indy4

Are you primarily a fan of John Williams or film music?

Are you primarily a fan of John Williams or film music?  

62 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you primarily a fan of John Williams or film music?

    • I prefer JW over every other film composer combined.
      47
    • I prefer every other film composer combined over JW.
      15


Recommended Posts

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.

No, he wouldn't.

Yes he would. If not, then he'd probably say Alex North - but those are two main film influences. In Williams's own words.

"Benny was encouraging: he came to some of my recording sessions. He was never flattering, but he encouraged me. In the early sixties I wanted to write a symphony. One day at lunch I complained to Benny about wanting to write some music other than film music. He answered, "Who's STOPPING ya?" His answer was so blatant and direct - and right - that I went home and spent the requisite four or five months writing this piece. In my life, Benny represented some kind of avuncular push that remark illustrates so well - a man of few words, but the right ones at the right time for a young person..... " - from A Heart At Fire's Center by Steven C. Smith."

I think it's fair to say he was more than "just an influence." He was an active pupil and later colleague of both North and Herrmann, just like with Goldsmith and North/Rozsa.

In 50 years Herrmann will be forgotten.

Nope. As long as people still remember PSYCHO, VERTIGO, TAXI DRIVER, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, FAHRENHEIT 451, CITIZEN KANE, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, and countless more classics. Herrmann's music will live on, undeniably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.

No, he wouldn't.

Yes he would. If not, then he'd probably say Alex North - but those are two main film influences. In Williams's own words.

"Benny was encouraging: he came to some of my recording sessions. He was never flattering, but he encouraged me. In the early sixties I wanted to write a symphony. One day at lunch I complained to Benny about wanting to write some music other than film music. He answered, "Who's STOPPING ya?" His answer was so blatant and direct - and right - that I went home and spent the requisite four or five months writing this piece. In my life, Benny represented some kind of avuncular push that remark illustrates so well - a man of few words, but the right ones at the right time for a young person..... " - from A Heart At Fire's Center by Steven C. Smith."

I think it's fair to say he was more than "just an influence." He was an active pupil and later colleague of both North and Herrmann, just like with Goldsmith and North/Rozsa.

In 50 years Herrmann will be forgotten.

Nope. As long as people still remember PSYCHO, VERTIGO, TAXI DRIVER, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, FAHRENHEIT 451, CITIZEN KANE, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, and countless more classics. Herrmann's music will live on, undeniably.

I think you mix up Herrmann's influence as a mentor with musical influence. I remember williams said he admired him as a composer, but greatest of them all? I don't think Williams was influenced by film composers as much as by classical composers.

I don't think those scores will stand the test of time. Psycho might be the only one. But then, few scores will.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Herrmann is generally considered as the "best"/most "serious" of all film composers. He has a much better image than your typical "film composer".

Generally considered by whom? Sure he is considered as one of the old golden age film composers and as such I will take him any time over any average contemporary film composer. I very much like his Mysterious island, Vertigo, Psycho etc. I am even convinced Williams subconsciously got his Voldemort's Theme from Mysterious Island. I have played his music in concert etc. I just think his name will be knwon for ages, but his music, I don;t know. A composer who's music will be played and therefore remembered is Erich Korngold. It is just my feeling. It's not meant as an insult to anyone, really. I might well be wrong (hopefully), we'll see in 50 years ;)

Stefan your comment is so irrational (und ungrounded) that I won;t even react.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the main themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars incorporated future classical concerts. Or even "JW only" concerts

I can;t see much of Berrnard's Herrmann's music being played like that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.

No, he wouldn't.

Yes he would. If not, then he'd probably say Alex North - but those are two main film influences. In Williams's own words.

"Benny was encouraging: he came to some of my recording sessions. He was never flattering, but he encouraged me. In the early sixties I wanted to write a symphony. One day at lunch I complained to Benny about wanting to write some music other than film music. He answered, "Who's STOPPING ya?" His answer was so blatant and direct - and right - that I went home and spent the requisite four or five months writing this piece. In my life, Benny represented some kind of avuncular push that remark illustrates so well - a man of few words, but the right ones at the right time for a young person..... " - from A Heart At Fire's Center by Steven C. Smith."

