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Falstaft

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Falstaft last won the day on May 22

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  1. I agree: melodically, it feels more like an outgrowth of "Searching," and in "The Adventures of Han," it initially sounds like a contrasting middle section for that theme (though retrospectively, it's perhaps more of a free episode, as it does not return IIRC). Interestingly, Powell treats it as a thematic continuation (or contrasting B section) of the main "Heroic" leitmotif -- not "Searching"-- on at least one occasion, near the start of "Corellia Chase." Notice how it occupies the same tonality at the start (I/F => V/Bb), and its mere proximity to the "Heroic" leitmotif brings out some of its structural affinities with that theme. I don't know the score well enough yet to say if he highlights its connections with "Searching," but I wouldn't be surprised if that happens too. It's details like this that are making me appreciate Powell's score even more; his manipulations of Williams's material are (with a perhaps a few exceptions) remarkably compelling and compositionally assured.
  2. Hi Demodex, I've updated my own little thematic catalog to include notation and links for the main themes from Solo, as well as Rogue One finally. With the exception of #8, all of these new themes get *real* workouts in terms of development in this film -- more, I'd wager than most of the new stuff in TLJ! Not sure of timings yet, and some of my metrical interpretations may be off, but it's a start... 1. Young Han Solo (Heroic) 2. Young Han Solo (Searching) 3. Secrets/Crimson Dawn (Definitely derived from the "Searching" motif but treated pretty independently in terms of rhythm, orchestration, affect throughout Solo) 4. Han & Q'ira 5. Han & Chewie 6. Beckett's Gang 7 .Enfys Nest 8. L-8/Droid Uprising There's some new incidental motifs in this movie too, plus plenty of references to previously established thematic materials (my favorite is the Imperial Troops reference in "Train Heist", and the obvious one that shows up during the surprise cameo at the end...) *Edited w/ change of name for #3 to reflect what Powell apparently called it. Leitmotif Catalogue -- Frank Lehman, 2018.pdf
  3. I think you are going to love this piece. In my opinion, it's the best standalone music that's come out of Disney-Star Wars, besides Rey's Theme concert arrangement and maybe The March of the Resistance.
  4. We'll all hear it soon enough. Let's not get pedantry get in the way of my original goal, which was building hype.
  5. I feel as though we're going around in circles here. What I'm saying, and what you seem resistant to acknowledging, is that the two melodies that appear in "The Adventures of Han" constitute seperate and well-defined themes in that context. Making any claim about their leitmotivic status, their intratextual signification, or how they adhere to yours or my or Doug Adams's criteria regarding leitmotivic categorization--all this is strictly premature at this point until we hear them in the setting of the actual Solo score. The point you're insisting is valid is not what I'm talking about. Furthermore, I think deferring Williams's intention is essentially besides the point here; the arrangement (as everyone will soon hear) speaks for itself, and authorial intent is about the least reliable way to interpret texts in general, especially when the creator is as inconsistent and selectively forgetful as JW is, regardless of how insightful & articulate he comes off in interviews.
  6. I don't want to get bogged down in the minutiae of thematic analysis here, but it's not actually that much a matter of perspective in this case -- they're seperate themes in this concert arrangement, and just happen to succeed (and later interact and overlap with) one another. Granted, there are cases where motivic (not the same as leitmotivic) autonomy is debatable--Rey's various little subthemes, for example--but, at least as far as the two main melodic constituents are treated in "The Adventures of Han," this is not one of them. It's similar to the "Rebellion is Reborn" in this respect, in which the "Rose" and "Luke in Exile" themes are pretty strongly differentiated -- although I'd wager the overall tone of "Adventures of Han" is more consistent and less jarringly diverse than "RiR." It's a pretty good deal: two themes for the price of one, for a film he's not even really scoring!
  7. I've heard the actual concert arrangement and can state with surety they're different themes and treated as such by Williams. They have strongly contrasting orchestration, keys, and textures, and they're internally structured such that each has a tightly-knit beginning/middle/end melodic organization of their own, the hallmark of Mark Richard's "grammatical theme" archetype. The mock-up version you're referring to does make them sound more closely related, and that may indeed be how Powell treats them. But going from the concert arrangement, it's not ambiguous that they are strongly independent ideas. I think that will be evident soon enough once everyone has a chance to hear it. Oh, one other thing to look forward to. The first, comparatively dashing theme for Han occupies the same musical universe as Poe's leitmotif (down to a virtually identical harmonic progression and melodic contour in its second phrase). That, plus the similarity of the low-string ostinato in this arrangement to that in "I Can Fly Anything," makes it seem as though Dameron is the direct inheritor to Han Solo's musical character.
  8. Hi everyone, I just attended an open rehearsal of tomorrow's Boston Pops concert (with the maestro himself conducting!). It's going to feature the world premiere of "The Adventures of Han," as well as Pops premieres of "Rebellion is Reborn" and the new "Han Solo & the Princess" arrangement. I've got a lot to say about the new Solo piece, which I'm sure we'll all be poring over soon enough. But I thought I'd just share this much -- you're going to love it. It's complex, substantial, and memorable. There's some impossibly virtuosic trumpet writing in the middle that is especially impressive, very much in the vein of "Rey's Journey" from TLJ, only even more elaborate. In fact, the whole piece feels like a hybrid of straight-forward character themes (themes--yes, there's two) and action set-piece. I noticed some welcome shades of the ostinatos from "I Can Fly Anything" and the little recurring octatonic motif from "The Battle of Crait." If it's using this thematic material, I imagine Powell's score should be a real barn-burner!
  9. Falstaft

