eyes and ears get enjoyably confused (without alcohol). Anyone more than 30 feet (can't get the hang of this new fangled metric system) away wouldn't understand this.

Ok. The recording. First half edited - ready to burn. Second half (waaiit forrr iiiit) 77% complete. Probably another hour to go. Still looking good. The trouble with digital video editing is that it takes 2-3 times as long as the original to render. You can see each frame as it gets processed (if you really want to) - and that PC is no slouch.

This is definitely a 2DVD set.

Now if I can hammer my printer into shape to make a cover....

More later.
Next message Richard posted on Monday, 12 September, 2005 - 01:59 am
Re: "encouragement", indeed, Paul Daniel, like his predecessors, played up to the Prommers and egged them on as much as he could. Andrew Davis, who conducted the BBC SO (and thus the Last Night) throughout the 90s, was much, much "worse" in that respect, almost defying the Prommers to break his concentration with the noise.

The second half of the Last Night is what it is, and anybody who knows anything about it (e.g. the critics and the people posting on the Proms discussion board) isn't entitled to expect a normal classical gig, because that's not what it is. It's a celebration of music and, dare I say, "Britishness", with audience participation. I've often wondered how many people have become interested in classical music because of the "silliness" of the Last Night, but I'm sure it must be a sizeable number.

I can almost hold my own hand up for that, inasmuch as my first live attendance at a classical gig as a teenager was the "Last Night" of the CBSO Proms here in Birmingham - modelled closely on the RAH Last night. (My second was the Tchaikovsky night at the CBSO Proms which whilst not raucus, included the 1812 overture complete with "battle" sound effects, which always impresses teenage boys.)

Anyway, enough about that. OT question: what HDD recorder have you gone for? I'm in the market for one myself and there is too much choice for me to make my mind up. Myke, have you got any views?

Talking of covers (and of Myke), I created a DVD cover for the Westminster Abbey DVD Myke created based on the VHS version, if anyone wants it - it's absolutely huge (both in MBs and as an image), so that it can be decently printed on a photographic quality printer at 600 dpi. It's a TIF image (less lossy than JPG) and thus not as compressed as a JPG would be, so if you're up to downloading a TWENTY-FOUR MEGABYTE zipped file, get it here:

(I deliberately made the image a little larger than it needs to be because some printers have a tendency to be imprecise. Just trim if required.)
Next message Bill D posted on Monday, 12 September, 2005 - 11:21 am
I wasn't as disappointed with the Aranjuez as others (although I did notice some "flubs").

Wasn't so keen on the duet. I'm not keen on operatic or bel canto singing at the best of times but especially not when they sing folk songs. I hated that in 60s and 70s when "posh" Scottish singers like Moira Anderson would do rustic folk songs in broad Scots but with plummy accents.

"Sally Gardens" is hardly rustic but I have other versions of it I would still rather listen to.
Next message Tricky posted on Monday, 12 September, 2005 - 12:41 pm
Off topic but definitely related:-

The recorder I've gone for is the "Ellion 120GB HDD and DVD +RW Recorder - DVR-950C". I've only heard the name recently but it's not shown up anywhwere as being crap. Wether it's any good or not I don't know - except from the review, which could just be a PR stunt. The tech spec looks good and it has 2 SCART sockets for easy connectivity. It doesn't mention a Freeview tuner but thats what SCART sockets are for.

It says nothing about recording to DVD-/+R, only +RW, or finalising discs, so you need a PC to do any editing or (proper) DVD burning - I always start recording early and finishing late then chopping it to suit anyway. It SHOULD be a doddle to tranfer files from a RW or via leads directly through to a PC. At least you won't get BSoDs at critical moments - and you can set the timer and go out for a pint (except when JW's on of course).

I did have some issues when recording LNotP which this recorder may well solve. Example:- freeview can transmit in stereo and at any aspect ratio. Nice - until the aspect ratio starts changeing during a recording (look at BBC1 sports on a saturday afternoon). It's something which startles you at first, then you stop noticing until your mpeg files go belly-up. PC capture cards can't automatically adjust to compensate, so you end up with files with odd AR's which need a hell of a lot of correction. My main TV does automatically adjust - but it's too late when you've already burned a DVD and deleted the mpeg from your HD. Damn this new fangled technology!!!

