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What Is The Last Score You Listened To? (older scores)


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The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse. 2011 was an excellent year for John Williams fans. Both albums are hugely enjoyable.   Karol

It's great, cheesy fun, my favourite cue in the score.   And yeah, the Whills theme is nice, but my first thought in the cinema was "how does Aross the Stars belong in here?"

This is such a perfect thread for these forums. I'm glad to share. La La Land: Complete Musical Experience composed by Justin Hurwitz I love this score. I love the songs. I love the film. I

I tried to like these two scores, I really did but they just don't click with me as strongly as with some.

May have something to do with the fact that they are some of Desplat's less successful efforts. Listen to NEW MOON or GOLDEN COMPASS to hear strong post-2000 blockbuster scores.

They don't click with me either. Some parts I find interesting, especially some subtle nods to William's style. But as a whole I prefer Desplat to express himself in his own voice. The Golden Compass would be an excellent example.

Karol

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Wings (1927) La La Land

I am really surprised by how much I enjoy this. Definitely recommended and I am afraid this is one many might overlook. Check it out. :)

I'm looking for the film. I didn't know it had an original score.

It is on DVD and BR at Amazon, about $13 and $16 respectively.

I bought the LLR score but haven't gotten around to taking the wrapper off. I'm hoping that I can use my digital camera for a serviceable photo of the signed liner notes for album art, because my flatbed scanner is not with me at the moment.

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And of course many fans would compare this and every other Potter score to Williams' scores. It is quite natural. But none of the composer who came after Williams, in my opinion, had the same ability to write so clear, apt or memorable thematic identifications for these stories even though they might have other fortes.

That is true to a degree. As soon as it became apparent Williams wasn't returning for a fourth go-round with Potter, I figured it's best for people just to judge the scores on their own merits (as hard as it sounds), and not think "this would be so much better if JW was scoring this!" -- although I did think that when I watch the fifth film. But I think Desplat was a good choice after being Doyle's bombastic score for the fourth and Hooper's TV-movie scores for the fifth and sixth films.

There isn't much in the way of minimalism in Desplat's HP scores. There are a few moments here and there ("Harry and Ginny", "Lovegood", "The Exodus"), but the orchestra is pretty dominant. For me, Desplat's music isn't detached, it's subtle and refined -- which I appreciate. But when the emotions really kick in, like "Farewell to Dobby" and "The Resurrection Stone" -- it hits pretty hard.

I don't like all of Desplat's work -- some of it is overly cutesy (Julie & Julia) or just too minimal like Carnage and La prophet.

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Oh you bought that? I'd rather have various versions of the theme to The Young and the Restless. That's what I miss most about being unemployed -- Victor Newman.

Nope, straight YouTube'n this stuff. I just got it in my head this week. I remember it from when I was a child and my mother would watch everyday. Gorgeous opening and closing theme.

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I've just listened to LLLR First Knight for the first time. All I got to say is "Holy Smokes!" I believe Goldsmith delivered another masterpiece with this one. This score had everything I want in a score of this scale. King Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Malagant, Camelot, and Leonesse all had themes. My favorite theme being the gorgeous and lovely Guinevere theme. I can't get enough of that theme. It really captures Guinevere's heart and beauty, imo. The score also captures what was lacking in the film. Though I don't think the film is nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. In fact I found it entertaining though flawed. I think the complete score from the 1st disc is paced pretty good for 78 minute. It never dragged and never a dull moment, imo. I'll also agree with Jerry Zucker that Goldsmith was snubbed of a oscar nomination. This deserved at least a nomination, imo. Excellent score proving why Goldsmith's one of the masters.

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I bought that album because I didn't want to be caught with one hand on the footwarmer and the other on my in case the real album ever was announced as being low stock, but I think the ship that was bringing my shipment from SAE was captured and sunk by Somali pirates.

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First Blood by Jerry Goldsmith

Capricorn One by Jerry Goldsmith

Poltergeist by Jerry Goldsmith

Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith by John Williams

War Horse by John Williams

Presumed Innocent by John Williams

The Last Airbender by James Newton Howard

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Jurassic Park by John Williams: Still one of the greatest film score in my books. It has certainly stayed fresh and spirited all these years, eliciting strong emotional reaction and providing driving momentum and heartpounding excitement with its themes and action set pieces. It is a magnificent blend of thematic bliss and ferocious action music and gentle interludes, all the pieces forming a highly entertaining and despite some harsh orchestral techniques employed a preminently listenable whole. The way Maestro captures the sheer exhilaration of flying and adventure and the awe of dinosaurs in Journey to the Island is staggering even after all these years, the balletic grace and fluidity of the music a marvel you listen with a happy grin on your face.

