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Lincoln SCORE Discussion thread

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Thank you Miguel. As with all such pieces, I hope Williams records and releases them. If and when he does so, I hope it is with the CSO.

The more I think about the concert version of Getting out the Vote, the more surprise I am with it. It may be the most (or one of the most) drastically changed pieces in terms of OST to concert version of any of Williams' re-workings. Lincoln and Memoirs, with the suite for cello, seem to be two projects that have really inspired him to compose well beyond the movie score.

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Well you can listen to the Boston Pops Film Night with John Williams concert on-demand at WGBH here. :) I am listening now!

The People's House: Sounds more like a closer reworking of several passages from the score joined together. Beautiful (Trumpet soloist does flub a note badly during the final solo though).

Getting Out the Vote: What a transformation to a more robust full-orchestra guise! A rousing and energetic scherzo! :)

With Malice Toward None: Opens with a quote from the People's House Theme on solo cello, which then goes to a full string orchestra development of the With Malice Toward None melody itself, beautifully expanded here.

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LIstening now...this is fantastic! A few times I expected GOTV to burst into war Horse :D.

JW must really have been inspired by this film/subject matter. I hope he records this sometime soon!

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LIstening now...this is fantastic! A few times I expected GOTV to burst into war Horse :D.

Yeah I was thinking the same. :D

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I have always liked the three movement concert suite from Born of the Fourth of July, though the middle movement can be challenging. Anyway, I recently listened to it and then the three movement suite from Lincoln to better compare them. They are both instances of Americana and both feature solo trumpet. My conclusions at the moment are that the trumpet writing is a bit more original and haunting in BotF, but more poignant in Lincoln. Moreover, the middle movement of Lincoln is so much more fun than the corresponding movement of the other. The last movements are both really good, though the cello elevates the Lincoln piece, as well as thematically connects well to the same theme in the first movement. Overall, I give the edge to Lincoln over BotF in terms of the suites.

Incidentally, is the getting out the vote theme a variation of the American process theme?

Here is the Lincoln suite; I cannot find the other on youtube.

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I was listening to Angela's Ashes, and I noticed a couple of similarities with Lincoln. 0:56-1:04 of "Lanes of Limerick" sounds very similar to "With Malice Towards None." And 1:00 of "I Think of Theresa" is similar to the oboe solo that opens "Peterson House and Finale."

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I think the score for Lincoln is equal in achievement to Raiders, to name just but one generally agreed upon JW 'classic'. I also think that the film is one of Spielberg's most accomplished pictures. Oh, how I hope he might direct the recently announced new adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath.

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I'm afraid I don't quite see your point? It's tonal music in a very conservative (and in Williams' case consciously "19th Century"-restricted) idiom; the similarities are fleeting; basic melodic and harmonic building blocks of a very highly defined and stylized musical language.

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To me they're too similar in more than superficial ways to be a coincidence. The mood, the tempo, the orchestration, and 5 notes/chords are almost exactly the same. It's like saying People's House isn't influenced by Copland's Appalachian Spring because a major triad is a "basic melodic" idea.

I mean it's still a great theme and JW still takes it in new directions. But I think there's a definitely a strong link between the two pieces.

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To me they're too similar in more than superficial ways to be a coincidence. The mood, the tempo, the orchestration, and 5 notes/chords are almost exactly the same. It's like saying People's House isn't influenced by Copland's Appalachian Spring because a major triad is a "basic melodic" idea.

I mean it's still a great theme and JW still takes it in new directions. But I think there's a definitely a strong link between the two pieces.

Well since we do not know the genesis of those pieces it is presumptuous to say whether JW was inspired by those pieces you mention or not. IAgain you can only speculate since we do not have any direct evidence to any direction. Interesting observations none the less indy4. Copland homage/influence is perhaps the more obvious one to my mind, most likely a conscious nod to this master of Americana, whose sound is basis for so much of what came after in that genre, in film music in particular.

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To me, as a composer, there's no real "link"; there are melodic and very general textural similarities, but I consider those more a question of musical archetypes. Both the Beethoven and the Williams stem from a style that crystallized in late 18th Century revolutionary France, a kind of musical heroicism that is essentially based on the melodics of revolutionary vernacular songs (songs that also form part of the American musical core -music was always international!).

It is simply an almost impossibly thankless task to go around and crib musical ideas from one's forebears. It's just not what we do! It is so much easier to be original (not to mention more fun).

Therefore, I will always -unless it's a matter of conscious hommage, or unconscious plagiarism (which is mostly a children's disease plagueing amateurs, not professionals)- be dismissive of any speculation as to "other origins" of a piece of music.

Like any language, a musical language doesn't originate with any one person; we all share it, practice it, form our idiosyncracies and dialects and take part in its continued, ever-expanding creation.

