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About Falstaft

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  1. 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...]
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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!
  6. Amazing catch, lemoncurd. It absolutely is the Death Star motif -- listen to this: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1dJQ5VhvY_WLjvkka6v0SSZyPPK_gcWKg Quite an easter egg! I'll update my little catalogue accordingly.
  7. That was my first instinct too, but it appears before and after her big scene, notably around the beginning of the Supremacy attack in a speedy version and later in a clipped version during the Battle of Crait. My suspicion is that it was originally a more prominent theme but some versions didn't make the final cut. Seems like an outgrowth of the March of the Resistance in some ways... and
  8. Hi everyone. Chiming again to let you know I've updated my catalogue of SW leitmotifs to include TLJ, which to my ears includes 3 new "true* leitmotifs (Rose, Luke in Exile, and that very desperate phrase most memorably associated with Holdo's sacrifice). I've also included explanatory notes for my definitions, updating timings, and notation for main leitmotifs. This is based on a quick first pass through the film and soundtrack, and I imagine there'll be a lot more for us to discover as we become more acquainted with the score, especially if unreleased material shows up soon. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xJ0Jj-mLfOPUCtcAm_HDGIkFwvHL5gbX/view?usp=sharing (alternative link: https://www.academia.edu/33487589/Complete_Catalogue_of_Star_Wars_Leitmotifs_Compiled_by_Frank_Lehman_Updated_for_Episode_8_THE_LAST_JEDI_with_new_links_and_musical_notation_ ) This is all but a preview of what will appear in Emilio Audissino's upcoming anthology, of course, though there are certain advantages to digital documents -- namely, hyperlinks to youtube. Hope this is of some use to you guys, and let me know if I'm missing anything! Frank Leitmotif Catalogue Online Version.pdf
  9. Hi guys, Frank Lehman here--permanent lurker, semi-regular poster a long, long time ago. Just chiming in to offer some hype for Emilio's upcoming edited volume on John Williams, of which my chapter is just one of 20 by a huge range of international scholars. The title of my particular contribution is "Thematic Material of Star Wars: Catalog and Commentary," and its basic goal is to give a rigorous framework for identifying recurrent musical materials in this series. My criteria for what is and is not a leitmotif are fairly strict, but perhaps more importantly, completely explicit, since different people can have honest disagreements over what counts as what; you can disagree on the criteria, but hopefully you'll find I'm at least consistent in applying them. The picture above is just a silly little collage I made of most of the I transcribed (with some missing and some duplicates!). They're not all leitmotifs. Actually, by my criteria I hold there are just over 30 leitmotifs across all 7 movies, and of them, only ten or so principal leitmotifs that approach the developmental standards of, say, the mature Wagner operas. The vast majority of the rest are either thematic B-sections, incidental motifs, recurrent style topics, or themes limited to set-pieces. So for example, while there is a repeated little melodic/rhythmic idea in ESB (an ascending and immediately descending major second) that eagle-eared listeners might pick out, it lacks the consistent symbolic content or clear musical identity for me to feel like it's a leitmotif. So, into the much looser and more welcoming category "Incidental Motif" it goes. I'll be going through all this much more explicitly in my chapter, but can't share it with you guys just yet because technically it's not even finished. Given the publication schedule, there might be time for me to squeeze in whatever new stuff shows up in The Last Jedi. (My hope, above all, is that "Luke & Leia" returns and ascends to the level of a principle motif -- such a glorious, underutilized theme). Emilio's book will be amazing when it comes out, and I hope you all check it out. Besides me and Emilio, Mark Richards has an essay on thematic form and structure that, if you know anything about his work, will be amazingly insightful and rigorous. And a piece I saw previewed by Chloe Huvet on E.T. which is brilliant. We also conducted an interview with Keith Lockhart about the process of conducting Williams's scores live to picture which I think a lot of you will find eye-opening. Cheers!
  10. It was a great concert! I went on opening night (May 22) Program was, if I can remember correctly... Fanfare for a Festive Occasion (Never heard this before in concert!) Bernie Herrmann Suite: Citizen Kane Newspaper Montage, Vertigo Scene d'Amor, something from Currier & Ives Suite, Psycho Suite (w/ footage), North By Northwest Main Title (w/ montage of Hitchcock scenes). (intermission) Hooray for Hollywood (Such a great Williams arrangement) Carousel Suite Fiddler on the Roof Suite (Fantastic Williams arrangement, some bravura violin passages from Tamara Smirnova) All that Jazz from Chicago (intermission) Superman Theme Harry Potter: Fawkes the Phoenix, Nimbus 2000, Harry's Wondrous World Lucas/Spielberg Tribute (all with cute clips from movies): Jaws Theme, Star Wars Main Title, Raiders March, Flying from E.T. (instant standing ovation) Encores: Luke & Leia, NBC Mission Theme, Stars & Stripes Overall a wonderful show, with a really enthusiastic audience. I was doing my fair share of hooting and hollering the whole time, of course. Williams was as charismatic and genial a conductor as usual. He told some film scoring anecdotes about himself, Hitchcock and Lucas that really had the hall in stitches. If you've never seen JW in concert, you really must find a way to attend one of these! This was my 10th (almost straight) JW with the Pops!
  11. "Fantasy" on JW Themes

    Truly wonderful! and this is coming from someone who doesn't exactly post often here anymore...
  12. Does ESB end w/ Luke's theme or Vader's?

    Agreed -- coincidence. Without a G following the C to corroborate a statement of the Imperial March, it's just a matter of JW providing a strong support for the chordal roots of the underlying progression (I-bVI-I). I'd be quicker to call EEEC a quote of Beethoven's 5th than Vader's theme. But cool observation nonetheless.
  13. First off, great review Roald. I agree with most everything you wrote. In time, in time... Once I see the movie, in other words. But I can tell you it will be a positive review. After my initial astonishment upon hearing the OST for the first time, I had a bit of a bout of dissapointment, much like many of the people on this board. But with each subsequent listen, it grows on me more and more and more and more. I'll say this much -- everyone should give Grievous and the Droids another chance. Except for the first 17 seconds, the cue is not standard JW action writing fare. The meat of the cue, including that pounding rhythm and the awesome trombone theme enters in at 1:17, and from that point it is relentless, awesome, motivically driven fun.