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First War Horse teaser trailer includes Williams score


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I think it's really interesting to ponder whether a composer enjoyed writing a particular cue, or even a whole score. Damn hard to tell really. I found out about Goldsmith's experience on The Mummy well after I heard the score, and it really surprised me, given the quality of the music. You'd never guess that several weeks of it were written while trapped in a hotel :lol:

I heard a segment of an interview recently where JNH comments that he thought The Postman was a terrible film - but did that affect his enthusiasm to write the score? Who knows.

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I think it's really interesting to ponder whether a composer enjoyed writing a particular cue, or even a whole score. Damn hard to tell really. I found out about Goldsmith's experience on The Mummy well after I heard the score, and it really surprised me, given the quality of the music. You'd never guess that several weeks of it were written while trapped in a hotel :lol:

I heard a segment of an interview recently where JNH comments that he thought The Postman was a terrible film - but did that affect his enthusiasm to write the score? Who knows.

I came to realize that whenever filmmakers say it was easy and they had a great time it usually means trouble. Or to put it in more musical terms...

danermotif.jpg

:P

Karol

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I came to realize that whenever filmmakers say it was easy and they had a great time it usually means trouble. Or to put it in more musical terms...

danermotif.jpg

:P

Karol

So that's what the motif signifies! :lol:

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I will say one last thing. If he cared as much as you say, he would be working with other directors and doing other scores. It's not like he doesn't have time for that. Obviously in the 2005-2011 he's done only one score which probably took him around 3-4 months to complete.

How do you answer that?

Well, for one thing, his focus has been mostly on concert music. Williams is, after all, primarily a composer, not just a film composer. I also think this is something that must be

considered by those yearning for the "simpler" designs of some of his earlier set pieces. If anything, Williams' film writing has started to approximate his concert writing, and there's more of a cross-fertilization between the two ("Letter Bombs"/"Ants!"/ last movement of "Duo Concertante"/ "Birches" (Harp Concerto), etc.). He is

bridging the gap. Something like "The Asteroid Field" wouldn't present much of a challenge for Williams, compositionally. I believe Williams approaches every assignment as an opportunity to "better" his craft. Artistically, he seems concerned with lyrical articulation on the one hand (melodic/motiviv construction, but also dramatic expression of character etc. infilm themes), and on the other hand, pure musical virtuosity. The closest he has come to revisiting his early 80's stylistics, was "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". This was Williams in a hurry, and evidence of how effortlessly that particular style still flows from him ("The Flying Car" is "vintage" Williams set-piece writing, and "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Dobby the House Elf" are 100% in tune with his melodic writing of yesteryear). But he has other interests these days. To some of us, that's where the true excitement lies: In following this colossal craftsman, and tracing his continuous development (and for those of us who happen to be practitioners of the same craft, studying a living master still in the midst of his own creative journey).

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But what is the point of your sneering comments? That Williams is not a composer but a film composer, that one precludes the other somehow or that there is something awfully wrong in writing great music for any medium? Isn't it Williams' decision if he chooses to write concert music instead of film these days? Do you feel somehow insulted when some of the fans express that they enjoy his concert works?

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Perhaps I ought to re-phrase: Williams is a composer, first and foremost, and he happens to have had most of his career in film, although in recent years, he's been primarily active in the field of concert music.

The distinction between "composer" and "film composer", albeit ideally an entirely artificial one, has sadly become more and more pertinent as the level of musicianship and craft (in Hollywood, particularily, but also elsewhere) has declined.

Williams will approach a film scoring assignment very

differently, in musical terms, than most present media composers. The dramatic requirements will be similar, but Williams brings an altogether different ambition to the table:

He will not only provide a fitting dramatic underscore, but also a perfectly self-sufficient musical comment on the drama at hand, a work of art in of itself, adhering not only

to functionality within the given context, but also to musical standards of the highest calibre. This is what sets him so unquestionably apart from his "colleagues". This is why he is more or less without peers.

(@Stefan/Quint, not Incanus, whose post popped up in the meantime)

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But what is the point of your sneering comments?

Yeah, um, it's called a joke. In the UK they call it "taking the piss", or in Cockney rhyming slang, "taking the mickey".

That Williams is not a composer but a film composer, that one precludes the other somehow or that there is something awfully wrong in writing great music for any medium? Isn't it Williams' decision if he chooses to write concert music instead of film these days? Do you feel somehow insulted when some of the fans express that they enjoy his concert works?

I don't think you got the joke.

Silliness aside though, Williams is first and foremost a MOVIE composer. Dress it up if you wish (as if it's somehow slightly embarrassing????), but that's where he got his rocks off throughout his illustrious career.

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Silliness aside though, Williams is first and foremost a MOVIE composer. Dress it up if you wish (as if it's somehow slightly embarrassing????), but that's where he got his rocks off throughout his illustrious career.

