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Falstaft

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Falstaft last won the day on October 15 2020

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  1. My vote would be for Presumed Innocent. Not only does it have a consistently morose tone (unlike The Fury, Dracula), it ends on an unmitigatedly bleak note (unlike War of the Worlds, Sleepers, Nixon). The competition is Munich, which has a certain tragically ennobling quality that's not quite dark to my ears, and Images which, which is just a bit more ~weird~ than it is dark. The last cue might be Williams's simultaneously darkest and most understated. Virtuosic dramatic underscoring here... . Also, maybe not unrelated, but the string passage starting at 4:07 is the most Herrmann-esque music in all of JW's output, don't you think?
  2. All this scherzo talk makes me even more desperate to hear if and how he altered "The Speeder Chase" from TROS for his suite from Episode 9.
  3. The multiple iterations of the Scherzo for Motorcycle & Orchestra is an interesting case, isn't it? I'm not convinced the piece is improved either, though I can kind of understand Williams's thought process in implementing them. This'll probably of limited use if you're not fluent with stem & slur analytical notation, but I did a little graph of the piece for an article that shows how the Scherzo's tonal plan is (and is not) affected by all these various changes.
  4. Sad news -- Dale Clevenger has passed away. I'll be celebrating his artistry by listening to the last movement of the JW horn concerto.
  5. Enjoyed this episode very much too. I think the tenuous connections people were drawing between Powell's "Secrets" theme and some melodic details in BOBF grow thinner by the day, both musically and symbolically. It's just a neighbor note figure, folks. I also saw also chatter on Twitter about some miniscule musical detail signaling the presence of Omega from The Bad Batch during one Kamino flashback which is even more straw-grasping. That said, I was delighted with what struck my ears as a more concrete musical reference, or maybe channeling is better, with the drum-beating theme that accompanies the arrival of the Hutt twins near the start: It's not Jabba's theme, nor even a distant variation of it. But there's a kind of shared musical DNA, in terms of orchestration ("gross" sounding brass) and melodic content (the ascent of a major seventh from ^5 to ^#4). Really nice touch, I thought.
  6. This is what we've been calling Shmi's theme. ... Unless I've tallied wrong, it's used: On one occasion in TPM (so def. not a leitmotif at that point), Four distinct times in AOTC (def. a leitmotif), And maybe once, vaguely, in ROTS. I go back and forth on whether this was an intentional reference or just four notes that coincidentally resemble her theme. The "It's Working" theme is, as far as I remember, totally restricted to TPM. It goes like this: You get it once in "Anakin's Racer Roars to Life," and then a variant of it is developed as the main tune in "Anakin is Free." The middle phrase is very close to ROTJ:SE's Victory Celebration and the end of the first phrase of Across the Stars, though this is probably a case of Williams's consistent harmonic language more than an intentional reference.
  7. Surprised not to have seen anyone mention this, but Williams picked up yet another honor yesterday, a Saturn Award for his score to The Rise of Skywalker, beating out Tenet, Knives Out, Parasite, 1917, and Mank. https://deadline.com/2021/10/saturn-awards-winners-2021-full-list-star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood-knives-out-star-trek-1234863222/ I don't generally put much stock in awards like this, though I have to admit it's nice to see JW's achievement with this score receiving some well-deserved recognition.
  8. Love how he pronounces it as "Hed-vig's" theme when introducing "Hedwig's Theme" -- proper German consonants!
  9. Brilliant work, @crumbs (and @BrotherSound). Hairs on the back of your neck standing up is right -- I got chills and I've seen/listened to this sequence god how many times now.
  10. Take heart, @King Mark, sure sounds like we'll be getting it on record soon enough. The arrangement for ASM is pretty striking. Follows the formal outline of the 2018 arrangement but with quite a lot added, including a brand new intro and outro and expanded inner section. Interesting that he gives a full statement of the B-section of the theme that was missing from that 2018 arrangement. And it ends if anything even darker and pained than the 2018 one. With all those drooping chromatic sigh figures towards the end, I half expected him to hint at Kylo Ren's theme!
  11. Seems to follow exactly the formal structure of the 2008 arrangement for orchestra, except a subtly redone opening and brief new codetta.
  12. Perhaps we'll finally get to hear the unperformed "Han Solo and the Princess" arrangement shown in her instagram post from Jan 2019! https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsvqs0mnfsq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link Though of course I hope something from TROS is on the table. And how great would it be for a proper action cue to get the ASM treatment?
  13. Your prerogative, of course! And I'm the last person who would dispute Williams's Anglophilia. (Though I hear little of RVW in JW's Tuba Concerto specifically, oddly enough.) That said, I find it hard to hear this or other Williamsesque passages from the Symphony, or a few select passages from Metaboles, as being a case of convergent musical evolution via Ravel or Debussy -- which Dutilleux really doesn't sound like to my ears -- much more Messaein and Roussel, with maybe a little Koechlin and a little jazz in there too. Nor can I listen to L'arbe des songes and imagine it wasn't at least in the back of JW's mind when composing Treesong. None of this is meant as a slight to Williams, it's just a cool influence in addition to the other, more well-documented ones.
  14. Not sure I've seen this mentioned before, but there's a moment in Williams's Tuba Concerto (1985) that's manifestly based on a passage in Henri Dutilleux's First Symphony (1951). I'll let the excerpts, and sheet music, speak for themselves. (The symphony is staggeringly wonderful, in case you've never heard it.) It's not just the Tuba Concerto, though I think that hosts the passage most directly modeled the Dutilleux's. In general, I think Dutilleux remains an underrated but important influence on Williams's soundworld, particularly in terms of harmony and orchestration.
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