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Everything posted by Seth

  1. Men in Black-I hadn't seen it before. I enjoyed it a great deal, actually, and was surprised at some of the humorous aspects. A lot of the humor lay in the delivery of the lines, which I thought Tommy Lee Jones nailed. It was nice watching Will Smith back when he was somewhat likable. I don't find him so pleasant now as then. I can't put my finger on it. Danny Elfman's score was a great help to the story and the visuals and really helped push the film along. Overall it was a positive experience. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-I know this film is a point of some contention due to the book
  2. I've got to say that I enjoyed The Departed much more than the majority of the last two LOTR scores. I am very fond of The Fellowship of the Ring, but The Departed held my interest more consistently than The Two Towers or The Return of the King. I'm not saying those are bad scores-far from it; they both contain some very fine music. I just found The Departed to more consistently engaging than those two. But maybe I am just more open to Shore than some here seem to be.
  3. The bassoon is somewhat of an acquired taste. I used to not like it but with a good player it's a beautiful instrument.
  4. Flute-I'm kind of partial to the jazz tinged solo in the concert arrangement of Leia's Theme. Bassoon-There's some great clownish writing in the Jar-Jar music from TPM. The concert arrangement of Smee's Plan has a really nice solo, and the desert music in Star Wars has some great section writing. Clarinet-The Terminal obviously. There are several nice passages scattered throughout E.T.. But one of my favorites is the scalar passage just before the action music in "Ben's Death/TIE Fighter Attack."
  5. How closely does the Catch Me If You Can SE match the album? I'm thinking of getting a copy of that score and am wondering how it compares to the soundtrack CD.
  6. That's a smart move in my view. I bought the cello CD without hearing it first. It's been five years and I still haven't connected with the piece at all. The first 3 minutes are nice but then he loses me. The violin concerto, though, is a lovely thing.
  7. The description says it all but I feel some background is in order. I've been looking at a book of orchestral repertoire lists through 1970, and according to these tables the Houston Symphony played a piece called Legend by John Williams in 1949. I know Williams was only 17 at the time and hadn't really written anything of substance at that time, but could this be an unknown piece? I'm tempted to write it off as a mistake but I thought I would ask around here first. The same book lists the symphony he wrote as Symphony No. 4 too, so maybe there is some error here.
  8. Here is the scene with the original music playing.
  9. The Cello Concerto is interesting but not one of my favorites. The first three minutes are quite good but then he loses momentum and I lose interest. The Five Sacred Trees is another story. It's a work I am very fond of all the way through. It's a bit different from his film style but I think it is still clearly his voice shining through.
  10. Williams could not touch Shostakovich's 8th String Quartet. Such an intense expression of grief and pain. I think in many ways the Adagio is more emotional/passionate than a lot of Williams' best work. So yes-some composers do top him.
  11. He can't be Amish. Then he wouldn't have any.
  12. I get the sense Thomas Newman will be in Ennio Morricone's place in 30 years. What a shame.
  13. I've learned that his harmonic language is absolutely fascinating and his skill at modulating is not to be laughed at. They are so fluid that when you compare the score and recordings the key changes all feel so natural and are often imperceptible through a chord analysis. His use of non-dominant cadences is also quite intriguing-Yoda's theme ending with a Neapolitan-I progression and the last phrase of Adventures on Earth, where he uses motion by seconds rather than the expected fourths or fifths. And his skill at orchestration is also quite brilliant, particularly (to me) the way he uses the
  14. That's the one. I haven't given much time to the other piece although Dharma is quite beautiful.
  15. Back to the last film...Casablanca. I just saw it tonight. It was never a film I really wanted to see but I'm in college and got bored so I watched it. I liked it a lot. It's justifiably a classic in my eyes. The acting was uniformly good, especially Humphrey Bogart. The script was incredible; a lot of memorable dialogue and even a great deal of wit and humor, much of it increased or emphasized by the delivery. Even though I've grown up hearing a lot of the more famous lines it was nice to finally hear them in context. The score was one thing I was a bit wary of. It was a little overbearing al
  16. The Adams piece is actually on a CD now. It's a great piece-a lot of nice colors and interesting melodies. He even tuned the harps and piano with just intonation instead of the normal equal temperament system. The timbre of the electric violin is really quite different (in a good way) from the normal four-stringed violin, and Tracy Silverman's performance is exquisite.
  17. The Empire Strikes Back. I don't know how many times I have seen this film. I still enjoy it every time, and to me it is the best of the Star Wars saga. Perfect writing, delivery, everything. This is the one Star Wars film I have absolutely no gripes about- coincidentally, it is also the one I think got ruined the most in the SEs (I am referring here to the awful Vader's shuttle scene that disrupts the tension, both dramatic and musical, of the escape from Bespin). And of course the score is great as well, in spite of the tracking that occurs. I have to say, also, that I am glad the music that
  18. L.A. Confidential. Not sure how I felt about this one. I found it hard to follow-a lot of people, many involved in sordid affairs. In spite of that, all the layers built up to an ultimately satisfying climax. I was particularly impressed with the period look-the clothing, hairstyles, dress, even the architecture and set design. All of this contributed to the feel of the film. I thought the script was somewhat awkward-I don't like profanity in general and here it seemed to be "out there", for shock value or just for it's very presence. Performances were generally good, particularly Russell Crow
  19. As I recall, a violinist Williams knew lost her children in an accident of some sort. He wrote the Elegy for the children's memorial and then orchestrated it for the album.
  20. So I'm getting into James Newton Howard. What of his scores do you recommend? I've heard Signs, The Village, and Lady in the Water, and I liked Unbreakable in the film. All of those scores impressed me a great deal, and I'm wondering what else there is by this composer that is worth listening to. Seth
  21. 1970s: Close Encounters and Star Wars 1980s: The Empire Strikes Back and Empire of the Sun 1990s: The Phantom Menace and Jurassic Park 2000s: Memoirs of a Geisha and Minority Report
  22. In regards to the new ones-Luck's has instrumentation and things up for The Mission Theme, E.T., Jaws and Sayuri's Theme, all in SE. I assume this means that they are now available for purchase.
  23. What a shame. Those are definitely two of his absolute finest scores.
  24. The older recordings may be "crude" but the orchestra often has a warmth and coherence that doesn't always come across in digital recordings. I am very fond of analog recorded strings-they have more presence and body. The upper woodwind ranges also lose some harshness. The brass do come off well in digital recordings though; the high trumpets lose some of the bright edge that they get in some older recordings, and horns and trombones sound particularly nice in digital recordings as well. I don't think percussion is favored by either. I do love the sound of harp glissandos in the old Star Wars
  25. The DCC Raiders disk is amazing as well. All the orchestrations come through really clear. I also really like the 4-disc Star Wars anthology. From his more recent releases, I like The Terminal, POA and the first half of Revenge of the Sith. The mixing kind of goes dead on the last half. I think it's hard to put a finger on the LSO's more recent performances. Their readings of the 70s and 80s just jump off the page and are played with panache and a lot of flair. I feel this carried over recently with TPM, but the readings of the last two prequels are technically flawless but seem staid and unen
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