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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/02/18 in all areas

  1. Hi everyone, sorry for not posting this sooner. Work has been a bit crazy today and I’m just now getting some down time to put this write-up together for the sold-out concert. I will say this up front: I do not have any recordings from this performance (sorry to disappoint!), so I’ll do my best to especially the new material that was performed which I’m sure people are curious about. San Diego Symphony Associate Conductor Sameer Patel conducted the first half, which opened with Hymn to New England. Overall, the orchestra was well-balanced during this piece, although the brass was a little choppy on some of the entrances (slightly-off intonation, cracked notes – things probably less noticeable to an untrained ear but), but an overall decent performance. Next was the Suite from Far and Away, which was beautifully executed. The flute solo of the Joseph and Shannon love theme was absolutely exquisite, and the faster parts were played with vigor that perfectly captured the Irish setting. The whole concert itself was quite flute-friendly as you will see throughout this review. Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue followed, and it would have been a flawless performance of the piece had the trumpets not entered a beat early towards the end of the piece. It happened in a section of the music where there was a lot of counterpoint happening in the music, which probably makes it harder to find one’s bearings. It took several seconds for the orchestra to re-align. It was very noticeable, as even my friend who I attended the concert with, who wasn’t familiar with the piece at all, sensed that there was something wrong. As a result, this piece was probably the biggest disappointment of the evening. Closing the first half was a three-movement suite from E.T. First was Three Million Light Years from Home, which was my first time hearing this live. I thought it was a fantastic performance of the piece. During the action music portion, the strings played with ferocity and energy. Stargazers was next, and the harp and flute solos were simply sublime. The celeste player missed some notes at the end of the piece though, so there were some awkward empty beats where the celeste is supposed to pick up a portion of the melody from the harp. Ending the set was Adventures on Earth, which needs little introduction and was flawlessly executed. John Williams came out to conduct the second half of the concert, opening with a well-played rendition of The Adventures of Mutt. The timpanist came in a measure early in one spot, but he recovered quickly, and it was less prominent that the trumpet flub in the Jaws cue from earlier because I did a quick double-take when it happened just to be sure. Williams then got on the microphone and introduced the Suite from BFG, explaining that the flute flurries were meant to represent the chasing of dreams in the movie (which I have never seen). The flute solos were played brilliantly, and the orchestra was in perfect synchronization with the piece. Personally, this was one of the highlights of the evening for me. Three Harry Potter selections followed. The Chamber of Secrets came first. It was well played, but the balance didn’t allow for the fast string triplet figures to carry though very well. The piece sounded more bass and percussion heavy, drowning out some of the other orchestration. Nimbus 2000 for woodwinds was next. Williams’ old age started to show here, as he described the piece as characterizing Harry’s wand rather than his broomstick, and then immediately stated that he couldn’t remember what the wand (broomstick) was called in the film, even though it’s literally the title of the piece! Regardless of his little memory lapse, the piece was played quite well. Harry’s Wondrous World rounded out the set, which was well-played. Sabrina was next, and it was the arrangement for solo violin and orchestra from the Cinema Serenade album. The concertmaster, Jeff Thayer, was soloist. Williams initially started with a rushed tempo at the introduction, but promptly brought it back to a statelier, more romantic tempo once the violinist entered. Beautiful playing by the soloist, and easily another highlight of the concert for me. The program concluded with selections from Star Wars. First up was The Rebellion is Reborn from The Last Jedi, which was flawlessly executed. The tempo was slightly faster than on the original soundtrack, but the sound balance I thought was