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What Is The Last Score You Listened To?

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14 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

 

Different team?

 

Same guys, just mostly boring music.  Some of the stuff are new iterations of material from the original game, and that all sounds pretty cool.  The completely original material is just... forgettable.  Even after a dozen listens or so by now, i couldn't hum a bar of any of it.  No big deal, I still love the original score immensely and the DLC score lacking doesn't change that one bit

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Not exactly film scores but

 

6th Symphony by Jean Sibelius

 

The Violin Concerto (both original and final version) by Jean Sibelius

 

The Lemminkäinen Legends by Jean Sibelius

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Pollyanna by Christopher Gunning: Such a beautifully optimistic score with heartwarming melodies and lovely pastoral atmosphere written for a chamber ensemble mainly featuring piano, woodwinds and strings. At 26 minutes this soundtrack with quite a few short pieces never overstays its welcome (there is a 25 minute audio interview as a bonus track as well) as it is basically theme and variation treatment of the main music idea and it is goes through all the classic permutations from exuberant to sadness and passed through the whole ensemble. There is gentle simplicity at work here that in part makes the score so appealing and effective mirror to the story.

 

It is such an innocent and suitably child-like tune that seems to reflect the eternal optimism Pollyanna has in the story but never in my opinion gets too cloying, remaining good humored and tenderly sincere throughout. Apparently Gunning enjoyed the whole assignment immensely which perhaps further colours his music with earnestness that is still enhanced by the absolutely wonderful recording that is both crystal clear and spacious as need be bringing out all the instrumental detail in fine balance. While it is not perhaps a masterpiece it is simply old fashioned melodic orchestral scoring done with sensitivity and class that puts a smile on my face with its musical optimism.

 

And while the Caldera Records released soundtrack album might be out of print by now, I recommend getting the Chandos compilation The Film and TV Music of Christopher Gunning which features among other great pieces a terrific suite from the score, which is a perfect summation of the work.

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8 hours ago, Incanus said:

Not exactly film scores but

 

6th Symphony by Jean Sibelius

 

The Violin Concerto (both original and final version) by Jean Sibelius

 

The Lemminkäinen Legends by Jean Sibelius

There is actually an argument over at TalkClassical right now about whether it is fair to dismiss Sibelius as a film composer. 

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Listened to John Williams' War of the Worlds via YouTube and then Sleepers (a cheap copy I found from a charity shop along with LA Confidential)

 

but this week with my writing project listened a few times to Jerry Goldsmith's Players again and more I listen the more I like it. Maybe not a top 10 Goldsmith but the theme and sound of it overall chimes pleasingly. 

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10 hours ago, Incanus said:

Not exactly film scores but

 

6th Symphony by Jean Sibelius

 

The Violin Concerto (both original and final version) by Jean Sibelius

 

The Lemminkäinen Legends by Jean Sibelius

I've been listening to a lot of Sibelius lately. Do you know whose fault is that? ;)

 

Karol

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Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald by James Newton Howard

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by Cater Burwell

 

One was thoroughly underwhelming, while the other was rather lovely.

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Will delight fans of the first one and it shares its strengths and weaknesses, too. There are lively and charming moments when it really comes alive - the whimsical 'Newt and Jacob pack for Paris' in the first half, for example, where there is a musical flow beyond hitting scene transitions, but in between there is the dead weight of atmospherical filler, laborious busyness and ominous chords - often sans themes, though there are many to choose from - that do not amount to much. JNH clearly *could* but the score feels strangely skittish, with a baker's dozen of old and new themes that are not utilized and varied enough and too often have to take a backseat for the expected in-your-face grandness (huge brass chords, shouting chorus) that only from time to time honors the big promises with a memorable thematic leap or sustained set piece (mostly located in the pen-ultimate cues). Still, there is for fans of such blockbuster-y bliss a good amount of delectable material (if you have some editorial skills). Much of it has appeared in the composer's recent and older scores already - and it's probably partly the movie's fault that there's just not much wiggle room in overlong CGI scenes connected by what counts as 'character stuff' these days. At some point the franchise will have amassed enough material for one great score to emerge, though it is ludicrous how much time and effort have been wasted at this point (why does a composer have to preview dozens of themes and variations which are then only used to muted effect or fleetingly?)