I think it's fair to say he was more than "just an influence." He was an active pupil and later colleague of both North and Herrmann, just like with Goldsmith and North/Rozsa.

In 50 years Herrmann will be forgotten.

Nope. As long as people still remember PSYCHO, VERTIGO, TAXI DRIVER, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR, FAHRENHEIT 451, CITIZEN KANE, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, and countless more classics. Herrmann's music will live on, undeniably.

I think you mix up Herrmann's influence as a mentor with musical influence. I remember williams said he admired him as a composer, but greatest of them all? I don't think Williams was influenced by film composers as much as by classical composers.

It's more likely that he was both a mentor and a very important musical influence on John Williams. There's too many stylistic similarities between Herrmann and Williams (especially during his 70s period) for that not to be the case. And remember, I'm talking about composers that wrote predominantly for film, here. Not classical.

I don't think those scores will stand the test of time. Psycho might be the only one. But then, few scores will.

Quite frankly IMHO, if PSYCHO is the only Herrmann score that will stand the test of time (which I highly doubt), then God damn it: None of John Williams scores deserve to.

I can see the main themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars incorporated future classical concerts. Or even "JW only" concerts

I can;t see much of Berrnard's Herrmann's music being played like that

That's because Herrmann's music doesn't have quite the same popular appeal as Williams's does, who is arguably the most familiar to the general public, along with Zimmer, Horner etc. I get what you mean, but NORTH BY NEWST, PSYCHO, VERTIGO and TAXI DRIVER have all been played at many film music concerts, from the Hollywood Bowl to the BBC Proms.

For instance, Mark Kermode hosted a Radio 3 concert with the BBC Philharmonic that included VERTGO and TAXI DRIVER: A NIGHT PIECE FOR ORCHESTRA (arr. by Christopher Palmer) and the Proms this Friday has got a film music concert that includes PSYCHO, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, NORTH BY NORTHWEST and CITIZEN KANE. And of course, Williams himself has included Herrmann suites in many of his concerts over the years.

As long as there are people who are serious about film music, classical music and film in general, Herrmann's music will endure.

Herrmann is generally considered as the "best"/most "serious" of all film composers. He has a much better image than your typical "film composer".

I think that's largely because he saw himself as a composer, period, much like his contemporaries Sir Malcolm Arnold and Sir William Walton. Not a film or a concert composer - he never saw the distinction.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herrmann is generally considered as the "best"/most "serious" of all film composers. He has a much better image than your typical "film composer".

I think that's largely because he saw himself as a composer, period, much like his contemporaries Sir Malcolm Arnold and Sir William Walton. Not a film or a concert composer - he never saw the distinction.

I quite agree with Mr Herrmann on his views on film music.

But Psycho better than all scores by John Williams? Seriously, why? I can think on many works, including stuff by JW and BH that I would consider superior.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the main themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars incorporated future classical concerts. Or even "JW only" concerts

I can;t see much of Berrnard's Herrmann's music being played like that

Yes I also think popular appeal playes a major role here. Herrmann is more of an artists' artist...and one of the factors that will affect his durability if you like it or not will be whetjer or not the music will be programmed in concerts. Herrmann's music is very effective combined with visuals but isn't that much programmable as stand-alone concert music ( except for film music concerts.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Herrmann's music is very effective combined with visuals but isn't that much programmable as stand-alone concert music ( except for film music concerts.)

It's not like average concertgoers hunger for HARRY POTTER or STAR WARS performances, as shocking as that may come for the devoted Williams fan. This kind of music is destined for the pops season like Herrmann's and there's nothing wrong about it. You could do more serious Williams selections, but nobody would come to listen to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Herrmann is generally considered as the "best"/most "serious" of all film composers. He has a much better image than your typical "film composer".

