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Everything posted by publicist

  1. This is a more in-depth bad review of the elegy from 2002: You didn't have to be John Williams to write this cello concerto. The creator of the film music for "Jaws," ET "and" Star Wars "signs the score with gripping cinematic fanfares at the beginning - only to let Yo-Yo Ma step on the scene, who is certainly not a bad cast for them Main role is. But then Williams leaves his hero in an impressive, atmospheric orchestral landscape. Introverted, he spins aimless, sour melodies with a much chiseled drive. However, this harsher tonality does not make the work more serious, nor less eclectic. Tonal innovation is not the problem at all. Inventing impressive catchy topics for characteristic stories, creating a romantic atmosphere in a matter of seconds is, after all, an art of its own with its own value. And Williams usually succeeds in combining image, situation and sound so well that he surprisingly knows how to vividly revive film experiences in the concert hall. But there is no film for his cello concerto - and this is where the lack of structural will to create, the lack of a conflict, a dramatically told story becomes noticeable: it is lost in the display of orchestral and, above all, solo technique. Williams makes his hero look good, but Yo-Yo Ma's dramatic power fizzles out because there is no convincing dialogue for him in the script. On the other hand, Williams offers a story about the "Elegie" in the booklet: The piece was written as a reaction to the accidental death of a colleague's children. Williams composed "Heartwood" with an illustrated book about gnarled old trees in hand. The smooth string sound worked as film music in both cases. In contrast to Yo-Yo Ma's penetrating cello tone, it suddenly seems cheap - because, unlike the soloist, it seems to distract from himself. So can we forget John Williams as a composer of absolute music? Not quite. Because there are the three pieces for cello solo. They also have programmatic titles. If one hears the cracking of the whips of the slave drivers and the groans of the mistreated in the first piece, it becomes somewhat trivial. When heard on their own, the beat motif at the beginning and the nervous departure from the keynote, on the other hand, offer musical conflict enough for five and a half minutes of intense tension. One man, one cello, one solution: sometimes even a Williams doesn't need much to be good.
  2. Waldbühne concerts mostly look like this. Whatever the BPO is doing there is considered money on the side for starving musicians.
  3. He's not mocking it, he complains about the piece's (to him) lackluster structure. As for the Waldbühne: i doubt that Waldbühne concerts are covered at all in the classical review section.
  4. Fact: Lebrecht is hate-reviewing, obviously. Which this guy isn't, which makes your 'translations' rather dubious. The guy points out that the elegy piece offered is structurally lacking - well. Bad composer? Not remotely true. It's basically reverse snobbism.
  5. He's basically acknowledging Williams' most influential role in film music but questions the program as never-ending succession of marches, parades and tutti flourishes that end them. It's not remotely in the 'hate review' category of Lebrecht, and co., whatever Steve says. As for cultural differences, german cultural grail keepers are not used to the concept of Pops concerts, so the lack of *proper* classical development of the musical ideas is what turns him off most, and he makes a point that concerts as these are a draw for film fans more than for music lovers.
  6. Never mind music critics, they are about as relevant as film music fans (and an even smaller group). The real situation is a Catch 22: the film music programs that fill the venues are strictly Pops material, and composers have always been reluctant to re-work their film music into something more substantial (and probably for good reason). On the other hand, concertos like JNH, Elfman or Horner did (and JW, of course) would be suitable but the audiences would stay away in droves. So even if i agree that film music is the popular concert music of today (up to a point), i wish there was more of an effort to deepen the scores presented beyond end credits reworkings. Case in point: Desplat's 10-minute Ghost Writer arrangement, which took me by surprise.
  7. Are you sure about that? Because at least from the Berliner Konzertbetrieb i can assure you nothing much has changed, let alone to accept something 'lowbrow' as film music as fit for the holy concert arenas. This is strictly considered Waldbühne fare here, and i'm sure without Williams' cleverly playing a double role since 1980 he wouldn't have been considered. Even Morricone had to play in the Mercedes Benz Arena, after all.
  8. No, it helped that there weren't 5,000 re-re-releases of the same stuff and millions of Youtube clips around.
  9. Or, too put it differently, this shopworn selection is Williams' 'fuck you!' to Norman Lebrecht and his ilk. My best Williams concert by far remains the 1996 LSO/Barbicon one...all these pieces were not played to death back then and widely available via Youtube & Co. And as additional bonus he chose stuff like The Cowboys, Sugarland Express JFK and Sleepers, and even a brand-new Olympia thing (Summon the Heroes). And was running around the Barbican entrance area like a regular guy.
