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Falstaft

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Falstaft last won the day on August 20 2018

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  1. Falstaft

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    Indeed! I'd wager the Clarinet Concerto his most underrated concerto, if for no other reason than the fact its one release leaves so much to be desired in terms of recording quality (though Zukovsky's performance is fabulous). It's one I also need to get to know better. As far as I know, there's no easily available sheet music for it to study either. Something for Hal Leonard to get cracking on? Of course, this is the most "John Williamsy" clarinet showcase! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG8IdcqBXfA
  2. Falstaft

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    Not as far as I know, unfortunately... There's the original Pops premiere in very low quality, but with the maestro himself conducting: And a quite fine recording of the viola/piano reduction: Between these suboptimal renditions and the Hal Leonard score, I think there's enough to go on to form an opinion of the piece.
  3. Falstaft

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    Ahh! How could I have left that out! It's the first of his concerti I ever heard! It's now in the poll, at the bottom.
  4. Falstaft

    Poll: Favorite JW Concerto and Concerto Movement

    Oh, I wasn't trying to split hairs or anything; I just chose the pieces that Williams himself entitled "Concerto." I do think Treesong could easily qualify as Violin Concerto No. 2 -- I actually prefer it to the Violin Concerto proper, any of the versions. As for the Piano Scherzo, it's a single movement and a bit slight to be counted as a true concerto, no? I'm pleased and not tremendously surprised to see so many fans of the Horn Concerto's "Nocturne". Simply an exquisite piece.
  5. As far as I know, this hasn't been presented as a poll to JWfan yet! Which out of John Williams's 10 concerti is your favorite? I'm only counting pieces explicitly called concerti (apologies to "Treesong," "Heartwood," "Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra," etc). Most of these now have at least one commercially available recording, and even the less recorded ones (Clarinet, Viola) can be heard if you search the right places online... I thought it would be helpful to split the poll into two questions -- favorite overall concerto, and concerto that contains your favorite single movement. So, for example, JW's Horn Concerto doesn't do that much for me overall, but the final "Nocturne" movement is one of the loveliest things he's ever written and probably stands as my favorite individual concerto movement. But in terms of overall appreciation, I'd probably go with the underrated Viola Concerto, with Cello and Bassoon concertos close behind. What do you all think?
  6. Falstaft

    Discussion: John Williams's Most Original Score

    The Long Goodbye, conceptually speaking.
  7. A wonderful thing to wake up to! I'd bet money this is a new Williams arrangement. I can't help but feel the new coda sounds out of place, harmonically speaking at least. So much of the effect of the original "Leaving Home" (and The Cowboys-style Coplandia that inspired it) is based on a distinct modality--this austere. unsentimental mixolydian sound, with major IVs and minor v's. To then hear this much more soupy, Romantic Amaj-Amin(add6) plagal cadence at the conclusion, it feels much too "Hollywood" and not enough Kansas... But this is all extremely small potatoes!
  8. Lesse... Beginning with the start of Palpatine's glorious pantriadic chorale: Bm - Dm - Bm - C#M7b9(b5) - F#m - DM(addb6) - Ebm/Bb - Gm/E5 - Em - Fm... The progression you're asking about at 1:30: ...Cm - DbMa7(sus4) - Cm - Fm - Cm/Eb - GM/B - Abm - Em(7)/Abm - EM/G# - Gm Two things leap out after transcribing this. First the vivid similarity with Nixon's Miami Convention Cue (which I analyzed a while back in an article). The resemblance is so striking I suspect it's either temp-track emulation or Williams really wanted to link these two corrupt tyrants musically. Second, can't believe I never noticed this before, but the brief opening progression (Bm-Dm-Bm) is The Emperor's leitmotif. Duh!
  9. I think you're right about this one -- as far as I can tell the chord is C# - D# - G - B. I'm not actually hearing an E natural anywhere, so if it's absent, it's not a half-dim7, technically. Though the chord does serve as a substitute to the syntactically more accustomed ii7b5. A wonderful, surprising sonority that links up nicely with the overall harmonic style of the Mountain Theme, as you note! Here's some more unusual ones to hunt for: ivØ7: Imperial March bviØ7: Chamber of Secrets
  10. Falstaft

    Contacting John Williams?

