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Elliot Goldenthal

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Would someone care to educate me on Elliot Goldenthal's work? I own and have heard several of his scores, but I get the feeling I'm missing a lot of good work on his part.

I was just listening to Michael Collins again, one of my favorite scores of the 90's, a fantastic album from begining to end, and a score that supports it's film admirably. A gorgeous score, a full-blooded orchestral work, one that fully embraces it's Irish setting, yet never seems to become to stereotyped. All the ethnic insturment parts are pure Goldenthal. It's got a lovely love theme, and is also a great example of how to use a vocalist on a soundtrack- Sinead O'Connor adds an ethereal, timeless quality to the proceedings, and blends into the score (the wistful "She Moved Through the Fair" is a highlight).

Listening to such a satisfying score, I really feel like I should get to know Goldenthal better. I own Cobb, which is a terrific, dramatic and engaging score, and Final Fantasy, which has some remarkable set-pieces. Frida, I think is a bit overrated, but it is a good score. I also have A Time to Kill...but it kind of freaked me out the first time around. I'll give it another listen.

I would appreciate any opinions/recommendations (yes, yes, I know I must get Titus).

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Elliot Goldenthal is one of the very few current film composers I actually really like. But strangely, I tend to prefer his concert music. "Othello" is highly recommended!

As far as scores, I've always thought "Sphere" has some quite nice moments, as does "Interview with the Vampire".

(And of course "Titus" :D )

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Interview with the Vampire is great, contains great themes (lovely piano theme on the 4th track. Goldenthal does write wonderfully for piano). Batman Forever is great fun and good compilation of Goldenthalisms. Batman and Robin is in every sense a sequel score, and it really does advance a lot of the ideas from the previous score. Alien 3 is bit hard to get into, but it is very rewaring once you do, but you should expect a lot sonorites like Tocatta and Dreamscapes from Final Fantasy.

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Final Fantasy

Interview With a Vampire

Heat

Titus GET IT!

Frida is not that overrated

Alien 3 (Perhaps controversial, but I like it a lot)

Oh and Othello I wouldn't bother with, it's pretty run of the mill.

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ALIEN3 (to the power of 3 or cubed in some US circles) I think brought Goldenthal to everyone's attention. I have stated before that TITUS, in my opinion, is one of the best scores he has ever composed. I thoroughly enjoyed GOLDEN GATE which I listened to again recently. Ah yes MICHAEL COLLINS, the quinessential Corkman from Ireland. The location of his assassination (Beal na Blath) is not too far from where I am currently located under a chin of secrecy. Track 18 - Michael Collins - "Funeral/Coda" is a real stand-out and deservedly earned Elliot his second Oscar nomination.

As for his concert works, try and get his VIETNAM ORATARIO (Sony Classical), the ballet OTHELLO (Varese), JUAN DARIEN (Sony Classical), THE GREEN BIRD (DRG Records). I recently downloaded his Quintet in 3 movements from iTunes.

Why have you foresaken us, Elliot? We have forgiven you for S.W.A.T.!!!!

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But strangely, I tend to prefer his concert music. "Othello" is highly recommended!

I'm still kicking myself for not immediately buying Fire, Water, Paper when I saw it in a store a couple of years ago - haven't been able to find a copy since. And I still find it quite difficult to get into most of Juan Darién. But I've always wanted to pick up Othello - should I get the CD or the DVD (I think there is one?), or both?

Anyway, my comments on some Goldenthal scores (in alphabetical order, as listed by Amarok):

Alien³ - Certainly a more demanding listen, but also one of his best scores. Not the Goldenthal disc I play most often, but when I do, it's very good.

Batman Forever - The most insanely over-the-top bombast score, and in all the right ways. Combines a huge post-Wagner size orchestra with wild dance rhythms. Brilliant.

Cobb - Has some great stuff, plus Goldenthal is singing.

Demolition Man - Early, not particularly noteworthy in any regard, but still enjoyable once in a while.

Final Fantasy - Big, but also with plenty of complex moody parts. One of his best - and an awesome song!

Frida - I like it a lot. Not his best, but good enough to make me happy he won an Oscar for it.

In Dreams - A bit more in the brooding Alien³ vein. Deaf Elk guitars with saxophone and string quartet. Quite cool, when you're up to it.

Interview With the Vampire - Classic Goldenthal, plenty of dances and thrills, and mostly quite easy on the ears. A good starter score for Goldenthal newbies. Enjoyable Stones cover by Guns N'Roses at the end.

Michael Collins - I don't play it often enough. Some great thrills, lovely Irish bits and nice performances by Sinead O' Connor.

