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JJA

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Everything posted by JJA

  1. The opening 40 seconds have noticable strains of the Imperial March embedded within, and these reappear several times later on in the concerto (which incidentally doesn't deserve to be as forgotten as it is)
  2. The absolute greatest among the not so well known piano concertos. It's available on the excellent Azerbaijani Piano Concertos disc on Naxos, which I cannot recommend enough. That opening is particularly wonderful (for whatever reason I'm unable make it play from 0:00, so please drag the timer back). Another great Amirov piece: Speaking of piano concertos, does anyone have any recommendations regarding the "Romantic Piano Concertos" series on Hyperion? Been really thinking about getting the Arensky/Bortkiewicz and Moszkowski/Paderewski discs (are these good?), and obviously other recommendations would be welcome as well.
  3. What it says in the title. Both of them are Golden Age film composers who also wrote a sizable number of non-film work, yet are primarily known for their contributions to film. Given that both of them made a single cello/piano/violin concerto each, I included specific polls on those as well. For the first question, you should nonetheless consider their other works as well, such as Korngold's symphony and such. Rozsa's piano/violin/cello concertos, in order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO8ccRJ6vG0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRxCQ-Ktfn4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baJmos-LhrY Korngold's piano/violin/cello concertos, in order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VETsnuXn5gE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcGEGl5bdbk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bnZTsYUabM
  4. Which of the SW OST programs are the best/worst in your opinion? Please try to not allow your ranking of the scores themselves to influence your decisions. Rather consider how well these OST programs represent those scores, how many of the highlights are present or missing, how well the program flows as a musical experience, and so on. My choices: Best OST: TFA (SW and TLJ come close) Worst OST: ROTJ Best OT OST: SW Worst OT OST: ROTJ Best PT OST: AOTC Worst PT OST: TPM (really tough to choose between this and ROTS) Best ST OST: TFA Worst ST OST: TROS
  5. Best to worst: TESB - Utter perfection ROTJ - Great colorfulness and the great number of highlights offset any structural messiness SW - The original, though the above two add more to its thematic repertoire. Weirdly "alien" sound in a good way TPM - See ROTJ. Also great new themes. TFA - Great new themes and strong musical architecture. Lack of big highlights to an extent though. ROTS - The best highlights of either prequel/sequel trilogies, great underscore, is very emotional, also has rather messy musical architecture TROS - Have to let it sink in more to decide, but this position looks pretty right AOTC - Great love theme, but mostly auto-pilot Williams TLJ - Auto-pilot Williams. In a pinch more enjoyable than AOTC, but the new themes are less interesting.
  6. I think the Luke+Leia appearance is a case of expanding the purpose of a theme beyond its original conception, kinda like the Force Theme began as Obi-Wan’s theme. Remember that the scene is implying that Jannah is Lando’s daughter. So it has now become a ”emotionally satisfying kinship revelation theme”, rather than representing that merely for L&L.
  7. I have a hard time deciding which is worse. I think TPM has better visuals (more practical effects) and action, while AOTC makes (relatively) more sense, and the dual protagonists are an improvement on the messy ensemble of TPM. Can't decide whether Jar Jar or the AOTC romance is more cringeworthy. These two and TLJ are pretty much tied for me as the worst SW film, though purely as a film, TLJ is somewhat better due to its superior technical merits, such as acting and directing.
