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    • Jay

      Donation time at JWFan   01/16/18

      Hello!

      For those who may not know, JWFan relies entirely on donations to keep running.  Donations pay for our server bills, as well as keeping our domain and Invision Powerboard fees.
      As an incentive to donate, I am offering a series of free CDS to anyone who donates over a certain amount!   Last time this was a modest success, where I raised $500 of our desired $1,000 and mailed out 3 free CDs to lucky JWFanners.  This time I'll be doing the raffling a littler different!   Our goal is $1000 once again, and I will have four tiers of free CDs you can win once again.  But this time, the more you donate, the more entries into each raffle you'll get!   Each $10 you donate gets your name put into the raffle mug once for the $10 pool, twice for the $20 pool, thrice for the $30 pool, and five times into the $50 pool.  Here is the list of CDs you can win - and I have more to add at a later time when I get a little more organized (I'll post what they are by Friday at the latest)   The $10 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you one ticket into this pool) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $250 donated Tyler Bates - God of War; Ascension (OST, La La Land Records) Danny Elfman - Planet of the Apes (OST, Sony) Danny Elfman - Taking Woodstock (OST, La La Land Records) Christopher Lennertz - Identity Thief (OST, La La Land Records) Christopher Lennertz - Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (OST) Michael Giacchino - Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (OST, Varese Sarabande) Dave Holmes & Various - Ocean's 11 (OST, WB Records) Joel McNeely & Various - Hollywood '94 (Varese Sarabande) Joe Kraemer - Jack Reacher (OST, La La Land Records) John Williams - Born on the Fourth of July (OST, MCA Records)   The $20 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you two ticket into this pool, must donate at least $20 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $500 donated John Barry - First Love (La La Land) Jerry Goldsmith - The Challenge (La La Land) Jerry Goldsmith - In Harm's Way (2009 Intrada edition) Jerry Goldsmith - The Red Pony (Varese) Alan Silvestri - Dutch (La La Land) Shirley Walker - Willard (La La Land) John Williams - Family Plot (Varese Sarabande) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer   The $30 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you three ticket into this pool, must donate at least $30 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $750 donated James Horner - Gorky Park (OOP Kritzerland Edition) James Newton Howard - Outbreak (2CD, Varese Deluxe Edition) Laurence Rosenthal - Clash of the Titans (2CD, Intrada) John Williams - The Fury (2CD, La La Land) John Williams - Jane Eyre (OOP, La La Land) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer   The $50 pool (Every $10 you donate gets you five ticket into this pool, must donate at least $50 to be eligible) - will be drawn as soon as we hit $1,000 donated Jerry Fielding - The Wild Bunch (3CD, FSM) Ira Newborn - The Naked Gun trilogy (3CD, La La Land) Shirley Walker and Various - Batman: The Animated Series Volume 3 (4CD, La La Land) or, any of the above CDs if you prefer     All shipping will be paid by me to anywhere in the world!   I will pull names from a hat for each pool, and you get to pick whatever CD set you want if I pull your name!   To be eligible, leave your JWFan username in the comments area of your donation.  If you want to donate but not be in the running for a free CD, mention that in the comment.   Use this link or the link on the mainpage.       Thank you!   Jason, Ricard, and Andreas.

Score

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  1. Star Wars Concert Suites

    The suite includes 1) an extended version of "The Jedi Steps" made for concert use, see this: 2) the film version of "The Jedi Steps and Finale", which is almost identical to the album version (if I remember correctly there are some minor differences that affect a few bars in the End Credits, really nothing important), which ends quietly, as in the album, 3) an alternate ending that can be used in concert performance (if the conductor prefers it), which replaces the quiet ending with a brassy triumphant fanfare. (For what is worth, I prefer the quiet version).
  2. Star Wars Concert Suites

    Correct, I edit my original post.
  3. Star Wars Concert Suites

    Yes, a lot. The concert cue is a sort of medley of a portion of "The Death Star", a portion of "Ben Kenobi's Death", and portions of the second and third cues making the "Battle of Yavin". These parts are edited together, with some small alterations and the usual modifications in the orchestration. None of the cues involved in the medley is complete. EDIT The Superstructure Chase cue in ROTJ is assembled from part of "The Battle" concert cue, and part of "Here They Come" (also in the concert version).
  4. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    Great!! I did the same a few years ago. The Eulenburg scores are wonderful, as they were typeset recently. The Dover editions, which are reprints of very old editions (except in the case of Die Walkure), have some issues. On my copy, sometimes it was difficult to tell the naturals from the sharps and the flats, which is quite an inconvenience with Wagner! Wagner's ring is such an awesome journey...
  5. Star Wars Concert Suites

