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


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Poll: Are you primarily a fan of John Williams or film music? (55 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. I prefer JW over every other film composer combined. (42 votes [76.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 76.36%

  2. I prefer every other film composer combined over JW. (13 votes [23.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.64%

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#81 Sandor

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:45 PM

My love for John Willams > my love for film music, the genre
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#82 Stefancos

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:47 PM

Of course jerry is better then all of them, even in his current condition....

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#83 Sandor

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:51 PM

Of course jerry is better then all of them, even in his current condition....


To be honest; John Williams > Jerry Goldsmith
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#84 Stefancos

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:02 PM

Surely you can't be serious?

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#85 Quintus

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:10 PM

I am serious, and don't call Goldsmith better.

#86 Thor

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:18 PM

Of course jerry is better then all of them, even in his current condition....


Who is Jerry?

#87 Stefancos

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:02 PM

How dare you!

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#88 Sharky

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:16 PM

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.

#89 Jeff

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:19 PM

I for one like indy4's provocative poll. Unfortunate that it caused the exodus of a moderator, but - alas . . .

I'm in the crowd that loves a great volume of film music from a variety of composers, but I think if I had to put all Williams music on one plate and all other film music on the other, the scale would tip squarely in favor of Williams. There's too much greatness in too high quantities to be matched.

#90 Ricard

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:36 PM

It's a shame that most of complain that modern film music is lacking, and make no mistake it is, but we get a composer, who has his own voice and writes quality film music but no one appreciates it.

Are you serious?
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#91 Chaac

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:13 AM

There are people here, including me, that really like Giacchino, basically because he a film score fan like us that actually tries to write good stuff and his music is catchy.

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.


I'm fine with this statement as long as it's Herrmann we're talking about :lol:

I will always wonder what he would have come up for some of Williams' films.

#92 Elmo Lewis

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:36 AM

Bernard Herrmann > All film composers.

Even Williams would admit that.


He was a fantastic composer, but his sense of drama and storytelling don't seem to have aged well. Maybe it's because the trade wasn't as developed in his time or maybe it's simply that my ear is more comfortable with the style developed by Goldsmith and Williams in the 1970's and 1980's, but I fail to grasp a sense of narrative even in his best scores.

That being said, it is amazing music that fits each movie's psychology and visuals like a glove.
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#93 Quintus

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:49 AM

It was the magical pairing of images and music: Herrmann was to Hitchcock what Williams is to Spielberg.

#94 king mark

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 01:25 PM

Well may be film wise

I find Herrmann's music mostly unlistenable on it's own

#95 Chaac

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 01:27 PM

My favourite of him is Journey to the Center of the Earth.

#96 Quintus

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 01:35 PM

Well may be film wise

I find Herrmann's music mostly unlistenable on it's own

Definitely film-wise, that's mainly what I was referring to. But I also very much enjoy the music in its own right.

#97 Romão

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 01:43 PM

My favourite of him is Journey to the Center of the Earth.


It's one of my top 3 of his, for sure. Could really use a re-recording, though. The Herrmann-conducted suite for Decca is fantastic
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#98 MSM

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:47 PM

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.

#99 Wojo

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:49 PM

By whom?

#100 MSM

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:51 PM

By whom?


Us.

#101 Wojo

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 05:56 PM

In fifty years, I'll be 80, and I sure as hell hope I grow out of this movie score hobby by then, or I'll be broke.

#102 Sharky

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 06:25 PM


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.

#103 MSM

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:17 PM



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.

#104 Marian Schedenig

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:47 PM

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

#105 Stefancos

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 08:52 PM

MSM doesn't like Herrmann, so he thinks he's not important.

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#106 MSM

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:18 PM

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.

#107 king mark

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 09:31 PM

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

#108 Sharky

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:02 PM




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.

#109 Chaac

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:20 PM

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.

#110 MSM

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 10:28 PM

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.)

#111 publicist

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:11 PM

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.
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#112 Quintus

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:26 PM

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.

#113 Sharky

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Posted 09 August 2011 - 11:45 PM


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.

#114 Quintus

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:00 AM

Remember: all of my opinions on music for film are film-centric. I hope that helps - particularly where your last post is concerned.

#115 Sharky

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 12:07 AM

I get that. But even then, it's a pretty broad generalization. Herrmann and Williams worked with tonnes of director's, all with their own audience demographics. From a hack like Christ Columbus to a great like Francois Truffaut.

#116 Wojo

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 01:50 AM

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.

#117 Sharky

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:02 AM


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.


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#118 Koray Savas

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 02:36 AM

Not to mention Lady Gaga used Vertigo in one of her recent music videos. Take that Johnny boy!
"Close Encounters to me is as good a piece of concert music as the 20th century has produced. Everybody fixates on... the Superman fanfare, or Star Wars - Main Theme, or the Raiders March. It's what happens after that, it's not the big popular hook where you go: 'My God John Williams is a genius.' Y'know it's the stuff which is maybe less hooky and less hummable, but is great art." - Hans Zimmer

#119 king mark

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 03:11 AM

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

#120 Wojo

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 03:11 AM

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.




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