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To me, as a composer, there's no real "link"; there are melodic and very general textural similarities, but I consider those more a question of musical archetypes. Both the Beethoven and the Williams stem from a style that crystallized in late 18th Century revolutionary France, a kind of musical heroicism that is essentially based on the melodics of revolutionary vernacular songs (songs that also form part of the American musical core -music was always international!).

It is simply an almost impossibly thankless task to go around and crib musical ideas from one's forebears. It's just not what we do! It is so much easier to be original (not to mention more fun).

Therefore, I will always -unless it's a matter of conscious hommage, or unconscious plagiarism (which is mostly a children's disease plagueing amateurs, not professionals)- be dismissive of any speculation as to "other origins" of a piece of music.

Like any language, a musical language doesn't originate with any one person; we all share it, practice it, form our idiosyncracies and dialects and take part in its continued, ever-expanding creation.

I agree that there are bits of musical vernacular that are sort of used by everybody in these themes. For instance, the alternating whole step that starts both themes, the orchestration, and the chord progression of the fourth and fifth notes in common are probably not, when taken individually, Beethoven's invention, and something that tons of composers have used. But when you combine all these features--the alternating whole-step opening, the orchestration, the tempo, the mood, the last two notes (that are so crucial to the phrase IMO) into a single theme, I think the "unconscious plagiarism" becomes a very likely story. And btw, I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If only amateurs plagiarize, then Bernstein, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Berg and certainly John Williams are all amateurs.

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For me, this example doesn't qualify as "unconscious plagiarism". Generally, instances of such plagiarism are much more obvious and undiluted. It's far too eclectically constructed, meaning there's too little in common between the piece in question and its perceived "source".

I believe all artists are derivative in one way or another. It's human nature, and subsequently the nature of any cultural expression of ours.

In other words, coming up with an idea that shares one or several features with another pre-existing idea by a colleague, living or dead, happens all the time. Music is a language.

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To each his own. Like Inky said, we can't know for sure. But to me the pieces are much too similar to have been a coincidence. And I'm sure JW has heard the Emperor Concerto many times.

I think a conscious reference is pretty much out of discussion.

I'm not a composer, but I do a creative job for a living and I know very well that sometimes a person get kind of unconscious inspirations from things that are present deep in the memory. Call it a sort of reminiscence.

Surely Williams is very well aware of Beethoven's Emperor Concerto and maybe a scant reminiscence of that piece surfaced unconsciously in his mind while writing Lincoln, who knows. A true composer is like a sponge: he absorbs everything.

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Can someone in Europe check to see if their copy of Lincoln has the Sony Classical red stripe logo on the side spine label? It kinda bothers me that Tintin, War Horse and Book Thief have it, but my North American version of Lincoln doesn't. I might be tempted to import an overseas release if I can have all four recent titles match. :P

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Can someone in Europe check to see if their copy of Lincoln has the Sony Classical red stripe logo on the side spine label?

My copy (purchased from www.amazon.co.uk) has a plain white spine without the red logo thing.

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I was just listening to this great score today and thinking about how unappreciated it is, especially the two folksy cues of the score, and stumbled upon a Jim Taylor piece called "The Last of Sizemore", which is the exact same cue as "The Race of the House", even the recording seems to be the same. Listen to a sample as I couldn't find the whole track:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Of-Sizemore/dp/B0010ZMKFC

Now I'm not bothered by the fact that it's the same, in fact I knew that it was somewhat based on an actual folk song, but I'm more puzzled as the recording sounds exactly the same and the Jim Taylor CD is listed as being from 2006. So I'm wondering as why would they pull directly the exact same cue from another album. I mean, it's not like they couldn't re-record it; and it also confuses me the title change -for example, when Catch Me if You Can features a Sinatra song, the title is the same from the original. Any thoughts?

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Now I'm not bothered by the fact that it's the same, in fact I knew that it was somewhat based on an actual folk song, but I'm more puzzled as the recording sounds exactly the same and the Jim Taylor CD is listed as being from 2006. So I'm wondering as why would they pull directly the exact same cue from another album. I mean, it's not like they couldn't re-record it; and it also confuses me the title change -for example, when Catch Me if You Can features a Sinatra song, the title is the same from the original. Any thoughts?

Instrumental folk music as incidental score. They do credit Jim Taylor and Gourd Music for the performance/arrangement in the liner notes.

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Shady, considering how aware they must be that people rarely read liner notes. So there's another attempt at trying to pass something off as Williams that is the work of some other sidelined musician. Classy. Combine that with the Copland and Elmer Bernstein lifts, and you've got a real slimy stinker from the once-great JW.

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Now I'm not bothered by the fact that it's the same, in fact I knew that it was somewhat based on an actual folk song, but I'm more puzzled as the recording sounds exactly the same and the Jim Taylor CD is listed as being from 2006. So I'm wondering as why would they pull directly the exact same cue from another album. I mean, it's not like they couldn't re-record it; and it also confuses me the title change -for example, when Catch Me if You Can features a Sinatra song, the title is the same from the original. Any thoughts?

