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What is the most asoundingly magical moment of JW writing ever?


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Oh god I hate reading me back years later. Cringe. The forum equivalent of digging out the old photos.

Wrong notes and all http://youtu.be/HRFtK0yjk10

Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra.

Is that Jack Bauer in your avatar?

ROTFLMAO

Oh my god! I hope he doesn't see that post (the guy in Ren's avatar, that is).

First thing I thought of when I saw that. Definitely not Steef and too much facial hair for Ren. Is it Quint? ROTFLMAO

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Is that Jack Bauer in your avatar?

ROTFLMAO

Oh my god! I hope he doesn't see that post (the guy in Ren's avatar, that is).

First thing I thought of when I saw that. Definitely not Steef and too much facial hair for Ren. Is it Quint? ROTFLMAO

It is Sir Quint, indeed.

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When Luke defeats Vader in RotJ.

Padme's Funeral cue in RotS (Funeral theme seques into the Force Theme which seques into the Imperial March)

I completely agree two both very powerful moments. Also watching the Anakin's Betrayal scene in RotS always gets to me.

In addition, the opening sequence to Sabrina and hearing Escape/Chase/Saying Goodbye live from ET is also some of my favorites.

But my favorite John Williams' piece is Hedwig's Theme, especially the big crescendo from about 2:30 and on always makes me stop what I am doing and appreciate how brilliant the music is.

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I find magic in every note that proceeds from the pen of John Williams. There is beauty in his work, wonder-working beauty, effulgent beauty, that fires the imagination and kindles the heart.

Williams is bad.

Apparently your opinion of John Williams is as mysterious as my own. :D

Finally they found each other.

Topic: The second half of Returnees from CE3K also nicely used in this video...

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There's also this short moment in PoA that's pretty amazing. When Harry casts the first patronus against the dementor that comes out of the chest. The choir bursts out with the Window to the Past in fanfare form. Well it's unreleased of course

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Okay, I've got a good one: 1:22 of "Growing Up in Paris" from Sabrina. There's something about the timbre of a muted trumpet, combined with the melody and the wonderful buildup to that point that makes those few seconds so satisfying. When I first heard it I remember thinking "that hits the spot in such a fulfilling way."

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I've wondered if that part would be less powerful outside the movie.

it's hard to tell in some place what's part of the music and what's part of the dementor sound effect, like the bass effect underlying the choir

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Wrong notes and all

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Beautiful! I'd love to hear the rest of it if you ever get a chance. :)

It may be a bit but I will do it.

Nice job, Ren. It's always nice to meet a fellow pianist in the forums. I agree that "Leaving Hogwarts" is certainly one of the top magical moments from the whole Harry Potter series:

But...for me, my most personally magical JW moment is when we first see the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar and the great Richard Attenborough says "Welcome, to Jurassic Park!":

I was 10 years old when I first experienced that moment in the theaters and right away became a lifelong JW fan. I went back to see it 5 times that summer and still get goosebumps every time I hear it or play it on the piano. Pure magic.

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Strange, as far as I can tell, nobody ever mentions my two all-time favorites when it comes to "magical", the tracks "father's study" and the latter half of "wrong choice, right choice" from Last Crusade. Absolutely unrivaled for me, although there are plenty of great moments elsewhere, many of which have been listed here.

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I know it's been said before, but... Binary. Sunset.

Two that might not have had a lot of attention -

Episode III, when it cuts to Anakin on Mustafar after he's killed all the Trade Federation people... unreleased I believe. "Anakin's Dark Deeds" conveniently has about a 5-10 second cut in it, right at 3:31, that skips the best part!

The last few minutes of War Horse did it for me too.

And dang, I forgot about this one too!

Oy, so many great moments mentioned in this thread. One I'd like to add is the transition into the end credits of Star Wars. With this one, the performance and recording make such an incredible difference. Something about the fast tempo and aggressive brass sound in the original recording makes that moment purely magical. It brings the film to an absolutely perfect close.

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I know it's been said before, but... Binary. Sunset.

Two that might not have had a lot of attention -

Episode III, when it cuts to Anakin on Mustafar after he's killed all the Trade Federation people... unreleased I believe. "Anakin's Dark Deeds" conveniently has about a 5-10 second cut in it, right at 3:31, that skips the best part!

The last few minutes of War Horse did it for me too.

And dang, I forgot about this one too!

