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Omen II

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Posts posted by Omen II

  1. I know Williams wasn't the first one to write an Exsultate Justi. At least Mozart had written one before him. Do they have the same lyrics?


    Could you be thinking of Mozart's Exsultate, Jubilate? If so this is based on a different text. However, you are right that other composers have set the whole of psalm 32(33) to music and have used the text more or less as it appears in the psalm.

    What impresses me about John Williams's work for Empire of the Sun is that by and large the lyrics make good grammatical sense, even though they are borrowed from a number of different sources. The lyrics Jerry Goldsmith came up with for The Omen's Ave Satani sound very scary but do not hold water at all grammatically (i.e. they cannot be translated into English and still make sense).

    I therefore award Johnny an A- for his Latin homework and Jerry an E.

    Damien :wink2:

  2. John Williams appears to have done a clever cut-and-paste job when coming up with the lyrics for Exsultate Justi - most of them appear in the Psalms or in some part of the Latin mass. I have not quite worked out if any of the lines are original Williams creations.

    The opening line Laudamus te can be heard in the text of the Gloria (interestingly JW's Gloria from the film Monsignor uses only the first line and stops just before we would hear 'Laudamus te') as can the line qui tollis peccata mundi.

    The other lyrics, as far as I can work out, are liberal borrowings from several of the psalms, especially psalm 32 (33). Check this out and see how many you can spot:


    The line cantate domino canticum novum appears several times in the psalms, particularly numbers 95(96), 97(98) and 149. If anyone can find the source of some of the other lines, I would be interested to know, although I would guess they are adaptations of lines that appear in the psalms somewhere. I wonder whether Johnny ever sang in a choir or studied Latin at school?

    I do have a couple of quibbles with the lyrics on the page that Evan posted. I am sure that the choir sings laudatio rather than the made-up compound collaudatio, a word that does not exist in classical Latin. The same can be said of the word salvator, a cod-Latin word that looks good but was probably invented for church use.

    Here endeth the lesson.

    Damien :)

  3. I am glad you specifically mentioned JW's disaster movie end titles, Joe. The end titles for The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure and Earthquake are three of the best ever written (NB: the cue 'The City Sleeps' on the Earthquake CD is the re-recording of the end title music).

    To my mind, Johnny seems to reserve his best epilogues for 'group jeopardy' films; the end titles for Jaws, Jaws 2, Black Sunday and SpaceCamp are other prime examples.

    Others that I think deserve an honorary mention (apart from the obvious ones we all know so well) are Sugarland Express and JFK.


  4. Morlock,

    William Alwyn wrote one of his best scores for the film The Crimson Pirate which starred Burt Lancaster.

    Although I do not yet have the CD, I have heard good things about the suite on The Film Music of William Alwyn: Volume 2, available on the Chandos label (CHAN 9959). The music is more in the vein of Captain Blood (pardon the pun) than Hook, but there ya go.

    Chandos have done a few excellent film music releases and I would heartily recommend the Malcolm Arnold and Georges Auric CDs too.

    Hoist the mainsail!


  5. Australia is made popular through Paul Hogan, then came Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, and now Russell Crowe

    Mel Gibson was famous before Paul Hogan. Also remember Mel moved to Australia when he was 12. He was born in New York.

    Also remember that Russell Crowe is a Kiwi, though you'd never guess from his accent. He was born in Wellington.

    New Zealand - the place to live if you don't like snakes.


  6. I thought I would share with you one of my (many) pet hates.

    Someone at work today had a mobile phone that played Harold Faltermeyer's Axel F theme tune from Beverly Hills Cop. She was away from her desk so we all had to listen to this mid-80's synth classic ad infinitum.

    What annoyed me was not the music itself (hec, if you must have a mobile phone, at least have a ring tone from the silver screen) but the fact that the penultimate note was clearly a semitone sharp. Moreover, a straw poll among my work colleagues suggested that the tempo was all wrong too.

    Egad! Where do they find these morons to transcribe the classics for mobile phone use? Do they hear things differently from the rest of us? Do they have to change the notes for some reason to avoid re-use fees?

    I am yet to hear Johnny's music butchered in this way but fear it is only a matter of time. To paraphrase Homer Simpson, Harold Faltermeyer must be rolling in his grave!

    Damien :evil:

  7. Williams conducted the LSO in concert in June 1997. That was his last perfomance in Europe.

    Not quite right, Ricard, it was July 1998 that JW conducted the LSO at the Barbican in two concerts, the second of which included his tuba concerto. He also gave concerts with the LSO in 1996 at the same venue.


    As JW is perhaps most likely to give UK concerts with the LSO, I suggest your joining their mailing list at www.lso.co.uk. That way you also get to hear about other great concerts well in advance.


