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Ennio Morricone is complimentary but critical of John Williams in his new book

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Regardless of what he says in the book, I think it's fairly obvious that Morricone has HUGE respect for Williams. Their interactions during the Oscar ceremony (and pre-Oscar ceremonies) a couple of years ago are ample proof of that. He's entitled to his opinion about STAR WARS, which I don't think diminishes that respect in any way.

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5 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

No, that's the MCU you're thinking about right there....

 

Surfing on the wave of infantilization and erosion that Star Wars created! Trump, Brexit, all of the current civil unrest and political strife in the world, all of the social injustices and scandals, the mass stupidity of entire generations...all of it points back to Star Wars! To Star Wars!

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7 minutes ago, Thor said:

Regardless of what he says in the book, I think it's fairly obvious that Morricone has HUGE respect for Williams. Their interactions during the Oscar ceremony (and pre-Oscar ceremonies) a couple of years ago are ample proof of that. He's entitled to his opinion about STAR WARS, which I don't think diminishes that respect in any way.

 

He is probably surprised that a musician of Williams' talent would lend himself to such a low rent franchise.

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Well, he's not the first. André Previn has expressed similar thoughts, having requested him to do more concert works and less film work for decades now.

 

It's all fine. His colleagues are entitled to their opinions about his work and his chosen film projects, as long as they also recognize his immense talent as a composer.

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In short, Morricone was too cute for his own good. Whether he likes it or not, film music is more about general aesthetics than challenging listens. His intention is admirable, but when watching a film, nobody cares except film music freaks. If he wants more general appreciation for the intelligence in his music per se, he should write symphonies.

 

Also, nobody associates a march with space. He does. Pretty much anyone else associates the march with Star Wars. Movie studios have commercial concerns, no shit, Ennio.

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33 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

 

Surfing on the wave of infantilization and erosion that Star Wars created! Trump, Brexit, all of the current civil unrest and political strife in the world, all of the social injustices and scandals, the mass stupidity of entire generations...all of it points back to Star Wars! To Star Wars!

 

I believe you're thinking about Star Trek.

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Image result for everybody's fine film ennio morricone

English title: "Everybody is fine"

2 hours ago, Nick Parker said:

It makes sense, really, especially given that Morricone was very selective of the films that deserved his caliber of musicianship, such as Orca. 

Orca? How about those erotic films he scored 15 years after it?

 

Or maybe... that is when he became selective 😮 

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Morricone's sin is that of hindsight. The music now seems sell out commercial music. But when Williams wrote, it might have been even deemed an unusual approach. I think many composers might have gone electronic with it or something futuristic or technological sounding.

 

The other sin is the implication that it is perhaps half assed music applied to make a quick buck. Again he ignores that forget the film itself, the music itself is often quite complex and skillful and difficult to write. Who else could even write a score like that? Not even Morricone I would venture.

 

I would like a serious discussion comparing the two. Have we ever had one here? I can tell you write away most of your critics and film Twitter set would in a heartbeat pick Morricone over Williams. Almost 99%. But I think a meaningful discussion could be had about this.

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But he is critical of composers who, he argues, have been complicit in dumbing down their art. “Film composers have themselves underestimated their own contribution and, in so doing, they have made directors and producers accustomed to very fast working times – not the least by resorting to myriads of clichés,” he says.

 

Anobody else thinking of RCP when reading this?

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20 hours ago, Koray Savas said:

Morricone > Williams

 

Fair enough. (if one prefer big mac over three michelin star meal) 

 

But Williams>Morricone when it comes to the commenting on other artists... Very classy dear John. 

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On 25. Februar 2019 at 12:16 PM, TownerFan said:

How sad to see Alessandro De Rosa's beautiful, in-depth writing for this book with Morricone going down the trivializing route of petty journalism in search of gossips.

 

Morricone's remarks about Star Wars were already exposed in Sergio Miceli's book "Composing for Cinema" from the late 1990s. 