The action as said above is ferocious and snarling, the danger of the T-Rex and Velociraptors clearly and viscerally realized in the music but never forgetting thematic progressions to give them identity and character and the action set pieces structural building blocks. To me this is Hollywood music at its best with that intangible heart and soul that creates musical magic. If I were ever to name a perfect film score Jurassic Park would be pretty high on that list of few candidates.

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Supernova

Unlike the dire film it's attached to, David Williams and Burkhard Dallwitz's score is really good. I'm more partial to Dallwitz's more electronic and synthesizer contributions... it really captured the emptiness and eerieness of outer space. But Williams' action pieces are great.

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Má Vlast by Bedrich Smetana: Not a film score but sounds like a predecessor to the European styled early Hollywood film scoring in its national romantic glory.

I still remember being absolutely swept away by the piece called Vltava (Die Moldau) (no pun intended) when I first heard it, all 8 years old, in school and it is still to this day one of my favourite pieces of music, so evocative and fluid.

Some of the most compelling thematic ideas in the work are surprisingly folk songs and traditional hymns Smetana intgrates into his work to a great effect. This is really effective and evocative music in general, highly melodic and fluid, the tone poems each working as separate entities but also almost like a dramatic narrative of growing intesity which makes it sound so much like film music or should I say film music sound like tone poems.

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Again I can't but agree. A wonderful finale to a great score. The horn solo at the beginning (again James Thatcher) is absolutely gorgeous with a sense of solemnity that deliciously takes a sudden turn to foreboding. And the elegy itself is one of Williams' finest creation a sense dread mounting inside the heartbreaking strings before it finally culminates into that slashing anguished string moment and fades into the exhausted and mourful main musical idea of the elegy.

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Má Vlast by Bedrich Smetana: Not a film score but sounds like a predecessor to the European styled early Hollywood film scoring in its national romantic glory.

I still remember being absolutely swept away by the piece called Vltava (Die Moldau) (no pun intended) when I first heard it, all 8 years old, in school and it is still to this day one of my favourite pieces of music, so evocative and fluid.

Vltava is absolutely wonderful, and yet the whole cycle is seriously neglected by so often singling out that single movement. Like Carmina Burana, Peer Gynt and Zarathustra, I rank Ma Vlast among the famous works which everyone belows to know but doesn't.

Which recording did you listen to? I have Kubelik's Vienna and Boston recordings, and both are outstanding and rightfully praised. When it comes to the Czech repertoire, Kubelik is my go to conductor.

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Má Vlast by Bedrich Smetana: Not a film score but sounds like a predecessor to the European styled early Hollywood film scoring in its national romantic glory.

I still remember being absolutely swept away by the piece called Vltava (Die Moldau) (no pun intended) when I first heard it, all 8 years old, in school and it is still to this day one of my favourite pieces of music, so evocative and fluid.

Vltava is absolutely wonderful, and yet the whole cycle is seriously neglected by so often singling out that single movement. Like Carmina Burana, Peer Gynt and Zarathustra, I rank Ma Vlast among the famous works which everyone belows to know but doesn't.

Which recording did you listen to? I have Kubelik's Vienna and Boston recordings, and both are outstanding and rightfully praised. When it comes to the Czech repertoire, Kubelik is my go to conductor.

All the mentioned works have become known more for the one single movement or section which has attained an almost pop culture status from exposure on different arenas which sadly diminishes the fame of the whole work from which it is culled as they often are equally or even more impressive than the famous section.

I agree that the other pieces in the cycle are sadly less mentioned although equally impressive as Moldau. For me that particular movement was one of those memorable experiences, a clear moment when I realized the power of music, even so young as I was. My recording of the piece is by Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Paavo Berglund, which is quite good actually. I also remember seeing Berglund conduct this piece live a few of years ago with the Helsinki Philharmonics, another exciting experience.

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Again I can't but agree. A wonderful finale to a great score. The horn solo at the beginning (again James Thatcher) is absolutely gorgeous with a sense of solemnity that deliciously takes a sudden turn to foreboding. And the elegy itself is one of Williams' finest creation a sense dread mounting inside the heartbreaking strings before it finally culminates into that slashing anguished string moment and fades into the exhausted and mourful main musical idea of the elegy.

I love the part after the horn solo of the main theme where the horn plays those three ascending notes. So effective.

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Má Vlast by Bedrich Smetana: Not a film score but sounds like a predecessor to the European styled early Hollywood film scoring in its national romantic glory.

