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John Williams / Tavis Smiley Interview on PBS Tuesday December 15th


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Here's a preview clip:

Totally agreed, and that's just from judging the clip above. His constant "yeah"s and "hmmm" disrupt the flow and almost gives the impression he wants Williams to wrap up so he can hear his own voice

"I told J.J. baby, you need a better composer for this than me. You need Felix Erksine and Confidential Music."

Oh, but your shoulders are equally as great, John, if not greater, than the shoulders you stand on. And none of your music will ever be forgotten, and certainly never rightfully so.

John Williams definitely belongs to the tradition of the great masters and there are some composers who are rightfully considered as "great" that have accomplished much less than him. When some historical detachment will allow it, he will enter the regular books of music history, hopefully along with several other film composers.

Very true words. John is more engaged than I have seen him in a long time. Can't wait to see the rest of the interview, regardless of the

quality of the interviewer. (p.s. symphonies plural?)

there are some composers who are rightfully considered as "great" that have accomplished much less than him.

Like who?

Ravel comes to mind.

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there are some composers who are rightfully considered as "great" that have accomplished much less than him.

Like who?

I don't want to point to specific composers (though I have some in mind), because I respect them too much. I will answer in a different way: let me first write down a list of great composers, just picked up at random, including some superstars and some less-than-superstars:

Bach

Barber

Bartok

Beethoven

Berg

Bernstein (Leonard)

Brahms

Chopin

Copland

Debussy

Dvorak

Franck

Grieg

Janacek

Liszt

Mahler

Mendelssohn

Mozart

Prokofiev

Puccini

Rachmaninoff

Ravel

Rossini

Schoenberg

Schubert

Schumann

Sibelius

Smetana

Strauss J.

Strauss R.

Stravinsky

Tchaikovsky

Verdi

Wagner

von Weber

Webern

All these are, I think, great composers. All of them have written at least something that I love, for which I respect them tremendously (for some I would need to mention 80% of their output), and I could have inserted many more. I think no one would object to putting all these people in the same list. Now I ask you: do you think that ALL these people are "greater" (whatever that means) than John Williams? If I had to rank them, I would definitely put John Williams above several of these guys. In other words, I think John Williams belongs to this list.

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He is looking leaner.. but that probably the post surgery recovery and o fcourse huge task of scoring the new movie. I'm, sure he will enjoy a brief respite from the work for a well earned holidays after the PR marathon ends. His agent Jamie Richardson of GSA is also currently off for holidays at the East Coast.

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Tavis's "mmm's" everytime Williams says something is grating and rude. I couldn't focus on anything Williams was trying to say without Tavis Smiley's damn interruptions!

How rude!

Although what can you expect from a man whose name means "regular joe" in Finnish slang. :P

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He is more machine now than man. I am sure he is computing out new note combinations as we speak!

How dare you! He is in touch with the living Force not the crude matter of computers!

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Williams was especially lively in this interview, almost giddy at times. It was good to see that.

I have a theory that depending on what movie he's working on, if affects his mood as well. Like TFA somehow brought an energy and fun that hadn't been there for a couple of years.

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A nice interview indeed. Some new info and for seasoned fan some familiar stuff. But the Maestro seemed in good spirit and he is really a lovely interviewee. :)

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Wonderful interview. God bless Maestro John Williams. One of the many reasons that makes him the best composer alive today, and certainly one of the greatest of all time, is, in addition to his use of traditional composing and such, he is so grateful for his experiences and for those he works with (such as Steven Spielberg, and others), and he is very humble and positively honest. He truly is an amazing person. I am absolutely excited to hear his score to Star Wars, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, as well as his future works (such as Steven Spielberg's "The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)").

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Nice interview. John's spirits are up, has energy, especially when compared to the Book Thief interviews. Did you notice how he called the Resistance "the radical movement that wants to bring the Jedi back to power"? That would explain the powerful quality of the March he wrote for them. Interesting also how he says he likes to write a finale first- that would explain a lot about his music. And it shows JJ gave him a challenge.

(p.s. is Williams grooming Dudamel to be his successor?)

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Really enjoyed this interview. Williams clearly enjoyed himself on this film and he loves talking about it. Bet it was good for him to work with something "younger" and more energetic.

Is it the first time Williams used the term "Force theme"?

Karol

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Well when someone in 2015 asks if it's the first time Williams has used the term Force Theme and we can trace its usage by him back to at least as early as 1980, only 3 years after the original, compared to someone asking about this 35 years later, I certainly consider 1980 back in the day.

A back in the day definition though, well I'm not sure really as I imagine that we'll all have an opinion about it but for me it more or less represents the idea of those who watched SW in the cinema when it was originally released.

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