We always talk about his grandiose themes, leitmotives, etc..
But what is John Williams' underscoring masterpiece? It's a very important reason why we listen to his music, not just the big stuff, but the stuff in-between it (eh), the incredible and unique underscoring for quieter moments, dialogue scenes, etc... They aren't necessary calm, or simple. He has matured in style, and turned into contemporary music with age, often dissonent, atonal.
So which of his score is?
There is Artificial Intelligence, with it's mature and intelligent underscoring, often very emotionnal, very "Ligeti" in style yes but it's the obvious Kubrick influence. Sometimes feels like Philip Glass too.
But there's also this big giant... E.T. Every single moment of the score, when it's not blasting you with those amazing themes, is _as much_ beautiful as the rest. The simple harp... the fragility of his music.
Yet again, some would say The Empire Strikes Back. The way John blends all those leitmotives and twirls it with orchestration that still amazes me after all those years. It's like during the Bespin escape sequence... how he builds tension (during that moment with Boba Fett bringing Solo to his ship, and when Lando frees them).... it's magical.
I have this tendency that when I pop in any CD in my computer at work, I'll check out the allmusic reviews they have when you click on the album inside Windows Media Player (I would use Winamp but it spins my CD between each track and I fear the wear with time).
Judged purely by the standards of soundtrack music, John Williams' score is nothing special. Its languorous orchestration is delivered with a good deal of restraint, to convey the mystery, uncertainty, and sometimes unease of a melodramatic film about the discovery of extraterrestrial life. Indeed at times you'll be wondering if the volume on your stereo has been accidentally lowered, as some sections fall toward the threshold of audibility. Only occasionally does the mood become jubilant or overtly sentimental. It's for the most part unobtrusive background moods for the film's story, more comforting than eerie, whether or not that was the intention.
I was routinely checking out a used-CD store, they have a section with new releases, and what do I find? PoA soundtrack! Yay! It was in Montreal, so anybody in Canada should check out their stores, perhaps the distributor already shipped them in stores and they are racking them up. It's sweet. I don't think there's different covers this time, only the 3 black/white faces. There's a nice little text from Cuaron inside and the insert gives you a 4-panel mini-poster.
I also found in the used soundtrack section Gerhardt's Return of the Jedi (yay!) and The Hollywood Sound, which seems to be Williams conducting the LSO on Academy-Awarded scores.
I was browsing in a used-CD store when I found this CD. It seems to have been pressed in the early 90's. It's all black, with the Star Wars logo also black but a little lighter. It features all tracks from A NEW HOPE.
What exactly is that? I figured it was the 1st CD of the SW Boxset but can anybody confirm? It was a mere 5 bucks.
I have this question that bothered me since a while...
On the track "Ark Trek", at 00:45, is that the Nazi theme? It's a 8-note motif that only appears once in the soundtrack, after a version of the Ark Theme. It's _so_ amazing. I wish he had used it more throughout the Indiana Jones movies. But hey, I also thought he should have used the original Vader/Empire motif from A New Hope in the other SW movies