El Jefe

What Is The Last Score You Listened To?

26088 posts in this topic

I know I've said this before, but for some reason the SWoN main theme sounds to me like something Giacchino would write if he did an Olympic piece.

John- who doesn't listen to that nearly often enough

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Music of America John Williams: For a long time John Williams fan this compilation treads much of the familiar territory but there are a couple of nice exceptions, namely the Air and Simple Gifts and Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha for Cello and Orchestra. Those alone were for me worth the price of this set. The selection is a combination of Williams celebratory pieces, concert works and film scores, all conducted by the Maestro himself but as I said the material has been released before on many different CDs by the Sony Classical label. For those who are only beginning to get to know Williams' wide reportoire and range as a composer this would be an ideal starting point. And it offers a nice listening experiece for those who already know his works and indeed own most of this music on other releases. I was once again reminded of how powerful and dynamic Summon the Heroes is, practically putting you in the Olympic mood the instant you hear the opening salvo of brass. The wonderful Song for World Peace that begins tenderly and meditatively on noble horns and strings passing the motivic phrase around the orchestra and then growing into this heartwarming soaring and indeed ennobling finale. The majesty and mystery of the Five Sacred Trees concerto and the collection of some of the most brilliant and emotional film music ever written, performed by the world class orchestras here. Even though it sounds quite satisfying and magnificent I wish Sony would focus on releasing all new recordings on single or multiple CD releases instead of re-selling the same performances over and over no matter how good they are and adding two or three new pieces as a carrot for the people who have most of the music already.

Empire of the Sun by John Williams: The score for Spielberg's first drama is a genuine gem of a score that in my opinion deserves a complete release. It is an interesting piece of music as it is both typical and atypical for Williams. It is thematic but very subtly so. And on the other hand most of the album presentation is built upon individual setpiece tracks with very few whisps of themes appearing to tie them together. And what's more interesting is how deeply this music is ingrained into the psychology of the film, offering the main character's view of the world in all its nuances. Nearly every track of the album seems to reflect Jim's reactions or view of the world crumbling around him as his happy innocent schoolboy life if transformed into a nightmarish journey of survival that finally leads him to his parents and safety.

In prototypical fashion Williams crafts a wonderful main theme for the movie that reflects Jim's dreams and spiritual life. It can be most prominently heard in Cadillac of the Skies which underscores Jim's exsultant reaction to an American fighter plane while he is in captitivy of a Japanese concentration camp. This same theme appears in Toy Planes, Home and Hearth and No Road Home/Seeing the Bomb on the album. Williams reserves it for the most important scenes in the film from Jim's point of view. And I have to mention the concert version of this theme which Williams recorded several years later with Boston Pops (the Spielberg/Williams Collaboration album) is a stunning piece, incidentally found on the above mentioned The Music of a America set, titled also Cadillac of the Skies but it further develops the thematic material to a heavenly orchestral and choral piece.

The score is also curious in that it develops or references source material in almost thematic fashion. The piece opening the OST album, Suo Gan a traditional Welsh lullaby, becomes a sort of symbol of hearth and home and especially mother and safety in the film as it opens and closes the film respectively. Similarly the character of Jim's mother is musically depicted by the classical piano pieces as they are the enduring memory that Jim carries around with him, his mother playing the piano. This often ghostly piano music is featured on the OST album on two tracks Toy Planes, Home and Hearth and The Return to the City but in the film there are a couple of other instances that these musical references can be heard.

And the most noticeable musical element in the whole score is the choir and more precisely a boys' choir. The film infact opens with Jim at a church, singing Suo Gan as a soloist in a such choir. Williams has translated this into writing for boys' choir as he depicts Jim's experiences as if the music is springing from the boy's mind, from his experience and musical world. The score is littered with choral moments and the most beautiful sections of it feature the choir. It sings the amazement, joy, horror, anguish and sadness of this boy thrust suddenly into a completely unfamiliar, foreign and hostile world where he still finds his way through his childish optimism. It becomes a thematic element of its own besides the main theme which utilizes the choir. This music culminates in Jim finding his parents and on the OST album Williams presents first the Liberation: Exsultate Justi a short burst of jubilant choral chanting as American soldiers free the camp the boy is living in and then finally expands this idea in the end credits which is called Exsultate Justi on the album. The Latin choral piece celebrates the end of Jim's ordeal and his return home to his parents. I think Williams still illustrates Jim's musical world here, perhaps Jim has sung this kind of music with his choir and this is what he literally hears in his head when he is rescued. More than anything the choir illustrates Jim's spirit in different ways as can be heard in e.g. Imaginary Air Battle, The Return to the City and The Streets of Shanghai.