superior in concert. Rey’s Theme followed, and Williams again shared a quick story of his infatuation with Daisy Ridley before starting the piece. Rey’s Theme was played exquisitely, although the only oddity was that Williams added a sustained low brass chord at the end of the piece as the celeste plays its final note. I didn’t feel that the addition of the chord was necessary, as I much prefer the sort of open-endedness that the solo celeste leaves, almost symbolizing the mystery of Rey’s origins. The Main Title from A New Hope rousingly closed the program with usual pomp and pizazz, and it elicited a big applause from the crowd upon hearing the first downbeat. There were two encores. The first was the new arrangement of Han Solo and the Princess, which was completely unexpected but a pleasant surprise all the same. Although Williams never specifically alluded to it, I couldn’t help wondering whether revisiting this piece had something to do with the upcoming Han Solo standalone film. As stated previously, this piece bears hardly any resemblance to the original concert version. The original version is more horn and woodwind prominent until the piece hits the climax, whereas this new version very much features the strings section throughout. The cellos are given the theme first, and the theme itself has been heavily modified and developed by Williams. The violins work through some thematic variation, and then the woodwinds take over the theme. The piece continues to build to the climax, at which point it leads into the version heard at the end of the end credits of Empire Strikes Back, which I think may be the only time in the piece that the theme is heard in its original unadulterated form. As the climax dies down, it leads into a sweet and delicate solo flute cadenza that was another variation of the melody before coming to a gentle close (again, more flute being featured throughout the evening). I sort of view Williams' approach to this new piece as a combination of the Marion’s Theme concert version and the revised concert version of The Face of Pan: prominently modified from the original concert version, but still with sweeping orchestration that is characteristic of Williams’ current lyrical style. The second and final encore was the Imperial March, which was played perfectly and needs no further description. Despite the orchestra having some trouble spots, it was overall a great evening and well-crafted program, even if everything wasn’t perfect. Though Williams himself looks physically spry on the podium, it is quite evident when he speaks that his age is having an impact and that these types of performances are becoming increasingly exhausting for him. But the audience loved him and gave him a long standing ovation. Fun evening overall.
    10 points
  2. Johnson gave JJ the opportunity to move Star Wars beyond what it has done before. They already did all the "seduction" to the light/dark side in this film. So JJ will have to think of another angle. There's a lot of SW tropes ep 9 cant use because ep 8 already concluded them, and i find that interesting.
    5 points
  3. Thought I'd chime in to wash away the tiresome, toxic negativity that pervades this thread from the usual suspects. This score is just fucking magnificent. Listened to most of the action cues again tonight on repeat and still can't believe the level of detail, vibrancy and energy contained in this score. Grateful every day that we're so lucky to be receiving not only new music from the Maestro, but music as sublime as this! A man in his mid-80s has no right to be creating music like this; as John Powell said, he puts composers half his age to shame!
    4 points
  4. I've pretty much stopped poking my head into all of the TLJ threads, or at least stopped bothering to reply - for this reason! I thought TLJ was really good and its score even better. I've still never met a person in real life (i.e. non-Internet) who was disappointed with TLJ, for what it's worth.
    2 points
  5. You call Star Wars a "kids' movie" like that's a bad thing.
    2 points
  6. All I know is, I can't get the score for The Last Jedi out of my car. It gets better every time I listen to it, and I liked it just fine the first time through.
    2 points
  7. No, it was exactly the same as the soundtrack album.
    2 points
  8. Zimmer knows a thing or two about defending two note ostinatos.
    2 points
  9. I will have a good chuckle to myself if this new suite of Han Solo and the Princess is officially revealed as "Han's Theme" for Solo, after all the years of debate.
