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Citius, Altius, Fortius!: The John Williams Olympic Music Thread


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4 hours ago, igger6 said:

Awesome.  I'm guessing that's the one on the "Celebration" collection, then.  Thanks for the sleuthing!

 

Yeah I just listened to the version you posted from Spotify and the Aisle Seat version, they're definitely the same recording.

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I can totally see Steven being jealous of that glorious piece     Love this

I especially love the section here from 2:03 to 2:50.  I admit I like this more because it resembles his fantasy film scores than because it works as a piece for an athletic event:  

Summon the Heroes is my favorite piece out of his Olympic fanfares. Very Copland-esque, occasionally (cfr. the gran cassa/timpani booms in the introduction and the parallel fifths throughout), and rem

I wonder how Williams feels about his "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" always being abridged at the front with the snippet from "Bugler's Dream." He has been outspoken lately about how "Scherzo for X-Wings" was overpowered by the sound design in The Force Awakens, and we all know his dissatisfaction with how his music appeared in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

 

BTW I think "Chariots of Fire" as it appears on the "Summon the Heroes" CD is atrocious. It is the only track I skip when I listen to it. I am glad Williams did not arrange it.

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17 minutes ago, EdwardHall said:

He has been outspoken lately about how "Scherzo for X-Wings" was overpowered by the sound design in The Force Awakens, and we all know his dissatisfaction with how his music appeared in "The Lost World: Jurassic Park."

 

Where did Williams say this? Because I definitely agree. 

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Regarding the Star Wars music -Boston Pops Film Night earlier this summer and again at Tanglewood on Parade, according to the article quoted on the front page. I am not sure which thread The Lost World is mentioned, but it is regarding the cue titled "The Hunt" on the 1997 CD. He was apparently very proud of it, but none of it made it into the movie.

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On August 3, 2016 at 0:19 AM, king mark said:

Williams re-arranged the Arnaud fanfare to sound more glittery for the Athens game but a recording never surfaced and I've only ever heard it in the Athens promo commercial

 

Some time ago, I uploaded the Athens promo video to my YouTube account, for archival purposes:

 

 

Here's the detailed music listing:
- "Bugler's Dream" (Leo Arnaud, arranged by John Williams??) [0:00-0:40]
- "Olympic Fanfare & Theme" (John Williams) [0:40-1:14]
- "The Hanging" from BAD GIRLS (Jerry Goldsmith) [1:14-2:41]
- "Finale" from DRAGONHEART (Randy Edelman) [2:41-3:12]
- "Contemporary Tease" (based on "Olympic Fanfare & Theme") (John Williams) [3:12-4:44]
- "Summon the Heroes" (John Williams) [4:44-5:19]

 

BTW, I heard part of the "glittery" arrangement of Arnaud's "Bugler's Dream" shortly before the start of the opening ceremonies tonight.

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41 minutes ago, EdwardHall said:

I wonder how Williams feels about his "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" always being abridged at the front with the snippet from "Bugler's Dream." 

 

Since he recorded that combo himself for the Summon The Heroes CD, he probably doesn't mind.

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27 minutes ago, Jay said:

 

Since he recorded that combo himself for the Summon The Heroes CD, he probably doesn't mind.

Yes, but I wonder if he was forced to, or if he would have preferred to feature his work in full. If I ever meet him I will ask him and post back here. LOL

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1 hour ago, thx99 said:

 

Some time ago, I uploaded the Athens promo video to my YouTube account, for archival purposes:

 

 

Here's the detailed music listing:
- "Bugler's Dream" (Leo Arnaud, arranged by John Williams??) [0:00-0:40]
- "Olympic Fanfare & Theme" (John Williams) [0:40-1:14]
- "The Hanging" from BAD GIRLS (Jerry Goldsmith) [1:14-2:41]
- "Finale" from DRAGONHEART (Randy Edelman) [2:41-3:12]
- "Contemporary Tease" (based on "Olympic Fanfare & Theme") (John Williams) [3:12-4:44]
- "Summon the Heroes" (John Williams) [4:44-5:19]

 

BTW, I heard part of the "glittery" arrangement of Arnaud's "Bugler's Dream" shortly before the start of the opening ceremonies tonight.

 

Do you remember whether that statement was "cleaner" than the one in the Athens video, which had dialogue over the entire thing?

