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Lewya

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  1. Interview with the harpist who will preform the piece tomorrow: http://www.wamc.org/post/harpist-jessica-zhou-premiere-new-john-williams-andris-nelsons-yo-yo-ma-and-tmc-orchestra
  2. You are allowed to mention two honorable mentions if you want. My top 3: James Cameron (Avatar sequels) Peter Jackson (anything) Martin Scorsese (anything) 2 honorable mentions for a top 5 would be: Christopher Nolan (anything) Terrence Malick (anything) Which three directors would you most like to see Williams compose a score for?
  3. I say none - none of his concert works are great in my book. Some of them are good yes, but not great. They have some things that stick out positively sometimes, mostly about orchestration. They certainly pale compared to what the best contemporary concert composers are writing at their best. The biggest problem is probably that I don't find them interesting to begin with, so who cares if it is wonderfully orchestrated when it is pretty dull and uninteresting to begin with. I easily rank certain solo albums by other film composers way higher than Williams's concert work. In some ways, I wish Williams didn't write most of his concert works - it makes me look at him less kindly as a composer taken as a whole. Quite a few of them are why did you bother dull. If forced to pick something I would probably say violin concerto and the piano suite Conversations, especially movement three. That is one of my least favourite. It is basically just warmed-over Arutiunian which is dreadful to begin with.
  4. Sakamoto has said that this is the best film music track that he had ever done: My favourite stretch: 7.17-7.57
  5. Totally agree with him being mostly mediocre. With that said, he is better than most, especially today. He could be good at his best though. I also agree - The Land Before Time I have a soft spot for even if I don't listen to it often at all. Maybe my pick for his finest score.
  6. Agreed, Titanic is a very good movie, a must-see (not a masterpiece though), 3 out of 4 stars. But the score is mostly just poor and banal - ersatz pretty much everything. I would single out Titanic as a career low for Horner, not a high. 1995 and the duo of Braveheart and Apollo 13 was on the other hand indeed a high. Titanic is one of his weaker scores, Braveheart is one of his best, so the choice is easy. I might add that I pretty much never listen to either score, especially not Titanic - the same can be said about all other Horner music too, I am not a big fan of him at all even if he could be good.
  7. They probably forgot to include "not" in the article yes.
  8. Lewya

    The Best John Williams Score of the 2010s

    The Force Awakens for me. Not sure which one I would put after that. Maybe Lincoln. A.I. was the best of the 2000s (followed by Memoirs of a Geisha and Revenge of the Sith as the top 3 of the 00s). I am not that fond of any of his 2010s scores, The Force Awakens is the best of the lot, but I prefer all of the top 3 scores of the 2000s over it, especially A.I. of course.
  9. The Pulitzer Prize winning composer Ned Rorem weights in on Williams and it is negative - this was back in 1987, mind you: Interview: Certain film composers enjoy a very wide audience: for example, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams Rorem: Goldsmith is inventive and evocative and personal. But there's nothing John Williams has written that Richard Strauss has written better. Now that Strauss' copyright has expired, John Williams has cribbed verbatim the tone poems of Strauss who, during his lifetime, was one of the highest paid composers who ever lived. Yet Williams is said to have made a billion [sic] dollars from his uncredited riflings. Interviewer: One also hears criticism that Williams steals far too much from Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold as well. Rorem: All art is in a sense taking from what has already existed and making it your own, but Williams doesn't make it his own — he makes it lesser Strauss. There's hardly any distinguished movie music being written today because 9 out of 10 movies use amorphous rock scores, or no scores at all, or simply a meaningless oleo of bathos, like Marvin Hamlisch.
  10. Lewya

    How would you rate "Black Sunday"?

    3.5 stars sounds about right. It is good, maybe even very good, but hardly great. I don't really listen to it. Especially Close Encounters, but also Star Wars from the same year are vastly superior. Maybe I would like it more if I had seen the film, who knows - but after a few listens it falls somewhere among the middle of Williams output. Not top 30 of all time material for him.
  11. Lewya

    Psycho (Herrmann) vs. Psycho II (Goldsmith)

    Herrmann on all counts, and it isn't even close. Herrmann's score is some of the finest dramatic music of the entire 20th century, not just in film music but of all of music; in fact i'd go as say as far to say that Psycho represents some of the finest dramatic music of all time regardless of medium or genre. Goldsmith's score is only a good enough film score, but hardly one of his best and hardly great music. Psycho is an easy 5 star score and one of the top 25 film scores ever written, Psycho II is maybe a pretty solid 3 star score at best and ranks only somewhere in the middle of Goldsmith's output.
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