  8. A football fan decides to travel to the World Cup final in Yokohama to experience the tournament at first hand. Long ago having given up all hope of getting a ticket for the game, he goes to the stadium before the match to mill with the crowds and soak up the pre-match atmosphere.

    To his amazement, a man approaches him clutching a spare ticket for one of the best seats in the ground. "Do you want this spare ticket, mate?" he asks. "You can have it for free, as long as you don't mind sitting next to me." Taken aback by the man's generosity and his own incredible good fortune, the football fan asks how come the man is giving away a ticket for the World Cup final.

    The man replies: "I bought the ticket six months ago for my dear late wife. We travelled together to every World Cup since 1974 and always made sure we got the best seats for the final. This would have been our eighth World Cup final together."

    "I'm so sorry, man", says the football fan, "I feel really guilty about accepting this now. Couldn't you have asked one of your friends or relatives to go with you to the match?"

    "I did," answered the man, "but they're all at the funeral."


  9. Superman must have been the first or second film I ever saw on the big screen when I was very young. My Dad took me and my brother to see it in a cinema that is now a McDonald's. :?

    Does anyone remember those Superman cards with bubble gum that you could get at the time? Each card showed a scene from the film with a caption underneath. All I can remember is my brother and I, who had learned all the captions off by heart, calling them out during the film as the relevant scenes appeared! That must have pissed off the rest of the audience, but I don't remember us being ejected for it.

    The only two captions I can remember now are "A world torn asunder" (presumably because I thought 'asunder' was a funny word) and also "Superman pays a call on Lois Lane". We all thought this one was hilarious. Why? Well to this day I cannot watch that scene in the penthouse without expecting Lois Lane to be soaked with urine at any moment.

    Damien :music:

  10. I like it more than my John Williams music (probably not the brightest thing to say on a John Williams message board but it is how I feel, but don't get me wrong John Williams music is still really great)

    Brandon, I'd have to agree with you (in fact with just about everything you've said). May God have mercy on my soul!

    By the way, of the two most exciting games of football I have ever been to, one finished 6-4 while the other was a 0-0 draw that went to extra time and a penalty shootout. Forget nail-biting, I nearly bit through my freakin' hands. :D

    Ricard, I know this thread is slightly off topic but is it worth making it a 'sticky' until the end of the World Cup?

    Damien - pushing his luck

  11. And the best part of all there has never been a war started over it.

    El Salvador v Honduras, June 1969, right? The USA v Mexico game (or the 'Rio Grande derby' as I have taken the liberty of christening it) on Monday has potential.

    Damien - hoping 'keeper Jose Luis Chilavert knocks one in the onion bag against the Germans tomorrow :)

  12. Joe,

    The first World Cup was in Uruguay in 1930 and was won by the hosts (believe it or not the US reached the semi-finals that year). It is held every four years.

    There are now 32 countries in the finals (co-hosted this time by South Korea and Japan) from all five continents. The first round of games is divided into 8 groups of 4 teams each. Each group has a seeded team (i.e. a 'good' team that is expected to do well such as France, Portugal, Brazil, etc.) and each of the teams plays each other once.

    3 points are awarded for a win, 1 point for a draw (or 'tie', as you put it) and zilch if you lose. The top two teams (i.e. 16 teams in total) from each group then progress to the knock-out stage where a tie is impossible. If a game ends in a tie after 90 minutes, extra time is played (30 minutes). If the game is still a tie there is a penalty shoot-out with each team taking 5 penalties each. If it is still a tie it goes to sudden death penalties (i.e. 1 penalty each until someone misses). England, Italy and the Netherlands are experts at losing in heartbreaking penalty shootouts!

    Although the USA tied with South Korea 1-1 it was an excellent performance (with a slice of luck) and gives them a real chance of progressing to the knockout stage. The standings in their group are as follows:

    SOUTH KOREA - 4 points

    USA - 4 points

    PORTUGAL - 3 points

    POLAND - 0 points

    There are two games to play in this group, USA v Poland and South Korea v Portugal. USA need one point to progress so need to draw with (or beat) Poland.

    I know you have professed that you are not interested in football and it would be arrogant of me to try to persuade you otherwise. However, the USA's 3-2 victory against Portugal was one of the great shocks in World Cup history (I am sure Merkel would agree) and it is a shame that it barely got a mention in the US press.

    Damien - who put money on Slovenia to reach the quarter-finals :)

  13. Merkel,

    Nice to see that I am not the only one with World Cup fever at the moment! I thought Portugal were impressive, although it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Poland had not had that goal disallowed for a 'foul' on Vitor Baia when the score was still 1-0. Baia was embarrassed at dropping the ball so took a dive!

