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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. I'm amazed by this positive reaction: quite aside from any Tolkien-based reservations, I found it...pleasant but dull. The first episode, taken in isolation, was a crashing bore of frenetic editing that cut from one locale to the other, and the prologue all but redundant. The second episode picked-up considerably, and both benefit enormously from Aramayo's delightful Elrond and from great visuals. However, some of the storylines - the Harfoots and especially Tirharad, namely - are duds.
  2. Depends on the Dwarf, but yeah, sure. I mean, in terms of the Dwarves being humourosly-cantankerous Scotsmen, Amazon went with the most prominent practitioner of that longstanding tradition in Peter Mullan, scene-stealing in a single brief scene towards the end of the second episode. But I also enjoyed the dynamic with Elrond (who is totally the MVP of the show) and the visuals of Khazad Dum. Some of the extras look hokey, but they're not dwelled upon all that much.
  3. Something to that effect. I don't believe he's Sauron or anything like that, personally.
  4. Adar, played by Joseph Mawle. A corrupted Elf (yes, really) that's leading the Orc invasions of Tirharad.
  5. To be fair, Episode 3 has a lot of things to introduce us to: not just Numenore but also the proper antagonist of the season!
  6. To me its ⭐️⭐ ⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐ ⭐️⭐ ⭐️ Aramayo's Elrond is great and everything with the Dwarves is gold. The rest... eh...
  7. Maybe a score that paid more than lip service to Shore's compositional practices?
  8. The term actually preceeds von Wolzogen (who is believed to have had only rudimentary musicological knowledge) and has been used to describe Wagner's works and, by extension, those of Liszt and Weber (generally, without listing the motives or naming them) since 1860. Wolzogen himself may have derived some of his list from studies of Das Rheingold and Die Walkure conducted in previous years by Gottlieb Federlein, who coined some leitmotif names that we find later in Wolzogen. He actually prefaces his "Leitfaden" saying he doesn't want to "conform to that bad habit" of naming the themes.
  9. This line is in the show almost verbatim. Also, before Elrond enters Khazad Dum, he speaks about "tables filled with salted pork and enough malt beer to fill the Anduin." And its actually by far the strongest part of the show thus far!
  10. This show...is not some abysmal, flat-on-face catastrophe. But I can't say I was feeling anything beyond "oh, this is pleasant, you know?" at the best of times. More detailed thoughts after some sleep and a rewatch.
  11. Yes and no. Like I said, this idea that "there's scarcely a measure that's not connected to some other measure through related motives", to quote Wagner, is more of an ideal. Already in Die Walküre, in Sieglinde's nightmare, there's a melody that we never hear anywhere else in the cycle because its actually believed to be an homage to Liszt's Faust. But - BUT! - even the music that opens Derhelm in Battle (and we’re still talking about a tiny transitional passage) at least sounds vaguely Rohirric, in timbre if nothing else, just like how Wagner makes us hear some vague semblence between the music of Sieglinde's nightmare and his main love theme. Its a semblence that's not really there, but by playing them next to one another, by using orchestral colours that we associate with the one for the other, etc... he can make connections that may be very loose, but which we are made to hear. At any rate, the overwhelming majority of the score both in the Wagner case and the Shore case (and still so, although somewhat less, the Williams case) is either leitmotives or music that derived from them.
  12. Wagner actually never used that term. In Oper Und Drama and some other pieces of writing he refers to "plastiche naturmotiven" (malleable natural motives), "Urmotiven" (basic motives), "Grundthemen" ("fundemental themes"), "Hauptmotiv" (main motif), "melodische Momente" (melodic moments) and "Gefühlswegweisern" ("conduits of feeling"). Only in the much later Über die Anwendung der Musik auf das Drama (on the application of music to drama) does he refer to "what he [Hans von Wolzogen, who wrote the first "leitmotif catalogue" for the Ring] calls 'leitmotives.'" Its unclear how much Wagner approved or disapproved of Wolzogen's findings or naming conventions. And, again, the leitmotif technique is really only appearant in The Ring: its not in his earlier works nor in his later ones. Tristan and Parsifal don't really follow the leitmotif technique as such, and Meistersinger is kinda in between.
