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Loert last won the day on May 15 2017

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  1. "Maybe if I keep repeating this story over and over again...all these journalists will finally leave me in peace." - JW probably
  2. I think JW is the one you should be telling that to.
  3. I know John Williams mentioned the whole escape velocity issue in a Q&A he did at UCLA (or USC?). It was a multi-part upload on Youtube but I can't seem to find it anymore. I remember it distinctly because I remember thinking "Dafuq?". Seriously, JW, stick to your day job...
  4. I really love the original Entr'Acte that Rozsa wrote for Ben Hur:
  5. My favourite part is the woodwinds hitting that minor 2nd at 6:27, decorated by the bell tree...
  6. @Disco Stu In case you missed it... Only because it is online/interactive, which you might find useful.
  7. Bizet's incidental music to L'Arlesienne (1872) contains a couple of short pieces with wordless choir, e.g.: But the orchestra is far less prominent than in Waltz of the Snowflakes. Anyway, we know Tchaikovsky was a big fan of Bizet's Carmen, so perhaps he was familiar with this work too.
  8. @Docteur Qui I can't fault it! I am sure that any child who listened to your Nightmares piece would fall in love with it
  9. Hmm, hard to find pieces that are not programme music but sound spooky (by present-day standards), but some suggestions are: Liszt, Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H Bax, Symphony No.1, II: Adagio This does sound like programme music, and Bax was probably trying to express something specific... Walton, Symphony No.2, I Also, the ending of Berg's Round Dance from his 3 Orchestral Pieces always creeped me out. Of course, a lot of modern classical music sounds "scary" although it's more the fact that we associate such music with horror films. Anyway, the music that I'll be playing on speaker outside my house tonight on loop is the graveyard music from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress: To me it sounds like a ghost playing the cello...it even starts with an owl(?) call at the beginning. What more do you need?
  10. If we're talking Bartok and Halloween, his opera is also really good: This version has more striking visual imagery, but the quality is poorer:
  11. You should give https://www.wagnerheim.com a try (by Paul Heise). It's very comprehensive, though keep in mind that it's one man's interpretation. Indeed, it's impossible to just "set out" all the themes and leitmotifs of The Ring, because there isn't any agreement on what they are. Here's a relevant excerpt from The Ring of Truth, by the late Roger Scruton: In terms of a step-by-step guide of The Ring, though, I don't think there's anything better than Paul Heise's work.
  12. I half-agree; ToD is my favourite JW score, but I would say that Raiders is a more...intricate? fine-tuned? score. And I don't just mean that with regards to the "set pieces" like Map Room and Basket Game. In the Jungle and Uncovering the Ark are some of the most atmospheric tracks I've heard from JW. Nevertheless, ToD takes the cake for me simply because it's so much fun to listen to from start to finish, there's so much variety, and it feels like every track has something special about it. --- Anyway, to answer the original question (and keep in mind that I haven't listened to every JW score out there): Overrated: E.T. Underrated: 1941 E.T. is certainly an excellent score, but for me JW wears the heart on his sleeve too much, particularly in the ending sequence. It also seems that whenever someone praises E.T., they don't just praise it but they seem to have to drool all over it like it was the best thing since the invention of the wheel. I guess I don't see what they're seeing. As for 1941, out of all of JW's marches it's his best.
  13. Great idea for a thread! I was lucky enough to have an excellent music teacher in primary/elementary school, with whom my class would regularly have some sort of group musical activity. She had a very commanding personality, and her German ancestry meant that she did not tolerate poor singing/playing, though it never crossed the line to the point where the class felt terrorized. In hindsight, I can see that she was utterly dedicated to getting the best out of us, whether it be singing hymns or playing the recorder. (And by recorder, I don't mean tape recorder....) Anyway, one of our activities was something like music appreciation. Now, she loved the orchestra, but most of all she loved Holst's The Planets. I say that because she would exuberantly hold the CD up in the air, chant praises about it and order us to borrow it from the library. Perhaps it was just a performance to get us more interested in classical music, but it worked, at least for me (I did go and borrow it). Anyway, she would play excerpts on the stereo player, and ask us questions about what instruments were playing, what the dynamics were, what the structure was, and so on. She would also play Holst at the start and end of school assemblies. It was slightly hilarious, hearing Mars thundering away, only to transition into a speech about how we must all love Jesus etc. Now, to come back to the music appreciation lessons; if we behaved very well, at the end of the lesson our music teacher would sit at the piano and play us a John Williams piece. I remember there was a lot of Harry Potter, because that was all the craze at the time (JK Rowling effectively taught my generation how to read). But she also played other pieces, like Jurassic Park. And not just John Williams; I remember her playing Lord of the Rings too. You can imagine what a "magical" effect this would have had on a class of young children. Either way, I do have vivid memories of this, and I know that much of my initial love of John Williams, and music in general, I owe to this teacher. A slight appendix: More recently I had the chance to do some piano tutoring. The boy I was tutoring was a huge fan of Harry Potter. So I arranged an easy-to-play version of Hedwig's theme, showed it to him, and taught him how to play it. His enthusiasm levels shot upwards, and it was gratifying to see how dedicated he was to learning it, whereas I sensed that beforehand he just saw piano as a chore. As a "reward", in my last session with him, I brought along the orchestral score to Hedwig's theme, and we read along to the music. I showed him how we had been learning the celeste part at the beginning, and how, if he practised more, he could even tackle the runs that come after. I think it was the first time he ever set eyes on an orchestral score, as he seemed perplexed as to how you can have more than two musical lines running at the same time! Nevertheless, I think he found it interesting, and I hope that I managed to pass along some of my own love for JW in those sessions, and, ultimately, a greater appreciation for music as an art.
  14. I find Birtwistle's music interesting, but his point there is just confusing. Star Wars is film music, not classical music. Sure, it could pass as classical music, just like Stravinsky's ballets can pass as film music. But you can't say that Star Wars is representative of classical music. There are film music concerts, then there are classical music concerts. There are even LtP concerts...but it's not classical music. Listen to John Williams' classical music, then we'll talk! (Or maybe more correct to say "concert" music instead of "classical" music)
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