The nice thing about it haveing a DVD/HDD recorder is that you can keep your files on the HD until you're absolutely positive you've got a good RW/transfer to play with. And no degredation.

Besides the statutory guarantee, Amazon has a 7 day returns policy, so I'll let my son set it up and give it some stick - he's good at breaking things:-)

(Does everything above sound too cynical ???)

Covers and large files. No problem. This is why I like P2P and broadband. I've had transfer speeds of over 500Kb/s at home. NTL hasn't got the technology in place to monitor "per user" daily transfers yet - so, if you'll forgive the pun, the sky's the limit.

I've now got 2 good, edited mpeg files of LNotP. They've both gone over 4.7Gb so might need tweaking - the burning software should automatically take care of that. NEXT STEP - BACKUPS! I've 3 hard-wired networked PCs, one for backups, one for video capture/editing/burning, one (server) for hosting my son's website - when he gets it going. My son's got another which I can use if needed (and there's another virused/spammed/donated one in the loft). After the backups I'll do some burning. What can possibly go wrong?

Could we do with other sub-topics for editing/P2P/downloads/tech talk etc ???. With P2P and a brodband connection files could be shared/downloadable.

I've spotted an article in a PC mag that mentions something about the BBC opening up some of it's archives and their copyright policy. I'll reproduce it in another thread (bo****ks to the copyright).

Bill D - I have to agree with you about the bel canto - the sight of a man desperately needing a shave singing in that high a voice made me wince a bit.

Time to backup.
Next message Tricky posted on Monday, 12 September, 2005 - 01:33 pm
One final OT comment about DVD/HDD recorders. I'm led to believe there are a few of these out there that you can use for editing and creating a (normal) DVD with a menu etc. without the need of a PC, but, just how deep are your pockets? Can the family watch Star trek while you're editing? Is it as easy as using a PC i.e. keboard and mouse - or are you using a fiddly remote with too many tiny buttons? What happens if you make a mistake - can you backup? What do you do if the remote's batteries go flat, the nearest shop's 30 minutes away and the kids are screaming at you because they're missing the Simpsons? I could go on - but won't:-)

Call me a Luddite if you wish, but I'm against too much integration. In combination with a PC, a DVD/HDD recorder should be OK (fingers crossed).
Next message Bill D posted on Tuesday, 13 September, 2005 - 08:55 pm
Thanks to the fast (faster than broadband) network at work, I have downloaded the Westminster Abbey DVD cover.

(I may be able to give you a better version of the Amnesty logo!)

Now all I need is the DVD. Who does that?
Next message Elger Verschuur  posted on Tuesday, 13 September, 2005 - 09:22 pm
I am looking for a complete copy of the last night of the proms 2005,can somebody help me please?
Next message Tricky  posted on Tuesday, 13 September, 2005 - 10:37 pm
Bill D, Myke supplied me. There's a email link from his name under the Sky - "Westminster Laserdisc" topic. If you can't get in touch, I'll do a copy - but it may take a few days while I process the LNotP dvds.

LNotP - Although I have excellent mpegs, I've only managed to make 2 (dvd) coasters yet. I think I've been asking too much of the PC and software i.e - shrink a file to fit, create a dvd image on the hard disk, and burn the dvd - all in one go. It takes 3.5 hours to do this ONCE, then about an hour for me to check it. I'm going to have to do each operation seperately and check it at each turn, which will take even longer in total - but at least I won't have go right back to the start every time. (I'm learning - fast!) The end result will be worth it. Patience everybody!
Next message Tobias Moeller  posted on Wednesday, 14 September, 2005 - 08:42 pm
Wow.. If that was a bad performance, i'd REALLY like to see a good one :-)

I can't wait to get a hold of these vids. I want to see it again! ;) And so does my cousin.. :-)

It's great that you are doing all those time consuming things to get the files out here - appreciate it :-)
Next message Bill D posted on Wednesday, 14 September, 2005 - 10:27 pm
Myke and I have been in contact and are sorting something out.