I think Bernard Herrmann had the most interesting perspective on such things. He thought of himself as a composer, who fullfills his creative responsobility and works for film medium, which, he thought, should be in repertoire of any serious composer. He then gave examples how different masterpieces of music were always comissioned and related to something else (Bach doing weekly mass, Mozarto doing dinner music) and their work was always tied to some other medium (theater, opera, ballet etc.). It might sound a bit naive, but I think it is interesting way to look at it.

Karol

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It is indeed.

Honestly Croc, I'm sure you have noticed there's often a devil's advocacy about a great deal of my posts.

My initial response to Marcus was a reaction to his perception that Williams is so much more than a film composer (which he obviously is), but in a way which somehow understates and ignores the man's embrace of the medium and the natural way in which film itself has fashioned his sensibities as much as the music itself.

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Well said Marcus! Eloquently put! :thumbup:

I don't think you got the joke.

Silliness aside though, Williams is first and foremost a MOVIE composer. Dress it up if you wish (as if it's somehow slightly embarrassing????), but that's where he got his rocks off throughout his illustrious career.

Yeah I missed the joke completely.

And yes Williams is a brilliant film composer. And he writes brilliant music outside that medium too. (And please do not say TV music in response!) ;)

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It is indeed.

Honestly Croc, I'm sure you have noticed there's often a devil's advocacy about a great deal of my posts.

I noticed, I do that too. :) Sometimes when I read my posts I think people might think of me as a schizophrenic. In my wicked mind it makes sense. But, honestly, there are so many facets to many things that it would be foolish to think of something in one particular way.

For instance, I can see where Stefan, Mark and others are coming from. It all makes perfect sense. But at the same time I disagree with them, because for me Williams and his music mean something else and I simply enjoy it in a different way.

Karol

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back on topic, yeah i dont think Williams had his heart in KOTCS when he composed it.

He just composed 3 new concert versions, re-recorded the raiders march, gave at last the dignity marion's theme deserved with another concert version, and modified irina's for the better.

Last time he did that it was still the early 80s.

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Jerry Goldsmith also thought of himself as a composer, not film composer.

As far as the "heart not in it", perhaps the correct way to phrase is not finding any inspiration.

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Jerry Goldsmith also thought of himself as a composer, not film composer.

As far as the "heart not in it", perhaps the correct way to phrase is not finding any inspiration.

My point still stands.

You cant write that many concert version's without inspiration. I mean these concert versions are not part of the score he makes them because he wants to.

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My point still stands.

You cant write that many concert version's without inspiration. I mean these concert versions are not part of the score he makes them because he wants to.

More like craft. Or you have a very loose defintion of 'inspiration'. He could write them because he knows that he has to perform some pieces from current blockbusters in his Pops concerts.

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The closest he has come to revisiting his early 80's stylistics, was "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". This was Williams in a hurry, and evidence of how effortlessly that particular style still flows from him ("The Flying Car" is "vintage" Williams set-piece writing, and "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Dobby the House Elf" are 100% in tune with his melodic writing of yesteryear).

I STRONGLY disagree.

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I wouldn't want him to work on the franchise that looks, sounds and feels nothing like the one he kicked off and I wouldn't want him to do a score for David Yates' Harry Potter movie. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate Alexandre Desplat's efforts. But I don't think he's particularly fond of this experience.

Karol

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The closest he has come to revisiting his early 80's stylistics, was "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". This was Williams in a hurry, and evidence of how effortlessly that particular style still flows from him ("The Flying Car" is "vintage" Williams set-piece writing, and "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Dobby the House Elf" are 100% in tune with his melodic writing of yesteryear).

I STRONGLY disagree.

I STRONGLY agree.

I wouldn't want him to work on the franchise that looks, sounds and feels nothing like the one he kicked off

I want him on that film for exactly that reason.

Prove all the morons wrong who think he can't adapt his material.

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I wouldn't want him to work on the franchise that looks, sounds and feels nothing like the one he kicked off

I want him on that film for exactly that reason.

Prove all the morons wrong who think he can't adapt his material.

Sure he can. And I'm also pretty sure Desplat could work his magic, if allowed. He's no John Williams, of course, but his other works prove him to be worthy. When I'm saying I enjoy his Potter scores I mean that I like them despite everything. And it's not unconditional love. There are dozen better works of his elsewhere. Heck, New Moon is much better.

I'd like to see John Williams working with director who is not afraid of music.

Anyway, I'm more than happy with what we're getting from his this year. Really, really happy. :D

Karol

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The closest he has come to revisiting his early 80's stylistics, was "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets". This was Williams in a hurry, and evidence of how effortlessly that particular style still flows from him ("The Flying Car" is "vintage" Williams set-piece writing, and "Fawkes the Phoenix" and "Dobby the House Elf" are 100% in tune with his melodic writing of yesteryear.