I think that's largely because he saw himself as a composer, period, much like his contemporaries Sir Malcolm Arnold and Sir William Walton. Not a film or a concert composer - he never saw the distinction.

I quite agree with Mr Herrmann on his views on film music.

But Psycho better than all scores by John Williams? Seriously, why? I can think on many works, including stuff by JW and BH that I would consider superior.

I didn't choose PSYCHO, MSM did. I like it, but I find it a tad overrated. Apparently Williams agrees:

Dammit, I can't find the quote! I know it's out there.

Herrmann's music is very effective combined with visuals but isn't that much programmable as stand-alone concert music ( except for film music concerts.)

Well, I don't think Williams has successfully adapted his film scores into concert suites either. At best, what he's done is a sort 'cut and paste' of highlights, but that's not the same as a true concert arrangement, which not only subtracts materials, but adds a lot to it. Whether or not that's variations on present themes, or new stuff altogether.

With Williams unfortunately, these highlights tend to be the most unchallenging, easy listening moments of the scores (with the exception of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, where you can't avoid the atonal music), which is why I usually avoid 'listening experience' albums. They're like Classic FM. Too much more sugar and not enough spice.

Same with Howard Shore's "Ring Symphony" or whatever it's called. While far too long, the best concert representations of the scores are currently the 3 hour film versions, played live to projection. Not that God damn 'greatest hits' thing.

Back to Herrmann, I think you're right about the fragmented nature of his compositions. Even some of his concert work (i.e. Symphony No. 2 - though the scherzo was praised) were criticized at their time for a lack of fluidity. His music was designed for the sharp cuts, montages, transitions of moving image, and in many ways changed the way film music was constructed, in contrast to Steiner, Korngold etc. That said, so what? PETRUSHKA and THE RITE OF SPRING break traditional continuity, yet they're still great works. Herrmann's film music can still be adapted for the concert hall. It just needs the right arranger. Williams could still do it.

Just my 2 pence.

I really don't see why some find Herrmann's music any less accessible than Williams'. They are very similar beasts in reality, their music is aimed at the same demographic, it pushes the same buttons.

I dunno about that. Neither music was aimed at any demographic, except for the films they were composed for. However, I think certain demographics are more like to appreciate Zimmer, Gregson Williams, Powell, Horner and Elfman than Herrmann. I don't think that's a controversial statement. They're just more mainstream, more commercial in their appeal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the main themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars incorporated future classical concerts. Or even "JW only" concerts

I can;t see much of Berrnard's Herrmann's music being played like that

Rubbish.

Bernard Herrmann's "Theme from Psycho" is already played by Dream Theater in their rock concerts.

Oh, I'm sorry. You meant classical concerts, like groups that play only 18th/19th century classical music, or instrumental film music as if it were on the same level.

That's a rock band. You know, radio popular music. If that isn't enough evidence that Herrmann's music has been embraced by the mainstream, non-film-score-collecting-junkie community, I don't know what you need.

After all, this is the digital age, and everything will stand the test of time as long as there are fans to buy, store, collect, and trade the music.

Well, until somebody detonates an EMP in the stratosphere and fries all our electronics, sending us back to the stone age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see the main themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Star Wars incorporated future classical concerts. Or even "JW only" concerts

I can;t see much of Berrnard's Herrmann's music being played like that

Rubbish.

Bernard Herrmann's "Theme from Psycho" is already played by Dream Theater in their rock concerts.

Oh, I'm sorry. You meant classical concerts, like groups that play only 18th/19th century classical music, or instrumental film music as if it were on the same level.

That's a rock band. You know, radio popular music. If that isn't enough evidence that Herrmann's music has been embraced by the mainstream, non-film-score-collecting-junkie community, I don't know what you need.

After all, this is the digital age, and everything will stand the test of time as long as there are fans to buy, store, collect, and trade the music.

Well, until somebody detonates an EMP in the stratosphere and fries all our electronics, sending us back to the stone age.