  13. Colloquially, we use the term "leitmotif" to refer to reminiscence themes, but in most literature there is a distinction drawn between the reminiscene technique - which is about as old as programmatic music - and the mature leitmotif technique which really only starts with Das Rheingold. It can seem rather an academic distinction, but you know the difference when you hear it. There are a couple of main distinctions: one is as I said that the motives undergo significant change both in musical character and in dramatic associations. Another distinction is that the themes subdivide into multiple sets and subsets of related and opposing themes: all of Shore's themes that are related to the Shire and the Hobbits are connected musically, and they oppose all the themes associated with Sauron, Mordor, the Orcs and the Ring, which are connected musically. This is an important point in connection to the issue of development because, as the leitmotives develop and change, motives from different "families" may well become closer to one another: rather than the musical "worlds" of the piece merely standing in stark juxtaposition to each other, they intermingle and effect each other. This is most appearant in concluding scores like The Return of the King or Gotterdamerung, where a lot of the time you can't really tell which theme you're hearing: is it Gondor music or is Mordor music? is it Valhalla music or is it Ring music? It becomes all but impossible to tell. Another important point is that, at least in theory, in scores like this - ALL THE MUSIC IS THEMATIC. With every single new measure we hear either an leitmotif we've heard before coming back in new forms, a new leitmotif being introduced that will reappear later, or music that may not be repeated later, but which is nevertheless derived from a leitmotif that's heard thereabouts. There isn't really a lot of music quite like that: even the later Wagnerian music-dramas don't hold-up to this either because their themes don't develop any specific associations or because the basic musical worlds don't actually "infect" one another. Some other composers like Strauss and Debussi used leitmotives, but across the span of a single score there's only so much you can do compared to a lengthy cycle like The Ring, Shore's Middle Earth scores of Williams' Star Wars scores. There are other film series with several scores by the same composer - Williams Indy scores, John Barry's Bond scores - but they tend to follow more episodic storylines that don't allow to develop material right through multiple evenings.
  14. Not sure. Remember that when Lucas first contacted John Williams, it wasn't to write a film score - it was to write source music: basically, the Cantina Band stuff. The underscore - whether for aesthetic reasons or to save costs - was to be based on pieces from the classical repertoire a-la 2001. Being that Lucas first concieved of the Cantina Band as a piece of "primitive Rock", it could be that his mind first went to a musician associated with that style, over Williams who was already very established as a composer of symphonic (well, and jazzy) scores. The thing that does make it dubious is why a composer tasked with writing a single piece of source music should be wary of becoming associated with a film being a flop? And, really, whenever I read about Star Wars being in risk of flopping, I raise an eyelid - its clear from a lot of things that EVERYONE knew Star Wars was poised to make a lot of money: studios knew it, Lucas knew it, his friends knew it. The whole "little engine that could" narrative is...just that - a narrative.
  15. That's how I figured. Most of film (and certainly television) scoring doesn't actually use the mature leitmotif technique: they use what are called reminiscence themes, and that's what we have here with Bear's score: yes, there are a lot of themes, and yes they are attached to specific elements in the drama: Galadriel, Arondir and Bronwyn's love, the Harfoots and so fourth. But they don't undergo change - they may be orchestrated for trumpet here for a noble, heroic effect, and bassoon here to give a touch of darkenss to it; maybe the tempo is faster here to give it an urgency and maybe broader there to give a climactic sense. But their basic musical character remains the same. Some - not all - of Shore's motives undergo incredible metamorphoses, both in their musical characters, in their dramatic associations, in their connection to other motives and indeed in their very function. That (along with the idea that ALL the score is based on these leitmotives) is what really sets scores like that apart from the rest of the crowd.
  16. So Doug isn't impressed with Bear's ouvre. Big deal. Jim went to the premiere, though:
  17. http://filmmusicreporter.com/2022/08/31/the-lord-of-the-rings-the-rings-of-power-season-1-episode-2-adrift-soundtrack-album-released/ https://music.amazon.ca/albums/B0BC2J6S48
  18. I'm with @Nick1Ø66 in that the tenor of the reviews matters less than what they have to say. I find the reviews that wax lyrical to be more out-of-step with my tastes than those that are more lukewarm speak more to potential snares I forsee in the show. For instance, this is a pretty damning thing from Polygon: I'm willing to keep an open mind: some of my very favourite films are ones I was extremly skeptical about going in.
  19. This is interesting, since 2001 wasn’t a success until quite a few years’ worth of reruns in the theater.
  20. That's true, I'm sure Kubrick chose it for that. But, I mean...
  21. Eh. I don't think the attempts to inject a degree of moral relativism into the scenario really work.
  22. Its very nice, but I still feel a much more interesting film would have ended with "yes, it is time for the Jedi to end!"
  23. Oh sure. I'm just saying, I think the visuals lend themselves to that. I mean, talk about something that sounds grand and numinous! Kubrick did consider other pieces of music and had cut some footage to them very succesfully: I think a portion of the film - possibly some Stargate stuff - was at one point scored with a part of Mahler's Third.
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