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About TownerFan

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  • Birthday February 10

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  1. I like the OST sequencing, it works great (even though I usually skip Hymn to the Fallen at the start, as imho works best just as curtain closer). Hymn to the Fallen was recorded with orchestra and choir together at Symphony Hall, Boston (as seen in the DVD featurette), I don't think JW recorded an orchestra-only version.
  2. It would be nice to discuss about what one likes or dislikes about any piece of creative work, but adamant one-liners are all easier. SPR is a great film, but it surely has some serious issues in writing in the last act that prevent it to be a full-on masterpiece. For example, the decision of Private Ryan to stay with the brigade and fight the last battle is pretty much non-sense from many points of view, as it is the choice of the reappearance of the German private that was previously let go by Upham only to be killed by him nonetheless. These are choices that border on manipulation. Also, the epilogue with old man Ryan at the military cemetary saying to his wife "Tell me that I've been a good man" borders on real unnecessary schmaltz (especially considering what we saw before). However, I completely understand why Spielberg went that way. He said several times that the film was a tribute to his father and that generation of men who fought during WW2. The film isn't jingoistic or propaganda-like work for American military service, not at all. Even the US flag bookending the film is strangely faded and muted in colours (accompanied by JW not with patriotic fanfares, but with mournful brass writing) as to reflect the bitterness and uncertainty of all this. Despite the horrors and violence depicted, Spielberg wanted to tribute a generation of people who fought what (especially for a Jewish person) was seen as a duty. As Schindler's List isn't a film about the Holocaust, but a story of how some people survived to that nonsense to become witness of history for posterity, Saving Private Ryan isn't a film about the horrors of war, but a story about a group of people who tried to find a moral compass among themselves within such a chaotic and violent context. It's also a tribute to the generation of filmmakers who went on the front to film and document the war, like John Ford, George Stevens, John Huston, William Wyler and Frank Capra. SPR is indeed hugely influenced by the filming style and tone of those documentaries. It's also particularly Ford-esque in its depiction of characters. The scene when Capt. Miller tells about the recollection of his wife working in the rose garden always struck me as very John Ford-like (perhaps it's more about the feeling of the scene).
  3. It’s all valid arguments. However, the most usual way in which classical works are being catalogued chronologically, it’s when the finished composition is submitted to the publisher. It’s mostly for royalty and copyright sake, I know (hence why Stravinsky used to submit revisions many times, so he could renew and collect more royalty money), but from a music history point of view is also convenient and logical.
  4. Don't get me wrong, the subject is open to discuss of course. It doesn't seem to me that Jay treated you with arrogance, he just questioned what looked like an arbitrary decision on your part and your reaction came out as petty and childish. It seems to me people here have become much more touchy whenever somebody dares to question an opinion...
  5. BTW, the "Starkiller" cue is credited to Dudamel as conductor on the TFA soundtrack album. A reliable source who spoke with JW himself a few weeks ago. It's just a matter of having real information and then using it properly, Bespin. You should just quit that silly attitude of scorning people who comes with arguments contradicting your own speculations.
  6. Sadly, there is a major chance I won't be able to attend the concert in London... Hoping to get to Vienna, though. I'm still waiting to understand what will be of my future job in the next few months. The times they're a-changing.
  7. TownerFan

    John WIlliams conducting Star Wars Prequel Music?

    Yes, he conducted all three pieces several times in Boston, Chicago and LA.
  8. TownerFan

    The STAR WARS Main Title

    I can't recommend enough your podcast to every serious JW student, it's truly an enjoyable listen. You seem very confident and thoughtful in your observations. Keep up the good work!
  9. Well, it seems like Cruise was very demanding about how the score should be, much more than Brian De Palma.
  10. This is just lovely: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-john-williams-early-life-20180718-htmlstory.html
  11. De Palma's film editor Paul Hirsch (Academy Award winner for Best Editing of Star Wars, btw) used cues from Williams' Nixon as temp score. Williams was also approached to write the score, but he allegedly refused because he didn't want to reuse Lalo Schifrin's theme.
  12. Yes, for a number of years it was implied that it was an album re-recording like Jaws or The Fury OSTs, but those were days when there was a lot less information and knowledge about these things. For the Dracula OST, Williams edited the film cues to give the album a symphonic suite-like form.
  13. TownerFan

    The STAR WARS Main Title

    Marty, congratulations for your podcast, which I'm thoroughly enjoying. This is the kind of in-depth musical analysis that I think is worth when discussing the work of John Williams. It's lovely to see more and more people sitting down and studying up the scores. Film music studies need people like you and I hope more will follow.
  14. TownerFan

    John Williams' Magnum Opus

    For what is worth, there was an interview with JW from 2002 or 2003 where he was asked "What is the work you'd like to be remembered for?", to which he replied something like "Probably Star Wars, but E.T. would mean even more."