F***ing Amen.

CIA Man.

CIA Man.

CIA Man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't see why some find Herrmann's music any less accessible than Williams'.

It's just...not. Period

That's because Herrmann's music doesn't have quite the same popular appeal as Williams's does, who is arguably the most familiar to the general public, along with Zimmer,

I don't think you can start putting Zimmer in the same bag as Williams either, because Zimmer is garbage and Williams music is at classical music level.

Herrmann= Complex music best suited for film only and not concert performances

Williams= Film Music at the level of standard classical music and can be played in concerts as such . I think Raiders March or Adventures on Earth will extend beyond "Boston Pops performances" eventually

Zimmer= Crap that doesn't deserve to be played in a classical concert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's no problem that you can't find enjoyment in his music.

Others do.

I'm not about to go out and buy a Herrmann album for every Williams in my collection, but I do have four Herrmann albums, and am on the lookout for a good Psycho album.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don't see why some find Herrmann's music any less accessible than Williams'.

It's just...not. Period

That's because Herrmann's music doesn't have quite the same popular appeal as Williams's does, who is arguably the most familiar to the general public, along with Zimmer,

I don't think you can start putting Zimmer in the same bag as Williams either, because Zimmer is garbage and Williams music is at classical music level.

Herrmann= Complex music best suited for film only and not concert performances

Williams= Film Music at the level of standard classical music and can be played in concerts as such . I think Raiders March or Adventures on Earth will extend beyond "Boston Pops performances" eventually

Zimmer= Crap that doesn't deserve to be played in a classical concert

What is with you and this classical music/concert hall standard all of a sudden? Zimmer has every right to be mentioned in the same breath as Williams... when it comes to appeal, which is what Prometheus was talking about. Herrmann is just as good as Williams when it comes to film scoring, he just isn't as melodic and "loud." Much more subtle of a composer, which can often be more effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KM's just being typically overzealous in his endless and completely unnecessary crusade to create an actual physical divide between King Williams and "The Others". It's been a little while since he's reminded us how glorious John is and so I guess we were due another sermon around about now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, he works in the medical field. I'm sure there's a clinically sound explanation as to why his perception of a completely opinionated artform such as film scoring is best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KM's just being typically overzealous in his endless and completely unnecessary crusade to create an actual physical divide between King Williams and "The Others". It's been a little while since he's reminded us how glorious John is and so I guess we were due another sermon around about now.

No need for ad hominems.

As Koray said, Zimmer is immensely popular because it speaks to the main public in the big concert hall. Whether we like it or not this is an important factor for music to survive (although of course no guarantee). Herrmann wil be remembered by a select group of insiders but lacks the overall appeal to stand time IMO. Zimmer won't stand the test of time because of lack of musical quality I think, on the other hand.

Korngold (and Steiner to a lesser extent) are timeless, and musically solid. Williams is both too popular and musically solid to be forgotten. Herrmann (but others as well, like Thomas Newman, Alex North) i have to see. I hope he won't be forgotten. But to draw a comparison with classical music, see howmany good composers have fallen into total obscurity. Only a few dozen are performed and remembered. It's easy to get forgotten.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But to draw a comparison with classical music, see howmany good composers have fallen into total obscurity. Only a few dozen are performed and remembered. It's easy to get forgotten.

Like?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KM's just being typically overzealous in his endless and completely unnecessary crusade to create an actual physical divide between King Williams and "The Others". It's been a little while since he's reminded us how glorious John is and so I guess we were due another sermon around about now.

No need for ad hominems.

As Koray said, Zimmer is immensely popular because it speaks to the main public in the big concert hall. Whether we like it or not this is an important factor for music to survive (although of course no guarantee). Herrmann wil be remembered by a select group of insiders but lacks the overall appeal to stand time IMO. Zimmer won't stand the test of time because of lack of musical quality I think, on the other hand.

Korngold (and Steiner to a lesser extent) are timeless, and musically solid.