Oy, so many great moments mentioned in this thread. One I'd like to add is the transition into the end credits of Star Wars. With this one, the performance and recording make such an incredible difference. Something about the fast tempo and aggressive brass sound in the original recording makes that moment purely magical. It brings the film to an absolutely perfect close.

Which "Binary Sunset"? The alternate is by far the better piece.

"Let There Be Light" takes some beating. "Waking Up" isn't too shabby, either. "Turning Back The World" is simply astounding!

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1. Superman leaves home (the americana sequence at 1:30) - what else encapsulates poignant nostalgia as well???

2. Binary sunset/Luke Races Home

3. Empire Strikes Back - All of it is just perfect...seriously too many moments

4. "ET and me"/ET Finale

5. Close Encounters "The Mountain" and end sequence

6. Saving Private Ryan Hymn to the Fallen (after the reprise)

7. Raiders - Throne Room

8. Jaws: "Out to Sea"

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9. Empire of the Sun: Cadillac of the Skies

This sequence really moves me to tears and elevates JW above any other film composer today the way he really gets to the poignant heart of the scene and its complex subtext:

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10. Close Encounters: The Mountain

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Two that might not have had a lot of attention -

Episode III, when it cuts to Anakin on Mustafar after he's killed all the Trade Federation people... unreleased I believe. "Anakin's Dark Deeds" conveniently has about a 5-10 second cut in it, right at 3:31, that skips the best part!

We have all of that music now from the games

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Listening to the end credits track from Last Crusade (whatever name people have for it), and I'm loving where the B part of the march starts around 2:15 and we get probably the greatest build-up to the main 'A' part I've ever heard. The icing on the cake is 2:38 ish... it's like Williams knows it's the end of the film and the march has to appear for its final grand statement, but is teasing us.

Then even better at 9:30, it's the absolute end, and the brass just belts out, and a key change!

I don't normally gush over JW like this, but I really think he had a ball with this final cue of the franchise and it shows.

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I really think he had a ball with this final cue of the franchise and it shows.

hehhehheh

Has anybody noticed that Raiders is the only one of the films that does not have the raiders march start before the end credits appear? (KOTCS is close.)

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I've listened to a lot of John Williams and for me it would have to be the build up to E.T. and Elliot soaring across the forest. I don't know of many composers who can write such a good melody, and this is John Williams's best one. The trick is to listen to how simple and fundamental the harmony is, then relisten to how much a brilliant melody can enhance it.

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The other quite honorable orchestration of pure sound I think would be the main title of Star Wars, and similarly for astounding notable effect is the trumpet theme to Jurassic Park. But for pure awe and unparalleled sentimentality it's E.T. It even has magic in the title. Though I personally favor so much of John Williams's little touches to everything in specific places, that I'm sure there are some second-long winning instrumentations in orchestration that I wouldn't mention because in their quantity they are hard to compare.

I wonder why so many people are mentioning the music at the end of E.T. If not talking about the piano/end credits, I assume you mean the last bit when E.T. says goodbye and takes off, which puzzles me because there wasn't anything all that special about the music. I think John Williams could have made that part so much better.

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I wonder why so many people are mentioning the music at the end of E.T. If not talking about the piano/end credits, I assume you mean the last bit when E.T. says goodbye and takes off, which puzzles me because there wasn't anything all that special about the music. I think John Williams could have made that part so much better.

To me, what makes the end sequence of ET so special (this is the final chase through to the good bye sequence) is how it ties up all the elements of the score so perfectly and so thoroughly – there is no missed opportunity remaining with the thematic ideas. The themes are now interwoven in their fully transformed versions where the sum of the parts exceeds the whole. This is why Close Encounters's ending is also so satisfying. The musical journey in these scores is fully realized and completed at the end in a way demonstrating spectacular musical facilities, craftsmanship, creativity, and most importantly, dramatic underscoring. Imagine seeing the end of Close Encounters or ET without music. The dialog is non-existent and all we have is pretty much minutes of either effects shots or reaction shots. Dialog is something like “stay”…”go”…etc. The music is 100% the voice of the characters here and perfectly captures the essense of what they are feeling. These characters have come through to their own transformed/completed versions of themselves as they journeyed through their arch. Very sophisticated stuff here at the culmination of these scores and who else comes close to doing this as well as JW did in these films? The composer was firing on all cylinders during these climactic sequences.

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