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Gerhardt Star Wars/Close Encounters lovefest


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Yes, and there is still some merit in this recording. It is interesting on an evolutionary scale to trace how concert arrangements from this 1977 recording would be recycled later in the score for Return of the Jedi. The Rebel Spaceship motif segue from the "Ben's Death" into "the Last Battle" shows up verbatim in "Sail Barge Assault" from Return of the Jedi.

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Also, when ROTS came out I first thought that the End Credits suite with Throne Room concert version was Gerhardt's recording. Maybe it was a stupid thought, but it sounds almost exactly like it. I was like, "did they just paste the Gerhardt Throne Room in here?"

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Empire is my favorite of the three. It's really difficult to compare performances when one has already fallen in love with the original recording. Really, a re-recording of a contemporary score should not hope to duplicate the arrangement of the original, but add little flourishes, new arrangements, and a different take on the existing recording. I think the Empire one does that best.

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I would hope that a re-recording of a score manages to change the original in its own way.

It's the film score industry equivalent of a "cover." Some covers are awesome (Hendrix' "All Along the Watchtower," Hootie's "Hey Hey What Can I Do"), and some aren't so good (Britney's "Satisfaction," Jewel's "Sweet Home Alabama"), but all are unique in their own way.

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There's nothing wrong with re-recordings, but it's going to come down to the listener's preference.

I have quite a few re-recordings I find worthwhile and I've gotten rid of some that I've felt were redundant or didn't offer anything new.

As much as I liked Debney's recording of Superman, the Rhino, and now Blue Box, made it obsolete. It's a long score to begin with so most of my time would have been devoted to Williams' original recording. Now the McNeely / Varese Jaws album is a misfire, the only reason I have it is because it was a given as a gift. But compared to the original album and original score album, it's just not that good. I know part of it could be the difficulty of the music but the performance is poor compared to other recordings done by McNeely and Varese.

Now there are the Herrmann and Rozsa recordings done by Varese and Intrada that I have, as well as the original albums. I've kept those because either the original albums can't be released (or haven't), the original albums feature less music or the sound on the originals were in mono or damaged. I also have the Silva and Varese recordings for some of John Barry's scores, as well as the original for the same reason mentioned above.

Plus I also consider most of those to feature very good renditions that are close to the original performances. And most of them, if not all, are much shorter than Superman and the Star Wars scores.

I know the sound on the RCA Star Wars albums are a bit lacking as well but I prefer Williams' original renditions compared to the recordings. The Gerhardt albums never grabbed me the way the did others here. They were nice but not the originals.

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I know the sound on the RCA Star Wars albums are a bit lacking as well but I prefer Williams' original renditions compared to the recordings. The Gerhardt albums never grabbed me the way the did others here. They were nice but not the originals.

I hated the original album's sound and really discovered STAR WARS through Gerhardt. The recording is massive and huge, whereas the Tomlinson recording had virtues i only learned to appreciate after long years of listening to dry 70's Goldsmith scores.

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You're right. Albums like that are nothing more than gimmicks, but I admit that I like the odd gimmicky album.

By that reasoning, 99.9% of all classical recordings would be gimmicks.

Also, when ROTS came out I first thought that the End Credits suite with Throne Room concert version was Gerhardt's recording. Maybe it was a stupid thought, but it sounds almost exactly like it. I was like, "did they just paste the Gerhardt Throne Room in here?"

Comparing ROTS' lackluster end credits recording to Gerhardt's is an insult, if you ask me.

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I gotta get the Jaws re-recording sometime. I'm curious. Odd, it seems to bee OOP and rather pricey now.

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I only have Empire...and I really can't call myself a fan. I don't like the performance, nor the arrangements (I especially despise the intro for the Imperial March). I may give Return of the Jedi a shot though.

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D'oh! I tend to not check Varese's own site, but the other retailers and Amazon first.

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If i know correctly, the varese re-recording is Williams original vision of the film score, faithfull to the written score.

I mean everything as composed before last minute tinkering during the recordings sessions. Much like the tadlow re-recordings.

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  • 9 years later...
On 7/12/2010 at 8:16 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

 

 

On 7/13/2010 at 1:58 AM, Marian Schedenig said:

That's a really good recording, but it feels just slightly mechanic to me, not as alive as the Gerhardt recording. And I can't stand the mix of the prominent harp parts on this album.

 

That's actually one of my favourite things (apologies Julie Andrews) about the USO/Kojian recording.

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I'm a huge fan of Gerhardt's CE3K suite, which I actually prefer to the OST/score renditions, mainly due to tempo and the choral parts. I've also noticed that there are a number of little extra flourishes (if that's the correct term) that do not appear on the score tracks (for example, extra piccolo flourishes during the opening parts of Barnstorming) and was wondering whether these were added by Gerhardt or if perhaps they were suggested by Williams - after all we know from the liner notes that Gerhardt consulted Wiiliams about including Here They Come as part of the SW suite. Anyone know?

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  • 1 year later...

I've always loved this recording of 'Close Encounters' but my copy has a glitch at 15:33. I've always wondered if this is just my copy, a glitch on the version I have (https://www.discogs.com/John-Williams-4-Charles-Gerhardt-National-Philharmonic-Orchestra-Close-Encounters-Of-The-Third-Kind-/release/13204301) or an issue inherent to the recording. Any help most appreciated!

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