    No, it is a concert arrangement. There are few differences and not very noticeable, but, for example, the brass section used in the film cue is larger than that used in the suite. All the cues listed in the first posts of this thread were specifically re-arranged for concert purposes by John Williams. Sometimes the differences are small, sometimes they are bigger.
  6. Star Wars Concert Suites

    I think you are referring to the TESB suite that I mentioned, right? If so, I am referring to a suite that was available only for rental to orchestras (in manuscript form), which included the cues that I had listed in my first post, namely, 1) The Imperial March 2) Yoda's Theme 3) The Asteroid Field 4) Han Solo and the Princess 5) Finale This suite (in manuscript form) was not published and it's not available for sale. When Hal Leonard published the "Star Wars Suite", almost 20 years ago I guess, they included the Imperial March and Yoda's Theme. A few years ago, Hal Leonard published "Music from the Star Wars Saga", which included "The Asteroid Field". The two remaining pieces are not available for sale yet. Which is really a pity, especially with respect to Han Solo. We need to add something more to the old 2015 list, actually! The suite from "The Force Awakens" includes: 1) March of the Resistance 2) Rey's Theme 3) Scherzo for X-Wings 4) The Jedi Steps (concert version) 5) The Jedi Steps and Finale I have updated my list at the beginning of the thread.
  7. John Williams reaction gifs

    Hmm... what was he talking about? "Jeddi" is also another good one!
  8. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    Excuse me TGP, but, as much as I enjoy discussing this stuff also with you, every time you reply to someone who doesn't agree with you on issues of musical aesthetics, you make it sound as if all the others are not able to understand things (including Conrad Pope in this case... come on! ). Why would anyone have a prejudice agains a certain kind of music? We listen to the music like you, and we have a reaction. Since many of us (like you) have a professional knowledge of music, we generally know what we are talking about and what we mean if we say that we don't like something about orchestration, or harmony, or whatever else. It doesn't mean that we disrespect the composer or we are superficial, or we don't understand his decision to break some so-called "rules". Please consider that, maybe, most of us just understand the LOTR scores as much as you, understand what Shore did and why, like and respect him, but do not appreciate some of his choices as much as you. If the aspects that some people don't like about LOTR coincide with the aspects that you value most, it's not due to a lack of honesty from anyone. I have seen the movies multiple times, listened to the full recordings and to the symphony, I have read Doug Adams' book, and I have even had the possibility to see the full scores of some pieces: I think my opinion is honest as much as yours and based on something more than a generic complaint! (I also love Mahler, by the way! One of my really top favourites.)
  9. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    Actually, we all like both. But it's fine to discuss aesthetics sometimes! And then it's inevitable to express preferences. I completely agree, even on the commas and the full stops.
  10. Hmm, this is clearly going to go on with Dbbb - C##### - G#. Also known as C major to B - F - Ab
  11. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    Most of us are not fanboys like those who comment on youtube, while, if you write stuff like this, you are implying that we are. None of us had made a statement like that, especially not in that way. And if someone here states that the SW scores, as a whole, are among the greatest accomplishments in film music (if not the greatest), maybe they have good reasons, and they may even be right. You see, what you list here are among the reasons why I prefer the SW scores, as a whole, and I consider them a superior musical product (ok, I stress again that LOTR are very good as well, one of the greatest accomplishments in film music, etc. etc.). I'm not telling you that "you are wrong" (there is not such a thing in this context), but just to explain the different points of view, if I change your statement into the following, it will represent my position: "What is less appealing to me in Shore's opus compared to Williams' is that Shore relies almost only on melody to move his music forward, whereas JW's Star Wars music relies more on elaborate rhythmic figures, orchestrations and counterpoint that give vitality to the action, and that are exciting to go through when you listen to a whole album, and ESPECIALLY on advanced harmonies that are never trivial and greatly enhance the dramatic function of the music." And since I am a musician, I'll try to explain the issue about harmony, which is for me the most remarkable aspect of SW's music (and of all of JW's music, actually), as I have said other times. Harmony is the set of choices that the composer makes with respect to the simultaneous arrangement of sounds at any given moment, i.e. the "chords". Melody and harmony go together and influence each other, and their combination is what produces a certain effect on the listener. If a composer uses a wider harmonic language (i.e. he uses simple chords when they are due, but also more elaborated ones at other moments), he simply has a much richer vocabulary than another composer who sticks to major and minor chords and little more than that. Such vocabulary also affects the possibility to write compelling melodies. Quite often, the harmonic palette is a major feature that sets apart classical music from pop music (with exceptions). Now, both Shore and Williams are masterful composers, who are in full command of all the secrets of harmony and can do whatever they want with a wizard-like ability in this respect. However, in the case of LOTR, Shore used almost always an extremely simple harmonic palette, comparable to that of pop music. He deviated from that in some of the most dramatic moments, but simplicity was, intentionally, the main framework. Not surprisingly, he even turned the "Gray Havens" theme into the refrain of the song "Into the West" with no modifications. A beautiful and very moving song, but still a song. The LOTR scores are full of passages which consist in alternations of very simple (major and minor) sustained chords, typically played by the strings, with one melody on the top. There are standard sequences of chords which are recurrent in film music and pop music (e.g. after Gandalf falls in FotR, there is a sequence played by choir and strings which goes Fm - Db - Ab - Eb, I must have heard it one hundred times in other pieces of music, it was even used for a major theme from "The Chronicles of Narnia" a few years later). The fact is, if you, as a composer, restrict yourself a simple harmonic vocabulary, you are bound to write something that might be beautiful, inspiring and whatever, but will sound in several places like something already heard, almost like "pop music played with an orchestra", because the sequences of chords that you can write down are not infinite. Then, if you are a good composer (and Shore is a great one), you can add other forms of complexity and originality (the leitmotivic structure), and choir + strings is always a winning combination, whatever they play, but at the end I often have that feeling that "it's nice, but I've already heard it somewhere else". Again, this was an intentional choice for Shore, who has done much more complex stuff, for example, in the Cronenberg films. In the SW scores, Williams starts, on the contrary, from a large and varied harmonic vocabulary, where simple chords are the exception, not the rule, and typically reserved for the moments where all contrasts have been solved, at least temporarily. E.g. the "simplest" cue from ANH, in terms of harmony, is probably "The Throne Room", which is in fact at the end, when the Rebels are celebrating their achieved victory. Everywhere else, there are plenty of non-conventional choices that add variety and originality, and greatly enhance drama (e.g. the Emperor's Death, a harmonic masterpiece, and almost all the battle pieces, especially in ANH and TESB, where consonant themes are turned to their dark side by applying augmented or diminished chords). Take Leia's theme, in the section leading to the climax, where the harmonies and the choices of the bass notes are so brilliant that a less gifted composer would have spent a full day on every bar. Or, since many people dismiss JW's ability to write for choir: take the choir music written for the death of Qui-Gon and Padme: this is a very elaborate piece, that sounds terrific, with wonderful harmonies, and that I find more original (harmonically) than anything written for choir in LOTR. Another chapter would be the discussion of counterpoint, but we would never end. I'd like to stress that I am aware that not everyone checks for these parameters when listening to music, and other points of view are equally valid. It's just to explain that those who do, are almost forced to find the SW scores more interesting. For the original comparison, if harmony is the main criterion, there is no doubt that SW is more comparable to Wagner's ring than LOTR. It's not about being fanboys of the trumpets and the fanfares, or being excited about xylophones. There is a deeper logic than that.
  12. What's your dream title of a book on JW?

