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Josh500

John Williams's False Endings

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50 minutes ago, Steve McQueen said:

He tends to overdo it with false endings.

 

Sometimes.

 

In music, just like in film, its all too easy to succumb to the temptation to make the false ending too grand and overwrought. If you're going for a false ending, than it should get the listener/viewer to go "is that all there i...oh, wait, there's more!"

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26 minutes ago, Josh500 said:

 

That is my feeling as well. 

 

So what else do you like except Scherzo from JE?

The ending of the Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra is very effective, I think.

The ending of the Cello Concerto seems an extension of the general idea.

He seems to do it best when he puts extra thought in it.

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Just now, Steve McQueen said:

 

He seems to do it best when he puts extra thought in it.

 

That doesn't apply to just JW, but to all of humanity! ;)

1 minute ago, Steve McQueen said:

The ending of the Scherzo for Piano and Orchestra is very effective, I think.

 

Yeah, I like that too. But that piece is overall fantastic, false endings or not.

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11 hours ago, Josh500 said:

Sometimes I like them (Duel of the Fates), sometimes not so much (The Adventures of Han Solo).

 

What do you think of JW's false endings? Which are your favourites, least favourites? And why?

 

I like the one in DotF, mostly because it doesn't sound as a false ending to me, it's more like the closing of a section of the piece, before the final section. I dislike all the others that come to my mind, especially the one at the end of Hedwig's theme (the few bars that follow are completely unnecessary) and the Forest Battle (the piece is too short for having two conclusions). 

 

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14 hours ago, Muad'Dib said:

I think it's one of those things that he finds humorous, like he likes to trick the listener into believing it's over. But just when they thought it was safe to go back to applauding....

 

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I don't think it's humorous or funny....

 

It's more about catching the listener unawares, keeping them on their toes, making them feel surprised and impressed.

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7 hours ago, Score said:

 

I like the one in DotF, mostly because it doesn't sound as a false ending to me, it's more like the closing of a section of the piece, before the final section. I dislike all the others that come to my mind, especially the one at the end of Hedwig's theme (the few bars that follow are completely unnecessary) and the Forest Battle (the piece is too short for having two conclusions). 

 

 

I agree with you. I think that's the key...

 

If after the false ending, something follows that's worth listening to, something to look forward to, then it's worth it. Then I don't mind. But if after the false ending nothing of note follows (no pun intended!) except a few minutes of fooling around, then it was overall unnecessary. 

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This was very interesting for me with Han Solo's Theme; the quiet (fade out) false ending made me think 'that can't possibly be it', and it made me look forward to a witty surprise ending (which JW is sometimes consummately skilled in doing), but sadly when all subtlety was thrown out with the timpani solo at the end, I lost all hope of that. Then alas, the piece came to the clichéd long-note-crescendo/orchestra hit final note. 

 

In other words, I'm a big fan of a witty surprise ending, but a false-ending as a means to this is cheap and lazy. The ending to The Forest Battle in  RotJ impressed me, if for no other reason that it was a fitting and clever, and managed to overcome the loud obnoxiousness of what was the climax of the piece.

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Hmm. I don’t know if I consider the moments in Battle of the Heroes and Dracula’s End Titles to be false endings but if they are I love ‘em. Adventures of Han is a great piece but that false ending is a bit much. But yeah I absolutely love that big brass and string climax in the Dracula End Titles if one considers that a false ending. 

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27 minutes ago, Batman's Diet Coke said:

You're serious? The last 40-50 seconds. Famously used in the AOTC Clone War trailer.

 

I remember a friend at the time thought that was brand new music. He wasn't familiar with the ROTJ soundtrack, only what was heard in the film. He didn't believe me when I said that music was 19-years old.

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41 minutes ago, Batman's Diet Coke said:

You're serious? The last 40-50 seconds. Famously used in the AOTC Clone War trailer.

 

I'm serious - and confused. I don't hear anything 40-50 seconds before the end of the piece (or anywhere else in it, for that matter) that could be mistaken for an ending. It builds and builds in a way that sounds very natural and satisfying to me. The only time it even comes close to a fakeout is at 3:34. But who in their right mind would end a concert suite on a chord like that?

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question...to me, a false ending is a passage near the end of a piece with a decidedly "final" sound to it, typically followed by just enough near-silence for you to momentarily think the piece could be over. So DOTF, Hedwig's Theme, The Adventures of Han (sorta), the end credits to Raiders or 1941 (or even SpaceCamp or Home Alone), Yoda's Theme, The Chamber of Secrets, etc. There's a clear pattern here, and I don't see how The Forest Battle fits in at all.

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2 hours ago, Datameister said:

 

I'm serious - and confused. I don't hear anything 40-50 seconds before the end of the piece (or anywhere else in it, for that matter) that could be mistaken for an ending. It builds and builds in a way that sounds very natural and satisfying to me. The only time it even comes close to a fakeout is at 3:34. But who in their right mind would end a concert suite on a chord like that?

 

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the question...to me, a false ending is a passage near the end of a piece with a decidedly "final" sound to it, typically followed by just enough near-silence for you to momentarily think the piece could be over. So DOTF, Hedwig's Theme, The Adventures of Han (sorta), the end credits to Raiders or 1941 (or even SpaceCamp or Home Alone), Yoda's Theme, The Chamber of Secrets, etc. There's a clear pattern here, and I don't see how The Forest Battle fits in at all.

 

I think with Forest Battle, it's not like some of the others where there's a clear "final" sounding chord before the extra ending(s) that you could literally cut the track off and it would still pretty much sound like a complete piece, but more like there are a few points where you just think "Ok this feels like it's about to hit the end" and it keeps chugging. 3:50 is the biggest fake-out to me with that long snare roll, musically that just feels like it could easily be gunning for a big strong chord and yet there's still more to go.

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Maybe I've just listened to the piece so many times that I'm used to it. To me, though, it all sounds perfectly inevitable. I'd feel shortchanged if it stopped any sooner - especially considering how fantastic all the "extra" writing ended up being.

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14 hours ago, Datameister said:

Maybe I've just listened to the piece so many times that I'm used to it. To me, though, it all sounds perfectly inevitable. I'd feel shortchanged if it stopped any sooner - especially considering how fantastic all the "extra" writing ended up being.

 

I guess I must be the same, I never heard The Forest Battle as having a fake-out ending.

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On 6/23/2018 at 7:11 PM, karelm said:

My favorite is E.T. with that build up into total silence then a second build up to the rainbow fanfare.

 

Yep... This one wins for me. He really makes the listener think its just going to be a piano attack like the end of Firebird (a la Stravinsky), but it's just another scale and fanfare. Just incredible taste. Love every second of this score.

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On 6/24/2018 at 9:11 AM, karelm said:

My favorite is E.T. with that build up into total silence then a second build up to the rainbow fanfare.

 

Hmmm, that's great, but is that a false ending, though? It's just JW scoring the picture.... and there just happened to be a brief, quiet, somber moment before the rousing spectacle of an ending!

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