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1 hour ago, EdwardHall said:

Yes, but I wonder if he was forced to, or if he would have preferred to feature his work in full. If I ever meet him I will ask him and post back here. LOL

 

FWIW, he recorded them separately, and anew, on the 1992 NBC Olympics broadcast CD that was mentioned by Jay above.

 

32 minutes ago, Will said:

 

Do you remember whether that statement was "cleaner" than the one in the Athens video, which had dialogue over the entire thing?

 

Unfortunately, it too was marred by dialogue and ambient stadium noise, and I think it was truncated compared to the version I posted to YouTube. But overall, the recording quality sounded better.

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On 8/1/2016 at 1:05 PM, Jay said:

My personal ranking of his four Olympic Pieces from best to least best

 

1 Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984)

2 Olympic Spirit (1988)

3 Summon The Heroes (1996)

4 Call of the Champions (2002)

 

My ranking is in line with yours.  "Olympic Spirit" doesn't get the respect it deserves IMO, but that may have something to do with the poorly edited version that was featured on the commercial CD.

BTW, I had the pleasure of hearing it performed live by the “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band conducted by Williams back in 2008, with an accompanying video montage.

 

 

On 8/1/2016 at 1:05 PM, Jay said:

Oh, and the definitive version of Olympic Fanfare is certainly Eric Kunzel's

 

 

Had to argue with that, but I'd put the somewhat more leisurely-paced version on the 1992 NBC broadcast CD right up there with it!  The original version that appeared on the 1984 Official Music of the XXIIIrd Olympiad still holds nostalgic value for me, though.

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43 minutes ago, thx99 said:

 

My ranking is in line with yours.  "Olympic Spirit" doesn't get the respect it deserves IMO, but that may have something to do with the poorly edited version that was featured on the commercial CD.

 

You talk about the original 1988 version or the 1996 re-recording?

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I'd be surprised if Williams was "forced" to use the Bugler's Dream intro for his 96 recording.

 

And I wouldn't interpret Williams' comments on Scherzo for X-Wings (at least those I've read) as a complaint about the TFA sound mix in particular. It sounded to me rather like what Goldsmith used to say in concerts about First Knight: How happy he was to do that one because there were no helicopters and explosions to drown out the score. I.e. a comment on the sound mix of modern action films in general, and not even one complaining that the sound mix is bad, just stating that the circumstances make it hard to hear the music, or perhaps write meaningful music for certain scenes. Which for the concerts where the comments were made translates to: Be happy that you can now hear the music without distractions, because you can't in the films.

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16 minutes ago, Bespin said:

 

You talk about the original 1988 version?

 

Yes, it has been edited down from its original "extended" length.  Williams later re-recorded the full version as a "World Premiere" for the 1996 Summon the Heroes CD, but it is not a "World Premiere" in the sense that it is not the first ever recording of the full version.

Check out the end credits from the 1988 NBC broadcast, and during the Janet Evans snippet, you'll hear the segment that was excised from the 1988 commercial CD:
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8KzNM0F0o8&t=138

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On ‎06‎/‎08‎/‎2016 at 3:54 PM, Marian Schedenig said:

And I wouldn't interpret Williams' comments on Scherzo for X-Wings (at least those I've read) as a complaint about the TFA sound mix in particular. It sounded to me rather like what Goldsmith used to say in concerts about First Knight: How happy he was to do that one because there were no helicopters and explosions to drown out the score. I.e. a comment on the sound mix of modern action films in general, and not even one complaining that the sound mix is bad, just stating that the circumstances make it hard to hear the music, or perhaps write meaningful music for certain scenes. Which for the concerts where the comments were made translates to: Be happy that you can now hear the music without distractions, because you can't in the films.

 

Exactly. He said the same thing in other circumstances during his in-between talks in various concerts throughout the years and he also wrote more or less the very same thing in the introductory note of "Scherzo for Motorcycle" Signature Edition.

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While Williams’ melodies now seem as mandatory in Olympic coverage as, say, shots of the Olympic torch, the composer suggests that Fanfare drew interest that could have end have led to it ending up in Hollywood instead. While he was working on the music for its 1984 debut, he says he shared it with filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who liked what he heard. Says Williams: “He said he was a bit jealous because he’d liked to have had it for his films.” 

 

I can totally see Steven being jealous of that glorious piece :)
 

Quote

But in his line of work, suggests Williams, obviously having some natural talent isn’t enough. He says he really does get ideas even in, say, the shower or on the golf course and quickly jots them down. (Often, picking them up later, he concludes he’s just come up with “rubbish.”)  