I STRONGLY disagree.

Be my guest!

But in terms of techniques employed (harmonically, melodically, structurally and, to a somewhat lesser extent, orchestrationally), that score includes more "1975-1985 Williams"-trademarks than most other Williams scores this side of "Home Alone 2".

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That's why I think that Chamber Of Secrets is (okay, I'm ducking away already ...) on par with Prisoner Of Azkaban, and better than Philosopher's Stone.

Excluding the Corouscant quidditch match and the cut & paste finale.

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First of all, I've always found the most prominent characteristic of COS to be the fact that it sounds like a temp track. I noticed this the very first time I saw the film, and that was before I was even familiar with any SS material beyond what was on its album. When you look at the sheet music, HUGE chunks of it are marked C.S. [insert cue number from SS here]. I haven't done a minute-for-minute, bar-for-bar breakdown or anything, but the percentage of material that was literally photocopied from the score to SS is staggering. Someday, if I have even less of a life than I do now, I want to actually calculate that percentage, even though it will only depress me.

Once you weed all that material out, you've got smaller plagiarisms, such as the Coruscant chase music during the Quidditch match, and the Separatists' theme masquerading as a theme for Lucius, and "No Ticket" as a theme for Gilderoy, and JP's "Goat Bait", and whatnot. Even Dobby's incredibly lame theme bears some slight resemblance to "Star of Bethlehem" at one point...not a huge sin, but with all this other more direct self-plagiarism, it doesn't help.

Once you get rid of all THAT stuff, you're left with some original music and some new statements of existing themes. Some of that material is quite good, but it all sounds exactly like circa 2002 Williams to me, and some of it is pretty bland to my ear. Listening to Dobby's theme is like drinking really watered-down orange juice. Fawkes's theme is amazing for about six or seven notes, and then it completely loses any sense of direction. I find the flying car melody to be downright annoying at times.

But, ah, you know, maybe if those recording sessions finally leak, I might change my mind... ;)

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First of all, I've always found the most prominent characteristic of COS to be the fact that it sounds like a temp track. I noticed this the very first time I saw the film, and that was before I was even familiar with any SS material beyond what was on its album. When you look at the sheet music, HUGE chunks of it are marked C.S. [insert cue number from SS here]. I haven't done a minute-for-minute, bar-for-bar breakdown or anything, but the percentage of material that was literally photocopied from the score to SS is staggering. Someday, if I have even less of a life than I do now, I want to actually calculate that percentage, even though it will only depress me.

Once you weed all that material out, you've got smaller plagiarisms, such as the Coruscant chase music during the Quidditch match, and the Separatists' theme masquerading as a theme for Lucius, and "No Ticket" as a theme for Gilderoy, and JP's "Goat Bait", and whatnot. Even Dobby's incredibly lame theme bears some slight resemblance to "Star of Bethlehem" at one point...not a huge sin, but with all this other more direct self-plagiarism, it doesn't help.

Once you get rid of all THAT stuff, you're left with some original music and some new statements of existing themes. Some of that material is quite good, but it all sounds exactly like circa 2002 Williams to me, and some of it is pretty bland to my ear. Listening to Dobby's theme is like drinking really watered-down orange juice. Fawkes's theme is amazing for about six or seven notes, and then it completely loses any sense of direction. I find the flying car melody to be downright annoying at times.

But, ah, you know, maybe if those recording sessions finally leak, I might change my mind... ;)

I hope for all our sakes there is someone with the sessions just itching to prove that you are wrong. :lol:

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...

...

I see we're still flogging the dead horse.

SNORE.

Roll on the tiny Amazon audio clips of WAR HORSE!

Those 30-second clips will not provide an accurate representation of the score as a whole! They are meaningless for determining the worth of the score!

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Umm... okay....

My CD arrived today. I simply love the "Horse Running" track. "More Horse Running" is also good. I'm not a fan of the "Disturbing Exchange Of Glances Between The Boy And A Horse". Maybe it'll improve.

Karol

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Umm... okay....

My CD arrived today. I simply love the "Horse Running" track. "More Horse Running" is also good. I'm not a fan of the "Disturbing Exchange Of Glances Between The Boy And A Horse". Maybe it'll improve.

Karol

Don't forget the Horse Scene and Scene with the War Horse and War Horse (Reprise). Stunning.

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Yeah, these two are way to Horner-y for my taste.

Well, the original cue title for "Horse Running" was "Horsie Runs Through Field", but whatevs. My favorite is "The Horse Scene."

Is that what your leaked cue sheets are saying?

Karol

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Is that what your leaked cue sheets are saying?

Yes, but if I share them, the whole universe will explode, so don't you dare ask for them!

Death Of The Horse ...

Do they *have* to spoil the film?

At least we didn't get Hooper's rejected score, which featured "The Killing of the Horse"!

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