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About Schilkeman

  • Birthday 25/05/1984


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    Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance
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  1. The whole opera is outstanding, but someone may have mentioned it already. I've listened to the version he conducted with the BBC orchestra more times than I can count now.
  2. A New Hope is certainly "clean" in its relative simplicity, but Empire and Jedi sound more like John Williams, and less like John Williams by way of the temp track composers. I love all six of the Lucas Star Wars films, but Jedi has the most issues. The last third of the film saves it for me. It probably has the strongest ending of the lot, which is how it should be, I suppose.
  3. Most people who comment on forums are (sometimes very knowledgeable!) amateur's, who have a limited understanding of music theory and pedagogy. That's just as true here as it is on talk classical as it is in the pages of Gramophone. Anytime someone compares John Williams to Wagner (as was done several times on the other site) I know which one I'm dealing with. Given the level of talent who have agreed to play John Williams's music over the years, I think he is well thought of in professional circles. I certainly had professors in college who thought highly of him. As technology has improved, we are getting to the point where film music can be performed live with the film, as it was meant to be, and can be better appreciated on its own terms outside of the usual concert arrangements. I see it becoming just another aspect of the repertoire like opera and ballet.
  4. I will continue to beat the drum for BFG whenever it comes up because I truly believe it is a latter day masterpiece, only hampered in its appreciation by being attached to a pretty good (but not great) film. I'm glad to see some people give it another shot. I always try to get back to scores that didn't click with me the first time, maybe every few months, just to see how it hits. I've found quite a few favorites that way.
  5. If I remember my Special Edition liner notes correctly, I believe they spent at least three full days recording that arrangement. I think the tightness of the climax at 3:41, and the superior string sections of the LSO lift this recording above the others, flubbed notes or not.
  6. The orchestration alone may be the best of his entire career, which is saying something. He wields the orchestra like Mickey Mouse conducting the sea, new colors come in from all directions, and is that 6 flutes in "Blowing Dreams?" I'm not sure he's been this intent on color for color's sake since Close Encounters. Stylistically, it's in the same wheelhouse as Hook and Harry Potter, with a dash of E.T. and the lighter parts of Star Wars, and while it has no shortage of themes compared to those scores, it is more cohesive. The themes are more subtle, and easier to "lose" in a sense, but the orchestration and complex harmony make up the difference. The score is as harmonically complex as the orchestration, and while JW has always been a sponge when it comes to the Russian masters (Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky specifically) the harmonies on this score sound more personal and "true," if that makes any sense. He doesn't seem to be writing "in a style." It just sounds like John Williams. As always, his counterpoint and polyphonic writing separate him from almost every film composer in history. He has few equals, in this regard, in the last two centuries and it is on full display in the BFG. Music critic for the New York Times, Harold C. Schonberg wrote a review of Vaughn Williams's 9th Symphony, which I will quote here, but seems to fit The BFG nicely. "the symphony is packed with strong personal melody from beginning to end ... A mellow glow suffuses the work, as it does the work of many veteran composers who seem to gaze retrospectively over their careers ... the Ninth Symphony is a masterpiece" If this is John Williams looking back, well, what a view.
  7. I think almost all JW scores display a high level of craft, and in that sense they are masterful in that master composer wrote them. Defining the term "masterpiece" is an exercise in naval-gazing, but I like to think of the Voyager Golden Record. What JW scores would be in the running to go on a new golden record? Like most composers, only a handful of pieces in their output, no matter well they are made. Beethoven's 4th is a great symphony, but it isn't going on in place of the 3rd, 5th, or 9th. There's only a few JW scores I consider a 'masterpiece" at that kind of level, and the most recent are The BFG and Schindler's List. That's not saying he didn't write some amazing scores in between, they just don't get to go to Pluto.
  8. I'd have to go with LSO for all of them, for the simple reason that they are a much better orchestra than any of the alternatives, except, possibly, the Vienna Phil, but even that's a toss up. That said, John Williams Conducts John Williams was the first album I ever bought with my own money, so I will always have a special love for it.