    Some film composers are actually surprisingly reachable. Williams is not one of them. Heck, I'm writing a book on JW's music right now, and through a very lucky combination of connections and timing, I actually got my hopes up that I'd get a chance to speak with him earlier this year. Then his illness came up a few months ago, and, well... I don't think he's giving interviews with us randos any more.
  11. I'm glad that this chord is getting some love! There dozens and dozens of wonderful and inventive usages of the half-diminished 7th in Williams's music, truly an essential and distinctive aspect of his personal sound. The D#-7(b5) in "Padme's Funeral" is one of my favorites, enhanced by the gorgeous brass writing and the unusual harmonic function (g#m: i7 - bII - vØ7 - i6 - bV/#IV(!) - i) Also a really nice, more traditionally functional one in the middle of "Rey's Theme" if you can spot it!
  12. Falstaft

    New JW Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Music!!

    For the curious...: Pretty perfect example of @Ludwig's "clause" formal archetype, right?
  13. Falstaft

    New JW Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Music!!

    A few musings: *This isn't as detached from the rest of the Star Wars thematic lexicon as it might first sound. There's a clear allusion to the Rebel Fanfare at 0:48, and some strong echoes of the March of the Resistance at 1:30. *I get a really strong Bruckner-vibe from this, of all people. Not a compositional connection often i spot so directly in Williams. The string octaves in descending perfect intervals at 1:35 sound straight out of the Te Deum (or pretty much any one of the 9 symphonies). Add to that the massed but very open orchestration, and the phyrgian disposition of the theme (unusual for Star Wars), and the horn writing -- all Bruckner hallmarks. Who knows if this is intentional, or even a matter of influence per se, but hard to unhear if you're an unapologetic Brucknerian like me. *I gotta say, I'm little surprised by the tepid reaction here, of all places. It seems perfectly of a piece with the overall Star Wars sound, no more or less generic than anything else he's written for the series. This is another in a line of wonderful unexpected gifts from our favorite octegenarian maestro, and I feel confident it will grow on everyone, especially once we hear it in its entirety--not this weirdly incomplete, edited version.
  14. The 2019 season for Tanglewood has just gone up, and there's a lot of Williams on the program, https://www.bso.org/brands/tanglewood/features/2019-tanglewood-season.aspx. Tickets go on sale February 10, 2019. Williams highlights include: July 7: Across the Stars: Music of John Williams David Newman, conductor Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin Across the Stars: Music of John Williams Join the Boston Pops for the first of three programs this summer, celebrating the art of John Williams. Drawing from her recent recording “Across the Stars,” the great violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performs selections from Mr. Williams’ iconic scores, in brilliant new arrangements created especially for her. The program includes music from Star Wars and Memoirs of a Geisha, as well as the haunting melodies of Schindler’s List. Aug 16: Keith Lockhart conducts Star Wars: A New Hope Join Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops as they present this classic film with live orchestral accompaniment. Set 30 years after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: A New Hope, the fourth episode of the saga, returns to the desert planet of Tatooine. A young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) begins to discover his destiny when, searching for a lost droid, he is saved by reclusive Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). A civil war rages in the galaxy, and Rebel forces struggle against the evil Galactic Empire, Luke and Obi- Wan enlist the aid of hotshot pilot, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Joined by the quirky droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO, the unlikely team sets out to rescue Rebel leader Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and make use of the stolen plans to destroy the Empire’s ultimate weapon. In a legendary confrontation, the rogue group mounts an attack against the Death Star for a climactic battle with the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. Aug 24: John Williams' Film Night John Williams’ Film Night has long been established as one of the Tanglewood calendar’s most anticipated and beloved evenings. Join Mr. Williams as he introduces this year’s celebration of the music of Hollywood and beyond, featuring the Boston Pops and conductor David Newman. Williams is also listed on the Tanglewood on Parade conductor roster for July 23. Interesting that on Film Night JW is listed as a "host" instead of conductor. Guess he really is stepping away from the podium.
  15. Falstaft

    Across the Stars for Anne-Sophie Mutter

    Wow, what a gift! I hope you all realize how fortunate we all are to be treated to these stunning, often rather more complex revisitations of old themes. Here's a rough-and-ready transcription of the intro, sans specific string voicings. Very much reminiscent of Anakin's theme in texture and mood, as Horner's Dynamic Range pointed out. I guess this now joins "Luke & Leia" as a concert arrangement whose opening bars manage to suggest not only the theme itself, but shades of other leitmotifs (here Imperial March and, perhaps if JW actually remembers it, Anakin's Theme).
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