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  • Birthday 12/06/84

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  1. Happy 84th Birthday John Williams!

    Happy Birthday, JW Baby!!!
  2. Datameister, I agree with you on the original trilogy and the prequels (we already had a discussion about ROTS), but not about TFA. I think it's a very powerful resolution, it rectifies the misdeeds of the ROTS ending.   However, it is definitely a strange one and, as so many other aspects of this score, it surprised me greatly. The final chord before the Eb explosion of the end credits can be called Cm6 in first inversion, or equivalently A(dim5)7, that is, Eb - G - A - C (with Eb in the bass). Now, if anyone had told me that JW had ended his score in this way before I could hear it, I would have thought "Oh no, another weak ending like in ROTS". However, the trick works (at least for me, but apparently also for others), and I think it has to do with the orchestration, the specific realization of that chord in the orchestra. The crescendo in the brass section is very dramatic, due to the clashing G and A, as well as the jump from C to HIGHER (not lower) B flat, which is heard in the top voices.     From the strictly harmonic point of view, the effect is, in my opinion, a sort of "distant relative" of the resolution D major (on C pedal) - C major at the end of E.T. , and this is how I explain to myself why it works. The analogous here would be F major (on Eb pedal) - Eb major. The actual chord differs only in having G in the place of F, and the result is somehow similar. In both cases, the "standard"  resolution would be to the 5th grade (G major in the case of E.T., Bb in the case of TFA - try to play it!), but the resolution to the 1st grade works as well and it has a certain flavour to it.
  3. Ranking JW's 21st century scores

      I think the movie is great. The score does its job well in the film, but as a listening experience in itself, it's the kind of music that tells me almost nothing, except for a few tracks which are standard good Williams, but not terribly outstanding among the rest of his output (the female vocal piece, Hativkah and Avner's theme). The film definitely has many moments of real tension, which are very well enforced by the music, but this does not mean that the music alone is good. 
  4. Ranking JW's 21st century scores

    1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (masterpiece) 2. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (masterpiece) 3. Star Wars - The Force Awakens (very good) 4. Star Wars - Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (very good) 5. A.I. (very good) 6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (very good) 7. Minority Report (good) 8. The Patriot (good) 9. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (good) 10. Star Wars - Episode II - Attack of the Clones (quite ok) 11. The Adventures of Tintin (quite ok) 12. Memoirs of a Geisha (quite ok) 13. War Horse (quite ok) 14. The Book Thief (emotionally fitting, but no "great pieces") 15. Catch Me If You Can (few cues are very good, the rest is so-and-so) 16. The Terminal (so and so) 17. Munich (only a few cues are worth listening) 18. War Of The Worlds (not my cup of tea, though I respect the craftmanship) 19. Lincoln (not my cup of coffee)     It is understood that what I consider "quite ok", referred to Williams, is better than 95% of the film music being written today.   
  5. John Williams Upbeat / Feelgood Music

  6.   If I think that Hal Leonard is publishing concert suites which last a few minutes, in full scores where the word "full" is to be intended in the sense "full of errors", and they charge like if they were selling complete operas, while the complete and proof-read digitized scores exist, but they are not made available to the public...           
  7. Which SW score has the best action music?

    Overall, the winner for me is TESB. I would rank the full Battle of Hoth sequence, including the previous cues where Leia is briefing the rebels and the following Asteroid Field cue, even above the Battle on the Ice sequence in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, which is a pinnacle of action music.   Silver medal for ANH. Not only for the fantastic Here They Come / Battle of Yavin sequence, but also for the initial cues forming the "Imperial Attack" track.   
  8. The Force Awakens Sheet Music now available

      Wow, do you have any info about the cues which will be included? I really hope that "The Starkiller" and "Torn apart" will be in it, in addition to the pieces which are clearly meant for concert performance, such as Rey's Theme, Scherzo for X-Wings, March of the Resistance, and maybe a cue related to Kylo Ren.  
  9. The Force Awakens ALBUM Discussion (No Film Spoilers)

    It's a great score, guys. It caught many of us (including myself) by surprise from many points of view at the first listen, but it is now clear to me that it is a masterpiece. There is gold even in the FYC tracks that were not released on the CD. This has definitely been the most unusual JW experience for me. I am now entering the "enthusiast" phase.   What do you think about the "Starkiller" cue? I think it's gorgeous and its central part with only middle and high - register strings, combined with the movie scene that it underscores, is one of the most moving combinations of movie and music that I have seen in the last decade. It's much better than the cue underscoring the destruction of Alderaan in Star Wars, and I find it much more effective than "Lament" from ROTS, to mention two cues which have a similar topic or mood. 
  10. ... and maybe become a bounty hunter...?
  11. Star Wars Concert Suites

    I do not know if a recording of the concert version exists. What I know is that the concert version does not include the full cue "The Rebel Fleet", but only the last fragment (a few seconds), then it goes on with the complete End Title. The reason, I guess, is that the TESB suite has the concert version of "Han Solo and the Princess" immediately before that cue, so it could have been redundant to include the whole "Rebel Fleet" cue. Also, there are probably differences in the orchestration between the concert version and the film version. Unless you absolutely want to hear every note ever written by John Williams in any possible arrangement, repackaging and subtle orchestration variations, I would suggest to be happy with "The Rebel Fleet / End Title" from the movie score.
  12. I might have lost something in this long discussion, however, may I ask to recap why most people consider Rey being Luke's daughter much more likely than her being Han and Leia's daughter? I am still more in favour of this second option. The fact that she is related to the Skywalkers is basically clear because Luke gives it away in the trailer.
  13. Do you enjoy the Force Awakens score?

    ... exactly!!
  14. Star Wars Concert Suites

    Here you are. All the cues are published in full orchestral score by Hal Leonard, except those marked with (*), which were published in the 1970's by another publishing house (I think 20th Century Fox itself), and those marked with (**), which are not published and are only available for rental. Star Wars 1) Main Title 2) Princess Leia's Theme 3) The Little People (*) 4) Cantina Band 5) Here They Come 6) The Battle (*) 7) Throne Room and Finale The Empire Strikes Back 1) The Imperial March 2) Yoda's Theme 3) The Asteroid Field 4) Han Solo and the Princess (**) 5) Finale (Yoda's theme exists in two versions). Return of the Jedi 1) Parade of the Ewoks 2) Luke and Leia 3) Jabba the Hutt (**) 4) The Forest Battle The Phantom Menace 1) The Flag Parade 2) Anakin's Theme 3) The Adventures of Jar Jar 4) Duel of the Fates Attack of the Clones: Across the Stars Revenge of the Sith: Battle of the Heroes
  15. Do you enjoy the Force Awakens score?

    I agree with this. The dramatic music (like the CD tracks "The Starkiller" and "Torn Apart") works greatly in the film and is comparable to pieces with a similar mood in ROTS, which is a very good score in my opinion (especially for the most dramatic and elegiac parts, not to mention the fantastic final reel except for the very final transition to the end credits). The Finale works very well, considering that it will surely not be the culminating scene of the new trilogy. Actually, it creates a kind of tension towards the next movie, like "this is just the beginning, stay tuned". I like Rey's theme and I think it is appropriate for the character. "March of the Resistance" and "Scherzo for X Wings" are very good action pieces (the latter could perhaps benefit from a slightly faster tempo). I don't complain about anything. I am experiencing something similar to ROTS, for which I was initially a bit disappointed, but then after getting familiar with the various pieces I got to appreciate the details and to love it. I really hope that Williams will score the next movie.