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At the risk of coming off as a fanboy (which I am, but still), it ridiculously pales in comparison to just the one sample of HTTYD3 as far as fantasy adventure scoring goes. 

It's pleasant at least, but where's the majesty, the grandeur, the beauty and bravado? 

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I'm wary of hosiannas based on short samples. Neither does Powell outrun JNH professionally (one may prefer one over the other, but that's purely going by taste) and he - like Howard here - has to serve a loud blockbuster already in its third incarnation. I think that the Dragon movies are closer to a labor of love and less impersonal than 'Beasts' (the first of which i found rather insufferable) which probably makes it easier to write something emotionally satisfying but let's wait and hear, shall we?

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2 minutes ago, publicist said:

I'm wary of hosiannas based on short samples. Neither does Powell outrun JNH professionally (one may prefer one over the other, but that's purely going by taste) and he - like Howard here - has to serve a loud blockbuster already in its third incarnation. I think that the Dragon movies are closer to a labor of love and less impersonal than 'Beasts' (the first of which i found rather insufferable) which probably makes it easier to write something emotionally satisfying but let's wait and hear, shall we?

I know, I know, your logic is more than commendable....-pouts-

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The OST covers all the highlights IMO.  There are some minor things in the film not on the OST.  The sheet music leak revealed a huge amount of alternates, but we have no idea how many were actually recorded.  A future expanded edition would certainly be a 2 disc set

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10 minutes ago, kaseykockroach said:

Broughton’s got a way bigger, stronger heart worn on his sleeve.

 

I agree, although my comment was not meant to denigrate Home Alone in anyway, only to elevate Miracle!

 

 

Seriously folks.  If you aren't familiar with Bruce Broughton's score for Miracle on 34th Street from 1994.  It's truly wonderful. 

 

This is one of his greatest cues, "Bellevue Carol"

 

 

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9 minutes ago, kaseykockroach said:

(Also, holy smokes, Bellevue Carol!)

 

Right????  I feel like I harp on this every Christmas on JWFan and no one listens to me.

 

EDIT:

@kaseykockroach Check it out.  I have tried, HARD.  :lol:

 

On 11/29/2016 at 8:20 AM, Disco Stu said:

Miracle on 34th Street - Bruce Broughton. One of the best Christmas movie scores ever (minus the awful Kenny G style love theme).

On 11/29/2016 at 9:43 AM, Disco Stu said:

I highly recommend the Broughton MIRACLE ON 34th ST set for anyone who loves beautiful, Christmasy scores.  

On 12/1/2016 at 1:39 PM, Disco Stu said:

Miracle on 34th St (LLL Expansion) - Bruce Broughton

On 11/2/2017 at 11:24 AM, Disco Stu said:

LLL's fantastic release of Broughton's Miracle on 34th Street score gets a lot of play in my car at Xmas time.

On 11/28/2017 at 8:40 PM, Disco Stu said:

Miracle on 34th Street - Bruce Broughton

 

I still don't see this score talked about often enough as one of the great Christmas scores.  It's just one of the loveliest I've ever heard, wonderfully pure and genuine in its sentimentality, and beautifully detailed in its orchestrations.

 

I CANNOT SING ITS PRAISES HIGHLY ENOUGH AT THIS TIME OF YEAR.

 

Because not much of it is to be found online, I implore anyone and everyone who's the least bit curious to please listen to the cues below.   I challenge anyone who does listen to both to not want to go and order the La La Land release right away (which is still available!).

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1WItFVfrxXWIjlXIw6KMrsbU0TD8YVHzV

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Nngsr4B4SxRiqULWt-Hv5-HO8DCuvN1T

 

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1 minute ago, kaseykockroach said:

And I like the love theme! It’s cute! :P 

 

 

Well it was 2 years ago and I cared about seeming cool around here.  I love it too.

