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Posts posted by ChrisAfonso

  1. Just saw the film yesterday. Originally, when it was announced, I was indifferent to the concept (and in the "sure go ahead, but why remake a classic?" crowd). Approaching the release, I got a bit more excited about a new take on the material, especially after the reviews started coming out overwhelmingly positive.

    But I was not prepared how much a story (and score!) I know very well for a long time, would keep me anchored in my seat gripping the armrests, and needing quite some time to collect myself afterwards. A real masterpiece with quite a number of really inspired choices for a new perspective on the material that work really well (standout: "Cool").

    The sheer visceral quality of the filmmaking is amazing (and a real departure from the '61 film, as far as I remember it).

    I get Karol's view that the raw realism and the heightened musical drama sometimes don't completely mesh successfully (and occasionally thought so myself during the film), but IMHO that's a very minor point of concern - both the "movie" and the "musical" work so well, that it immediately pulled me back in each time I got momentarily tripped up by the contrast.

  2. Great book, Chris! This score had a significant place in my discovery of film music, being one of the first non-Williams soundtracks I got. Awesome to have the full score to study.

    Already the first cursory thumb-through yields lots of interesting details to discover (alphorn, wtf :D). Reading along with the recording, there seem to be a number of podium changes that are not reflected in the score (like the horns in Firestorm, bars 25-26) - do you have any insights on that?

  3. 10 hours ago, Richard Penna said:

    Remember it happened too with the temple scene in KotCS, directly lifted from WotW. Both may just have been director requests for all we know, but either way, he still nicked material from himself.


    Though it does go against the copypaste-principle, I can't hold this instance against him - while it starts as a direct lift, he continues the cue in a different way and leads into this glorious brass finish :) (and as both scores involve aliens, a case could be made for topical appropriateness)

  4. Thanks again Maurizio and Tim (and Sarah) for this very entertaining and enlightening interview! :)


    I was a bit confused about her comment about the E.T. horn part not having the "Bells up!" in it, as I remember it being in the Signature edition score - turns out, while it's in the "Adventures on Earth" S.E., it's missing in the otherwise identical ending in the "Flying Theme" S.E. (which was performed in Berlin)...

  5. Ernö Dohnanyi's magnum opus "Cantus Vitae" contains quotes from the "Marseillaise" as well as the "Internationale", both fighting it out in a sort of "battle of ideologies". Thrilling piece - sadly there isn't an official recording available that I know of...


    Puccini quotes the (beginning of) American anthem a few times in "Madama Butterfly".

  6. 2 hours ago, Matt S. said:

    A question for our JWFAN members from Germany:


    Would it have been inappropriate for Williams to have the orchestra perform something from "Schindler's List?"  As an ignorant American I wonder if there were legitimate cultural sensitivities at play in deciding the program.  It is, after all, one of his most famous and successful scores, and he LOVES telling the story about the better composers being dead and all. 


    Not at all, it has been performed here multiple times, and is one of JW's most cherished compositions, same as elsewhere. The film, like others (e.g. Downfall, The Pianist, etc.) that depict this period in a serious way, is well regarded. It's the comedic handling of the subject matter that makes us squirm uncomfortably in our seats, like buddy-Adolf in Jojo Rabbit.


    And the story made it into the Berlin programme booklet at least, as the final punchline of the text ;)

  7. 19 hours ago, heritage said:

    (...), Emmanuel Pahud (...)

     I think they don´t like film music. (...)


    Counterpoint: He recorded an album with Alexandre Desplat, half of which consists of film score arrangements ;)


    3 hours ago, Thor said:

    True, but I do worry about THE FABELMANS in all of this busy schedule, even though there should be room for it, technically.


    I'd hope getting away from his studio for a while and visiting new places does refresh his creative impulses!

  8. 14 hours ago, Yavar Moradi said:

    For anyone interested, the 1999 German cast recording is pretty inexpensive secondhand: https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Menken-Stephen-Schwartz-James-Lapine-Disneys-Der-Glöckner-Von-Notre-Dame-Die-Höhepunkte-Der-W/release/5982656


    The English cast album recorded in 2015 does seem rather harder to find... https://www.discogs.com/Alan-Menken-Stephen-Schwartz-Brent-Alan-Huffman-The-Hunchback-Of-Notre-Dame-Studio-Cast-Recording/release/9157797


    And I'm not finding the German 2017 recording on Discogs easily, but here's a review of it with a cover image:





    Most of this has already been mentioned, but I have to second the strong recommendation for the 1999 "Glöckner" cast album. Sure, the German vocals need some getting used to, but musically it's just so far superior to the reworked '15 version of the show! I was hugely excited when the US cast album got released (finally, the musical with its original lyrics!) and then quickly deflated when listening to it and noticing that a) many great new songs from the '99 version were cut or lessened, b) the orchestra sounded a lot smaller, and c) they tried to make up for that by amping up the drum kit and piano, which (at least for me) makes it sounds even smaller and "poppier".


    The incredible ending to Quasimodo's "Wie aus Stein" (Made of Stone) alone makes it worthwhile, no comparison.


    I haven't heard the 2017 German album, but have seen the new show in Berlin - musically it's the same as the 2015 US one. A good musical in its own right (and some of the new songs are worthy additions), but the '99 version is just so much better.


    (on the original topic: mightily looking forward to the Legacy Collection :))

  9. I'd argue that the answer greatly depends on how you define "elegant" - if you mean "refined and colourful, ever changing orchestration and subtle motivic integration", this would fit more with Williams's output. But if you define it as "use the simplest fitting means to achieve maximum effect" (a.k.a. the Mozart way), this fits better with the music of Goldsmith. (Or as he is reported to have answered the question of how to write good music: "You put something on the top... something on the bottom... and something in the middle.")