  8. The problem with Rey is not that she's female, but that she's so perfect at everything she does. Both Anakin and Luke had to be trained in the use of the force, but she pretty much can immediately use the Force (and mind tricks and whatever) after that single vision scene in TFA. She effortlessly beats Kylo in both of their encounters (way to make you antagonist seem a threat), knows how to use mind tricks without being taught how, even lifts dozens of heavy rocks after the trilogy started like a couple of days ago in story time. Her only real flaw is the whole seeking-for-replacement-parents thing (terribly handled as it is in its finer details, but I digress...). Basically, she should ideally be a well written character who just happens to be a woman, rather than "A Strong Female Character". The likes of Leia, Ripley, or Sarah Connor are examples of the former, and I don't recall anyone complaining about them. Rather, she's part of the trend where a minority/female character needs to be decipted as an overly perfect Mary Sue in order to be some kind of "empowering icon". This will date these films horribly down the road. Granted, there are characters - such as Roger Moore's James Bond - who are beloved wish-fulfillment characters of overt perfection, and in principle there's nothing wrong with having a female equivalent. But here's what's important: Neither of the previous Star Wars protagonists were decipted that way, but were characters who had flaws and challenges to overcome. She's also part of the trend where modern Hollywood hacks cast minorities or women into roles as a shield for criticism. If people complain about these poorly constructed characters, the filmmakers can immediately smear these critics as being part of a toxic fanbase of manbabies or whatever, which will then mobilize the social justice people to defend your film, regardless of its actual quality, or the quality of the characters in question. If people complained about a Steven Seagal character being a Mary Sue (which his characters most certainly are!), the filmmakers couldn't defend themselves from this accusation. But turn him a woman or a minority character (in itself absolutely no problem), suddenly these critics can be dismissed as "hating women" or "hating blacks" or whatever else. I don't care who you cast, just make them good characters, period. There's also the pandering to Chinese censorship in these films (why so selective in your wokeness, Disney?). The Chinese censorship of ghosts is why the force ghosts are no longer so transparent, and can now interact with the world (if force ghost Yoda can summon lightning or hit Luke with his stick, why didn't he just go to the Emperor after dying in ROTJ and kill him with the lightning?). I also suspect this is the reason for the whole disturbing "obey authority without question" message(?) in the Poe mutiny subplot, as well as an alternate explanation for why Rey can learn the Force so effortlessly (it makes it seem more like a superpower she had since birth, rather than some some of that "dangerous spiritual stuff")
  9. To my mind, the 2018 edition of ANH is largely superior in sound compared to the SE, which sounds far more "artificial" (hard to explain what I precisely mean), and has some loudness war issues in louder passages. Listening to the SE is rather fatiguing to the ears for these reasons.
  10. However, in this revised broader meaning, it nonetheless still describes a sense of adventure that was embodied originally by Luke in the first film, both as an audience avatar and in terms of character motivations. Much of his initial motivation is based on wanting to escape his boring farm life for something more exciting, implicit desire for revenge over his aunt and uncle, living up to the false image he's fed about his "heroic" father, as well as a general wish to be a heroic figure, as is reflected in his "looking for a great warrior" statement to Yoda, who in turn is reluctant to train the "reckless" Luke. He misunderstands the Jedi path as being a process of becoming a "better hero/warrior", more or less. However, when Luke grows closer to truly embodying the Jedi teachings, the theme gets for the most part replaced by the Force Theme. When he throws his light saber away at the end of ROTJ, the choice of playing the Force Theme instead of Luke's original theme is very much deliberate. A case of "musical ego-sublimation", if you will. In retrospect, it's more like a theme for that adventure-seeking early phase in Luke's character arc, rather than precisely "his theme". Or to be more exact, it's a "Spirit of Adventure Theme" that happens to be initially attached to Luke, since he indeed embodies that spirit in his initial "state" or modus operandi. When he no longer does, it stops being attached to him. Indeed, in the sequel trilogy, he's primarily represented by the Force Theme and his other (new) theme, while the original title crawl music is still heard in adventurous contexts, but almost solely in scenes involving other characters. This communicates that the "spirit of adventure" is still an extant thing in the SW universe, with Luke being past that state of existence. The only time it's heard with Luke is in the reunion scene with R2, but there the context is indeed about rememberance of their previous "fun adventures".
  11. In regards to Herrmann, I must admit I rarely enjoy his music in C&C or other long presentations, with some exceptions. Not really sure why, as I generally prefer most other film composers' works in complete form. His music is however terrific in the films themselves, needless to say.
  12. The above piece has a reoccuring section (it first appears at 0:07) with an uncannily similarity to two separate Mario Nascimbene film compositions:
  13. The first three are pretty tied for me, and might prefer any one of them depending on my mood: 1. Miklos Rozsa 2. John Williams 3. Jerry Goldsmith 4. Erich Wolfgang Korngold 5. Alfred Newman (not sure - too hard to decide*) *= I also considered Howard Shore or Sergei Prokofiev for #5, but the former was solely on the basis of a single film franchise, while the latter (who might be my overall favourite composer in non-film context) has too few film compositions to be truly applicable. Also felt highly tempted to choose Ennio Morricone or Dimitri Tiomkin.