Sphere - My favourite. Quite a bit in the Final Fantasy vein, though not quite as huge. Still has all the bits Goldenthal is best at, romantic minimalism paired with frenzied action writting. All Iwataki-recorded Goldenthal scores sound terrific, but this one has some extra kicks.

S.W.A.T. - Nothing particularly noteworthy, but some nice moments. Blend of loud orchestral action and heavy metal guitars.

The Butcher Boy - One of my favourites. Completely over the top in a weird way. Hilarious mock-variation on Für Elise and a brilliantly queer title track based on variations of the traditional The Butcher Boy - which gets a lovely rendition by Sinead O' Connor in the final track.

The Good Thief - Uhm... I admit I've had a CDR of it for a couple of years and only listened to it once or twice. Can't recall anything. Should listen to it again, hopefully like it and pick up an original copy.

Titus - I'm not quite as big a fan of it as some others, but it's still one of his better scores. Wild mix of styles, with big, dissonant choral pieces. A more serious cousin of Batman Forever, perhaps, but I enjoy the masterful mindlessness of that one.

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Michael Collins - I don't play it often enough. Some great thrills, lovely Irish bits and nice performances by Sinead O' Connor.

All I'll say to you is "MACUSHLA". :D

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Othello. You can't go wrong with this one. Probably his best work and the least disjointed (which is the with his compositions only problem).

Apart from that, just get everything you can get!

Karol

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I still haven't listened to the whole of "Grendel", only the first few tracks everytime I started... Perhaps I should tackle those one at a time... the recording quality doesn't really help, though, even though it's not terrible. It's time for an official release (ideally on DVD).

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I still haven't listened to the whole of "Grendel", only the first few tracks everytime I started... Perhaps I should tackle those one at a time...

I've listened to it once or twice. I only remember liking it, nothing more specific, that's why I didn't mention it above.

the recording quality doesn't really help, though, even though it's not terrible.

I was surprised how good it sounds, actually. Not great, but perfectly acceptable.

It's time for an official release (ideally on DVD).

That it is.

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I was listening to Michael Collins the other day, and then Corigliano's Music From The Edge...it made me realize how much I miss Goldenthal's voice.

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Yeah, he's great. Apparently, he's working all the time. But not in what we call mainstream. There are some theater projects he's involved in. I think he considers himself to be a film composer among other things. Pity, because Goldenthal scores films in a very unique way.

Oh, It was great to meet him last year. And to listen to some of his music played live. Which is quite something, I might add.

Karol

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Sorry, I resurrect this old thread to ask where is this wonderful composer?

Why doesn't he score any films? is it his own choice or else's?

Lately I haven't heard anything from him, but within the last few years he did score PUBLIC ENEMIES. I almost bought the cd, but there wasn't much music by Goldenthal on it, so I passed. Music worked great in the film though

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One of the major holy grails still left for me is a complete release of "Sphere". It was horribly represented on album, apparently due to it being scored by two different locations for some reason, so only the half of the score composed by one of them ended up on the CD (someone please correct me if I am wrong or elaborate). There are some MAJOR tracks missing from all over the film. A lot of people said it sounded like Alien 3-lite, but I have to disagree completely. I think it's a much better and listenable score than Alien 3, and has far more bombastic and interesting highlights. Sadly, it's Varèse owned, so that means slim-to-none chance of a complete release any time soon...

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I've never heard that score, but would definitely buy it if it ever was to come out complete. I'm loving the bit you posted.

Karol

oh, you can buy the album too, it's a great score!! ;)

The perfect composer for Man Of Steel (amongst other films).

Completely agree! It would be most interesting to see what a composer with deep knowledge of music would come up with!

(another one that i would pick, although seems like out of his field: Abel Korzeniowski!)

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It was horribly represented on album, apparently due to it being scored by two different locations for some reason, so only the half of the score composed by one of them ended up on the CD (someone please correct me if I am wrong or elaborate).

Sphere was recorded in Los Angeles and New York - the album includes material from the NY sessions. Releasing additional material from the LA sessions would have reset the re-use fee clock resulted in massive expense.

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I've never heard that score, but would definitely buy it if it ever was to come out complete. I'm loving the bit you posted.

Sphere is fantastic. Still my favourite Goldenthal, as I stated above 6 years ago. I like the film, despite it's utter disregard of the novel's logic, but I can never remember the material missing from the CD.

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I've never heard that score, but would definitely buy it if it ever was to come out complete. I'm loving the bit you posted.

Sphere is fantastic. Still my favourite Goldenthal, as I stated above 6 years ago. I like the film, despite it's utter disregard of the novel's logic, but I can never remember the material missing from the CD.

