Will

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About Will

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  • Birthday November 21

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  1. John Williams YouTube tributes thread

    @Loert, this is REALLY good!!! I can't play piano myself, but it's a pleasure just to listen to. Brings out some contrapuntal nuances I hadn't noticed before.
  2. Awesome that he's throwing out the first pitch! That'll be a nice video. He hasn't ever done that before, right? I mean, I know he's conducted national anthems before games, but throwing out the first pitch?
  3. Thanks for the recording, @Max! It starts much darker than I had expected for a celebratory piece (not necessarily a bad thing, though!). The piece gets frickin' awesome when the snares kick in near the 2/3 mark, though. It's not really anything we haven't heard from Giacchino before - the haters will still hate, I'm sure, and it won't win any points for originality - but I find it very enjoyable. Particularly near the end it gets that over-the-top celebratory feel that he rarely gets to completely unleash in his scores. Very fun.
  4. So I've given this a handful of complete listens by now (although I haven't yet seen the film, and don't know when I will). It's a great score, at bottom. I agree with the naysayers here that the percussion loops are cringe-worthy on first listen. However, after more listens it feels completely natural. It just takes some getting used to. (A similar thing happened for me with Giacchino's Force theme variations in Rogue One -- initially the ending phrase sounded awful but over time I grew to love it.) Williams' concert piece is top notch. While the hero theme is perhaps a bit too close to Poe's theme, it does get some great variations (the high trumpet stuff is pretty fun and seems to have been designed with Powell in mind haha!) The searching theme is the real standout to me. It's an earworm and sounds like classic Williams. While it does get some good variations on album, I was a bit disappointed to find that the "You might want to buckle up, baby" cue from the pre-release clip doesn't seem to have been released (unless I'm missing it). The action writing here was indeed a bit overwhelming on first listen, but some of it really is terrific. E.g., "Corellia Chase" is quite swashbuckling at the beginning and contains a really fun brass segment: And then that transition to the main SW theme is sublime and reminds me of JW's little Anakin's theme fanfare at the end of the podrace. Even better are the rising fanfares that follow, suddenly quieting to a beautiful violin note that fades out. It all feels wildly romantic, auguring the romantic spirit that will be truly unleashed later in the score. Before that, however, "Flying with Chewie" gives us that classic Powell pastoral "into the sunset" spirit, actually reminding me just a bit of Thomas Newman's Saving Mr. Banks. Then the romanticism kicks in for "Lando's Closet," a cue that knocked my socks off when I first heard it. By now I'll admit it's starting to sound a little stale because of too many listens haha, but the theme is just downright gorgeous. It appears KM even gave it his highest compliment -- insisting that it must have been ghost-written by JW because it was so good. "Reminiscence Therapy" is, as as its title suggests, pretty heavy on JW references, but I'd say they're all well done. It's a very entertaining cue. In particular, Powell's use of Chewie's theme to lead into the SW main theme and rebel fanfare (as seen in the Falcon pre-release clip) is utterly sublime. @TGP's description of this spot as "balletic" was, in my view, spot on. The best part is Powell's end bit of the Chewie's theme statement -- the low string swell with the harp gliss as the Falcon sways wildly. It's stunningly graceful and romantic, or, as I might call it, "epic." Hard to put into words why I like it so much but it's just so perfect. The only problem with this cue is that everything that follows it on the album is pretty underwhelming in comparison. "Break Out" also has a pretty frickin' awesome verson of Chewie's theme -- and there are all sorts of great, non-thematic short musical moments in this score (e.g. the fanfare at the end of "Marauders Arrive"). It is a little disappointing, however, that Powell's terrific themes did not get too many statements (at least on album). Some of you are probably wondering whether I think this was better or worse than Rogue One. I'd probably say slightly better, although Powell did get to build his score around some great new Williams material (on which the score relies very heavily) so that doesn't necessarily mean that Powell did a "better job" than Giacchino. Certainly, I thought Rogue One was a very good score, and I think this is too. I'd probably prefer to have a totally new composer (e.g. JNH) take a stab at the next spin-off just for the sake of variety, but Powell's work here is definitely superb.
  5. Theme sounds AWESOME! Can't wait for the OST.
  6. I hope we'll be getting a YouTube video of the theme within the next hour or two. Concert started more than 2 hours ago, so it has to be almost done ...
  7. Yeah, that was my first thought too! However, I think the best reading of Powell's comments is that JW composed the two themes for Han and helped spot the film, giving suggestions on variations the two themes could undergo (and perhaps on how Powell could treat other scenes in general). But unfortunately it doesn't seem likely that JW wrote any actual film cues.
  8. A Child's Tale: Suite from The BFG

    Not that exact recording. But you can buy the same suite on the Spielberg/Williams Collection released last spring.
  9. Just discovered this tonight. It's a borderline case as to whether it counts as "classical," but it's pretty frickin' awesome either way. I love the original Reich piece but this is even better.
  10. What the... Cool to hear JW's still up for stuff like this. I had thought those days had long passed (and that the LSO engagement was just an anomaly). EDIT: Trivia question I'm wondering about: Has JW ever conducted the Vienna Phil?
  11. Wow, that little Powell clip sounds AWESOME!! It has a surprisingly lush, romantic, and joyful spirit. I think Powell is gonna knock this out of the park.
  12. Wow, you were even closer than I was (and I was pretty close!)
  13. Just got back from the concert. Truly incredible. No time for full thoughts now but to expand on Damien's reference to a "strip tease" (): This was indeed the funniest moment. Really great. So JW finished one of the pieces (I believe "With Malice Toward None") and then tugged a little at the white shirt he was wearing, looking a bit puzzled and saying out loud that it was bothersome. It looked like maybe one of the buttons had broken off or something, I don't really know. So then JW decided to take off that shirt (but don't worry kids, he had another shirt and suspenders under it). So he took his jacket off, laid it down, took off that annoying shirt, put the jacket back on (was hoping he'd just conduct in his suspenders but I guess not LOL), and continued with the next piece, offering running commentary through the whole thing. Then at the end he jokingly said "I've never lost my shirt before at a concert." A really great improvisatory moment from the maestro. He handled it so well that at first I wondered if it was some sort of pre-planned gag.