Jay

War Horse MUSIC Discussion Thread

237 posts in this topic

Placeholder thread to discuss the CD once its out

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My promotional copy arrived from Sony today. Well technically it's not a promotional copy - It's a copy of the final shrinkwrapped out with the UPC punched out.

REMEMBER: TRACK TITLES CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!

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So the album credits are:

Music Composed and Conducted by John Williams

Album Produced by John Williams

Music Editor: Ramiro Belgardt

Music Recorded and Mixed by Shawn Murphy

Music Contractors: Sandy De Crescent and Peter Rotter

Flute SOlos by Louise Di Tullio

Trumpet Solos by Tim Morrison

Music Preparation: Jo Ann Kane Music Service

Music Recorded and Mixed at Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, CA

Album Mastered by Patricia Sullivan Fourstar at Bernie Grundman Mastering, Hollywood, CA

Publisher: DW II Distribution MusicB, LLC

Booklet editing: WLP Ltd

Design: Shaun Mills for WLP Ltd

And the opening spread lists all the performers. I noticed two "Williams" under "Percussion": Donald and Jerry. And they BOTH related to the maestro?

There's also a Ralph Williams under Clarinets

Piano lists Gloria Cheng and Randy Kerber

Also anyone using EAC - or any ripper that accesses FreeDB - can thank me for inputting the track titles - and doing it correctly :)

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So everyone called Williams is related AND employed by JW?

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I noticed two "Williams" under "Percussion": Donald and Jerry. And they BOTH related to the maestro?

Yes, they're both John's brothers.

There's also a Ralph Williams under Clarinets

This one is not related to JW.

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I still think it's odd that Williams's orchestrators get no mention whatsoever in the album notes, not even a "special thanks to."

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Having seen the film and listened to the score over the past couple of days, the War Horse soundtrack is easily one of the best presentations of Williams's music in some time. It leaves out nothing major from the film and it is presented in almost full chronological order. From what I can tell, only one track is spliced together from multiple separate cues ("No Man's Land"). The rest of the album's tracks represent full cues, so do not worry about the excessive comma usage in the track titles. And there is only one place where the album does not sync with the film and it's relatively minor: Track 6 should be swapped with Track 5. Then if you move the dissonant first half of "No Man's Land" to before "Pulling the Canon," the soundtrack would be fully chronological.

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I still think it's odd that Williams's orchestrators get no mention whatsoever in the album notes, not even a "special thanks to."

I wondered about that too. JW's albums never list the orchestrators. I think that's because, many ignorant listeners will think, when they read, for example "Orchestrated by Conrad Pope", etc. that JW wrote only the melodies while CP did the rest...

But it could also be that JW's orchestrators do so little (just transcribing what JW already wrote, really) that they deserve no mention. No offense to CP. :)

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If Horner doesn't credit Mahler, Copland, Prokoviev, Shostakovich et al, Williams may be allowed to let a few Popes and Neufelds slip. :sigh:

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If Horner doesn't credit Mahler, Copland, Prokoviev, Shostakovich et al, Williams may be allowed to let a few Popes and Neufelds slip. :sigh:

:lol:

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I still think it's odd that Williams's orchestrators get no mention whatsoever in the album notes, not even a "special thanks to."

I wondered about that too. JW's albums never list the orchestrators.

Well, the odd exception is the Nixon soundtrack. Anyone know why?

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Do OSTs from other composers list the orchestrators?

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I think that's because, many ignorant listeners will think, when they read, for example "Orchestrated by Conrad Pope", etc. that JW wrote only the melodies while CP did the rest...

That's funny. I remember when I bought the Schindler's List soundtrack back in the day, my sister saw it and read the "Violin solos by Itzhak Perlman", and seriously thought that he wrote the solos.

Tim

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I still think it's odd that Williams's orchestrators get no mention whatsoever in the album notes, not even a "special thanks to."

I know your brilliant sarcasm and sense of humor but seriously have you ever posted something

positive about John Williams.

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Well, he said that Williams didn't exactly screw up his latest two works.

Karol

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Something I've wondered for a while now - all of Williams' latest scores (well, KotCS and these two) have not only been recorded in L.A. but also received full length CD releases.

Do they just pay up the AFM fees, knowing the album will sell a zillion copies? Obviously the lack of a choir makes it easier.

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Something I've wondered for a while now - all of Williams' latest scores (well, KotCS and these two) have not only been recorded in L.A. but also received full length CD releases.

How is that unusual? A lot of Williams score run 60 to 70 minutes, regardless of where they were recorded.

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How is that unusual? A lot of Williams score run 60 to 70 minutes, regardless of where they were recorded.

HOOK and FAR AND AWAY started this trend (both L. A. recordings). I always asked myself how James Horner was able to get long albums for ROCKETEER, CASPER, THE MISSING etc. Most of them can't have sold more than 10,000 copies (and that's generous). Even a sucker like DEEP IMPACT, a forgettable score if there ever was one, had 78 minutes on it, while Goldsmith got 35 on AIR FORCE ONE, a movie which not only was more successful but also with a much more 'visible' score.

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Deep Impact was done shortly after Titanic, which sold 25 million CDs. Thats why...

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Deep Impact was done shortly after Titanic, which sold 25 million CDs. Thats why...

