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Well, there is a thread for the March of the Resistance, so I thought it was time for one devoted to the other action concert track, the Scherzo for X-Wings.  The first time I heard it, I was underwhelmed.  I liked the use of Luke's fanfare but found the connective tissue uninspired.  I now think it may be the best track on the album (which I think is excellent).  The connecting aspects are just brilliant--they are engaging on their own but not so flashy as to take away from the variations of Luke's fanfare taking place throughout the track.

 

In terms of SW pieces, it is not as good as the other scherzo (the peerless Tie Fighter Attack from ANH), but damn if it doesn't leave its mark.

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It is a piece that has really grown on me too. I also was pretty underwhelmed on my first listen. The entire score and film has really grown on me since my first experiences with it. I hope that we are able to love episode 8 and it's score right off the bat. 

 

 

My favorite John Williams scherzo is still from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 

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This track really grew on me too. I don't like it as much as the beginning of Ways of the Force on the FYC but it's still pretty good. Honestly I think the only bad part of it is Luke's theme. It takes away from the other scoring. That's why I like the FYC version, it only has a few statements of Luke's theme and in good spots.

 

Also, sort of OT, but do i hear Escape From Naboo right after the first time Luke's theme plays in the FYC version?

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I feel like most of the tracks want to be to many things. They don't have one powerful narrative. There are some memorable themes, but most of them don't hit the mark for me.. Scherzo is one of these. It feels a mess in my opinion. Though I like the beginning :)

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4 minutes ago, TheGreyPilgrim said:

 

None of these really are formally.  They're just playful.  

 

Someone better edit Wikipedia pronto!

 

 

Quote

 

In present-day compositions, the scherzo has also made appearances.

  • The soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens includes a track titled "Scherzo for X-Wings," which follows the typical rounded binary form and presents itself in a 6/8 meter.[8]

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scherzo

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For me, TFA is not a grower, but a shrinker. I initially loved it more than anything and now I just enjoy it for what it is: an average and unremarkable, but totally entertaining John Williams score.

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17 minutes ago, Jack said:

It's also not in 6/8. It's 3/4.

 

It is in 6/8, although the difference is mostly academic. There are a few 9/8 bars jotted throughout as well.

 

That Wiki article's TFA citation linked to Amazon. WTF? Are reviews now credible sources?

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Just now, E.T. and Elliot said:

For me, TFA is not a grower, but a shrinker. I initially loved it more than anything and now I just enjoy it for what it is: an average and unremarkable, but totally entertaining John Williams score.

 

Are you joking?

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I think this is one of the most thrilling pieces on the album and love the bold use of Luke's theme/Star Wars main theme in such a heroic setting in the score proper after such a long time and not just in the main title and the old fashioned galloping scherzo form is thoroughly energizing. The way the piece erupts into the Force theme quote at the end is just brilliant too.

 

So yes I kind of like the piece just like the March of the Resistance. Fugues and Scherzos for the win!

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Opposite from most people's reaction, I loved it immediately.  The tempo is fine, doesn't need to be, and doesn't sound better at, a faster tempo.  Love that he uses the main/Luke theme as an action set piece, which he had never done in this way before.

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3 minutes ago, nightscape94 said:

Opposite from most people's reaction, I loved it immediately.  The tempo is fine, doesn't need to be, and doesn't sound better at, a faster tempo.  Love that he uses the main/Luke theme as an action set piece, which he had never done in this way before.

 

Me too!  I recall feeling let down on my very first listen (though, I certainly love TFA now,) but feeling like that piece was exactly what I wanted it to be.  Bad ass Star Wars action at its finest.

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1 hour ago, WilliamHorne97 said:

I feel like most of the tracks want to be to many things. They don't have one powerful narrative. There are some memorable themes, but most of them don't hit the mark for me.. Scherzo is one of these. It feels a mess in my opinion. Though I like the beginning :)

 

I think Rey's Theme creates a great narrative over the whole score, but I can agree that there's really no one huge dramatic setpiece track that really stands on its own. The only film sequences that feel truly musically driven that I can recall are The Scavenger, The Starkiller, and the The Trip/Jedi Steps...as far as action material goes, Follow Me/The Falcon and Scherzo for X-Wings sort of come close, but they still feel more like accompaniment in context rather than the main event, plus they get totally buried in the mix. I'm not sure if there was an opportunity for something that could really allow the music to puff itself up over a long stretch of time and Williams dropped the ball. The way the film constantly moves without too much time for lengthy visual storytelling, Star Wars style, along with how the film intercuts quite a bit between sequences, it seems like he had to take his shots where he could.