Instrumental folk music as incidental score. They do credit Jim Taylor and Gourd Music for the performance/arrangement in the liner notes.

Yes there are very thorough credits in the liner notes of what specific folk pieces are featured on that track and that they are performed by Jim Taylor and that it is licensed from the record label that released that 2006 album.

I assume they use this material more as source music than anything else in the film, some authentic music of the mid-19th century for the time and place.

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It's weird because if nobody told me anything I would have never noticed it was recorded 6 years before. It sounds like it was recorded during the same week/s and it fits perfectly among the rest of the score. It's quite amazing.

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In the film it actually is featured in 2 places, one section underscoring the rather varied success with the bribing of the representatives and the second section is used when the president's aides run from the 13th amendment vote to the White House and they mix this interpretation of the authentic folk music by Jim Taylor with Williams' writing in the same idiom. I am guessing using this music was a joint choice of Spielberg and Williams to give a small nod to this kind of authentic music of the era. It blends really well with Williams' work although only Getting Out the Vote is stylistically and orchestrationally similar (I suspect that Getting Out the Vote was recorded by a smaller ensemble featuring not the Chicago Symphony Orchestra but a smaller band comprised of Hollywood studio musicians. The liner notes list these additional musicians whose instruments match the instrumentation of the piece perfectly).

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I was just listening to this great score today and thinking about how unappreciated it is, especially the two folksy cues of the score, and stumbled upon a Jim Taylor piece called "The Last of Sizemore", which is the exact same cue as "The Race of the House", even the recording seems to be the same. Listen to a sample as I couldn't find the whole track:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Of-Sizemore/dp/B0010ZMKFC

Now I'm not bothered by the fact that it's the same, in fact I knew that it was somewhat based on an actual folk song, but I'm more puzzled as the recording sounds exactly the same and the Jim Taylor CD is listed as being from 2006. So I'm wondering as why would they pull directly the exact same cue from another album. I mean, it's not like they couldn't re-record it; and it also confuses me the title change -for example, when Catch Me if You Can features a Sinatra song, the title is the same from the original. Any thoughts?

Yea, I guess it isn't discussed a whole lot around here, but that has been known by us since the CD came out

Also track 10 (The Race to the House) contains excerpts from: "They Swung John Brown To A Sour Apple Tree", "Three Forks of Hell", Last of Sizemore" and Republican Spirit", All traditional, arranged and performed by Jim Taylor.

10. The Race to the House (02:41) (Traditional, arranged and performed by Jim Taylor )

A selection of Civil War era folk music titled The Last of Sizemore arranged and performed by the traditional and folk music expert Jim Taylor and licensed from his album The Civil War Collection.

A jaunty jig for fiddle, banjo, guitar and hammered dulcimer that contains excerpts from "They Swung John Brown To A Sour Apple Tree", "Three Forks of Hell", Last of Sizemore" and Republican Spirit".

Another track that offers some authentic diegetic music from the era and at the same time some lighter tones amidst all the serious and solemn music. A very entertaining piece of music.

8. Trouble with Votes and Voters (1;20) (OST track 10 approx. 0;29-1;57)

A selection of Civil War era folk music arranged and performed by the traditional and folk music expert Jim Taylor.

A jig for fiddle, banjo, guitar and hammered dulcimer that contains excerpts from "They Swung John Brown To A Sour Apple Tree", "Three Forks of Hell", Last of Sizemore" and “Republican Spirit" underscores more efforts to get votes from rather reluctant Democrats, the troubles and unlucky incidents accented by this folksy and spirited music. Here the film makers saw an opporturnity to colour the characters of W.N. Bilbo and comrades and their rather unscrupulous dealings with sprightly humor and inject the score of the film with earthy and suitably playful music of the times.

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In all fairness I updated that middle quote today conerning that licensing of the track from James Taylor album The Civil War Collection to be as exact as possible Jay. ;)

But the rest of the entries in my analysis date back to 2012.

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You George Lucas-ed your review. Will you repost the original version, or do you plan on only making the revised version available?

I'll add completely new colour grading and additional paragraphs to the review and also change the font. I don't think anyone is interested in seeing the old version anymore.

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On 11/6/2012 at 11:44 AM, king mark said:

Well, I got the usual "it says we should have it today but we don"t for whatever reason so come back next week" from HMV. The advertised price was 13.99$

Then I went to Archambault and I got raped 21.99$ for it (bought it to save hassle).Coming to my senses I returned it 5 minutes later

Then I found it at Renault Bray for 15.99$

I don't know why, but this is one of the funniest stories i have ever read on this forum.

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Yea I don't get why people don't just order new release CDs through Amazon in 2016.  It's the cheapest price and they are in your mailbox on release day.  Never fails.

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