Next message Tricky posted on Friday, 16 September, 2005 - 08:47 pm
Phew! Creating DVDs of "Last Night" has been somewhat of a marathon. As the broadcasts totalled more than 3 hours, it's had to be 2 DVDs to maintain the quality - and even so I've had to make compromises. I've lost count of the number of times I had to play with the data rates (1 to 3 hours per attempt per file!) to maximise the file size and quality while making sure each broadcast would still fit on a DVD.

The Freeview broadcast was in widescreen, so there's the typical black bars, top and bottom. Note the (broadcasted) CHOOSE PROM (i) at the top right. It disappears after a minute. There's also no chapters. There's so much context in the form of commentary, interviews and interjection by the conductor, Paul Daniel, it's impossible to know where to start. My video editor was well into the "amber" and "pushing the red line" to keep the quality and still fit on the disks without them.

The "issues" I mentioned in an earlier post in trying to make DVDs look like they were being caused by background "assistance" programs and update software (take THAT, Scheduled Tasks}. So, goodbye iTunes, Quicktime, automatic updates and all other unmemorable poorly written rubbish. Now that I've been through the video editing "mill" I'm certain that leaving the PC to do everything automatically is a bad idea. It may take more time to do things separately but "your efforts will be rewarded"

I THINK I've successfully created a pair of "master" DVDs. I've now got the chore of watching them to check for flaws. I've already had a quick "scan". You've no doubt seen pixellation occur on videos before, so you'll understand why I nearly had a heart attack when I saw Alan Titmarsh's tie. (You’ll see!!)

Now all I have to do is create a cover. Simple.

Richard, warm up your DVD player (or have you got a DVD/HDD recorder yet)!

More Soon!
Next message Tricky posted on Saturday, 17 September, 2005 - 08:47 am
Sneak preview.

Next message Tricky  posted on Saturday, 17 September, 2005 - 11:56 pm
I decided not to go on a drunken binge tonight as I was close to sorting out the "Last Night..." DVDs. My "video editing" PC has suddenly acquired a remarkable degree of stability. I don't think it's because of the lack of alcohol, more likely because I've removed or disabled the background update and hidden "assistance" programs some software insists on loading (TSRs).

I'm watching the last few minutes of the second half as I type. The quality's very good. (I'm not patting myself on the back here, all I've done is press a few buttons)

Now that I've watched it again in full, I wish I could retract my earlier comments. You notice things - such as the volume for JW's guitar should have been 50% louder in the first half. The JW/Andreas Scholl combination in the second half wasn't bad either...

A word of advice when playing "Loud Noise" - the piece from Glasgow Green, near the end of the first half - turn all your volume controls to maximum. (Alan Titchmarsh mangled the band's name so much, I can't even guess the spelling).

Ok. Take stock. I've 2 master disks, dual DVD cases, full backups and a knackered printer....
Next message Tricky  posted on Tuesday, 20 September, 2005 - 10:03 pm
The dvds and a cover are now complete. At over 8 Gigabytes there is no chance of these being available on P2P. If anyone wants a copy, email me.

Richard, check your email!
Next message Tricky posted on Sunday, 09 October, 2005 - 10:03 pm
A slight :-) correction to the post of Saturday, 17 September, 2005 - 11:56 pm. After consulting the BBC's website I've found out that the band at Glasgow Green were the "Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers" playing "Big Sound". (I still think they were impressive!)
Next message Christian Lefranc  posted on Monday, 24 October, 2005 - 09:02 am
You can find a video of the "Concierto de Aranjuez" from the last night of the proms at this link
Next message Qweerty posted on Tuesday, 18 April, 2006 - 08:01 pm
Is there anyother mirror for that video!

the link bellos is already dead!

can comeone upload somthing!
Next message Qweerty posted on Tuesday, 18 April, 2006 - 08:03 pm
Is there anyother mirror for that video!

the link bellow is already dead!

can someone upload somthing!
Next message Tricky posted on Wednesday, 19 April, 2006 - 09:09 am
If you have P2P software such as edonkey, search for "proms 2005". There appears to be a mpg of the CDA. You're more likely to get a hit at evenings/weekends. BTW, it's not one of mine so I've no idea of the quality - or even if it's a fake. If you want some idea of the DVD's quality, search for "Last Night of the BBC Proms 2005". You'll see 2 files for Glasgow Green and Singleton Park. The same timing applies.
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