Jump to content

Will John Williams Ever Record Another Star Wars Score with the LSO?


Recommended Posts

This is a question that I keep coming back to with the Star Wars sequel trilogy: Will John WIlliams ever record another Star Wars score with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) again?

 

While I enjoyed the score for The Force Awakens, I couldn't help but notice that there was just something different about it or missing. Part of it could have been the recording techniques, digital vs. analog, or a host of different variables, but one element I feel that supersedes all  of that was the absence of the LSO. Yes, the musicians used to record the score on The Force Awakens I'm sure are world class and likely some of the best in the world, but there is something to be said when comparing a group of musicians that have been put together in a very short amount of time with very little time playing together as a group to record a film score, as opposed to a world class orchestra that has been playing together for years. I also realize that even the musicians in the LSO change over the years, but as a unit, I would bet they have spent much more time playing together than any group of musicians put together to perform on one film score. 

 

For me personally, I felt that overall, The Force Awakens score was amazing and the playing was good, but I felt that the cohesion and crispness experienced with the LSO at least on the prequel scores, was lacking.

 

I just wanted to get everyone's opinion on this. With the recent news that Williams will be recording the score for Episode VIII on and off now and into early next year, does this signal Williams official departure from the LSO on Star Wars?

 

Do you think we'll ever get another Star Wars score composed and conducted by John Williams with the London Symphony Orchestra? 

 

Fingers crossed, I'm hoping we get just one more with the LSO, but of course, I am thankful that we still have John to bless us with new material for Star Wars regardless.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 57
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The man is going to be 85 years old in two months.  Hasn't he earned the right to sleep in his own bed after a long day of work?  By that of course I mean they should ship his bed to London while he r

Frankly, it would be insulting to British mattress manufacturers to fly in Williams' Los Angeles bed.  Not even taking possible customs law violations into consideration, it would be an insult to the

I do hope they record the Main Titles again for each sequel film instead of reusing the first film's recording like the prequels. 

2 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

Yeah I call BS.  I bet if when people heard TFA for the first time they were told it was the LSO everyone would be talking about another brilliant Star Wars performance by the LSO.

 

I can't speak for "people", but I know that the difference in sound was very noticeable for me. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know exactly how much of that is the orchestra and how much is other factors like the room, mic setup, and mixing. But I definitely prefer the sounds of the prequels over TFA. TPM sounds especially fantastic to me. It's got a wetter, more resonant sound that really satisfies.

 

As far as differences in the orchestra itself go, the only individual section that sounds worse to me is the trumpets. The trumpets in all of JW's post-ROTS scores have sounded anemic to me. They never really sing like they used to. I believe it's due to changes in writing style, recording/mixing techniques, AND performance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, crumbs said:

New Star Wars music by John Williams is still new Star Wars music by John Williams, regardless of what orchestra performs it. I'll take Rey's Theme by the LA freelance orchestra over Rey's Theme never existing.

 

Indeed! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

Everyone knows the Hollywood Symphony is far more versatile 

 

It's the other way around. Hollywood orchestras may be superior when it comes to technical film score skills, but LSO is one of the most versatile orchestras in the world -- and, IMO, also the one with greatest artistic skills. But I'm not too bummed about them not being used again. FORCE AWAKENS was fine.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Datameister said:

As far as differences in the orchestra itself go, the only individual section that sounds worse to me is the trumpets. The trumpets in all of JW's post-ROTS scores have sounded anemic to me. They never really sing like they used to. I believe it's due to changes in writing style, recording/mixing techniques, AND performance.

 

It could be that Williams, post-ROTS, got interested in exploring that more thin-like sound for the brass.

 

Or at least he doesn't seem to mind it as we do.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

People definitely noticed the recording differences, though. Even if they mostly attributed it to the players.

 

Exactly this.  Had the HSS been flown to London to record at Abbey Road, I reckon very few people would have been able to notice a difference.  It takes an extremely discerning and experienced (in person, not just recordings) ear to distinguish between orchestras based on their inherent sound.  No offense to anyone here, but....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think JW will record with the LSO again, but I'm not too fussed about it. Like others have mentioned, TFA and BGF both sounded exquisite in terms of the recording. Total clarity but no loss of power in the low end.

I saw the LSO perform some of TFA during a concert in London a week ago and it was stunning but I didn't think that they could have done a better job of recording it. Most can't describe what the LSO has over the players in LA and I think that is because it doesn't exist, it's just the fact it's the LSO...

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 03/12/2016 at 10:19 PM, crumbs said:

And even if the recording schedule wasn't staggered, Disney would balk at paying flights & accommodation for an entire orchestra for 2 weeks ($300,000).

 

Though you are on point (and assuming your figure is anywhere near correct), compared to the film's final $245m budget, $300,000 is pocket change. If Disney were confident this would appease fans (and in extension, win their custom), them I'm sure they wouldn't hesitate to make the investment - the publicity and nostalgia value alone would likely justify it.

Though I can't remember where I heard of read this, there was an interview with JW during the press phase where he wanted to specifically credit Michael Gorfaine in his assistance in securing the LA freelance orchestra. This heavily suggests that Williams alone wanted to do it locally, and that neither corporate, political or financial barriers were at play. The logistical barrier of the staggered recording schedule would have been a mandating factor as well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a bit sad that the LSO can't be part of the new films, but it's not the end of the world. TFA had to be recorded in London with the LSO, but then schedules were reshuffled for a variety of reasons and hence it was decided to record in LA. I'm sure JW is the first to be kind of sad that the LSO isn't part of the SW tradition anymore, but sometimes you have to move on and adapt to the new situation.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that's also a consequence of current post-production methods for modern blockbusters. More often than not, composers today have to start writing before seeing a more or less definitive workprint, hence they write and record on and off over the span of a few months as they receive approved sequences. Also, Williams doesn't have a big team working with him, it's still just himself with pencil, paper, piano and a moviola, so he likely needs more time and a less hectic schedule at his age to write properly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Disco Stu said:

 

Frankly, it would be insulting to British mattress manufacturers to fly in Williams' Los Angeles bed.  Not even taking possible customs law violations into consideration, it would be an insult to the craftsmen who design and produce mattresses for the British people.

 

I'm sure the BMMU (British Mattress Manufacturers Union) would launch immediate legal action against Disney.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.