 

Yes, god forbid people not up to the neck in key signatures discuss interview quotes in simpler terms, without having read an obscure italian's book from 30 years ago.

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2 hours ago, hornist said:

Fair enough. (if one prefer big mac over three michelin star meal) 

 

But Williams>Morricone when it comes to the commenting on other artists... Very classy dear John. 

Williams may have a humble public personality but like any other artist has his own opinions of others. 

 

Both are superb composers, but Ennio is better. 

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On 3/1/2019 at 12:01 AM, Kasey Kockroach said:

Ennio Icecreamcone

 

Is that what they said at 0:24?

 

 

Well, fwiw

My favorite film director of all time doesn't care for my favorite composer.

 

I think I'm going to rescore some more David Lynch scenes using John Williams tracks.

 

What can you do. Teach them.

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The title is Star WARS and a march isn't appropriate?

 

It's a stylistic choice, and he certainly uses wonder when it's called for in the films. The reality is that Star Wars isn't really about space - it's greek inspired character development that happens to take place " a long time ago in a galaxy far far away." It's why Williams relied so heavily on Wagnerian lite motif because he knew themes would help tie the story together. Scoring it larger than life I think was appropriate as well given the size of the structures the characters are placed in.

 

Now, I don't doubt that Ennio has a point that Williams chose to go commercial. I don't think given Williams' background growing up on sound stages that you can really blame him for choosing that route - as a young composer you take the opportunities you can get - but I don't think choosing the commercial route is a "bad" thing that Ennio seems to be suggesting. In fact, his work with the Boston Pops and scoring all these big commercial blockbusters with artistry has done a significant amount to advance or at least preserve the acceptance and adoration of orchestral arts - something that is absolutely necessary for the intellectual advancement of the art as well. I think you could even debate that he has advanced the art, but his innovation is not in areas where Ennio excels (e.g. applying innovative forms like using a 6 part fugue in a film), but more nitty-gritty details like jazz harmony, texture, and orchestration. Besides, I think European film makers are much more tolerant of those kind of risks than American studios - especially now.

 

Having lived in Italy for a while and seeing the massive state support for orchestras/operas and immense pride, I understand why Ennio might not get the need for composers like Williams (though that enthusiasm among youth in Italy is declining as well). I know way too many young musicians and non-trained classical music lovers in the USA who are massive fans of Williams and attribute their initial love of orchestral music to him. While I have no proof of this, after his initial success I think Williams choice to stay commercial was extremely strategic and it's clear that he enjoys scoring films that will be viewed by children/intellectuals and uses every trick in the book to deliver musical "sweets" to this audience as a way to hook them while also scoring tastefully. It's why I hardly care that he quotes or plagiarizes. To suggest that he does it as a cop out or is unaware of it is, frankly, insulting given how intelligent we all know him to be from the cerebral interviews he gives. The only other way to explain it is perhaps temp tracks, but I think its more likely just a creative way to take great bits from musical history and subtlety deliver them to a massive audience with the hope that they'll not only selfishly buy an album, but go to an opera/ballet/symphony (as he is known to do and support often) or listen to more orchestral music. He was good friends with Leonard Bernstein who also is a massive champion of music education, so I wouldn't be surprised if his "commercial" choice was about influence more than money. Just look at his house for petes sake... he's certainly not materialistic.

 

We have plenty of proof that Williams is talented and innovative when he has the opportunity. Making the choice to confine that creativity to market and share it with more people is a choice he has earned the ability to make. Despite that, I'm still looking forward to seeing the crazy sketches that never saw daylight when we finally see his archives.

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On 2/24/2019 at 7:10 PM, Stefancos said:

He is probably surprised that a musician of Williams' talent would lend himself to such a low rent franchise.

 

Yeah, JW should do more "high quality" "soft porns" à la Morricone. :sarcasm:

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