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The Five Tones

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  1. The opening chord and fanfare does indeed stick around in your head.
  2. 3.5 (3 for the vote) - hard to rate against more substantial work, quite generic in the opening statement of the main theme, perhaps intentionally given the context.
  3. The Five Tones

    GALAXY's EDGE - New John Williams composition (2018)

    Slave Children's Crusade? or just the general Middle East/Arabic/Orient harmonic suggestion in various parts of the films
  4. The Five Tones

    GALAXY's EDGE - New John Williams composition (2018)

    Unpopular opinion: high grade JW source music. Ah, but you know I don't really think that way. I can't not love it. I note the minor-key dominant treatment the main theme receives at 1:47 and 3 min (the "Leah" chord, a very classical half-diminished 7th chord that resolves to a major chord a fifth below). And the invoking of TPM's Arrival at Tatooine is a nice touch and in grand style here, with its hint of that augmented "it's outer space, guys" chord that ends the Main Title. Yes, it's a mood piece more than a narrative of any kind, but it's fun. Not unlike AoH, also with a constant tempo, though a moderate one. I wish I could hear it in something better than 320.
  5. The Five Tones

    The Legacy of John Williams - New Blog on JW

    Thank you so much!
  6. The Five Tones

    The Legacy of John Williams - New Blog on JW

    Great episode @TownerFan, thank you! This question may have been covered elsewhere, but do you publish your playlists anywhere? I have to confess I recognize most but not everything played.
  7. That, Binary Sunset alternate, and the trotting chords at the beginning of the Ewok's concert arr. And the notes that end the first phrase of the Main Title, the half cadence. But it all boils down the same. I heard a connection to this in terms of structure, feel, and the reuse of a bright E major ending (straight from ESB in TFA Teaser 2).
  8. Will be pretty much the ultimate to see this in Toronto... whenever it happens. I doubt we would rate for a choir, but one can dream. Would be awesome if the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir who are the uncredited chorus on "Immolation" from Schindler's got booked for it, though unlikely. Related: Dudamel's recording of the suite on Celebrating John Williams is incredibly good, but I still miss the voices.
  9. The Five Tones

    SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE - 3CD Set from La-La Land Records

    Not a perfect cue, but I like I Can Fly (Flying Sequence Alternate Segment) because it has a longer read of the Love Theme just before the fast piece ends, and no underscore. Basically the slow second part is underscore to Margot Kidder's reading, which is funny once a decade for me, and the worst, most dated part of the score even without the reading.
  10. The Five Tones

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    I think it's in essence a genre question, and interesting discussion notwithstanding, somewhat moot. Mozart built a large part of his reputation on a non-concert medium—opera. No one looks down on one part of his oeuvre over the other. Same with Glass—opera, pop crossover LPs and film. Same with Stravinsky—ballet. Once you get away from artificial concerns about genre and more importantly about "high vs. low" it doesn't matter. JW is one of the greatest composers of our era, period. And works like Treesong or The Five Sacred Trees or Soundings or Highwood's Ghost stand alongside the film scores. He has minimized his work in areas he doesn't perhaps excel at, e.g. musical/opera, a good strategy.
  11. The Five Tones

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    Easily the Concerto for Cello, but if Treesong were allowed, even more easily that instead. Hard to pick a favourite moment in the CC, but the attacca transitions are exquisite. My favourite movement is the I.
  12. The SEs were incredibly important to me when they came out... not least for the presentation and annotation. Even then, it was clear one should hold onto the 4-CD Anthology set, but not necessarily because of the sound. The audio was fine for my mid-range system back then, and although time has moved on and our ears have gotten used to noiseless high res digital recordings and restorations, and more listeners are headphone listeners or own desktop audio software and we expect more (i.e. the number of owners of the SE who say "it always sounded bad" mysteriously multiplies), I'm good for now. Until Matessino finally gets his chance to create a CC restoration, I will purchase no other releases... even if tempted by the promise of marginally better sound. It will be worth the wait.
  13. The Five Tones

    SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE - 3CD Set from La-La Land Records

