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Found 12 results

  1. Hello everyone, even though I've been secretly reading this forum for years, this is my first post and I'd like to start with a review of a quite recently released compilation of rather obscure film music, even for a long-time film music fan like myself. "The Film Music of Mark Isaacs Vol. 1" is a 2-disk set released by Australian soundtrack label 1M1-Records in April 2020. It is a compilation of four nowadays more or less unknown cartoon scores from the 80s. A short introduction to the composer, who is unfortunately rather unknown for most folks around here I'm afraid: Mark is both a trained jazz pianist as well a studied classical symphonist, and his concert works (including two symphonies) remarkably combine European compositional techniques of the late 19th century with subtle jazz elements, but there are also influences of New Music (especially free tonality, expressionism, etc.). For his relatively short excursion into the field of film music during the 80's and early 90's, however, Mark was mainly guided by classical golden age scores in the style of Korngold and Steiner. However, he has developed a refreshingly independent tonal language in which – despite the respective historical setting – a bit of jazz yglamour shines through... like some well-placed seventh chord or fanfares with swing-like ternary rhythms. Film music of this kind, although written children's films, is not something you find every day. Now to the four individual suites compiled by 1M1: A Tales of Two Cities: Mark's first film music ever is also his most avant-garde on this compilation. He uses a very large orchestra in all its timbres, including alternative playing techniques such as Col legno in the strings, pitch bending on the timpani, etc. Nevertheless, the music remains strongly influenced by leitmotifs, which helps attentive listening and gives the score in some parts even some Wagnerian moments. The passages for the courtly scenes, however, are more reminiscent of Elgar. Even though I do not want to understate the music in any way, this score is the least tangible of the four for me, personally. Perhaps this is also due to the rather dark/tragic setting of the Dickens story (Robespierre's reign of terror after 1793). The Adventures of Robin Hood: The music for this 1985 Errol Flyy-inspired animation is clearly based in the swashbuckling genre and, if it comes to me, is together with Ivanhoe the strongest of the four suites. The entire suite is dominated by a heroic theme reminiscent of Korngold. In 22 minutes, this easily delivers everything you could ask for from a swashbuckling adventure score about castles, knights and sword fights. Also pleasant are the quieter passages, which utilize flutes, lyres and hand drums (in the recording probably rather acoustic guitars) to create a pseudo-authentic medieval market feeling. Ivanhoe: Basically I like Ivanhoe as much as Robin Hood after listening to this score for the second time. Both suites glide wonderfully into each other. No wonder, since they share the same setting. wink This is most obvious in the track "Ivanhoe Meets Robin Hood", which quotes Robin's main motif from the previous score in a musically very interesting way. Hm, what could be the reason for this? For film music fanboys, the fanfare associated with King Richard with two quart jumps right at the beginning might sound a bit familiar, as it somehow creates a certain spaced-out feeling, like going on a Star Trek or something Rob Roy: Strictly speaking, this last suite is probably the weakest of the compilation, but considering the brilliant music here, that doesn't mean anything at all! There's a much smaller orchestra, rather entertaining humorous mini-cues strung together and more or less clichéd cartoon-like orchestrations. But because of the Irish-Celtic influences (actually it should be Scottish, I think big :D) especially in the accompaniment the whole thing gets a lively folkloric drive and climbs up to a majestic final fanfare with "Rob Roy Pardoned". A worthy finale! Conclusion: A very worthwhile album by former "part-time" film composer Mark Isaacs with great adventure-film music. Especially score enthusiasts, who like me have been "in business" for a while and urgently need new, previously unknown material, and who can hum all the main themes of the likes of Goldsmith, Williams or Horner in their sleep, should seize this opportunity. Even if you have to expect a delivery time of two to three months for orders from Australia, it's definitely worth the wait! Best regards from Germany, Dustin
  2. Time for the most epic poll of this forum! We all know that an apocalyptic choir has the power to make every fight scene unbeliavably epic. Many composers have tried over the years. But what's your favorite action scene scored with an epic choir? The duel between Qui-Gonn, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace? The last battle for the fate of Middle Earth? Or Neo and Smith flying around and punching each other? Let's choose the best apocalyptic choir of all time!
