Jump to content

Seven Years In Tibet (John Williams)


Naïve Old Fart

Recommended Posts

Great score with beautiful solos by Yo-Yo Ma.

 

Because of those solo parts by such a great classical music artist, this score holds a very special place in my collection, along with two other scores in the same situation: Schindler's List (with solos by Itzhak Perlman) and Memoirs of a geisha (with solos by Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm now up to MUNICH in my walkthrough, and I didn't create a thread for this one when I played it a few days ago. But good to see that you did, Richard.

 

It's a lovely score, but it took some time getting used to. I wasn't that thrilled when it came out. While the cello stuff is predictably gorgeous, I think my favourite parts are actually the ethnic tracks now, where JW goes all Tibetan.

 

The film is typically spectacular in terms of visuals (as always with Annaud), but I remember the character development as somewhat lacking -- and the dynamic between Dalai Lama and Brad Pitt a bit undewhelming. But it's been a while since I saw it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I listened to this quite frequently when it first came out, but like many scores, I shuffled it off to the side for a while.  Still dig it out from time to time.  The main concert suite is one of my favorites, filled with several wonderful themes. 

 

The score also gave us that beautiful little melody that would fleshed out even more achingly in his Elegy.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love the whole score from beginning to the end. Gorgeous solo work from Yo-Yo, a soaring main theme, the contemplative Dalai Lama/Tibet theme and the ethnic colouring all contribute to making this a strong 4 star effort with some quiet lyrical passages (like Quiet Moments) even reaching 5 stars for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a gorgeous and rich score which I enjoy listening to while trekking over mountain ranges. Its quite effective as a zen kinda of a score that totally transports and isolates you with nature.And that finale cue is just gorgeous:  one of the best. Its a pity most of the music was dialled out in the film and not used.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, publicist said:

Though you wonder what the hell went wrong. Williams wasn't officially rejected but the treatment of the music in the movie counts almost as one. 

Yes I remember seeing the film for the first time and thinking "Is this the same score I heard on the album?". Undoubtedly it is there and you can clearly hear material which found its way on the CD but somehow the overall impression is that quite a bit was lost in the editing room.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 hours ago, Stefancos said:

I can't ever remember this to be honest.

Well, the main theme is absolutely fantastic.

 

6 hours ago, publicist said:

Though you wonder what the hell went wrong. Williams wasn't officially rejected but the treatment of the music in the movie counts almost as one. 

I think what happened is that Williams recorded a ton of material to chose from Lincoln-style. The arty wasteful European way. ;)

 

Karol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, azahid said:

This is a gorgeous and rich score which I enjoy listening to while trekking over mountain ranges. Its quite effective as a zen kinda of a score that totally transports and isolates you with nature.And that finale cue is just gorgeous:  one of the best. Its a pity most of the music was dialled out in the film and not used.

 

Agreed. I included it in my episode on "mountain film scores": http://celluloidtunes.no/celluloid-tunes-35-fjellfilm/

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, crocodile said:

I think what happened is that Williams recorded a ton of material to chose from Lincoln-style. The arty wasteful European way. ;)

 

I've never seen the film but the OST featuring the same concert suite twice (when it already ran 7:10 to begin with) was blatant album padding.

 

I think the film was probably just sparsely spotted and Williams had to compensate for the OST (just like Lincoln), rather than it being a case of Williams' score being butchered or something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, crumbs said:

I've never seen the film but the OST featuring the same concert suite twice (when it already ran 7:10 to begin with) was blatant album padding.

 

All of Williams' OSTs around that time were like that. Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan, Angela's Ashes, The Patriot.....they all opened and closed with identical (or nearly so) reprises of the concert tracks.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Matt S. said:

 

All of Williams' OSTs around that time were like that. Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan, Angela's Ashes, The Patriot.....they all opened and closed with identical (or nearly so) reprises of the concert tracks.  

 

Which I really like!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, Matt S. said:

 

All of Williams' OSTs around that time were like that. Amistad, Seven Years in Tibet, Saving Private Ryan, Angela's Ashes, The Patriot.....they all opened and closed with identical (or nearly so) reprises of the concert tracks.  

Amistad's ending track leaves out the mournful vocal rendition of Cinque's theme at the beginning and The Patriot has the snare/piccolo rendition of the main theme at the very end.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, crocodile said:

I think what happened is that Williams recorded a ton of material to chose from Lincoln-style. The arty wasteful European way. ;)

 

Still reeks of miscommunication since the pushing sturm & drang approach that runs through the album is...ahemm..considerably played down in the movie (to put it mildly). A lot of the sustained moments are reduced to mere seconds and one wonders why Annaud spent a considerable amount of $ for a premium Williams score to castrate it to this eunuchian state. If it were Malick, no surprise, but it's the same director who let James Horner do his melodramatic theatrics for at least three movies afterwards.

 

The music's a bit too heavy and repetitive for its own good but whenever it goes into the then-seminal concerto mode ('Approaching the Summit'!) it's really quite a revelation: something like a modern 'Dr. Zhivago'. The theme is incredibly memorable, evocative and romantic and having it play big time behind a, say, passage-of-time montage would hve created quite a stir.

 

Well, John, shrugs and move on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, publicist said:

Well, John, shrugs and move on.

 

I'm sure he didn't lose sleep over it, back in the days he was scoring so many films every year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Stefancos said:

 

Enemy At The Gates, Wolf Totem and?

 

Black Gold, i guess...?

 

Good to see good old Tibet still eliciting some ruckus round here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Stefancos said:

 

I'm pretty sure Black Gold was someone else.

 

No, Horner scored BLACK GOLD. Haven't seen the film or heard the score myself yet, but it's on the list.