I don't agree here. Herrmann (through PSYCHO, VERTIGO and TAXI DRIVER) is much well known to the general public than Korngold's ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE SEA HAWK, KING'S ROW or CAPTAIN BLOOD. KING'S ROW you could say is remembered by many, but only via-proxy through Williams and STAR WARS.

Korngold's film scores are Ok, IMHO, but his concert work's much more interesting. Herrmann's more "musically solid", timeless and less derivative of the Viennese romantics (more unique) in my book, and I mean that with a certain degree of objectivity.

There's a lot of reverence towards the Golden Age that gets a bit warped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

KM's just being typically overzealous in his endless and completely unnecessary crusade to create an actual physical divide between King Williams and "The Others". It's been a little while since he's reminded us how glorious John is and so I guess we were due another sermon around about now.

No need for ad hominems.

As Koray said, Zimmer is immensely popular because it speaks to the main public in the big concert hall. Whether we like it or not this is an important factor for music to survive (although of course no guarantee). Herrmann wil be remembered by a select group of insiders but lacks the overall appeal to stand time IMO. Zimmer won't stand the test of time because of lack of musical quality I think, on the other hand.

Korngold (and Steiner to a lesser extent) are timeless, and musically solid.

I don't agree here. Herrmann (through PSYCHO, VERTIGO and TAXI DRIVER) is much well known to the general public than Korngold's ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, THE SEA HAWK, KING'S ROW or CAPTAIN BLOOD. KING'S ROW you could say is remembered by many, but only via-proxy through Williams and STAR WARS.

Korngold's film scores are Ok, IMHO, but his concert work's much more interesting. Herrmann's more "musically solid", timeless and less derivative of the Viennese romantics (more unique) in my book, and I mean that with a certain degree of objectivity.

There's a lot of reverence towards the Golden Age that gets a bit warped.

So? Korngold's concert works are also Korngold's. And less derivative is not a guarantee to be remembered, even on the contrary I would say.

Anyway we clearly see things differently and we don't need to agree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.

No, he wouldn't. He just stated that he has been inspired by Herrmann. In 50 years Herrmann will be forgotten.

You mean like Thomas Newman?

I don't think you could compare Herrmann to John Williams, because their styles are so different. Williams is good at what he does, so was Herrmann.

Obviously, John Williams' scores are easily accessible, but that doesn't mean a score that is not is bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a lot of scores by other composers that I consider to be just as good as John Williams' greatest scores.

Chief amongst them would be Cutthroat Island, Independence Day, El Cid and several of Jerry Goldsmith's scores.

But there is no composer who wrote SO much of my favourite music on his own. It is hard to top Indiana Jones + Star Wars + Jurassic Park + Harry Potter + Hook + Far and Away.

And that is not even counting the incredible excellence in John Williams' other scores. Almost all of them have at least one track of sheer brilliance, many have more then one.

So based on sheer volume of great work, I'm probably going to have to go with "I prefer JW over every other film composer combined.".

However, I would be quite happy to welcome more great scores by other composers. I'm always looking for more. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John Williams is the best out of everybody by a long shot, for far too many reasons

"Salacius says so" isn't one of them.

KNEEL BEFORE SALACIUS!

Salacious_Crumb_%28DB%292.jpg

Says the guy with the stoopidest signature I've seen in a while. Elvish translated into Euskera, really?

Hey, it's a cool language.

It's the poor man's Spanish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Says the guy with the stoopidest signature I've seen in a while. Elvish translated into Euskera, really?

Hey, it's a cool language.

It's the poor man's Spanish.

No, it's unrelated to Castilian.

Just go play with the Catalans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are only a handfull of scores by non John William composers that rank with John's best. Almost all of those composers are worm food now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Says the guy with the stoopidest signature I've seen in a while. Elvish translated into Euskera, really?

Hey, it's a cool language.

It's the poor man's Spanish.

It's unrelated to Castilian.

Just go play with the Catalans.

Catalan. Now, THAT is a beautiful language.

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