 

I like that the last quote was basically just me literally begging anyone else on the board to love this score with me :D 

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DraculaSlip_grande.jpg?v=1539714486

 

Now, Dracula. 

 

In tandem with 'The Fury' it is often cited as rare example of Williams doing (operatic) horror (leavened with romance here) and how it's a shame that he didn't do it more often. I disagree, as familiarity breeds contempt (The BFG is the most current example of that) and it's exactly that special status in the maestro's oeuvre that distinguishes both (instinct probably led him back to some of the characteristic traits in Harry Potter's darker corners). The best thing about the new Varése - lavish packaging aside - is the sound: what a relief it is to bid farewell to the awfully pinched sound of the old cd, which now sounds like a proper late 70's Tomlinson recording - thankfully the new mix leaves that sound well enough alone, only sprucing it up discreetly.

 

The old MCA release is familiar enough, so on to the stuff previously missing. While there is still a lot of riffing on Dracula's theme, some interesting things happen with (and beyond) it. 

 

1. Main Title & Storm Sequence (Film Version) 5:19 > the already released storm sequence now with the proper film opening, which gives a more thunderous reading to the second phrase of the Dracula theme, with '25. Main Title & Storm Sequence (Alternate)' featuring the old LP main title but with a shortened 50 second alternate of the rolling deep basses, ending on a sudden shock chord (different film cut?)

2. Meeting in the Cave 3:32 > Dracula 'calls' Mina from a cave after he has been shipwrecked, evocative sequence, same as CD, some orchestral detail heard for the first time here

3. A Quick Change 1:32 > film version of Dracula getting up from his coffin and attacking Renfield (introducing the curved middle part of the main theme as menacing rhythmic figure), Williams swiftly edited this together with two more cues as 'Abduction of Lucy' on the old LP

4. Dracula Appears :56 > belongs to tail end of 'Quick Change' but is interrupted by a cut to Lucy's party in the film, swirling strings illustrate the arrival of Dracula's coach, with one of the best examples of dramatic mickey-mousing ever, when the steps fall out the coach and Williams' hits each with one sinister chord from the orchestra

5. Casting a Spell and The Visitation 4:35 > Mina's 'doomed' theme is introduced when Dracula hypnotizes her, jumping to the long wordless later scene, very well shot, btw, when  Dracula crawls the walls to Mina's room to finally claim her. Obviously cut, as the cue is even longer here.

6. Give Me Your Loyalty 1:23 > the old opening of 'Abduction of Lucy' when Dracula secures Renfield's services, with a short bustling tail-end for a glimpse of village life, a rare relief from the oppressive mood of the rest.

7. Jonathan Pays a Call 3:05 > short variation of village life rhythmic figure when Harker goes to visit Dracula's castle, this is more scene-specific illustration music that could be cut.

8. For Mina 2:23 > like old cd

9 . The Dining Room 1:24 > the main love story begins here, with Kate Nelligan's Lucy visiting Dracula's spooky premises for dinner, her entrance into the great candle-lit dining room made into a show piece for product design and Williams presenting some bewitched woodwind variations of Dracula's theme before the...

10. First Kiss 2:08 > things get more urgent here, with Dracula seducing Lucy, Williams giving it a soft ostinato push midway that faintly recalls the final rescue in 'Poseidon Adventure' or 'Seven Years in Tibet' before foreboding darkness takes over.

11. Dracula Meets Van Helsing 2:44 > very well-shot scene of Olivier and Langella meeting at Mina's foggy graveyard site, scoring the count's mysterious allure with Van Helsing not-yet-able to confront his bête noire, though by now it has been established that we are dealing with an intrusion form the netherworld which Williams pinpoints from the human's POV with a sly variation on the old Dies irae chant.