  14. Another observation: is the 0:24-0:37 section of "Return to Tatooine" in AOTC supposed to be a motif representing Anakin's childhood memories? In the film I clearly remember that section also playing when Anakin re-encounters Jar Jar at the start of the film (or at least, at some point during that whole scene). Or was that part tracked there from "Return to Tatooine"?
  15. THE SHOOTING PARTY is the most essential.
  16. If you were exposed to excerpts of music you had never heard before from familiar film or classical composers, which ones do you think you'd be able to recognize as coming from a certain composer? In other words, who are the most stylistically recognizable composers to you? I'd probably recognize Miklos Rozsa and Maurice Jarre pretty easily, at least. Many others too, assuming I had longer chunks to listen to.
  17. Another observation: Isn't the "Leaving Mustafar" motif in The Immolation Scene merely a distorted version of the Force Theme? At least I never thought otherwise...
  18. 1. No official statement on it, so let's look at the other two... 2. Pretty sure all 3 appearances in the first score (not counting the credit sequence appearances here) are standalone statements. 3. Each of these 3 appearances involve non-main characters having "WOW!" moments at Superman's heroics. Seems pretty clear to me.
  19. Do you think that the part after 06:14 in 'The Battle Of Endor II' might be another appearance of the Dies Irae / Fate Motif? Could be a random coincidence, but it does make for interesting musical architecture if intentional. Regarding the Dies Irae appearances in AOTC and ROTS, aren't these pretty much all variants of the Across The Stars section first occurring after 2:26 in the concert track? Sort of an Anakin's fall motif embedded within the love theme, what with that love affair being one of his main catalysts for falling? It might be intentionally linked to the OT Dies Irae motif, indeed. If the above mentioned ROTJ appearance is indeed this destiny motif, the music in that scene basically describes Luke coming to see that he almost chose the "fate" of his father by giving into his anger during the duel.
  20. The Shooting Party is my favourite of his. Also love his main theme for William The Conqueror.
  21. It seems to me that the Superman march (the A-melody of the march, that is) and The Fanfare are assumed to be merely two interchangeable representations of the title character, but I feel this is inaccurate, at least in the initial score. Every time you hear the A-march outside of the credits in the original film (heard just thrice!), it plays specifically when the focus is on Superman's heroics being admired by other non-main characters. The helicopter rescue is an obvious application of this, as are the ways it later underscores the amazement of the police officers ("The Burglar Sequence"), and the amazement of the Air Force One pilots ("Super Rescues"). Thus, the A-march is a theme for Superman-The-Celebrity, while The Fanfare is a more general tag for the character + his heroics when admiration for Superman isn't the main focus. It seems that when the potential admirants are in grave distress themselves, the fanfare is preferred for heroic scenes (see the bus rescue part in "Superfeats"). In contrast though, I'm not sure the B-section of the march has any specific purpose as a theme even in the first score. In Superman II, Ken Thorne more or less follows this pattern, by accident or otherwise. The main showpiece for the A-march comes in the Niagara Falls rescue scene, where the context is again placed on the public admiration for the character's actions. Notice that the march fails to appear in "Superman Triumphs Over The Villains", where the fanfare and the B-march are used instead (the heroics are not accompanied by an admiring public in this scene). It might get slightly hazy in Superman III, due to the March being used in "The Final Victory". I suppose this might be justified by Superman restoring his good public persona in that scene after triumphing over his evil self that caused such infamy, or something. As much as I love the score for Superman IV, the A-march feels completely misused, assuming I'm right about all of the above. The original purpose of the march was either ignored or went unnoticed. It should not appear in "Nuke 1 Fight", "Net Man", "Lift To The Moon", or "The Moon Fight", among possibly other appearances. On the other hand, the march should probably appear in the United Nations scene when the crowd cheers at Superman's plan, as well as the scene where Superman has the PSA moment with the public after the subway rescue. Needless to say, the Superman poster moment in Supergirl also misuses the march, as the scene isn't about human non-main characters admiring him. The Fanfare would have been better. I'll admit I've never seen Superman Returns aside from fragments, so I''ll leave that commentary in more capable hands. How closely is the original purpose of the march adhered to? Any thoughts on this?