 

Of course, he had also worked with Annaud before those three, with THE NAME OF THE ROSE (1986).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
On Friday, March 31, 2017 at 6:20 PM, Not Mr. Big said:

Amistad's ending track leaves out the mournful vocal rendition of Cinque's theme at the beginning and The Patriot has the snare/piccolo rendition of the main theme at the very end.

 

So, which OSTs have really the same recording twice?

- Amistad (it's still the same recording)

- Seven Years

- Saving Private Ryan

- Angela's Ashes

- The Patriot (same here)

 

Additionally OSTs that got replaced by complete scores:

- 1941

- Rosewood

 

Anything else? - Minority Report?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its an interesting score that I want to spend more time with at some point. The score has a pretty distinct sound, both in its Asian influences and the strong interplay between strings and solo piano and of course Ma's solos. The main theme is really evocative but a lot of the music on the OST sounds stilted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, publicist said:

Stilted?

Yeah stilted like the music sounds a little too stiff. It gives me the impression that the structure of the music is getting in the way of what it's trying to say. It's hard to explain. But to take an example from another score, I've always felt that Anakin's Victory (or whatever the cue is named when Anakin wins the podrace in TPM) sounds very stilted for what should be an explosive, exuberant moment. The music sounds very formal and rigid where I feel it is trying to express something sudden and free. I hear that same stilted quality throughout this score. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 years later...

Is the OST track "Heinrich's Odyssey" a bunch of cues from different parts of the film edited together, or is it all music for the same scene or connected series of scenes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Jay said:

Is the OST track "Heinrich's Odyssey" a bunch of cues from different parts of the film edited together, or is it all music for the same scene or connected series of scenes?

 

This is a quick & dirty spreadsheet I did while watching the film a few months back. It's probably not 100% accurate and I haven't had time to revisit it since, but it might help.

 

image.png

 

@BrotherSound's new strategy for finding cues in film order could certainly come in handy here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately that provides no insight into the makeup of that OST track, no.

 

I've never seen this film, gotta rectify that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Jay said:

Is the OST track "Heinrich's Odyssey" a bunch of cues from different parts of the film edited together, or is it all music for the same scene or connected series of scenes?

 

Afair, most of the big orchestral stuff doesn't even turn up in the movie, and both of the *big* cues, 'Heinrich's Odyssey' and 'Approaching the Summit' combine cues, but only appear in small fragments in the movie. I remember so well because i listened to the album first and when i saw the movie, i wondered if Williams had rewritten the whole thing (which he obviously had, as what turns up in the movie is much more muted, like the 'Quiet Moments' cue).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's interesting that Horner would write these long cues for Jean-Jacques Annaud and he'd leave them as-is for those 3 films, then for this one he chops up JW's long cues.  I wonder why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because it sounded too big and operatic - which may have been Annaud's instruction, or Williams' general tendency, that didn't sit well with the investors. You can hear the toning down very well in the rewritten 'Leaving Ingrid', which sports the theme's most glorious appearance on the Sony album and is reduced to a fleeting small ensemble part in the movie. Who knows? 

 

The laughably overscored Enemy at the Gates t least proves that Annaud wasn't afraid of big scoring.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 6/2/2021 at 7:53 AM, publicist said:

Because it sounded too big and operatic - which may have been Annaud's instruction, or Williams' general tendency, that didn't sit well with the investors. You can hear the toning down very well in the rewritten 'Leaving Ingrid', which sports the theme's most glorious appearance on the Sony album and is reduced to a fleeting small ensemble part in the movie. Who knows? 

 

The laughably overscored Enemy at the Gates t least proves that Annaud wasn't afraid of big scoring.

Btw the Leaving Ingrid film version is on the OST, edited into the middle section of track 9.

 

I found this info in some of my old docs regarding the break-down of the tracks on the OST (done by someone else):

OST track number + Cue number + cue name

1. 15m3 End Credit

2. 1m5 Young Dali Lama (Cue B) + the percussion and chanting at the end

3. 1m3 (insert) Leaving Ingrid (old Cue A)

4. 1m3A The Rescue of Peter

    5m5A Escaping the Bandits: bars 1-41

    13m2 The Tibetan Defeat

5. 3m1 Transported to Prison

    5m6 Horsemeat and Rescue

    3m7 The Second Escape

6. 13m1 Preparing the Defense

    3m11 Stealing Food

    11m9A The Generals Enter

    13m3 The Chinese Takeover

7. 1m5 Young Dali Lama

    11m4 Prophetic Dream

8. No Cue # The Child of Tibet

9. 7m1AX The Capitol City

   1m7 Meeting the Sherpa: bars 1-23

   1m3 Leaving Ingrid: bars 10-41

   5m2 Sixty-Eight Kilometers: bars 9-end

10. 7m3 Western Clothes: bars 1-20

     9m3 Meeting the Dali

11. 13m11 The Dali Lama Investiture

     5m5 Heinrich's Slow Growth (bars 1-14, bars 19-112)

12. 11m10 Praying Through Telescope

     3m4 The Barbed Wire Scene

     9m1 Thinking by the Water

13. 15m2 Regaining a Son (New)

14. 15m3 End Credit

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

From 02:59

 

I will remain curious forever why the theme has such strong french perfume, Harrer was austrian, which in tone and temperament could not be more fundamentally different from France.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Incanus said:

11. 13m11 The Dali Lama Investiture

     5m5 Heinrich's Slow Growth (bars 1-14m bars 9-112)

 

Ah, definitely music from 2 different parts of the film edited together then.  Thank you!

Link to comment
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.