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Film composers' favorite composer


jsawruk
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Now...these WERE real threads...when everyone used to have intelligent posts about film scoring. God I miss the Cold War.

MV changed all that. 2002 is a long time ago. (in film music terms)

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Might as well respond since this was dragged up. Good topic.

JNH is nuts about Beethoven. He has a bust of him in his studio, and can play Beethoven at will on the piano from hearsay.

McNeely adores Herrmann and JW. One of his last blog posts was a gleeful one about JW's Hook. :blink:

I think a lot of film composers admire Stravinsky. And Prokofiev (who shows up occasionally in scores as well!) Shostakovich maybe. And Howard Hanson has been an influence before.

Current composers seem to like the minimalists, because the influence is definitely there. JNH has some of that going on in Signs. Penderecki perhaps too.

And we know Goldenthal is into Corigliano right, as that was his teacher...what about Corigliano himself? (Question for scissorhands!)

I wonder is the tail "wagging the dog" too these days. Because I think many classical composers seem to be into film composers, from their music, and also even confess to it.

I had read before that Johan De Meij much admires JW. And the composer/conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen loves Hermann and Goldsmith. John Adams is into Takemitsu, and I would think others as well.

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HZ's favorite score is Assault On Precinct 13 by John Carpenter.

I've only heard of him speaking about it once, and all he said was that he steals from it often. Not necasserily his favorite. I've heard him call Once Upon a Time in America as good a score as there is.

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I know people don't really like him here, but I saw an interview with Hans Zimmer in which he was asked 'Who out there is writing really good music?' and he aswered 'Well, John Ottman and Thomas Newman are definatly on there way up, most of Morricone's stuff is still great, and, of course, there's always John Williams'

Yeah, I remember that too, and now I'm annoyed 'cause I can't remember what documentary this was in, perhaps in the Gladiator? :blink:

If I get a chance, I'll ask Doyle and Arnold about their favs next month at the pre-concert talk in London. :D

I'd also daresay that Shore definitely likes Wagner. ;)

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Among the younger generation of composers, Mr Williams has noted Thomas Newman in particular.

As has been said before, it is known that Williams respected Hermann and Goldsmith, but also Tan Dun of living composers.

That he mentioned Thomas Newman however sounds to me unlikely. Could you give a reference for that statement?

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This may have been mentioned, but Zimmer said in an interview that there is no living composer who knows more about film music than JW.

I also heard that Elfman liked Herrmann, but it was from imdb.

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Among the younger generation of composers, Mr Williams has noted Thomas Newman in particular.

As has been said before, it is known that Williams respected Hermann and Goldsmith, but also Tan Dun of living composers.

That he mentioned Thomas Newman however sounds to me unlikely. Could you give a reference for that statement?

He did mention Newman, and made specific example of the harmonies in the finale of Shawshank. Then again, he was close to Alfred Newman, who helped make Williams what he is. So, really, it may be more Hollyood nepotism!

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Among the younger generation of composers, Mr Williams has noted Thomas Newman in particular.

As has been said before, it is known that Williams respected Hermann and Goldsmith, but also Tan Dun of living composers.

That he mentioned Thomas Newman however sounds to me unlikely. Could you give a reference for that statement?

He did mention Newman, and made specific example of the harmonies in the finale of Shawshank. Then again, he was close to Alfred Newman, who helped make Williams what he is. So, really, it may be more Hollyood nepotism!

Ok thanks. About Hollywood nepotism: I don't think Williams is quite into it, since he doesn''t need it.

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Perhaps a little surprising to some, John Williams' favorite composer is [b]Haydn.

I was astonished to learn this for about 4 seconds, and then it actually made perfect sense, and it is also an influence you can very much feel in Williams' sense of fun and playfulness when it comes to creating slight, slight asymmetries that are almost imperceptible, but give form and phrases so much more life.

Also, Williams is sort of a present day Haydn, working for the Esterhazy's of our age, Hollywood. (In fact, Haydn was in a similarly unique position as a craftsman: he had one of the world's greatest orchestras at his disposal, and would work as closely with them as a sculptor would with his materials. This is the kind of privilege that forges a master composer, and a master craftsman).

This was perhaps one of the most illuminating statements I've heard Williams make in recent years; it really sheds light on how he sees himself and his purpose, and it is also a revealing glimpse into Williams' own modus operandi.

He also likes Mendelssohn a lot. And Takemitsu and Corigliano (who also likes Williams, and who likes Goldsmith and Rosenman as well).

(Elgar, Walton and the rest (Prokofiev, etc.), who might on the surface have a more immediate kinship with Williams' music, are apparently at this point in the Maestro's career, less significant.)

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Perhaps a little surprising to some, John Williams' favorite composer is [b]Haydn.

I was astonished to learn this for about 4 seconds, and then it actually made perfect sense, and it is also an influence you can very much feel in Williams' sense of fun and playfulness when it comes to creating slight, slight asymmetries that are almost imperceptible, but give form and phrases so much more life.

Also, Williams is sort of a present day Haydn, working for the Esterhazy's of our age, Hollywood. (In fact, Haydn was in a similarly unique position as a craftsman: he had one of the world's greatest orchestras at his disposal, and would work as closely with them as a sculptor would with his materials. This is the kind of privilege that forges a master composer, and a master craftsman).

This was perhaps one of the most illuminating statements I've heard Williams make in recent years; it really sheds light on how he sees himself and his purpose, and it is also a revealing glimpse into Williams' own modus operandi.

He also likes Mendelssohn a lot. And Takemitsu and Corigliano (who also likes Williams, and who likes Goldsmith and Rosenman as well).

(Elgar, Walton and the rest (Prokofiev, etc.), who might on the surface have a more immediate kinship with Williams' music, are apparently at this point in the Maestro's career, less significant.)

Good analysis! I was surprised also when I heard about Williams' love for Haydn's music. I think (and we have discussed this before I think) that also in the construction of phrases (or satzen) there is a Haydn like structure especially in the thematics. There is the first satz, then the second (e.g. in minor). Secondary themes are derived from the main themes as in haydn.

I'm pretty ignorant in terms of musical theory, but am I the only the one who hears a lot of Stravinsky is some of Williams more action oriented scores?

This has been discussed extensively before, but you are very right of course especially as to the more atonal rhythmic action passages in his newer scores.

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In an interview asked Ennio Morricone what were his musical influences at the beginning of his career. The response: "If I had copied other composers, I would not be Ennio Morricone!"

Is Morricone the most original film composer? He really was not influenced by anyone?

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I am familiar with several Morricone scores, and they're only the tip of the tip of the iceburg. My instincts tell me that he's the real deal. And I can't think of any one else before him who sounds anything like Morricone. He's a true original.

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(...) And I can't think of any one else before him who sounds anything like Morricone. He's a true original.

I assume this too. Perhaps because of it he doesn't usually talk about other composers...

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