    I received my copy last week and went through the set in sections - busy schedule, but this guarantees I actually pay attention to every second of the music. It's a different experience altogether hearing this restoration versus the recent ones for CE3K and Dracula, and not really fair for me to compare, if those two scores appear to sound just a little bit cleaner than Superman. It had been 20 and 30 years respectively with no updates for those scores. There must have been real challenges dealing with a 40 year old tape that I can imagine might have had a substantial amount of wear and damage given it was full of razor cuts and splicing tape... and basically neglected for 40 years. The 2008 Blue Box restoration, from 20ish year old tapes, sounded pretty good only ten years ago. But there is clearly so much more bite, dynamic range and overall variety of colour now: it IS the definitive version, and the way the score should be discovered by any newcomer. That storied brass section shines properly at last. I listened to the Fortress alternate before anything else. It was certainly exciting at the peak, if a little 70s weird or draft-y sounding later on. It feels like it's from an alternate score, maybe even an alternate John Williams! So, it's kind of fun to have. Musically, it wasn't the revelation for me of The Dome Opens alternate, certainly not Binary Sunset alternate, and the sound quality is a distraction those two cues aren't affected by. But it survived much better than Botanicus... The Dome alternate sounds better than ever. I like The Mugger alternate better than the revised cue. I never noticed the Mountain theme from CE3K in there before, oops JW. The overly-strong timpani in the Main Title alternate sounds clearer and it's nice to have. The first hour of the Superman score is essential. The second hour isn't quite on the same level for me (exceptions being the concert suites - wherever those fit in the ordering - and Flying to Lois, Turning Back the World and that amazing modulating brass explosion in Chasing Rockets). There is so much excitement front-loaded in the score. It's great to have the original soundtrack remastered, for its familiarity and more concise, composer-intended presentation. There is a bit of choice as well concerning audio quality. The remastered OST presentation appears to have a bit more compression and is just a little flatter EQ-wise. A more formal sound. But it's also not quite as exciting as the score presentation, imperfections and all.
  14. I prefer the original for length and probably nostalgia for the historical colour of the performance and recording. I can hear how it fits into the history vis a vis being pre SW and Supes. First time I'd heard the Lockhart - nice, great sonics, but too long. And I prefer this March over Midway and 1941, which I like again more as nostalgia.
  15. The Five Tones

    Favorite John Williams Chord or Chord Progression

    At the risk of hitting spam level commentary on this thread, was already six years old when I found out about it, I'm finally adding my list of favs, in addition to what I've already posted. First Seance from Family Plot - tritonal/altered dominant chord (pre-echo of CE3K, wordless chorus and all): The Destruction of Krypton from Superman - Lydian mode and "super" major 7th chord with added/stacked tones (relating to the Main Title A theme): More Lydian mode: Far from Home from E.T. - major chord/minor mediant root for the "Call" motif (and all of the harmonic brilliance in "Far from Home," for that matter): Water! from Temple of Doom - chromatic major triads over dissonant bass. Something very Lost in Space about it, but just a wonderfully resonant result and an orchestration/engineering highlight of ToD: Father and Son from Jaws - D major secundal chords over a C bass like something in the deep, also foreshadows End Credits and narrative resolution: The Funeral of Qui-Gon from The Phantom Menace - final sequence of chords finishing with a bitonal sound: A minor over D-flat major, literally the harmonic degree for Vader on top of the chord of rest that begins and ends all the light side themes. Almost as if Williams guessed or knew there would be another funeral two films later and an opportunity to resolve the theme unambiguously: Luke and Leia from Return of the Jedi - the pitches of the upper chords shift back and forth by a semitone while the bass descends chromatically from the sixth degree down to the fourth (and a iv - ii half diminished - V - I cadence). IMO the most tragic, Tchaikovsky-esque sounding theme in the saga. Indeed, there is something incredibly sad about the twins' Force-assisted reunion and good-bye in The Last Jedi: TreeSong - the central harmonic idea, a restive altered dominant chord that only resolves obliquely and ambiguously at the very end of the work: The Mecha World from A.I. - one of the best moments in all JW for me, combining his beloved minor sixth chord with an abrupt modulation to two parallel Lydian/tritonal statements and back again, while still keeping the melody in the original key, and the harmonic rhythm is shaped by the minimalist-textured, metronomic, seven-beat groove: Sean's Theme from Minority Report - mid-statement modulation upward by a minor third, an ancient trick to be sure, but its placement adds elegance here: Opening Title from Catch Me If You Can - This is the ultimate. Those very jazzy, meticulously arranged and voiced, fourth-based chords moving in parallel in even dotted quarter notes against the 3/4 time signature (i.e. playing it "straight" in a jazz waltz). It sounds just like a bridge for this "tune," but in fact Williams is actually, unbelievably, quoting in variation the bridge melody in Across the Stars from Attack of the Clones, which he had just completed earlier that year (2002). Johnny Williams in the house, jazz-quoting himself and flying his own chameleon flag, appropriate to the film in question: Here is the melody I'm referring to, and which is to my ears quite clearly quoted (intentionally or not? come on!). I'm sure someone in the history of JWFan has pointed this out before at least once (if not me already that I'm forgetting): To come back one last time to the half-diminished 7th chord topic which was covered extensively in the exchanges above, I don't think we mentioned this example from the Prelude from Superman. The chord has the same function here as in Princess Leia / Love Theme from Superman / Asteroid Field / Han and Leia / Buckbeat's Flight, which is as the dominant chord. It's somehow Debussyian to my ears, and makes an extended tonal centre out of the half-dim chord, with lots of passing detail: