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What Is The Last Score You Listened To?

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1 hour ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

Should have added Nightmare at 20,000 Feet for the plane ride.

Haha. I did actually listen to Shirley Walker's Turbulence on the plane and a bit of Die Hard 2 as well. That is clearly asking for trouble. ūüėā

 

Karol

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On 11/5/2018 at 4:04 PM, John said:

Star Wars, by John Williams :music:

 

This score doesn't have an ounce of fat on it. Near perfect in every way.

 

Did they track in any of Jabba's music for his cameo in Docking Bay 94 for the 1997 Special Edition movie? I know it wasn't on the album. That'd be your only fat... 

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HPJW+set+01+Stone+cover+HQ.jpg

 

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE (Philosopher's, from here on)

 

At 2.5 hours, it's less a soundtrack release than a toolbox for Potter (or Williams) fans to build their own entry into the wizardring world of Harry Potter. And probably better off that way, as the film soundtrack tends to highlight the weaknesses of director Chris Columbus' club-footed ersatz-Spielberg style (a staple of the 'Home Alone' movies). In Columbus's hands, the whole idea of a muggle and a wizard world goes right out of the window: everything is overdone in a plush, overdecorated Dickensian storybook style and the comic buffonery of the early scenes doesn't feel much different from a visit to a troll bank or the eccentric wizard school personal.

 

And it's especially in that crucial first quarter where Williams is the final nail in the movie's coffin, with an endless supply of bumbling menace and whimsical, prancing celeste/woodwind runs right out of his old Nutcracker playbook leavened with the macabre shadings of the omnipresent main theme (drawn from Hook and Home Alone, but based on classical repertoire, like Saint-Saens' Danse Macabre or Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain). After that heavy bit of telegraphing and editorializing - with Columbus's camera lovingly holding every shot 5 seconds longer than it needs to be - the score picks up when we finally arriving at Hogwarts. Here the music thankfully gets more varied, and betrays a harmonically more adventurous drive more in line with the maestro's later works. 

 

Among the many gifts that the soundtrack album only fleetingly granted us are a floating women's chorus (i. e. in Introduction To Quidditch), the cute school song, more of the spooky/ghostly christmas and library music, the murky, dissonant Dark Forest/Chess Game material and the sinister Stone motif, probably the biggest imprint for the movie series next to the main theme (it's the one motif next to the theme flexible enough that it could have worked for Voldemort's threat right to the end).

 

The movie aside - and the score's familiarity - one thing that needs to be acknowledged is the splendor of it all: even more than in Williams' more celebrated earlier works, the first Potter is an exercise in the fine art of orchestration. It's as if Williams pulled out all stops here and did his best Prokoviev/Tchaikovski/Britten etc. impression (it's much less childish than, say, Hook). In that sense, Potter I is a real textbook example of this style, done in a more sophisticated way than the 70's/80's (it's a far cry from the rough and tumble Star Wars).

 

So given its origin it must be said that as orchestral work it's remarkable, as music for film less so. In that context, it's remarkable how much discipline Cuaron demands - and gets - from the composer only 3 years after. No rousing finishs and orchestral showpieces for their own sake, no bloated overscoring - ironically making for a work that's harder to digest but imho richer as a listening experience.

 

Still, HPPS still rates a pretty high 4/5 in my book. It's virtues are too many to concentrate on the flaws.

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Yeah that's true the film is really overscored in the first act with Hedwig's thene a constant presence. And yes, it does take off once they reach Hogwarts.

 

Overall this score still flows the best out of the three even if it might not be my favourite musically. Azkaban is the exact opposite.

 

Speaking of Hedwig's theme I always preferred the teaser trailer version. That abandoned middle section is the best bit. Shame they don't perform that as a concert suite.

 

Karol

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:music: Creed and Creed II by Ludwig Goransson. Now this is how you do sequels/reboots to popular series. It's a nice extension of what Bill Conti did in old films but updated for modern audiences. It's not quite unlike John Powell's Solo. Pay homage but don't copy. The two scores are largely built on the phenomenal main theme that consists of no fewer than threr sections. It's one of the best new themes penned for any film this decade and Goransson demonstrates as well how malleable his material can be. The first score is very much a slow build towards grandiose statements of the final act. The theme in its fullest form is full of adrenaline-pumping energy and testosterone. It's written for someone who tries to prove something.

 

That is why when you first listen to the second album you might think it's the weaker listen. But the story arc in that story is bit different and so Goransson adapts it to a more introspective and lonely fashion. It also regains some of its glory in the final act...but this time the denouement is calmer and, again, introspective. Creed is a wiser and more character mature now. It's excellently executed musical arc. The subsequent listens reveal a lot of the detail.

 

Another attraction of the second score is also Drago's theme. Grandiose Russian melodies are a bit of a cliché in film scoring but it fits this particular context quite well and actually gives those characters a bit of heart. I love how those two big themes clash in the final cues. Bill Conti material is used quite sparingly but that underscores Rocky's more personal battkes quite well. It's used in the faded and nostalgic way and works brilliantly.

 

With these two scores, Goransson proves that you don't have to choose between the good old days of long lined melody and the propulsive ostinato-driven adrenaline of modern blockbusters. The scores merge the cliche of the type of music you'd hear in boxing match TV promos with the good old fashioned emotions. On top if that, the use of songs is quite interesting as well as they are not separate entities and coexist quite seamlessly with the score and are its integral part. This is such an intelligent way of doing that.

 

So yeah, the first one was a highlight of 2015 and the secomd one does the same for this year's lineup. It's clever and well thought-out. It's rare to hear a score that actually develops its material. Count me in for the third one!

 

Karol

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That's true, both Spelberg films from 2002 are really underappreciated. They're not terrific, and each has its own set of problems, but very enjoyable. I'd go even as far and as they're his best 21st century works.

 

Karol

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On 12/25/2018 at 2:38 PM, crocodile said:

2 is nice musuc all around and new stuff is genuinely solid. But it's a bit underwhelming as a complete score. Doesn't feel like it's going anywhere dramatically.

 

On 12/25/2018 at 3:08 PM, publicist said:

With the two Spielberg's at least being very good pictures.

 

Yes!

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First Man by Justin Hurwitz

This has a very nice main theme, and some other good thematic material as well, but there is quite a few tracks of droning noises. Of course, I hope it wins plenty of awards. Hurwitz has such a bright future, and the his current work is still great to make due with for now.

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Why 'modern-classical' composer Thomas Adés was chosen for 'Colette', a 2018 biopic based upon the life of the French novelist Colette (improbable Keira Knightley) becomes not entirely clear. His contribution consists of mainly short miniatures, light chamber-sized music recalling the late Georges Delerue, with waltzes and danses of the period (Debussy, Saint-Saens, Satie) to add authentic flavour. Adés own contributions are in the same vein (though he adds the requisite string section) and occasionally rather effective, but the brevity doesn't help (most cues clock in about or even under a minute). It's far from a disgrace and the orchestration reveals a skillful hand - but probably will not change this year's Best-of lists now it has been released.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales by Geoff Zanelli

On second listen, this score makes adequate and quite appropriate use of preexisting themes, as well as meshing in a new main one for this film in particular, which I feel lines up pretty well with the overall Pirates musical signature. Should a sixth film emerge it may very well be worth it just to see, possibly, Zanelli have another go, or perhaps a reprise from one of the numerous composers involved in this series. The pinnacle of this OST is My Name is Barbossa, which is a beautiful culmination of the One Last Day theme for Will and Elizabeth.

 

VICE by Nicholas Brittel

This is such a damn catchy score. It's at times really groovy with big band brass and retro style percussion, and also very symphonic with it's main theme and various string serenades. Last year at FYC season I really enjoyed listening to Darkest Hour, this year VICE takes the prize. It's a super fun listen and a very musically diverse album.

 

Jaws (Decca Records) by John Williams

I am aware at the interesting assembly of this album, but Jaws remains one of Williams greatest and most memorable works. Great themes and the strongest musical resonance of a score in a film I think for many people worldwide. Instantly recognizable music.

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I just received the new Harry Portter set the other day so I’ve been listening to those scores off and on. Someday soon I will sit down and listen to them all in their glory! I’m very happy to see that the new set includes the children’s suite, I’m a huge fan of Williams’s chamber works. I can’t get enough of the wonderful counterpoint and his rich harmonies in the Quidditch piece!  

 

Also, I’ve been really into Hook lately. The arrival of tink track (specifically in the extended release edition) always manages to bring a beaming smile to my face! 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

That's my pleasure!

 

Visit my website now: http://www.goplanete.com/johnwilliams/music/disco/albums.htm.

 

ūüėĀ

Very nice! The John Williams at 80 article was a great read! It’s motivating to see someone of his age still so dedicated to the creation of beautiful art and truly meaningful music!

On 12/27/2018 at 6:13 PM, Bespin said:

Today I listened to Schindler's list new set.

 

Wonderfull.

 

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I was thinking about purchasing this set. How is it? 

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53 minutes ago, D_nev said:

I was thinking about purchasing this set. How is it? 

 

Schindler's List 25th Anniversary set? Essential.

 

Just "Schindler's Workforce (film version)" worth the price.

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6 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

Schindler's List 25th Anniversary set? Essential.

 

Just "Schindler's Workforce (film version)" worth the price.

Excellent! I will definitely purchase the set now! I bought the 20th anniversary edition of Saving Private Ryan a couple of months ago, and it‚Äôs the same way. The film version of ‚ÄúThe Last Battle‚ÄĚ is well worth the purchase alone! Thanks a lot!¬†

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It has the most badass theme. I'm usually not one of those people because I'd just prefer the music be good regardless of the presence of any melodic themes. However, in Rambo III Goldsmith introduced an entirely new theme (It's musically related to the original) and puts it through various permutations. It reaches peak badass in tracks such as Under and Over, Night Fight, Final Battle and I'll Stay. 

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'Free Solo' is a documentary about the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall with no ropes or safety gear. JWFan probably will bemoan the misleading title, expecting all kinds of Star Wars rattling, though it's so not. Marco Beltrami provides ethereal scores, tinged with the expected hypnotic minimalism but a good instrumental variety (piano, lots of plucked strings, percussion etc .). It's a few notches above the kind of music these things usually get but of its 50-minute running time and though it's done with a lot of skill, not that much stays with you. Still, it's a worthy entry for 2018. 

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4 hours ago, Horner's Dynamic Range said:

It has the most badass theme. I'm usually not one of those people because I'd just prefer the music be good regardless of the presence of any melodic themes. However, in Rambo III Goldsmith introduced an entirely new theme (It's musically related to the original) and puts it through various permutations. It reaches peak badass in tracks such as Under and Over, Night Fight, Final Battle and I'll Stay. 

The scores get better, the movies ... they don't exist for me after First Blood.

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