The individual setpieces are superb scoring and work very well on their own to evoke different moods and emotions. Lost in the Crowd is filled with tension, back and forth tugging orchestral forces just like a heaving mass of a panicking crowd, the music depicting Jim's fear and the horror of being separated from his parents, escalating until forceful jabs from the brass underscored by the cymbals cut clear the musical mass and flow into an uncomfortable drone.

Jim's New Life presents a wonderful optimistic scherzo for the main character who seemingly unaware of his prison camp surroundings hurries through the barrack grounds running errands.

The Streets of Shanghai is the only actual action cue of the whole movie where panicked Jim is running from a Chinese boy through the sidestreets of Shanghai. The music is precursor to Williams' action style of the 90's and is somewhere between Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Jurassic Park. It begins with a choir passage but suddenly builds to a furious full orchestral dash peppered by percussion and low register piano.

The Pheasant Hunt is one of the few ethnic cues from the film, atmospheric, featuring percussion and shakuhachi flute interspersed with few orchestral passages mainly adding tension and lending Japanese colour to the scene where Jim goes on a hunting trip beyond the prison camp fence.

The Empire of the Sun is a wonderful and nuanced score and might be less hummable or immediately accessible than Williams' classic efforts but still I rank it very high amoung my favourites. It contains some of the most beautiful choral passages the composer has ever created and despite claims that it is a disconnected listening experience I think it forms a wonderful musical world of its own.

Great post, as always, Mikko :lol: Though I wouldn't call Empire of the Sun Spielberg's first drama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been listening to Mask of the Phantasm some more. So good.

I was surprised to see none other than Hans Zimmer credited as a synthesist in the booklet credits.

Guess Begins wasn't the first Batman score he worked on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been listening to Mask of the Phantasm some more. So good.

I was surprised to see none other than Hans Zimmer credited as a synthesist in the booklet credits.

Guess Begins wasn't the first Batman score he worked on.

Is that on the OST? Because I have the complete release and I don't remember that being in the notes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Titus by Elliot Goldenthal

Listening to this made me realize that we need Elliot Goldenthal to come back to film scoring.

Crash by Mark Isham

For a non-budget score this is pretty good. Too long album, but really fine. Unless you can't tolerate anything un-orchestral, that is. They could use Isham a bit more too in mainstream.

And I have also been listening to quite a lot of Howard Shore lately. The Silence of the Lambs, The Aviator, SUN, some parts of LOTR. And even his latest The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. This last one is a disappointment of sorts, of course. But if you realize that it never was to be a LOTR-kind of epic, it makes for a quite a strong score. If anything, it feels more at home in its film than the previous two.

Karol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

COS. For me, it's easily the score with the biggest discrepancy between how much I enjoy it in the film and how much I enjoy it on the album. It makes me even more annoyed with the film, but the OST is pretty well put together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Vampire Lovers - Harry Robinson

Sinuous and slithery. Wonderfully gothic music for Halloween time. I freakin' love Hammer. I had to look everywhere for a copy of this as it is OOP. If anyone else is looking for one at retail, Creepy Classics is the place to go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Titus by Elliot Goldenthal

Listening to this made me realize that we need Elliot Goldenthal to come back to film scoring.

Really? I certainly think Goldenthal is amazing and needs to be more prolific, but I wouldn't choose this as an example of why. It's so choppy. It goes from epic to sad to just unsettlingly strange in such a short time. Probably my least favorite Goldenthal work. Parts of it are still wonderful, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Listening to CutThroat Island. I'm enjoying it more than I often have in the past...although I've always appreciated the score's pure orchestral sensibilities, it always tended to overwhelm me with its unrelenting enthusiasm. For whatever reason, I'm having an easier time handling the overdose of boisterous swashbuckling rhythms. It helps that I took the complete soundtrack and whittled it into a playlist that mimics the OST...this is one case in which I'd usually rather listen to an abridged "listening experience." (But I don't regret buying the complete soundtrack...it's much easier to make it shorter than longer. That's what she said.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear.