I still remember being absolutely swept away by the piece called Vltava (Die Moldau) (no pun intended) when I first heard it, all 8 years old, in school and it is still to this day one of my favourite pieces of music, so evocative and fluid.

Vltava is absolutely wonderful, and yet the whole cycle is seriously neglected by so often singling out that single movement. Like Carmina Burana, Peer Gynt and Zarathustra, I rank Ma Vlast among the famous works which everyone belows to know but doesn't.

Which recording did you listen to? I have Kubelik's Vienna and Boston recordings, and both are outstanding and rightfully praised. When it comes to the Czech repertoire, Kubelik is my go to conductor.

All the mentioned works have become known more for the one single movement or section which has attained an almost pop culture status from exposure on different arenas which sadly diminishes the fame of the whole work from which it is culled as they often are equally or even more impressive than the famous section.

Another good example is Wagner's Ring Cycle. People have never heard of it until you say "you know, the Ride of the Valkyries"

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by John Williams

The Fellowship of the Ring Complete Recordings by Howard Shore

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Music From The Edge (Edge of Darkness rejected score) by John Corigliano

It's a really impressive music, both more accessible and intellectual than Howard Shore's effort. Unlike that score, it is much warmer in nature and in that sense probably more instantly listenable. It has a very nice theme (daughter's theme). Corigliano does a lot with this melody, from very pastoral, to creepy, to atonal. It appears in less or more fragmented form in almost all of the tracks and culminates as a song/aria in the final track. It represents the main characters mourning and his attempts to find solace. The album, from my understanding, is arranged out of order in a more concert format presentation. It works very well. There is plenty of darker and creepier material as well, which more than recalls Elliot Goldenthal's more avant garde writing (think Alien 3). Though, it is probably the other way around in this case. So if you miss this kind of scoring that is less about following action and more about the stuff underneath the main plot, this one is definitely for you. Finally, something with brains! Recommended.

Now I need to revisit Howard Shore's version and compare the two.

Karol

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Another good example is Wagner's Ring Cycle. People have never heard of it until you say "you know, the Ride of the Valkyries"

They may have heard Siegfried's funeral march, too. But do they know the Ride proper has singing Valkyries?

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I'm going through my Horner collection (cue danger motif)!

Aliens:

Being a big fan of the Alien films (the first two at least), I've always loved the score. At first, I thought it to be an extremely original entry from James Horner, but later realized that it is super similar to Wolfen, and also has some other random horner bits. But anyway, I still love it. I love the militaristic snares, the crazy, freak-you-out-if-the-volume-is-too-loud stingers, the awesome countdown music that was used in a million movie trailers, and the great subtle creepy music for the marines exploring LV-426 base. I love it all.

Amazing Stories: Alamo Jobe:

This is a super fun (and super short) entry. the "First Chase" cue is a barrel of fun. Funny to hear the same militaristic snare figure as in aliens in part of this score LOL.

Apollo 13:

Even funnier to have this score start off with a VERY similar militaristic snare figure to Aliens. I do love this score too though, I really enjoy the chorale melody, the trumpet and horn playing is excellent in this score. A very emotional and sweepingly beautiful score, even if parts reminded me of Aliens (not just the snares, but also some of the mysterious moon music was just like some of the empty Sulacco music in Aliens, and part of "The Launch" reminded me of "Combat Drop" from Aliens). It's a very enjoyable score and I like the choir usage...makes me wish Titanic had a real choir, as I do not like the fake sound that was used.

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Price's Robin Hood on its own merits, since I haven't seen the show outside a few first episodes, is a quite consistent piece of work with strong orchestral writing and quite well crafted themes. It is certainly some of the most impressive music written for a TV series I have heard alongside the likes of Giacchino's Lost and Murray Gold's Doctor Who. One downside in TV score albums is that they often leave out major or minor highlights because there simply isn't enough space for them in the one CD programme. I would no mind hearing more music from Robin Hood since Price's music is consistenly interesting and a longer release would give the music room to breathe and develop even better.

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Revolution by John Corigliano

Now that I'm pretty familair with his rejected Edge of Darkness score (it's really really good), I decided to check out his other works. And this one is probably his most accessible (more than The Red Violin). Mostly neoromantic and melodic and lush, it presents a very different musical take on American Revolutionary War, which means it sounds nothing like The Patriot - bucolic and lots of solo flute writing (with performances from James Gallway). A 40 minute album is a perfect presentation as well. It feels more like a concert work than fim score. Not that it surprises me. It is obviously written by someone who knows a thing or two about what orchestra can do.

And also Howard Shore's Edge of Darkness. Which is good, but not that good.

Karol

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