    TLJ Score Wishes

    A couple thoughts. *That ascending motif ["Kylo Ren (Menacing)" -- or whatever it ought to be called] sustains some interesting and independent developments in TLJ, apart from its linkage with the other two, more obvious motifs for the character. That degree of autonomy and repetition is sufficient for me at least to consider it a bonafide leitmotif, even if it's not a particularly important one. There's also some cool material which seems to share some of the same DNA as the motif, if not exactly replicating it, such as here: *The "Menace" motif shares the same first four pitches as the dinky little "First Order" motif (C-D-F-Eb) that I and a few others have pointed out in TFA--you know, the one whose most memorable statement was during the unused Hux's Speech cue... I'm not prepared to say its a matter of direct derivation or not, but I can't imagine it's a pure accident either: *I'm not seeing the issue with identifying themes within musical set-pieces like the Battle of Crait. That one in particular does indeed include a unique, buzzy little motif that recurs here and there, solely within the context that scene (starting at 1:53 of the OST track). Who here is conflating theme and leitmotif? I don't think it's controversial to say things like The Asteroid Field or Mynock Cave or the Forest Battle have a theme (or two or three), quite apart from the issue of whether they're based on leitmotifs. *If we're being totally pedantic about it, the Pursuit/Finn motif *does* occur in TLJ, but in a pretty lazy way. The music when Poe/BB8 blow up the guns on the Dreadnaught is an unaltered reuse of the music in the TFA credits where Poe's theme is overlaid with snippets of the Pursuit/Finn idea...
  10. Thanks so much for posting these, Chewie! Lots of little unreleased gems! I'm loving being able to more clearly hear the music during Rey & Kylo Ren's elevator ride. Some great, subtle material there that alludes to Snoke's (admittedly rather amorphous) leitmotif and the newish stuff in his chamber in the next scene. And that tiny snatch of Kylo Ren's theme at :22.... Oh, and that little gesture as they enter the chamber, Bb2-G2-Db3-Dnat2! -- so close to the figure that's heard when they approach the Pit of Carkoon, and another nod, accidental or not, to Uranus from Holst's Planets. [The basically verbatim quote of the Uranus motif that happens in ROTJ before Vader's death scene is assuredly not accidental. Hey, Herrmann did it too...]
  11. If anyone's curious, I did a little feature with the local Boston NPR station on The Last Jedi score and Star Wars music in general. (I actually thought I was going to be talking about all 5 Oscar Nominees, but they just wanted me to talk about SW! No problem there). They cut down about 100 minutes of me talking about the score to 13 minutes of highlights, but I'm pretty pleased with the results. And forgive me, purists, for changing one note in the Luke & Leia theme as it appears in The Spark from Db to C! I'm too used to the original (correct, I dare say ) structure of the melody at that point which uses the leading tone instead of tonic pitch. Oh well... http://www.wbur.org/radioboston/2018/03/02/music-star-wars
  12. If anyone's curious, a little essay of mine on the score just went up: http://musicologynow.ams-net.org/2018/02/quick-take-motives-modulations-and.html It may not convince those of you who are still unimpressed with TLJ, but hopefully it does show how Williams's artistry extends not only to themes, but also characteristic harmonies and modulations. And, there's a nice little lesson at the end about the dangers of analyzing just from the soundtrack album or film score proper.
  13. Here you go! Sorry for the abysmal recording quality. 1) Emperor Tortures Rey (a really obvious rendition): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WNiywI6f_I-5vHFEQSRaUyCv4MajRqii 2) Lesson #2. Not really a direct use of the Emperor's theme, but something faintly allusive to it (and Vader's theme too!): https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OdCW9Ag-af37EM6dJDwgM1KzZI0f5ybM
  14. Falstaft

    Alex Ross on Williams' The Last Jedi

    They're three polyphonic components of the same musical set-piece, yes. That's why I still call them all "Duel of the Fates." The reason I sort them out this way is that during the Battle of Naboo, they're treated at various points as separable and distinct motifs. In some situations, you hear just the five-note ostinato. On others, just the chordal fanfare, still others the palindromic little motto. A similar thing is true of Rey's Chimes vs. Rey's Theme, the A & B sections of the March of Resistance, and to a lesser extent the Main Theme and BotH. I try to make my criteria for labeling these materials extremely explicit. Anyone else perfectly free to prioritize different labeling criteria, but ideally they are consistently applied. For me, what's so exciting is that Williams's work (and scholarship surrounding it) is being recognized in such glowing terms in a publication with a long history of musical snobbery! That's a big deal!
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