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Score

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Score last won the day on March 15 2020

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  1. An even more literal quote is the passage immediately before the soprano entrance, see at 2:15 here: The very distinctive chord is exactly the same as the "twinkling stars" chord from the Star Wars Main Title, see 1:47 here: The instrumentation and the general mood are also very similar.
  2. Caroline Shaw's Partita for 8 voices: Beautiful and original piece, greatly written for the voices. The third woman from the left is the composer herself.
  3. That's great news! I wanted to order HTTYD 1 + 2 a few days ago (from Italy) but the shipping cost for DHL was 85 USD, absolutely ridicolous, and the other options were even more expensive. I decided to wait, hoping for this to happen. So, I will just have to wait until May... I hope they will put in their store also all the scores by Goldsmith.
  4. The Violin concertos, like most of JW's concertos, are not strictly tonal (although there are some tonal centers, but not in the classical sense), so they have no key signatures. Key signatures almost never occur even in his most tonal film cues. One of the reasons is that he often modulates and uses chromatic harmonies that require many accidentals outside the main key, so he just writes all accidentals close to the notes as needed. Another reason, I guess, is that it might be easier for the session musicians to read accidentals close to the notes, rather than in key signatures. Even in the most diatonic passages - e.g., some parts of Schindler's List in D minor, G minor, C minor, G sharp minor - there are no key signatures. He used key signatures, however, in some pieces such as the Superman March, the Raiders' March, the first part of Princess Leia's Theme, the second part of The Throne Room and Finale, the End Credits from A.I., Exsultate Justi from Empire of the Sun, and a few others (really not many).
  5. The first time I realized film music was a thing was when I saw Star Wars in VHS as a kid. Then, the scores that cemented my interest in film music afterwards were Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Titanic (all seen at the movie theatre), and The Mission (seen at home). I still remember the impression that all these scores made on me. When the SW prequels, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter appeared, I already was a film music fan.
  6. I don't feel particularly attached to the Harry Potter movies, but I think they would have given him the opportunity to build a musical universe similar to the Star Wars one, because they show many characters, many dramatic situations... and what he did with the first three movies is extraordinary. So, I voted HP.
  7. I don't know about Soundings, but I know that, for example, the Trumpet Concerto was orchestrated by John Neufeld. So, in some cases he uses orchestrators also for his concert pieces - surely, in the same way as he uses them with his film works. In other cases, he writes everything in full score by himself (he did in the Horn, Tuba and Violin concertos). Of course the composer is Williams, but Morley orchestrated the beginning of the End Credits. So, maybe she was just saying that it was her orchestration (as in the case of the final Yavin cue from Star Wars)?
  8. War Horse and Temple of Doom for me. I think they are the best left in the two polls, considering that we already have almost everything from Hook, so I wouldn't give it the priority. I would be happy also with The BFG or Tintin, anyway.
  9. Apart from pieces like "Air and Simple Gifts" and "Duo Concertante", there are a number of chamber pieces which are original arrangements of music from his films; they are published by Hal Leonard in the "John Williams Signature Edition" series, so they should have been done by him. They are mostly pieces for piano and one solo instrument (violin, cello, trumpet...). For example, this one is part of a suite of three pieces from Schindler's List arranged by him for violin and piano:
  10. A great loss, indeed. I also think he was the greatest composer (and lyricist!) in musical theater. This is my favourite performance of "Sweeney Todd". The cast absolutely nailed it:
  11. The best film music composers are John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann, in no particular order. Each of them wrote a lot of great music, and each of them outdid the others in some particular styles. Many other composers wrote beautiful scores, but those 4 stand out for the quality and quantity of their output.
  12. If I think about some other examples (old and recent), the first who comes into my mind is Prokofiev. The cases of "Leutenant Kije suite" and "Alexander Nevsky cantata" are examples of a composer presenting his film works out of their original context. In those cases, indeed, he had to perform extensive revisions; the original film score of Kije is just a set of few-second pieces, totally unpresentable in their original form, while the original film score of Nevsky is orchestrated in a way that is both economic (in a certain sense) and suitable for the recording means of the time, whose requirements were very different from those of a concert performance. In order to present those scores as concert pieces, Prokofiev combined cues, re-orchestrated, and wrote transition passages. The Cantata from Alexander Nevsky is recognized as one of his masterpieces; the film score cues do not have the same power at all, if disjointed from the movie. In more recent times, probably the most notable re-arrangement of film music for the concert hall is Shore's Symphony from LOTR (although the name "Symphony" is inappropriate). There, he basically combined cues to form 6 large movements which work well as absolute music, and - as far as I know - he did not change the orchestration; he just assembled them together, with minor cuts here and there. In my opinion, JW's film music could be presented in concerts in the same way: there would probably be no need to do extensive revisions as Prokofiev had to do, because most of JW's film scores are able to stand on their own - at least, the best parts of them. JW could easily assemble a "Symphony" from the music of the Star Wars saga alone (the Battle of Yavin, or the Battle of Hoth, would already work as full movements in their own), or large suites from any of many of his best scores. This is what I'd like to see one day!
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