    2 points
  10. Four years ago the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the “first” Oscars Concert at UCLA. It was wonderfully staged and featured live performances of all of the nominated scores and original songs (Jill Scott singing “Happy” was a highlight). Perhaps because of costs or the fact it didn’t sell out the Academy did not continue the event the following year. Now, in celebration of the 90th Academy Awards the Oscar Concert is getting another chance at redemption. In partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the 2018 Oscars Concert will be held at the famed Walt Disney Concert Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 8 PM sharp. It will begin with Michael Giacchinoand Pete Docter explaining the composing process using their own film “Up” as an example (sounds like a bore, honestly). Then the rest of the program will find conductor Thomas Wilkins and special guests such as Terence Blanchard (trumpet) performing special arrangements of Oscar nominated scores from composers such as Tan Dun, Quincy Jones, Mica Levi, Rachel Portman and A.R. Rahman. The evening will end with the world premiere of “specially arranged suites” from this year’s five Original Score nominees, “Dunkirk” by Hans Zimmer, “Phantom Thread” by Jonny Greenwood,“The Shape of Water” by Alexandre Desplat, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” by John Williams and“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” by Carter Burwell. Scenes from each film will accompany the music on the Walt Disney Hall’s HD screen. PROGRAM: Introduction: Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino and Oscar-winning director Pete Docter present a live demonstration of the scoring process. Musical selections from the Oscar-winning film “UP” The Sound of Home: Rachel Portman, “Nicholas Nickleby” Nino Rota, “Amarcord” A. R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire” The Sound of the Chase: Dave Grusin, “The Firm” Lalo Schifrin, “Bullitt” Jerry Goldsmith, “The Great Train Robbery” The Sound of Fear: Mica Levi, “Jackie” Quincy Jones, “In Cold Blood” John Carpenter, “Halloween” John Williams, “The Witches of Eastwick” The Sound of Love Erich Wolfgang Korngold, “The Adventures of Robin Hood” Luis Bacalov, “Il Postino” Tan Dun, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” The Sound of Courage: Terence Blanchard, “Malcolm X” Joe Hisaishi, “Spirited Away” Alex North, “Spartacus” The Sound of the Future: World premiere suites from this year’s nominated films for Original Score Carter Burwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water” Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread” John Williams, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Hans Zimmer, “Dunkirk” Source: https://theplaylist.net/dunkirk-halloween-2018-oscars-concert-20180201/
    1 point
  11. I hope there will be a standalone Rose's Theme one day really? i think it's one of his better ones
    1 point
  12. Just got mine NEW for 55 $US on Amazon.com, from a UK retailer. Wow. Don't know how they make money, but it is not my business!
    1 point
  13. I picked it up, I only had the Spielberg Williams cds from this set, so 102 for 17cds aint bad.
    1 point
  14. Amazon's price has dropped to $102.99 for this set https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07713PKXN/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    1 point
  15. Intrada has good chances to become the special label of the year, after how they begun this year. It's always nice to see an expansion shutting up a bunch of people. I personally can't bear to read "Varese should expand Small Soldiers and Air Force One" posts any more, though I also agree that this statement is as true as "A corpse is dead".
    1 point
  16. My #1 is without a hint of a doubt "Mola Rum's Speech/The Evil Potion" from The Temple of Doom. John Williams has never sounded so evil before and after that.
    1 point
  17. The Mercy by Jóhann Jóhannsson Meh. It's pleasant enough with one solid cue to take home. A couple of pieces from Orpée and some of his older stuff make it on here, and they make up the bulk of the highlights. But there's not much else to it. Theory of Everything was a better showcase of this kind of thing. I'm curious about his score for Mandy though, which has been getting some rave mentions by the critics lately.
    1 point
  18. I agree about the use of Leia's theme in the end credits... it's too abrupt and short. I was originally very disappointed with the end credits suite (both OST and FYC) and while I've warmed up to both, I'm still not completely satisfied since most of it is copy/paste. The TFA end credits suite really spoiled us and set the bar high for future end credits suites. I would have preferred the end credits start with a new arrangement of Leia's theme up to her tribute followed by the new thematic material (Rose/Island/desperation themes) and end with a fanfare rendition of Rey's theme (although I do love that softer version of Rey's theme).
