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Opinions regarding Horner's Krull


karelm
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It has been a few years since I listened to Krull by James Horner and I'm struck by just how much I enjoy it. Part of this might be nostalgia, but I am curious what others think of this score - is it too derivative of JW Star Wars style or more in the style of Horner thinking that "I am better than JW, let him imitate me!" Anyway, curious if this is considered somewhat of a Horner masterpiece or derivative imitation. I find myself surprised by the quality and thematic material frequently employing aleatoric or otherwise unexpected devices. To me, it is really good if you like Star Trek II and Horner in his golden age.

There is this detailed analysis of the score if not already familiar with the details of this complex sci-fi action/adventure/fantasy score from the 1980's:

http://www.filmscorerundowns.net/horner/cuekrull.html

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Love it.

+1

Bill Wrobel's breakdown of the instrumentation is fascinating:

Reel 9M1 (Enter Spider's Lair). 30pp., 120 bars. Microtonal bells,

two cimbaloms (dulcimers), 2 harps (sweep jazz brushes over highest

strings), ditto 3 pianos, 2 synths (electronic ocarina like a weird wind),

20 Sop women's choir, strings ad lib. Two C tpts, two B-flat tpts. 6

horns.

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I must say, though I completely enjoy listening to Krull right now (I'm on the "Ride of the Firemares" track) I find it excellent but it completely pales to JW's Asteriod Field from Empire Strikes Back which is sort of the quintessential sci-fi exciting action track of early 1980s. Really, what can compare to that sense of velocity, adventure, heroism, and danger? Perhaps I shouldn't compare a very good work to a masterpiece?

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I've tried to get into Horner's ST scores, but it's difficult if you find Kirk's theme annoying as hell.

Not balanced out for you by Spock's theme?

S'all right, but I'd rather Horner had Goldsmith's themes.

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Wow, on the negative side, I just listened to Colywn theme and is that derivative of Goldsmith's Ilia (or is that Leia) or what? And the chorus is so out of tune. I have to assume they were recorded without the orchestra so just don't match. And the fake 1980s reverb ugh.

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It sounds a heck of a lot better than Wallin's recordings.


Wow, on the negative side, I just listened to Colywn theme and is that derivative of Goldsmith's Ilia (or is that Leia) or what?

No, it sounds derivative of Spock's theme.....

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Is it possible that the "sound" of the times was bad? The music seems excellent (well, except for the overtly derivative parts) but the mix sounds very dated.

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I have never heard a good Wallin*

Star Trek 1 and 2, almost all of Giacchino's scores, Moonraker all sound terrible.

*Well, Most of the Bond scores sound good.

Star Trek 1 as in Jerry's Star Trek? Because I definitely disagree there.

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If he was, I have not heard his good stuff.

Oh, I'm sure you have. COOL HAND LUKE, BULLITT, DIRTY HARRY, MAGNUM FORCE, KING KONG, THE BLACK HOLE, TAXI DRIVER, OCTOPUSSY to THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, ROBOCOP, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE etc.

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ROBOCOP and ST:TP (especially the Main Title) have some of the most brilliant brass I've ever heard. Great examples of punchy, close-miking. Nothing muddy about them whatsoever. Love how the horns sound in KING KONG, too.

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I think it's Horner's finest achievement. I think the quality of the music still holds up -- unlike Wrath of Khan (which I loved up until a few years ago) -- the depth and complexity of the score itself is noteworthy. I notice some minor similarities to Williams' SW scores, but the score is undeniably its own thing.

"Ride of the Firemares" is Horner's long-lined writing at his best -- and I never ever get tired of listening to it. The love theme is overwhelmingly rapturous, and its usage throughout the score is quite effective. It really elevates the movie from sloppy 1980s fantasy/sci-fi mix into something watchable.

I'm surprised Sony hasn't remade the film yet, to be honest.

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Oh this is one of Horner's best although a bit exhausting listen I find. The brass playing is just ridiculously breathless and enthusiastic in the main theme. I should take another listen since it has been a while.

P.S. Avoid the film at all costs. Better to let the music play as a wonderful tone poem without those awkward images from the silly film saturating your imagination.

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And the chorus is so out of tune.

It's probably Horner's fault, after all, he did have the 'flu' while conducting it.

Horner's early scores are really plagued by bad production values.

Are you joking???!!! "Brainstorm" is one of the very best recorded scores, I have ever heard!

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Yeah, it's not completely true when I say I haven't a clue. The themes and melodies I don't recall, but I remember the sound of the orchestra and its brass. It was very romantic and sweeping high adventure. Is it the LSO? If I gave the movie a watch the music might come flooding back to me.

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It's sort of like Willow without the midget. Kids would love it, but I probably couldn't get through it comfortably now. I reckon you would enjoy it for what it is if you have never seen it.

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I think it's Horner's finest achievement. I think the quality of the music still holds up -- unlike Wrath of Khan (which I loved up until a few years ago) -- the depth and complexity of the score itself is noteworthy. I notice some minor similarities to Williams' SW scores, but the score is undeniably its own thing.

"Ride of the Firemares" is Horner's long-lined writing at his best -- and I never ever get tired of listening to it. The love theme is overwhelmingly rapturous, and its usage throughout the score is quite effective. It really elevates the movie from sloppy 1980s fantasy/sci-fi mix into something watchable.

I'm surprised Sony hasn't remade the film yet, to be honest.

What changed your mind about TWOK?

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I think it's Horner's finest achievement. I think the quality of the music still holds up -- unlike Wrath of Khan (which I loved up until a few years ago) -- the depth and complexity of the score itself is noteworthy. I notice some minor similarities to Williams' SW scores, but the score is undeniably its own thing.

"Ride of the Firemares" is Horner's long-lined writing at his best -- and I never ever get tired of listening to it. The love theme is overwhelmingly rapturous, and its usage throughout the score is quite effective. It really elevates the movie from sloppy 1980s fantasy/sci-fi mix into something watchable.

I'm surprised Sony hasn't remade the film yet, to be honest.

What changed your mind about TWOK?

"The Search For Spock". ;)

"Krull" isn't a bad movie, by any standards. It tries to put on screen things that had never been seen before. It just seems a bit "composite". Still, there's fine support from the likes of Freddie Jones, Francesca Annis, Bernard Breslaw, David Bately, Todd ("flippin' 'eck, Tucker!) Carthy, Liam Neeson, and, especially, one of my fave Brits: Alun Armstrong.

Worth seeing...once.

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