 

 

 

Love this :)

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On ‎8‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 11:53 AM, ymenard said:

This is a somehow interesting variation, was it orchestrated by John? 

 

 

Does anyone have more info on this variation of Summon the Heroes?  NBC used it tonight to start the primetime broadcast.

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12 minutes ago, scottsinct said:

Does anyone have more info on this variation of Summon the Heroes?  NBC used it tonight to start the primetime broadcast.

 

AFAIK, this variation was first used during the 2004 Olympics to underscore downtime on the specialty Basketball channel that NBC featured that year.  A second "new" variation was also used for the specialty Soccer channel that year as well.  While both specialty channels are also featured this year, neither is using their respective variation as underscore, based on my spot checks at different times of the day and night.  Both appear to be using a more straightforward, condensed edit of "Summon the Heroes" that could be the "short" version that appeared on the European commercial CD release, or one of the two "radio edits" that were featured on a maxi-single CD.

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42 minutes ago, scottsinct said:

NBC used it tonight to start the primetime broadcast.

 

Wow, they used it last night too! I'm surprised the intro's using anything other than "Prime Time Tease."

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Soccer is more of a re-mix of the original Summon the Heroes, BUT it has that new, kick ass 1 minute ending. My jaw dropped the first time I heard it. It's like Williams pulling all the stops with the orchestra

 

basketball is overall a smoother and more melodic version of the theme

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5 hours ago, Stefancos said:

Williams is scoring soccer? Whooohoooo!!!!

 

Yes, about 2/3 of the theme is played, then in reverse, and the cycle is repeated 10 more times at different tempi. The audience ultimately leaves dissatisfied, having never heard the theme in its entirety.

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Found this interesting (and unverified) tidbit regarding "Call of the Champions":

 

Because of differing opinions on the pronunciation of the Latin text, the Choir actually recorded several versions, leaving the final decision to be made by the producers. The issue was whether to use a Classical pronunciation of the Olympic Motto (kitty-us, alty-us, forty-us), a liturgical one (cheetsy-oos, ahltsy-oos, fortsy-oos), or a hybrid of the two (chitty-us, etc.).

 

Sourcehttp://everything.explained.today/Call_of_the_Champions/

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Summon the Heros doesn't feel as 'Olympic' as the Fanfare and Theme do. Something about the trumpets just instantly puts you in the Olympic spirit.

 

Interestingly I'd never heard of "Olympic Spirit" before tonight. It's a nice piece but IMO doesn't hold a candle to the BEST '88 Olympic Theme. 

 

 

 

Proud to say I saw it performed live at Olympic Plaza!

 

Working with a committee to explore bidding on the 2026 games I've wondered just who'd be my choice to compose a theme. Williams is top of my list, but, well, he's American. 

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3 hours ago, Lonnegan said:

I heard this Elbow penned track again on the radio today for the first time in a few years and it made the hairs on my arms stand up. I honestly find it far more stirring than any of the sporting Williams cues posted here. 

 

 

 

 

I think this constitutes grounds for divorce from being a John Williams fan!

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On 13 août 2016 at 0:04 AM, thx99 said:

Found this interesting (and unverified) tidbit regarding "Call of the Champions":

 

Because of differing opinions on the pronunciation of the Latin text, the Choir actually recorded several versions, leaving the final decision to be made by the producers. The issue was whether to use a Classical pronunciation of the Olympic Motto (kitty-us, alty-us, forty-us), a liturgical one (cheetsy-oos, ahltsy-oos, fortsy-oos), or a hybrid of the two (chitty-us, etc.).

 

Sourcehttp://everything.explained.today/Call_of_the_Champions/

 

The vowels of French and Latin are almost unpronounceable for the majority of English speaking persons, american or british.

 

In latin, c before an i, is "tchi" (not the english eeee, a real and dry i, like in french)

 

U is always ooh.

 

T is tsi.

 

And the famous R... must be rolled of course!

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I think this constitutes grounds for divorce from being a John Williams fan!

 

The accompanying animation is stunning btw. On the subject of music for animation, has Giacchino ever produced anything as richly melodic and immediately gratifying as this music here which was knocked out for the occasion by an English rock band? 

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Because I can't help but think of him whenever I find incidental and superior scoring work after years of having his prophetic greatness and the eager declaration of his alleged credentials for the throne paraded in front of me here. It's become my natural response. And because I'm passing time. 

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