  10. I heartily agree that life away from the www is more important than ever. Also, in the last 10 years there was an exodus of posters interested in a broad range of cultural and musical topics, now it's daunting to find life beyond shipping updates, blockbuster anticipation and the ever-same celebrations of the same 10 scores from the past.
  11. Derivative as it is (note the main theme's structural similarity to the Harry Potter main theme, which of course was written 8 years later) Also James Horner's wonderful precursor:
  12. Yeah, especially since Williams poured a lot of work into these new arrangements. The Berlin program by comparison was almost shockingly geared towards the march and fanfares people.
  13. After Tarantino, it all became pastiche anyway. Sometimes mild surprises even come from places where you least-least expect them:
  14. That's what i'm saying, i cherish new-ish film composers whose sources range beyond other film composers. And of course are allowed to incorporate such weird fetish into their film scores.
  15. It's a tv series, afair. I listened to it a few months before and remember liking parts of it but also like you came to realize that i'm too lazy to wade through all the wallpaper. But i give them that, the cover has this tasty Miramax style of old that just makes you click 'play', it's so delicieux!
  16. Same old, same old. I dubbed this style 'karaoke Delerue'. In contrast: this first glimpse on Greenwood's latest reveals him continuing his film music journey with interesting formal and instrumental choices, even if many don't find it to their liking. https://open.spotify.com/album/1vxb9RaFCB8C3M6EMJLnOn?si=56juJIkATQq1be5LsNk9UQ
  17. Geez, i live in Berlin and didn't even bother to attend because of all these musty old Williams standards, regardless of which musty institution performs them. Or, to put it less inflammatory, i had the good sense to leave tickets for those in need.
  18. The score in question most likely was 'A Far Off Place', a score known to be heavily ghostwritten and featuring surprisingly sophisticated scoring for what basically is a kid's adventure movie. Ironically it's much more interesting due to different ghostwriters working on it than many scores Horner orchestrated on his own (starting with Braveheart). Rule of thumb: emotional pieces and affecting tunes Horner did himself, suspense, action and tissue stuff he farmed out, because he was more interested in lifting the emotion. So you can keep all the sweet stuff from AFOP.
  19. Naturally too long, but for whatever miraculous reason they allowed Beltrami to get some music in that doesn't sound like a collection of blockbuster trailer library clichés. We are speaking about the non-action stuff, of course. It may be Beltrami's WW1984, except that it's that score's dark twin brother. The score utilizes short and flexible themes and motifs in a very Goldsmith manner (like his customary half tone steps in horn or woodwinds), but without the odd meters, which seem to have been outlawed. Other elements are very Elfman (the more apocalyptic moments and the rhythmic base), there's even some Nine Inch Nails, a Hollywood favourite since 'Seven'). On the downside, there's at least 30 minutes that tread water and are not interesting to listen to separated from the movie. Still, all in all solid middle class. That's big praise these days for Hollywood comic book movies. Yeah, well. It's 'Kingdom of Heaven's little brother, but ain't that a left-handed compliment. Gregson-Williams latest Ridley Scott job keeps the airy medieval atmosphere and the vocal soloists, but adds neither much thematic congruence nor the sorely missed set pieces to glue the more atmospheric cues together. The few pieces with a more epic spirit are short and appear timid melodically. It's not bad, per se, and one has to applaud a lean 45-minute score for a big historical movie. Cues like 'Managing the Estate', 'I Offer you a Name' and the last two cues, 'The Aftermath' and 'Celui Que Je Désire' seem to hint at a more satisfying whole, but it's just not there. If you eagerly awaited a new epic score that is 'Princess Mononoke' humping later James Horner, Simon Franglen's latest is for you (fittingly, he replaces Horner on the Avatar sequel). It is a pleasant surprise how the big orchestra is utilized throughout, but it's third-generation copy stuff that doesn't have anything to say beyond clichés invented by others. It should appeal to those who applaud every orchestral swell that sounds like old favourites, but the best i can say about it is that it sounds competent.
  20. People who loved the movie may forgive this release the omission of one big set piece (it's Michael Nyman's breathtaking concert piece 'MGV', written for a very fast train) but Emile Mosseri's score isn't a loss, either. It's too short and underdeveloped to leave much of an impression, but his bittersweet americana idiom, full of woodwinds solos, small string ensemble and piano has some of the persuasiveness of a (more hip) James Horner and Elmer Bernstein's many lyrical outings. It's one of the recent scores where i wish the composer would have had the opportunity to flesh out his ideas for the album release. And as brilliant as the Nyman tune is, they should have given Mosseri the chance to come up with something himself (though i guess he did, in the cue 'Rock Fight', which is called demo but sounds too similar to Nyman, tbh). Still, Mosseri did some good stuff recently (the not unsimilar 'Minari', for instance) and is on my listen list.
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