    1 point
  19. 1 point
  20. Star Wars and all of its sequels are definitely "kids' movies," as are all of the Marvel movies. There's nothing inherently wrong with targeting your movie at kids, tweens, and teens. There's also nothing that says adults won't find something to enjoy in children's entertainment. For instance, you or I can glean a lot of enjoyment out of a children's book like The Hobbit. When they take kids' material and try to make it solely for adults, a lot of the time it's a failure. Zacky Snyder's DC movies and Peter Jackson's Hobbit movies (sorry Chen), for instance. Kids' entertainment can be great and valuable to adults, or it can be awful and made to fill time. You can see that gap in, say, a Toy Story or a Moana (a moving piece of entertainment that stands up with the best movies of their respective years) or Shrek 3 and The Emoji Movie (the poop talks!). The target audience isn't the only audience, nor does it determine the quality of the work.
    1 point
  21. "Kids movie" Star Wars: Actual kids Star Wars movie:
    1 point
  22. It's a more enjoyable movie with significantly greater rewatch value, in an immeasurable way.
    1 point
  23. Just attended today's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's performance of A New Hope. I enjoyed it even more than The Force Awakens last year (which was already fantastic), perhaps because of the huge upgrade in sound quality in hearing it live compared to the original recording. I'm hardly qualified to judge, but it sounded technically very accurate, too, and I didn't hear any notes out of place even during the busiest sections. TIE Fighter Attack was as fun as I'd hoped. The worst part was having to watch some of the more egregious Special Edition 'enhancements'. They're performing the Empire Strikes Back on the 15th and 16th of December (though they might well add more dates if history is any guide) - the pre-sale code is (hopefully they don't get mad if some John Williams fans get early access :)).
    1 point
  24. I got my ticket in the grand tier for the Saturday night. Contacted them through twitter and they were great!
    1 point
  25. I've never been more excited to get a previously-unreleased piece of Williams music than I was when I finally got to hear the entirety of "Cantina Band #2."
    1 point
  26. Yes, it was penned by JW. It was part of the symphonic suite that was published by Fox Fanfare back in 1980 (it includes The Imperial March, Han Solo and the Princess, The Asteroid Field, Yoda's Theme and Finale) EDIT: Ricard ninja'd me
    1 point
  27. It was done by John Williams as part of TESB 5-movement suite.
    1 point
  28. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! What are you doing!!!???
    1 point
  29. I'm not too into the new Star Wars scores personally. I worship Williams for many reasons and he's my favorite composer, but I don't find these scores that talent-driven or captivating. Empire Strikes Back might be my favorite OST of his. When this Yoda plays, I get orgasmic. I'm like *THIS IS the Star Wars I know and love." So many brilliant and catchy themes in the original SW, very Mussorgskian. I wish the new SW scores were even better than the originals, but the producers are idiots and didn't grab at the opportunity of having Williams there. Imo it sounds like a typical score. It completely lost me. As for the topic on the previous page, Escapism: "the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy." Schindler's List is one of the highest-rated movies of all time. For most of those people, it definitely qualifies as escapist.
    1 point
  30. Oh my god, this thread. It's always fun to start a discussion and not being involved any more when it heats up and gets dirty.
    1 point
  31. Hmm.. I suppose the "orchestration" is quite powerful. Can't really say it sticks out creatively or catchily, personally-speaking. The composition is pretty simple, but that's just me. I don't see the talented craft. When I think of epic, I think of something vibrant, adventurous, and talentedly written. One example is the start of End Credits Jurassic Park or the escape from The Journey Begins Homeward Bound or the chants from Stone Language. I think the Jurassic Park example is the most epic moment I've ever heard in music, because the single-octave trumpets are blaring a melody for the ages over this monstrous echo.
    1 point
  32. The shoe drops: Kaufman it is for the first half of the Chicago show. I was hoping for special treatment, but if this enables JW to keep touring, I’ll gladly take it. Notice it doesn’t affect the price, though... Also, kudos for nixing the screen this time around! Been there, done that, and it’ll be nice to get to focus on the musicians for a change.