Good. You put wonderful in the same sentence as that score. Having never seen the flick, I wasn't sure if the score was worth the $2 I paid for it used the other day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Listening to CutThroat Island. I'm enjoying it more than I often have in the past...although I've always appreciated the score's pure orchestral sensibilities, it always tended to overwhelm me with its unrelenting enthusiasm. For whatever reason, I'm having an easier time handling the overdose of boisterous swashbuckling rhythms. It helps that I took the complete soundtrack and whittled it into a playlist that mimics the OST...this is one case in which I'd usually rather listen to an abridged "listening experience."

Yea, for me I also generally prefer the OST over the Complete for this one score.... the Complete just seems to be a little too long to take in. At least for now. Maybe if I ever see the movie again I'd change my mind.

(But I don't regret buying the complete soundtrack...it's much easier to make it shorter than longer. That's what she said.)

ROTFLMAO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Titus by Elliot Goldenthal

Listening to this made me realize that we need Elliot Goldenthal to come back to film scoring.

Really? I certainly think Goldenthal is amazing and needs to be more prolific, but I wouldn't choose this as an example of why. It's so choppy. It goes from epic to sad to just unsettlingly strange in such a short time. Probably my least favorite Goldenthal work. Parts of it are still wonderful, however.

Well, the film is quite extreme. But there is some logic behind all this. Basically, Goldenthal did the similar thing to what he's done previously with Interview with a Vampire. He a associated particular genres of music with generations of characters (in Interview it illustrates the passage of time). In the film it makes perfect sense.

Karol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the film is quite extreme. But there is some logic behind all this. Basically, Goldenthal did the similar thing to what he's done previously with Interview with a Vampire. He a associated particular genres of music with generations of characters (in Interview it illustrates the passage of time). In the film it makes perfect sense.

I suppose that's true, but the same could be said about Brokeback Mountain, and I hate Brokeback Mountain... I find myself more concerned with how much I like music rather than how well it fits the subject matter which is still important.

Good. You put wonderful in the same sentence as that score. Having never seen the flick, I wasn't sure if the score was worth the $2 I paid for it used the other day.

Definitely! "Louis' Revenge" is amazing. The album is a bit repetitive, but if you ignore that, it's very enjoyable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

It's not as wild in its contrasts as Batman Forever - and I consider that one of his best scores, in a totally insane way. I like Titus a lot, though not quite as much as many others - for a long time at least, it seemed to be the most popular of all Goldenthal scores. My personal favourite remains Sphere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

It's not as wild in its contrasts as Batman Forever - and I consider that one of his best scores, in a totally insane way. I like Titus a lot, though not quite as much as many others - for a long time at least, it seemed to be the most popular of all Goldenthal scores. My personal favourite remains Sphere.

My vote goes to In Dreams!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I first saw Interview with the Vampire years ago on VHS, I was a big Batman fan. The music reminded me of the first two Batmans. Then he ended up doing the next couple movies. I liked his scores.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

It's not as wild in its contrasts as Batman Forever - and I consider that one of his best scores, in a totally insane way. I like Titus a lot, though not quite as much as many others - for a long time at least, it seemed to be the most popular of all Goldenthal scores. My personal favourite remains Sphere.

I should check out his Batman scores. I'm not familiar with either, but it seemed like an opportunity for him to stretch his weirdness.

Sphere is really awesome. I haven't watched the film to compare the album and film. Does it cover most of the score?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

It's not as wild in its contrasts as Batman Forever - and I consider that one of his best scores, in a totally insane way. I like Titus a lot, though not quite as much as many others - for a long time at least, it seemed to be the most popular of all Goldenthal scores. My personal favourite remains Sphere.

My vote goes to In Dreams!

Mine would be Michael Collins, trully one of the great scores of the 90's.

I also love Sphere, but I'm very curious about all the missing music. I don't remember much from the movie, but is the quality consistent with what we have on cd?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would I be correct in saying the end of the Michael Collins score is reused from the unused end to Heat? I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere. Heat's awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed it is, just with different orchestration. And thank God for that too, such a stunning piece could not go to waste

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think he does that very often. Alien 3 generally keeps to strange while Interview with the Vampire is a wonderful mixture of sadness and fear. However, Titus's shift of tones feels uncharacteristic for even Goldenthal.