I can't either, but the material that is on the CD is fantastic and heartbreakingly beautiful in places.

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Nothing more to add except I love Elliot Goldenthal and miss his big scores. I believe he has health issues that prevent him from the grueling film scoring schedule of mainstraim films which he always contributed memorable scores. I too want a complete score of Sphere.

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Sorry, I resurrect this old thread to ask where is this wonderful composer?

Why doesn't he score any films? is it his own choice or else's?

Not to "tout my own horn", but I recommend you to listen to my two interviews with him (in 2010 and 2012, respectively), where he talks about some of those issues:

http://montages.no/2011/11/filmfrelst-79-intervju-elliot-goldenthal/ (starts about 10 minutes in)

http://montages.no/2012/06/pauseprat-med-elliot-goldenthal/

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thank you Thor. I listened to the first.

I'm not sure if he answered there about what i asked.

Was it that he feels more comfortable and likes more concert music? Didn't get all..

By the way, I was wondering If I am the only one that doesn't like Frida, and thinks that other scores of his deserved an Oscar much more than this.

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By the way, I was wondering If I am the only one that doesn't like Frida, and thinks that other scores of his deserved an Oscar much more than this.

I agree with the second part, but not with the first part. I like the score a lot. Just goes to show how great some of his other scores are.

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thank you Thor. I listened to the first.

I'm not sure if he answered there about what i asked.

Was it that he feels more comfortable and likes more concert music? Didn't get all..

By the way, I was wondering If I am the only one that doesn't like Frida, and thinks that other scores of his deserved an Oscar much more than this.

FRIDA is wonderful, although it took me some time to get used to the idiom.

In the first interview, he talks a bit about not wanting to do action movies anymore, instead focussing on smaller projects. He didn't admit that his accident had anything to do with the decline in work, but that is my suspicion. In both interviews, he also talks a bit about future plans. In the second interview, he finally broke the news about an upcoming recording of GRENDEL, for example. Goldenthal is a bit of a challenging interview object, because his mind goes in different ways and it's not always easy to get him back on track. In the second interview, I had to interupt him repeatedly. But it allows for entertainment, that's for sure! :)

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well, i guess I am not very objective about Frida, because i don't like guitar (it's my least favourite instrument), and I don't like mexican music..

By the way, i haven't heard any of his post-Frida film works.

Is there anything exceptional?

I have kind of stuck in the old ones which I love.

And i didn't really like the theme or genre of these new movies, that's why I didn't listen to the scores too.

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well, i guess I am not very objective about Frida, because i don't like guitar (it's my least favourite instrument), and I don't like mexican music..

By the way, i haven't heard any of his post-Frida film works.

Is there anything exceptional?

I have kind of stuck in the old ones which I love.

And i didn't really like the theme or genre of these new movies, that's why I didn't listen to the scores too.

He hasn't really done a lot of work since FRIDA.

THE GOOD THIEF is a brilliant album that mixes source music with score beautifully, just as with HEAT.

SWAT is a cool action score -- probably the closest EG has been to a more commercial idiom. Unfortunately, I think it may have been the film that weaned him off action films forever.

I love the brief score bits on ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, but they were sadly not on the album. I also like some of the Beatles arrangements he did.

PUBLIC ENEMIES has its values, but it's not an album I return to very often.

Goldenthal pulled up and gave me a promo copy of THE TEMPEST himself, but I haven't listened to it very much. 2-3 times. It's occasionally quite demanding, and a bit of a return to his more artsy roots (some of it could have been for a stage production), but also gets FINAL FANTASY-type epic in a few tracks. I have hopes that this will grow on me eventually.

As long as we're talking about EG wishes, I do have some I wish a get a release (as a completist):

FOOL'S FIRE

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

GRAND ISLE

ROSWELL

BATMAN & ROBIN

VOICES (a lot of it is Peter Warlock arrangements, though)

BLANK GENERATION

COCAINE COWBOYS

The early student films

PLUS a whole bunch of concert works, of course, especially from the 80's.

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Surprised you hadn't realized that. It's discussed quite often.

The only thing that's been legally released is a suite on the song compilation, and it was entirely music from Batman Forever.

MV has posted many times on the FSM boards that he'd love to release it, but there are huge legal hurdles to get through and it seems like it will be impossible.

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Surprised you hadn't realized that. It's discussed quite often.

The only thing that's been legally released is a suite on the song compilation, and it was entirely music from Batman Forever.

MV has posted many times on the FSM boards that he'd love to release it, but there are huge legal hurdles to get through and it seems like it will be impossible.

Well, whenever this is discussed, i always thought that everyone is talking about a complete official release, not an actual album release.

I thought an album existed! :mrgreen:

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