    The US is a lot better team than some people give them credit for (any team would be happy to hold the hosts 1-1). Does anyone else think that Clint Mathis (US goalscorer against South Korea) looks like Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver with his new haircut?

    I reckon Portugal and U.S.A. will qualify from that group. I think South Korea may live to regret that penalty miss.

    Brandon, much as I would have liked to see the Netherlands in the World Cup, they had their chance and blew it. They were in a difficult qualifying group (with Portugal and Ireland) and failed to beat Ireland in two games.

    Poor France. :twisted:

  14. Of the concertos that I have heard by John Williams, the violin concerto is the one I like best. It does sound quite a lot like Walter Piston's second violin concerto in places.

    Dvorak's violin concerto is pretty good too (I saw Sarah Chang play it last year), especially the slow movement. Those of you who like Sibelius may want to check out Rautavaara's and Nielsen's efforts for the fiddle. They are both absolutely Norse-some!!!

    Damien :(

  15. Did you know it is possible to write jazz using the serial method? Just FYI.

    Quite right, jsawruk. And the most accessible example to support your claim is David Shire's wonderful 12-tone jazz score for The Taking of Pelham 123 (1974) . Although Shire broke the rules once or twice, he should have got an Oscar for this outrageous score.

    Other members unfamiliar with this score may want to check it out (you can order it from Film Score Monthly's website) .


    USA 3 - Portugal 2 (told you all so) :)

  16. Dr. Know,

    The Grimethorpe Colliery Band recently released a CD entitled Movie Brass featuring arrangements of famous film music, including four pieces by John Williams: Superman, Star Wars, Jurassic Park and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    Do not be put off by the name. They are reputedly the premier non-military brass band in the UK. Although brass band arrangements are not really my thing, the Williams arrangements I have heard on the radio have been rather good.

    Damien - counting the hours until China v Costa Rica :jump:

  17. Alawill,

    Your list does look pretty comprehensive! However, there is some question as to whether the film Stark Fear (1961) has music by John Williams, or perhaps I should say music by the John Williams.

    I have never seen the film but was curious as to why it appeared on some lists of complete works but not on others. I therefore e-mailed the webmaster at the John Williams web pages (Jeff Eldridge?) a few months ago posing this question. He kindly responded to say that he had seen the film recently and although there is a music credit for someone called John Williams (in addition to that of the composer of most of the score whose name escapes me) , he thought it extremely unlikely that it was our Johnny. I wonder if anyone else here has seen this obscure film?

    One film possibly missing from your list is Flashing Spikes, a 1962 TV short directed by none other than John Ford and starring James Stewart. It was Ford's only TV movie and is about baseball. Again, I have not seen it but I have seen the music credited to John Williams. Can anyone else confirm that this is our Johnny?


  18. Well the reason I brought up this film is the noise the ants made.  It was one of the scariest sounds I have ever heard.

    I believe that Warners achieved this terrifying sound by mixing the trilling made by some types of frog with high-pitched parrot calls.


  19. Well said Joe, I can (almost) forgive you for not liking football as I love all those classic 50's sci-fi movies and their music.

    Them! has a particularly good score by the much under-rated (IMHO) Polish composer Bronislau Kaper. I heard a radio interview with him once (recorded before his death in 1983, obviously) in which he said that he got his inspiration for parts of the score from the sound the giant ants make in the film. That chilling opening title with the two rumbling pianos is way ahead of its time, 25 years before JW tried it in the Hoth battle in The Empire Strikes Back. Then when the 5-note ant theme kicks in I start scratching! Kaper was a wonderful composer (if a little insistent at times) and I feel his hour is yet to come. Perhaps Marco Polo can do an album of his stuff one day? I am also a big fan of his music for Mutiny on the Bounty, The Way West, The Naked Spur and more.

    Many of the composers who worked on those films were as talented as the Newmans, Steiners and Waxmans but never got the chance to shine when working for studios with minuscule music budgets. Hans Salter, Herman Stein, Irving Gertz, Heinz Roemheld - all deserve to be as well known as their Universal colleague Henry Mancini would become. Some of the composers at smaller studios such as Albert Glasser, Darrell Calker, Mischa Bakaleinikoff and Mort Glickman are almost completely unknown today when their genre scores are nothing less than classics. I think Herman Stein and Irving Gertz are both still alive, by the way.

    Have you heard any of Monstrous Movie Music's superb re-recordings of music from some of the classic sci-fi films of the 1950s? They have done three albums so far and each is enough to make all other soundtrack labels hang their heads in shame. I would recommend them without reservation to anyone on this board who may think decent monster music began and ended with Bernard Herrmann. Check out their website:


    Damien - a 1950's sci-fi music geek

    :) The Descent/Ant Chamber from Them! (Bronislau Kaper)

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