12. Grave Trampling and The Asylum 1:14 > more dramatic variation of the Dies irae when a horse pinpoints a grave with an undead, sounds exciting but could be cut as this material is better dramatized in 'Van Helsing's solution' later on

13. Night Journeys (Film Version) 5:20 > the movie's set piece - it has many but this is Maurice Binder taking over, folks - when Dracula and Lucy finally make love in a montage firestorm of reds and blacks, musically walking in Wagner's footprints (Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde). Intercut with Van Helsing's group trying to find vampires underground, the scene shows Dracula entering Lucy's room and gently taking her. This happens after all elements of the story have been well established, but interestingly Williams scores Dracula's entrance like a first-time occurence, still kind of spooky but less menacing than Mina's taking, a clear sign that he intended the scene to be a stand-alone piece. Watch it with the music off, the decision to score it like that is completely arbitrary but it works! When the montage starts there is a heralding brass call magnificently announcing Lucy's abandon, the ensuing romantic chaos (Dracula's theme twists and turns like a mad eel after the 03.10 mark) resolving in a thundering Wagnerian resolution of the Dracula theme that surely belongs to the 70's most boldest scoring choices. Thus, it was replaced with '26. The Love Scene (Extended Version) 4:40', though leaving the first part of version 1 intact for the movie - Williams wrote a more sweetly romantic opening (clearly citing Wagner) - and replacing the later half with a more straightforward reading of the main theme. 

14. Mina Impaled 1:47 > When the undead Mina is found in the mine shaft underneath the asylum, she dies through her father's hands in a rather violent scene which Williams scores with cool 70's staccato piano (the opening of 'Bat Attack')

15. Van Helsing Confronts Dracula 3:16 > more of 'Dracula Meets Van Helsing', not a terribly important cue on its own

16. Van Helsing’s Solution 3:07 > elaboration of the Dies irae material for Mina's flogging and mayhem at the asylum

17. Into the Crypt 2:20 > more spooky graveyard music, cut from the movie - though it is one of the rare instances that refrains from using Dracula's theme, it is not terribly necessary

18. The Attack 1:25 > second part of the old MCA 'Bat Attack', probably best enjoyed in that cut.

19. The Night Visitor 2:17 > rising dramatic cue for pre-vampire Lucy trying to seduce Harker, on the old MCA probably by virtue of being one of the few Dracula-less bits

20. Waiting for Dracula 2:32 > chilly shots of the asylum on the cliffs at dawn with Dracula in wolf-ish form approaching, with a cool watching-and-waiting variation on his theme before... 

21. The Capture of Lucy 3:04 > more dramatic urgency after Dracula kills Renfield and breaks through the walls of Lucy's cell, taking her in his arms through the misty woods to escape with the help of a quintessential Williams brass fanfare playing counter to Dracula's theme (again!)

22. To Scarborough (Film Version) 2:48 > another Williams stable, the self-contained scherzo for a coach hunt. This is the MCA version in vastly better sound and a few seconds of overlaid organ chords to punctuate some action shots of Van Helsing and Harker in fast pursuit of Dracula's coach.

23. Dracula’s Death (Extended Version) 4:04 > more elaborate version of the finale on the ship to Varna, with a middle part cut from the MCA album that includes the killing of Van Helsing. In truth, the cut helps the cue as it goes straight to the chase with the rolling basses after 01:31 finishing Dracula off when he is hauled out into the sun and the score desperately fights with him before a broad rising brass gesture closes the chapter.

24. End Titles 3:32 > no big late 70's picture could do without: like so many Williams'ses from this period, this coda is the final say on the main theme with its hands-down best reading, first as plaintive oboe solo as Dracula's coat flaps over the sea, then as full-blown string adagio before quietly dying down on the oboe again. 

 

And thus, this adventure long in the making i finally over. And it seemed worth the wait. If you can't stand Dracula's theme, this release still isn't for you...

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I'd already forgotten how similar The Desert cue on TGtBatU soundtrack is to some of The Hateful 8 stuff and how Morricone quotes Eine kleine Nachtmusik in Giu' la testa:D

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