    Urtext edition with critical commentary (another 150 volumes)!
  13. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    More than saying that it means nothing, I'd say that it is one of many things that affect the appreciation for a piece of music, whether consciously or inconsciously, and since there are many other aspects, it is not the only defining quality and whether you value one of these more or less is subjective (others may value rhytmic variety more, for example). Oh, I agree, and it was not my intention to put up this discussion again. We had it some time ago (both you and I participated, I remember) and I have realized that even people with similar musical background may assess greatness with different parameters, and several approaches are equally valid, so these discussions are bound to be based in part on subjectivity (as musical criticism has always been in the whole history). They all end with "I like both but I like A better" and "I also like both, but I like B better". Here, there was a very innocent comment by TownerFan saying that the SW scores are one of the greatest achievements by a single composer (which is true and does not diminish other comparable works), then Chen replied in a way that seemed to dismiss their value by saying that Shore's LOTR scores are more thematically dense etc., and ended up saying that they are much more deserving of an award as his opinion had to be the truth, and I just didn't like the tone of those statements.
  14. Williams confirms EPISODE IX !!

    First, the Oscars do not reflect the artistic merit of the work, especially in the case of the scores (see e.g. Brokeback Mountain). Second, it is your opinion that the Middle Earth scores are more artistically deserving than SW, not a fact. The merits of Shore's scores are well known here, as well as the merits of the Star Wars scores. There have already been several discussions about which of the two series of scores is "better", or "greater", whatever adjective one wants to use, and there will always be people favouring one or the other and providing well-thought reasons for their choice. I happen to be in the camp of those who (greatly) prefer the Star Wars scores, for a variety of reasons (mostly technical and, just to be clear, completely unrelated to the quality of the associated movies). Although I also like the LOTR scores very much, you will never convince me nor many others that they are better than SW. Third, if I remember correctly the LOTR scores have already won 2 Oscars, while SW only one. This is already quite unfair, in my opinion, and giving a further honorary Oscar to LOTR over SW would be just wrong.
  15. It's now clear why he doesn't have arthritis. Also, nice haircut!