  22. Has anyone here tried to do this? Nothing wrong with completeness of course, but it can be an interesting experiment to condense such complex scores to a shorter presentation. With the LOTR trilogy, we obviously have the OSTs for this, but they don't quite utilize the potential 80 minute (or near) disc space to their fullest, and we may have disagreements with some of the programming choices in them. The OSTs, the CRs, the rarities CD, and rips from the fanclub credits are all acceptable sources here. So, if you've ever done this, let's see tracklists and explanations of edits and what versions of tracks you used/combined and such.
  23. 😂 Well, that would be no... Those are my (scrambled) name initials. The similarity to JJ. never occured to me when I signed up. Should I have it changed to avoid confusion...?
  24. The title is pretty self-explanatory. But I'll clarify a couple of things: - The expanded releases don't count. - Your ranking of the scores themselves is irrelevant. This is about their representation on their respective OSTs. - In the case of TESB, we'll speak of the 2-LP program (but you can rank the shorter one if you want). - I'll personally forego discussing sound and mixing issues in my list, as I'm only familiar with the OT original albums from the recent reissues, which obviously don't accurately reflect the sound of the original releases. But feel free to include analysis of that aspect if you want. - You can include the non-JW SW scores if you want (I chose not to, since I'm still familiarising myself with SOLO). Anyway, my own choices best to worst: 1. THE FORCE AWAKENS + Almost everything important is present (save for "The Resistance", the imperial march fragment, and the Falcon crash landing cue) + Well judged near-chronological (and the deviations are well-judged) track order. 2. STAR WARS (A New Hope) + Almost everything important - and almost all music, for that matter - is present (Important omissions: the Mos Eisley arrival; the final battle intro cue) + The suite assemblies are absolutely sublime (particularly "The Rescue of the Princess" and "The Last Battle") - Most of the big rebel fanfare renditions are concentrated on the first half of the album, making it a bit lopsided "blows it's load too soon" experience. 3. ATTACK OF THE CLONES + Most highlights are present (Missing mainly: Anakin's confession music; Carrying Shmi home + the funeral; The heroic statement of Yoda's theme at the end) + Well judged near-chronological (and the deviations are well-judged) track order. - The development of the B(or C?)-section of the love theme (the part resembling Dies Irae) is poorly represented due to the Anakin's confession cue being omitted. 4. THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK + While many highlights are not present ("Carbon Freeze" is sure an odd omission, and there's a LOT more...), it's nonetheless a generous amount of music, with all the themes well represented. - Side 4 makes no musical sense whatsoever in it's sequencing, and suffers as an album climax due to having no action tracks in it. 5. THE LAST JEDI + Well judged near-chronological (and the deviations are well-judged) track order. + Thematic material pretty well represented... - ...save for the desperation motif being only barely present. [The more unsatisfying ones are below:] 6. THE PHANTOM MENACE + Some of the suite assemblies are great, especially the bit where the creepy voices seque into the Darth Sidious theme (track 14) + It mostly flows well as a listening experience (except in the middle, where it meanders) - Why is the Coruscant arrival music included twice? - Pointless identical repetition of concert suites (end credits) instead of using the space to include more unique music - Missing thematic material (Qui-Gon's theme) - "The Tide Turns" is omitted (omitting your action climax cue is rarely a good thing) - Lots of missing highlights in general, much of it more important than some of what was included 7. REVENGE OF THE SITH + [Nothing stands out in particular, save for the music being good] - Many omitted highlights, much of it more important than some of what was included. - The needle-dropped and out-of-place Throne Room segment (see the previous point also) - Missing thematic material (the theme introduced in "Another Happy Landing") - Nonsensical (and often awkward) edits and microedits. - Insane and nonsensical sequencing that flows poorly. 8. RETURN OF THE JEDI + The sequencing isn't terrible, I guess... - Missing so much important music in general. - Pointless identical repetition of concert suites (end credits) instead of using the space to include more unique music (Personally, I would have edited the end credits bookends into a continuous cue, especially considering the short running time allotted to representing this music)
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