Score

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  • Birthday 12/06/84

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  1. Definitely not vain . Reading a score is as close as you can get to talking with the composer himself. I am convinced that the benefit of reading a score, for someone who loves music, would be enough to justify the process of learning to read music, even for people who do not play an instrument (although in this case it is more difficult). Of course, the problem is that it takes time, effort, and to invest some money to buy the scores, so it is always a matter of priorities and possibility to balance with the other aspects of life. The latter problem can be in part avoided by studying public domain scores, most of which can be downloaded for free at www.imslp.org . And definitely, John Williams' scores are not the way to go for beginners, since the orchestra is always big and one should start with smaller ensembles, just to learn to read several staves simultaneously. Besides piano music, the first scores that I read with the intent of "understanding everything" were rather simple pieces, like Mozart's "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" and Vivaldi's "Four Seasons". Only strings (so, no transposing instruments), just a few lines to be read at the same time, and simple harmonies, rather easy to grasp after some training. Williams' scores are much more complex from every point of view.
  2. I have Star Wars, Music from SW saga, The Phantom Menace Suite, 3 pieces from Schindler's List, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and I have ordered The Force Awakens. Despite the unacceptable errors that appear sometimes, they are very beautiful editions. If only the proofs were checked more expertly and/or passionately...
  3. John Williams' 10 Best Concert Suites post 2000?

    In no particular order, and referring specifically to the concert arrangements: 1. Leia's Theme 2. Luke and Leia 3. Imperial March 4. Harry's Wondrous World 5. Duel of the Fates 6. Theme from Schindler's List 7. "Closing In" from "Catch me if you can" 8. Across the Stars 9. The Chamber of Secrets (4th movement from the suite) 10. Adventures on Earth
  4. Composer's favorite keys

    I did not say this. The first time the Imperial March appears in full power in the movie, it is in G minor. The concert arrangement is in G minor. When it appears in the End Credits suite, it is in G minor. I think we agree that this is the "natural" key in which the march was conceived. In my opinion, the reason is mostly instrumental, and not that the key of G minor represents something particular. This is what I meant. The question is: what about the other instances, when it appears in different keys? Were those keys chosen case by case for expressive reasons related to some meanings that Williams associates to the individual keys (some composers did that - Beethoven once said that B minor is a "black key"), or based on instrumental issues?
  5. Composer's favorite keys

    Yes, but you are referring to the concert arrangements, although they also coincide with the first appearances in the respective movies (but, to be precise, the Imperial March appears in the initial cue of ESB, shortly after the opening crawl, played by the piccolo in B minor). Throughout the scores, the themes appear in many different keys. For example, in the "Chasm Crossfire" cue, Luke's theme is played in G major, and it is definitely heroic as well. The Imperial March appears many times also in C minor and B minor, for example, and in F minor at the peak of the cue which scores Han Solo's carbon freezing. Not to mention the Force theme, which probably appears in all the keys throughout the saga. The question is: can we find a rationale beyond certain choices in specific moments of the movies? To be honest, I have always thought that the instances of the Imperial March in G minor (including the first "big" appearance and the concert arrangement) are mostly motivated by the fact that G is an open string in violins, violas and cellos, which provides a particular sound quality to the rhythmic accompainment at the beginning. Similarly, B flat is a good key for trumpets and brass in general, hence the big blast of the main theme. So, in these cases I think it is more a performance-oriented choice (which of course is very relevant for the sound that is obtained, which is more "natural"). I am wondering if the choices done in the less "in-the-face" cues are due to specific expressive reasons related to the keys, or related to the instruments. Probably, a bit of both.
  6. Composer's favorite keys

    Also in Gladiator. The main theme is in D minor, the "Patricide" cue starts in D minor and ends on the D major chord (although it modulates a lot in between), the second part of "The might of Rome" (when the scene is actually in Rome) starts in D major. Morricone seems to be also quite fond of D. Most of the score of "The Mission" is in D major (with some pieces in close keys like B minor and G major), as well as several main themes from "The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean", the first part of the main theme of "Once Upon a Time in the West", the cue "Abolisson" from Queimada (which he often plays in concert), the main theme of "Casualties of War", the main theme from "Il Deserto dei Tartari"... and many others. And the main themes of several of his Westerns are in D minor. In the case of John Williams, as Datameister was saying, he doesn't seem to favour any particular key. Maybe it would be interesting to study whether he associates certain keys with certain specific "moods" or situations, but I don't have specific ideas in this respect. It seems to me that he just uses almost all keys freely, trying to vary as much as possible.
  7. Star Wars quote fight!

    From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven't thought of you. And now that I'm with you again... I'm in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you- I can't breath. I'm haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating... hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me... what can I do?- I will do anything you ask. If you are suffering as much as I am, PLEASE, tell me.
  8. That could be a very good and interesting point, and what you say might well be the reason. The fact that also "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra", which is one of the very last Signature Editions published, uses C Trumpets, might be indeed the signal of a trend.
  9. He uses Trumpets in C also in "Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra", "Summon the Heroes", "Call of the Champions" and "Olympic Fanfare and Theme".
  10. ... the string quartet in "Yesterday", the string ensemble in "Eleanor Rigby", the clarinets in "When I'm 64", the orchestral chaos of "A Day in the Life", the trumpet solo in "Penny Lane", the potpourri of quotes from famous pieces in "All You Need is Love", the Baroque keyboard solo in "In My Life", the cellos (and the rest) in "Strawberry Fields"... what would these pieces be without those "signature" elements? Wherever George Martin was involved as an arranger, he always left a very important, distinctive sign. The most beautiful "colours" of the Beatles' songs are due to him. The Beatles were really five.
  11. Morricone's son translated almost exactly word-by-word. This is the text in Italian: "Ringrazio l'Accademia per questo prestigioso riconoscimento. Il mio pensiero va agli altri nominati, in particolare allo stimato John Williams. Non c'รจ una musica importante senza un grande film che la ispiri. Ringrazio Quentin Tarantino per avermi scelto, Harvey Weinstein, e tutto il team che ha reso possibile questo straordinario film. Dedico questa musica e questa vittoria all'Oscar a mia moglie Maria. Grazie." This is how I would translate it: "I thank the Academy for this prestigious acknowledgement. My thoughts are with the other nominees, particularly with the esteemed John Williams. There is no important (film) music without a great movie that inspires it. I thank Quentin Tarantino for having chosen me, Harvey Weinstein, and the whole team which made this extraordinary movie possible. I dedicate this music and this victory at the Oscars to my wife Maria. Thank you." Morricone's son translated the bit about John Williams as "My tribute goes to the other nominees, in particular to the esteemed John Williams", which means the same thing.
  12. This is so nice! The two greatest living film composers, both in their 80's, meeting and chatting together after a lifetime of music and success, achieved with completely different styles and personalities. I don't know if Williams has ever talked about Morricone before, but I know that Morricone has stated in one occasion that Williams is a "really good musician", although he did not like the musical language adopted for Star Wars (although he specified that "even in those circumstances, Williams is very clever"). This was probably mentioned also in some threads here, a few years ago. I don't care who wins the Oscar, as long as it is one of these two gentlemen. In my opinion, the right thing would be to give it to Morricone, he has deserved it so many times and never got it. I am not sure that Ennio would be glad to lose to a Star Wars score...
  13. Well, in this case, it is the 2nd Horn part, so it is not the most recognizable line. However, I have had the Hal Leonard score of the Main Title in my hands so many times and for so many years, that I think I could recognize it from almost any part!
  14. The notes presented in that page are indeed the beginning notes of the main title.