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7 hours ago, Incanus said:

I think this is one of the most thrilling pieces on the album and love the bold use of Luke's theme/Star Wars main theme in such a heroic setting in the score proper after such a long time and not just in the main title and the old fashioned galloping scherzo form is thoroughly energizing. The way the piece erupts into the Force theme quote at the end is just brilliant too.

 

I like that Williams is developing older themes into new concert pieces.  It gives the whole of the Star Wars concert work more depth and inventiveness.  I like new themes, but at this point interesting and new variations upon preexisting themes take things to a higher level of sophistication and engagement. 

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Yeah, it's an interesting debate to have and one I've seen a few times in comments. Is there integrity in taking old material and giving it this kind of workout at the expense of a brand new setpiece theme, or is the Scherzo not "fresh" enough to justify that and would the film and score have been better served with something completely new? 

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I feel that the use of Luke's theme also in a way celebrates return to Star Wars while not simply retreading some previous variation of the theme. There is something so unabashedly heroic and soaring in the development woven into the scherzo figures that to me captures the "heroes are gaining the upper hand" at the end of the battle perfectly. Since Luke's theme was never confined to him alone and is in a broader sense a motto for the whole adventurous spirit of these stories, I got a huge kick out of hearing this particular theme back in the score.

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Besides ANH it was never used much. A few short quotes in TESB and RotJ
 

 

Is it even used in the Prequel underscore?..I don't remember anymore

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The main title? Yeah, of course, but I think more in Phantom Menace than the other two from what I remember. Hard pressed to think of examples right now, though...Fighting the Destroyer Droids and The Battle Begins are two from TPM.

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2 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

The main title? Yeah, of course, but I think more in Phantom Menace than the other two from what I remember. Hard pressed to think of examples right now, though...Fighting the Destroyer Droids and The Battle Begins are two from TPM.

Also there is a subtle solo horn quote when Qui-Gon persuades Boss Nass to spare Jar-Jar's life in Otoh Gunga.

 

And in RotS we hear it quietly quoted in Grievous and the Droids.

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4 hours ago, Incanus said:

I feel that the use of Luke's theme also in a way celebrates return to Star Wars while not simply retreading some previous variation of the theme. There is something so unabashedly heroic and soaring in the development woven into the scherzo figures that to me captures the "heroes are gaining the upper hand" at the end of the battle perfectly. Since Luke's theme was never confined to him alone and is in a broader sense a motto for the whole adventurous spirit of these stories, I got a huge kick out of hearing this particular theme back in the score.

I agree completely. I feel the same way about Scherzo for X-Wings as I do 'Tie Fighter Attack' where a good portion of that are statements of the Rebel fanfare. 

 

I think in this circumstance that the theme can also work for Luke because they're basically fighting to locate him, the battle is driven by him as the goal and the music reflects that.

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3 hours ago, Stefancos said:

The theme represents Star Wars Adventure!

 

I completely agree, and I thing that's why it was used in the scherzo in the first place. It's really nice to have these nice developments of themes, a trend I hope Williams continues in the next two scores, with both new and old material.

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19 hours ago, Sharky said:

 

It is in 6/8, although the difference is mostly academic. There are a few 9/8 bars jotted throughout as well.

Edited: I see. The piano sheet music for the piece is in 3/4, but then the note lengths would probably be better halved with a 6/8 meter, I 'spose.

 

19 hours ago, BloodBoal said:

Great avatar, Jack.

Why, thanks! :D

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Williams' use of leitmotiv is always pretty deliberate, especially in a piece like this one. It's not tied to a specific character or action--it's the hero's music and it's written to accompany heroic actions from the good guys. Personally, I love this piece because for me it's Williams having a lot of fun with a theme written 40 years ago, trying to do playful interesting little variations to make it sound still fresh and exciting. In this sense it's not too different from a piece like "The Adventures of Mutt", where he did similar things with Indiana Jones theme.

 

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On 1/14/2016 at 9:12 AM, Indianagirl said:

It is a piece that has really grown on me too. I also was pretty underwhelmed on my first listen. The entire score and film has really grown on me since my first experiences with it. 

 

On 1/14/2016 at 9:21 AM, Datameister said:

Definitely one of the groweriest tracks on this growery album. I like it a lot more than I initially did.

 

What is it that makes this score so growery? And are there any JW scores that people find shrinkery?

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17 minutes ago, Hlao-roo said:

What is it that makes this score so growery? And are there any JW scores that people find shrinkery?

 

I think because there aren't any really powerful set pieces which quickly grab people's attention, like Imperial March or Duel of the Fates, so it takes a few listens through to appreciate the whole package (I don't speak for everyone of course, but I can guess that this has been a pretty common experience)

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