It's not as wild in its contrasts as Batman Forever - and I consider that one of his best scores, in a totally insane way. I like Titus a lot, though not quite as much as many others - for a long time at least, it seemed to be the most popular of all Goldenthal scores. My personal favourite remains Sphere.

My vote goes to In Dreams!

Mine would be Michael Collins, trully one of the great scores of the 90's.

I also love Sphere, but I'm very curious about all the missing music. I don't remember much from the movie, but is the quality consistent with what we have on cd?

I actually personally know one of the horn players that has performed in several Goldenthal recordings (his son is in the marching band that I'm assistant director for), including Sphere, Interview, Across the Universe, and Michael Collins, amongst quite a few other film scores and Broadway cast recordings. He had great things to say about Michael Collins in particular. I agree, it really is a great score!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote goes to In Dreams!

Good one!

Sphere is really awesome. I haven't watched the film to compare the album and film. Does it cover most of the score?

I've seen the film several times and never really noticed much music missing. But I've read several times that about half the score (!?) is missing on the album, and apparently that's supposed to include great material. I think there were some strange circumstances about the scoring sessions which lead to two separate sets of tracks for which re-use fees would have to be paid separately, so they could only afford to pick one set?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alien Resurrection

LLL's presentation drags a bit in a few of the longer tracks, but apart from that, a really nice 90 mins of listening.

Lost: The Final Season

Superb, and I haven't even got to the Ab Aeterno material yet, which is my favourite of the whole show. The Last Episodes disc (on its way) should be good.

Legend of the Guardians

An amazing score by Hirschfelder. I love the theme, and the battle cue in particular is my favourite piece of film music right now.

I've seen the film several times and never really noticed much music missing. But I've read several times that about half the score (!?) is missing on the album, and apparently that's supposed to include great material. I think there were some strange circumstances about the scoring sessions which lead to two separate sets of tracks for which re-use fees would have to be paid separately, so they could only afford to pick one set?

I think Filmtracks mentions that some was recorded in NYC and some in L.A., so they didn't release/pay fees for anything recorded in L.A.

Same reason, I believe, why none of the final battle music from The Mummy Returns is on album. That section was recorded in L.A., rather then London and they didn't want to pay the fees.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Mummy Returns, they had a deadline to meet as far as preparing the music for a soundtrack release. So Silvestri and co had to deliver what they had recorded. I believe the final part of the film wouldn't be ready under the allotted time they had to record in England, so they finished in L.A.

A similar thing happened with the original Tomorrow Never Dies album. They needed to get the album out on a certain date so Arnold provided them with what they had recorded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally got around to listening to my copy of LLL's Alien Resurrection. Much thanks to those who recommended it! I actually love it. Has a lot of great melody, and fun action music. Too bad the movie is such a shit-fest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now listening to Bicentennial Man. I really like this score. I know of numerous passages that Horner either stole from earlier works or later stole in subsequent works, but since this was one of the first Horner scores I got into, I can still really enjoy it for what it is. Very moving, very lush, very appropriate to the film. Incidentally, of all the film scores I play on piano when I visit home, this is the one my mother likes the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Mummy Returns, they had a deadline to meet as far as preparing the music for a soundtrack release. So Silvestri and co had to deliver what they had recorded. I believe the final part of the film wouldn't be ready under the allotted time they had to record in England, so they finished in L.A.

Also if you'll notice for the complete score for The Mummy Returns the pieces that were recorded in L.A. you can definitely hear it was recorded in a different studio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Mummy Returns, they had a deadline to meet as far as preparing the music for a soundtrack release. So Silvestri and co had to deliver what they had recorded. I believe the final part of the film wouldn't be ready under the allotted time they had to record in England, so they finished in L.A.

Also if you'll notice for the complete score for The Mummy Returns the pieces that were recorded in L.A. you can definitely hear it was recorded in a different studio.

...and probably with a different orchestra. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's pretty much the final battle once they get in the temple. The orchestra sound is much smaller. I don't know if it's due to the size or the way the score was recorded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, it's pretty much the final battle once they get in the temple. The orchestra sound is much smaller. I don't know if it's due to the size or the way the score was recorded.

It could have something to do with the size of the studio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

I wish I liked the prequels as much as this. That last track is an absolute classic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now