  3. Some news on the film concert front! A little later this month, Rudy in Concert is coming to Los Angeles for the first time - March 30 at the Microsoft Theater. It's produced by the same company that presents the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, and this will be the same format - the full film projected in HD with a live orchestra performing the score in tandem. Should be a really awesome show, with such an epic score by Jerry Goldsmith. Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Ru-dy! Also, there will be a pre-show panel with the "real" Rudy (Rudy Ruettiger), star Sean Astin, and the film's director and writer. Tickets are still available here, if anyone's interested! https://www.rudyinconcert.com/ Alternatively, if you enter before this Tuesday (3/19), there's a contest where you can submit a photo for a chance to win tickets: https://www.rudyinconcert.com/contest Hope everyone's having a great week!
  4. The Specialized Soundtrack Market has it changed or stayed the same? For me it times have change. In 1997 when the RCA Victor Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition 2 CD Releases , The 2000 Superman The Movie Rhino Records 2 CD Release and the 8 Disc Superman The Music 1978-1988 Box Set came out those where the peak of the specialized soundtrack market. Buying CD Soundtracks and expanded soundtracks is not the same now as it was in 1997 most people are streaming or buying their music off of iTunes , Amazon Music , Google Play Music , listening to it via Spotify etc. Sure you have company's and labels like Varèse Sarabande , Intrada Records and La La Land Records who put out these Limited Edition CD Soundtrack Sets but the market for buying CDs has changed. What are your thoughts on this and what is your opinion on this?
  5. Hi everyone I am interested in seeing what peoples favorite moment of John Williams work that was more dark or scary rather than happy or upbeat.
  6. I vote THE LOST WORLD. Wish we'd get a proper expansion. Williams really does a good job of writing music to match the jungle setting of the film. The main theme works great, too. Very militant, like the antagonists of the film.
  7. Hello JWFAN, This event is now SOLD OUT! I believe this is my first post though I've been a lurking for 11 years. I mostly post on the FSM board under drivingmissdaisy. I wanted to announce my 5th Annual FFM event. You may have heard about our previous events in which we had the likes of John Debney, Richard M. Sherman, Graeme Revell, William Ross, John Ottman, Stu Phillips, Tyler Bates, Brian Tyler, Christopher Young and about 30 other wonderful composers. If you are interested in coming email me and I can give you more info on how to request seats which I'll start doing in a couple of weeks. My email is peter@fansoffilmmusic.com. Ask me any questions you may have. This year is composers: Murray Gold Benjamin Wallfish Nathan Furst Chris Bacon Abel Korzeniowski Charles Bernstein Buck Sanders Heitor Pereira Geoff Zanelli Alf Clausen Brian Reitzel Hummie Mann Richard Band Mark Isham Blake Neely Photo Credit For Murray Gold's banner is Phil Watkins.
  8. What scores do you plan on buying in the near future? For me... CONAN THE BARBARIAN (Intrada) FLESH & BLOOD (LaLaLand) THE GOLDEN CHILD (LaLaLand) NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Intrada) -- Believe it or not, this is one of my least favorite Herrmann scores... DAY OF THE DEAD (LaLaLand)
  9. What film scores do you hope are released some day, under any record label? My #1 is Herrmann's OBSESSION. I'd love a cleaned-up and full presentation of the score. Personally, I think it's better than VERTIGO, although very similar in some areas.
  10. I just spotted a very interesting interview with composer/orchestrator Conrad Pope on the Film Music Magazine's site. http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=8734 As always Pope is gentlemanly and very articulate about his craft and business. He is the man behind the orchestrations of some the biggest names in Hollywood, John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith among them, and a long time veteran in the business. It is always a joy to read his thoughts and I am very happy that he is getting some of the spotlight now with his score to My Week with Marilyn because he is without a doubt a talented, intelligent man of great musical spirit. Daniel Schweiger and Pope talk much besides his upcoming score for My Week with Marilyn, discussing the industry, Pope's role as an orchestrator and his experiences in the business. He also mentions Williams several times, noting for example that HP POA is in his opinion one of the most remarkable of Potter scores.
  11. I just came across this recording from the second Fans of Film Music gathering at Dark Delicacies where a group of film composer formed a panel to whom the audience could put questions. They also discussed in length the state of modern film composing, the priviledge of composing for films and many other subjects. The composers in the panel were Charles Fox, Lee Holdridge, Brad Fiedel, Nicholas Pike, David Newman, Brian Tyler, Peter Hackman, Christopher Young and Ken Thorne and the event was hosted by Film Music Magazine's own Daniel Schweiger. Here is the link to the Film Music Magazine page where you can listen to the whole panel: http://www.filmmusicmag.com/?p=8416 There is surprisingly candid discussion about the industry and some criticism of the modern way of doing things. A great listen!
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