  10. "the best" is hard to say - it's worth getting both the original 70s version on Varese Sarabande, and the 2000s version recorded by Gil Shaham on DG, as they're sufficiently different both in some details of orchestration and development, as well as recording sound (dry vs lush).

    4 hours ago, karelm said:


    It's hard to tell where you are in a piece when it is completely brand new to you.  You might enjoy Aaron Copland's "What to Listen for in Music" or Leonard Bernstein's Young People's Concerts tv shows from the 1950's and 60's which are on youtube and very well explained walk through of elements of music and some masterpieces.  Classical music doesn't always come quickly or easily but rewards effort.


    This is a great recommendation (and thanks for pointing out the Copland, have to look into that)! The book version of Bernstein's YPC played a big part in opening up my musical education.


    On the main topic of the new concerto, there's not a lot to say that wasn't already said ;) I was a bit lost (especially during the first movement) during the first watch, but on subsequent listens it quickly becomes more familiar - especially the beautiful last movement! Worthy addition to the Williams concert canon.

  11. 8 hours ago, Steve said:

    I think digital concert hall is not sold by DG. But I could be wrong.


    8 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

    DG has a long standing association with the Berliner Philharmoniker - much closer than the occasional one with the Wiener, I believe. I would expect at least 95% of the Berliner Philharmoniker recordings in my collection are DG releases.


    I personally wouldn't mind if they put out a nice release by themselves, if it's anything like this:







    8 hours ago, bollemanneke said:

    Yes, but that still doesn't merit a 1CD, 2CD, Blu-Ray, vinyl and combo pack release. Unless they release the crap all at once and I can just buy the best one available from day one.


    Incidentally, the above set has almost all of that in one box (CDs, BD-audio, BD-video).


  12. Yes, works fine - bought and watched it two days ago. I liked the concert very much, especially for hearing a new interpretation of Heidi, and Adventures of Han :) My only quibble would be that some pieces have a really slow tempo (for my taste) - but that may be a result of the spaced out seating making it more difficult to tightly play together (?)

    Well worth the $9 for the week-pass!

  13. 57 minutes ago, Jay said:

    OK here are the spots in The Lost World score where they re-used passages they knew the musicians could play instead of whatever JW originally intended

    1. 3-09 Spilling Petrol and Horning In [5M3/6M1 Part II Horning In] 3:52-4:01 ≈ 3-13 Rescuing Sarah [8M2 Truck Stop] 1:15-1:21
      • This was originally written for 8M2, in bars 110-122.  You can see in the 5M3/6M1 Part II sheet music that:
        • page 1 (bars 1-4) is fine
        • page 2 (should be bars 5-8) actually only has bars 5-7, then the original bar 8 is scribbled out
        • page 3 (should be bars 9-12), the original bar 9 is scribbled out and then you can see the obvious photocopying in of bars 110-112 of 8M2, though the percussion part of bar 8 is different (and the bar numbers are changed to now be bars 8-10)
        • [...]
    2. 3-13 Rescuing Sarah [8M2 Truck Stop] 3:18-3:29 ≈ 4-01 Ripples [10M1 Rialto Ripples] 3:34-3:44
      • This was clearly written for 8M2 and later repurposed into into 10M1


    These passages get stranger the longer you look at them. What you describe is actually the same passage from "Rescuing Sarah" (3:18), up to 3:42 (3:52-4:15 in "Horning In"), respectively 3:54 (3:34-4:08 in "Ripples") in the sheet music, but only "Horning in" contains bars 110-112 as written - the other two have an extra prominent line in the horns that doesn't show up anywhere in the written score. "Ripples" b114-115 (3:44-3:46) has the horn rips omitted that are heard in the other two places.

    (Rescuing Sarah 1:15-1:21 is a similar, but different passage)


    I'm curious where the "Passages copied due to performance problems" story comes from? - I'd guess it takes less time to rehearse a passage and do a few more takes than to change the score around, copy and distribute the parts again. Also the "scribbled out" bars before and after the copypasted segment look like they didn't contain anything beforehand and were already laid out that way to line up with the page breaks of the inserted bars. Without any additional inside knowledge, this looks like a planned repetition to me, e.g. to adapt to a re-cut film scene.

  14. 1 hour ago, Falstaft said:

    Then again, who could forget the assortment of monstrous growls and grunts like this that are so important to the distinctive texture of Jurassic Park.

    Monstrous Growls - Full Score.png



    Doesn't this motif even open the first track of JP3? This is such a signature sound for JP (also featured strongly in the moments leading up to the "theme" part in Journey to the Island) that for me it's as evocative of dinosaurs as the low e-f ostinato is of sharks...

  15. 40 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

    A shame that Naxos haven't got round to recording the Viola Concerto given the favourable comments it's received. Maybe there isn't a published performing edition? I would have thought it would be a pretty good seller alongside their other Williams concerto recordings (several of which are also premier recordings). The Horn Concerto is terrific though.


    Actually, the viola concerto is publicly available from Hal Leonard, as are most of the other concertos. It's the violin and cello concertos (along with the Flute and Clarinet) that are unpublished, despite being around for a long time, and seemingly have to be specifically requested for renting - which may be due to his repeated revising of those, and thus not wanting to pin down one "definitive" published edition?

    (I'd love to get my hands on the violin concerto sheets one day)

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