    1 point
  33. Skip Skip Skip Skip
    1 point
  34. https://www.facebook.com/lalalandrecords/photos/a.10152288788588755.1073741827.56031953754/10156315197093755/?type=3&theater
    1 point
  35. I can't really get into a lot of the TLJ parts people post, maybe because the score seems overall flat and blended like too many ideas at once. Here are some more moments I love from Williams: The whole minute of 2:30 - 3:30 is filled to the brim with brilliant moments, even subtle bass movements 1:41 - 2:12 This theme is one of his greats, for sure. Almost as good as the stuff in my last post The piano accompaniment at 0:54 is just breathtaking, right at 1:10 :'(
    1 point
  36. It almost certainly has been mentioned before, but the build to the Rebel Fanfare statement followed by the seamless segue into Rey's theme at 2:53 in The Battle of Crait is absolutely sublime. It never ceases to impress me how well the themes for this new trilogy are able to work alongside the preexisting thematic material established 40 years back.
    1 point
  37. Still no confirmation if Kraemer's returning or not
    1 point
  38. Unlucky Bastard

    TWIN PEAKS

    This is a different one.
    1 point
  39. "Deconstruction of Star Wars" ... when I read such things ... And uttered by people who probably read it somewhere else without knowing what it means, and take it into their rhetoric arsenal to defend the film because they like it, and don't know how to put it in words. Deconstructing Star Wars. Star Wars is escapist adventure. There's no room to deconstruct things. If you do so, it results in a movie that is as awkward as it's boring. So, maybe TLJ does deconstruct.
    1 point
  40. So you're going to do it from now on? Cool, nice to have that responsibility lifted.
    1 point
  41. Friday 10 am GMT. Karol
    1 point
  42. The whole track is great, but 1:11-1:18: Love the trumpet offbeat hits. Also the mallet color (glockenspiel?) on the triplets at 1:12. That seems to be a color he grew fond of using during the SW prequel years, especially.
    1 point
  43. Yeah, Rotten Tomatoes doesn't work at all. Two pieces of evidence: (a) its average tomatometer is incredibly high, and (b) its Top 1000 compared to IMDb's is incredible nonsense. The reason behind these phenomena are that: RT has loads and loads of random movies by the year getting various reviews, but some of these movies by chance end up getting all ripes and so end up 95-100%, while masterpieces get into 85% range and make it into 4000th place (about an 85%.) This is all because critics on RTomatoes give out much too many ripes and a ripe doesn't tell you smack about the quality. Mathematics alone will tell you that ~10% of average films escape as outliers into 95-100% territory, by randomness, and that's a lot of films, while brilliant films get 80-90% which is nothing on a list with 100%s. So the ambiguous relativism of ratings on RT make them meaningless. AND people buy into RT because it rates their favorite movies so much higher than the competing site, so "of course it must be better." People never observe the actual facts. Though IMDb is imperfect, it's a 9-million-times-better website for referencing a film's rating. And the facts are fully in its favor, and despite its imperfection, its algorithm does its best at weighing away 0/10 and other outlier ratings. However still, the best system of ratings isn't IMDb or Metacritic, but it's a personal critic or individual rater you find online, whom you enjoy. That is what I go by. I tend to utilize IMDb's lists that users create, that have films I already like in them so that I can find new films. Just don't reference Rotten Tomatoes, please. Rotten Tomatoes is as meaningless as the pop music industry. Metacritic or IMDb is perfectly acceptable. Seeing 2049 at home is a lot like staring at your avatar. It misses the full effect...... ok, maybe not for your avatar I just don't think newcomer reviewers had good sound systems or the best screens: the film was definitely meant for the big screen. The average rating dropped .2 points after its Blu-ray release.
    1 point
  44. All the Chicago shows are listed now as 'John Williams Returns' and according to the website will include "music from E.T., Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Lincoln, and more." Also keep in mind that for the CSO shows, Williams will share the podium with Richard Kaufman, while no other conductor is listed for the Indianapolis concerts. Additionally, the CSO has added a pre and post concert event called “A Toast to John Williams” before and after the Sunday, April 29 concert: https://cso.org/ticketsandevents/production-details-2017-18/volunteer-events/a-toast-to-john-williams/
    1 point
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