Still doesn't explain 70-minute CASPER with full orchestra and choir. That must have cost a fortune. And LEGEND OF ZORRO (2005, long after TITANIC faded) is 75-minutes, too. I wonder if they accept the losses in vain hope for another 25 million...digital downloads?

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Maybe because Horner tends to release his scores on bigger labels. Sony Classical or Decca can more easily afford 70+ minutes then Varese.

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So it's just Varese and other soundtrack labels that find reuse fees a problem?

Avatar was another one. Huge orchestra, huge choir, full CD - the fees on that must have been astronomical.

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Well Sony and Decca are big labels, Varese isn't.

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Yeah but big labels never did this for composers like Silvestri, Goldenthal, Goldsmith (First Knight, The Shadow), either.

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Maybe Horner has a better agent.

Goldsmith often resisted doing long albums, btw.

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The soundtrack that comes out around the time of the film is paid for by the overall marketing budget of the film. It's when a small label wants to expand a score or release one that never had an OST that the fees become prohibitive

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Why should a studio play the production costs for a label which picked up the rights on the score? This only works if the music division of the producing studio is behind the release, which isn't the case 70% of the time.

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The soundtrack that comes out around the time of the film is paid for by the overall marketing budget of the film. It's when a small label wants to expand a score or release one that never had an OST that the fees become prohibitive

No. Air Force One famously had a 30 minute release because of the re-use fees. Same with a lot of other 30 minute releases from the 80's and 90 that Varese did.

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And if I look at a recent score release from my shelf, Sony Classical released JNH's Water for Elephants, and it's 50 mins. Major label and no choir, yet not a maxed-out CD.

There's just something about Horner and Williams that makes any label immediately give a full CD, regardless of where it was recorded.

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I'm still not happy with the running time of War Horse and Tintin

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Give it a rest, already. Both scores got more than enough released and could be cut by 10 minutes without losing too much. At least if you don't consider soundrack albums just as archival souvenirs from their respective movies.

I remember the old EMPIRE album with its meager 40-minute cut which was a disgrace, as was TOD, but still, spreading it over 130 minutes makes not for a great musical representation for either (even ESB feels padded at that excessive length).

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1) Yes it does, specially for War Horse as it's less exhausting than Tintin. 2) That length is not excesive for ESB, it's perfectly fine.

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I find it hard to agree with that until I see the films themselves. With just the scores, I think they are perfect. By the way, does anyone else get a "Its Working!" vibe in relation to War Horse? I of course refer to the bit of music from said dialogue in The Phantom Menace.

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Well I'd have to see War Horse too, but I'm going to guess it's fine in complete form a usual, specially given the choice in styles for the music isn't very tiring.

A complete Tintin wouldn't be long, other than being two scores.

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Give it a rest, already. Both scores got more than enough released and could be cut by 10 minutes without losing too much. At least if you don't consider soundrack albums just as archival souvenirs from their respective movies.

I remember the old EMPIRE album with its meager 40-minute cut which was a disgrace, as was TOD, but still, spreading it over 130 minutes makes not for a great musical representation for either (even ESB feels padded at that excessive length).

That was annoying, that the EU ESB was truncated (and had terrible track order) and then finding out years later US and Japan got a 2-LP set with almost double the music.

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Do OSTs from other composers list the orchestrators?

As Karol pointed out, they frequently, if not most of the time, do. And the most salient example in my mind is Goldsmith, who, as far as I've heard, leaned as lightly on his orchestrators as Williams does.

I'm not questioning Williams's right to decide that his orchestrators, from an album perspective, have contributed nothing of significance to the music -- as the common explanation goes -- but I am genuinely curious about the line of reasoning he uses in choosing to omit their names.

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Having seen the film and listened to the score over the past couple of days, the War Horse soundtrack is easily one of the best presentations of Williams's music in some time. It leaves out nothing major from the film and it is presented in almost full chronological order. From what I can tell, only one track is spliced together from multiple separate cues ("No Man's Land"). The rest of the album's tracks represent full cues, so do not worry about the excessive comma usage in the track titles. And there is only one place where the album does not sync with the film and it's relatively minor: Track 6 should be swapped with Track 5. Then if you move the dissonant first half of "No Man's Land" to before "Pulling the Canon," the soundtrack would be fully chronological.

If that is true than I think the maestro definitely made good decisions when sequencing the OST. "Plowing" ends up being the climax of the first "act" of the album (tracks 1-6) so i am glad it was swapped with track 5 to be the end of the act. It bridges better to the second "act" (tracks 7-13) than "Seeding, and Horse Vs Car" would have. Likewise the two halves of No Man's Land combine together perfectly. When that dissonant first half of it appears we are ready for that feeling of isolation, and it leads great into the action second half, which wouldn't sound as good if it just started out of nowhere after track 12.

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Well, as I predicted months ago it's Tintin that has the worst OST presentation of the 2

i don't care whatsoever about combined cues out of sequence and not in chronological order. It's unreleased OBVIOUS highlights (Portuguese Plane) that piss me off. It always boggles my mind Williams that leaves some of the more exciting cues off the OST

I'm not questioning Williams's right to decide that his orchestrators, from an album perspective, have contributed nothing of significance to the music -- as the common explanation goes -- but I am genuinely curious about the line of reasoning he uses in choosing to omit their names.

Because they don't really orchestrate anything . I thought that was cleared up by now.

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