  9. Alien for Ridley Scott's attention to detail and eye for composition, but also, I'll take suspense over action any day. I think it requires more craft, and is therefore more fun to watch. Not that Cameron isn't a good filmmaker, they're just very different movies. Aliens is a great action film, it is a less great sequel to Alien. As for the scores, I'm not as familiar with Alien as I would like to be, but I just appreciate the space, for lack of a better term, Goldsmith gives in this score. Not as in "outer space" but in musical terms. He doesn't bash you over the head with the music all the time. I don't know if Aliens is the first score to feature Horner's signature repeated-snare-drum-pattern-as-suspense, but I think it's done better in Apollo 13.
  10. Tidal does this, too. Very annoying. They also frequently get the tracks mixed up on large classical compilations--hope you know your BWV numbers because you're going to have to piece it together yourself. If it didn't sound so good, I wouldn't bother, honestly. That said, as a young music student in college, I would have killed to have the better part of the recorded history of music at my finger tips. Don't knock it, how many young people get exposed to music they would never otherwise listen to due to a lack of access? Streaming services and the record companies do need to stop screwing over the artists though, for sure.
  11. Just checked it out tonight, Tidal lossless (not mqa) still sounds better to me. It is twice as much money, though, so it might not be worth it for some.
  12. Just ordered from Intrada. It can take however long it needs, I’m not paying $20 for shipping. I think they took the soundtrack off Tidal, unfortunately, so I can’t listen to the old version in the meantime.
  13. It's a very earnest film, for sure. I see it getting something of a cult following for that very reason.
  14. Yes, I also love the little transition at 1:18, bringing in the high strings for contrast between the two sections. It's not just the themes with Williams, Horner and Shore have great themes, it's what he does in between that separates him, and this score.
  15. I know this thread is super old, but I just found it, and I have a music degree on my wall because of Star Wars, so...hey, here you go. This what I think of the OST's, not the scores, that ranking would be different. 1. Attack of the Clones I love this movie, and I love this ost. I gave up defending the prequals 10 years ago, and I won't bother here, but this soundtrack has some of the best performances by the LSO of the 6 they are on, and while Across the Stars is not my favorite Star Wars theme, its singular focus in this score makes it unique, and as always, Williams ability to bend and mold thematic material is supreme. I think the Chase Through Coruscant is one of his finest action cues, the choir in Yoda and the Younglings is inspired, the "courtly love" theme in Anakin and Padme is almost as good as their main theme, and the reprisal of Shmi's material is haunting. I love love love this ost. 2. A New Hope To borrow a phrase from Lawrence of Arabia, I like it because it's clean--unsullied by the concerns and constraints of the 20 themes that got written later, this ost is pure. The program is great also, with edits and deviations that make sense from a musical standpoint, a fine listening experience throughout. 3. The Phantom Menace Maybe the most entertaining program of the bunch, hardly a dull moment, and the original version of Anakin Defeats Sebulba is worth the price alone. I would pay good money to see this ost performed live. 4. Empire Strike Back For want of a complete, unedited, version of the Battle of Hoth, this would be #1. Williams was on some next level stuff here, even the quite cues are brilliant and subtle in their orchestration. If you want excitement at the end, you have the best end credits sequence of the nine. 5. Revenge of the Sith Some of the most unique sounds of any Star Wars score. A little erratic, but so is the movie. Anakin's Dark Deeds is one of the finest musical cues ever written for any film. 6. The Force Awakens I do not like this movie, but this ost gives us more John Williams music than Jedi, so here you go. Rey's theme is a grower, and the other motifs included are fine additions to the canon. 7. The Last Jedi See above, add Canto Bight 8. The Rise of Skywalker A messy and disjointed ost for a messy and disjointed movie. We should all, however, be as capable at 88 as Williams was writing this score. The ost's faults are more to do with the film than the music itself. I think he did the best with what he was given. 9. Return of the Jedi There is barely enough "ost" on this ost to count as an ost. I hate Lapti Nek, and Yub Nub has been rightly replaced, what a thoroughly uninspiring ending to the series. The action music is fine, but I have never liked the sound of this album, the trumpets just sound off.
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