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The Legacy of John Williams - New Blog on JW

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Thanks for another great interview. 

 

I find it interesting that Maestro Mauceri so decisively said that the Star Wars main title was an adaption of the King’s Row main title, considering how hotly this is debated by some people. I guess there’s our answer?

Also, he said it so well that as the movies went on, JW became less referential to scores and music of the past and came more into his own “Star Wars” style. I think I saw a video once of George Lucas saying the same thing about how the first movie was more heavily temped, before he then let JW do his thing more with the next films. 

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On 9/11/2019 at 6:53 AM, TownerFan said:

 

Mauceri is absolutely one of the most cultured man I ever spoke with and he's incredibly knowledgeable about many things. He also has a wonderful attitude explaining and sharing his knowledge, no wonder he taught at Yale for many years. He just did another long wonderful interview with Alec Baldwin about classical music (but they also talk a little bit about film music, with a lovely anecdote about Miklos Rozsa), it's really a must-watch/listen whenever you have 90 minutes of spare time:

 

 

 

I hoped someone would bring that up and I'm glad you did. Actually I was about to say something about that during the interview, but then I understood why Mauceri said that, put in the context of his overall thought about the music of the first Star Wars. He was making a point about how much JW drew from the temp-track blueprint he had to deal with and how much aware he was about referencing the classical and film music past as per Lucas's request. The music acted as part of the huge homage/tribute to the 1940 Flash Gordon serial and the kind of music Lucas was seeking for his own space epic. Referencing Korngold, Waxman, Stravinsky and Holst was very much a conscious decision. Of course, as Mauceri noted, Williams was able to distance himself from that starting point and be more and more himself as he went by in the following episodes.

 

Thanks for posting, a very informative and enjoyable listen.  I loved Mauceri back when he was at the bowl and will look for his book. 

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May I suggest Gordy Haab? I think he would be a great guest. He’s talked about John Williams quite a bit in some of the interviews of him that I’ve found on YouTube.

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And slightly more generalized, Williams is kinda unique in writing all this music for films that become multimedia franchises that spawn sequels and related works where the music is a central aspect to making them feel related to the original work.  So so many composers over the past few decades have been required to write music that specifically evokes his melodies and style.  That's what I mean by a specific aspect of his legacy.

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Right questions could turn an interview with Haab into a very good one. It would be important to show that the audience of the interview can handle a talk about the theoretical aspects of music. What is the technical legacy of John Williams? What were the most unique discoveries that he has made when he was asked to follow up Williams' music? He could be asked about less obvious influences that came to his mind. Not Holst, Stravinsky, Korngold, Rózsa, Steiner, but perhaps about Hindemith, or about modernists in general. 

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Can I suggest Stu Philips to you, Maurizio?

 

We've had some conversations about him on FSM, and I mention you: https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=136656&forumID=1&archive=0

 

I met Stu in 2012, and I never forget it. He greeted me with "Oh, so you're the famous Thor". Had a great time at Henry's pool party in LA. I think he has a lot to share, not only about GIDGET GOES TO ROME, but many other occasions as well.

 

 

IMG_0257.JPG

 

And yes, that's William Stromberg on the right.

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14 hours ago, Thor said:

Oh, so you're the famous Thor

 

I guess Heia Tufte has an international cult following.

 

15 hours ago, Thor said:

 

 And yes, that's William Stromberg on the right.

 

What has he been up to since he had to stop recording with the Moscow SO? I know he's recently been hired by Intrada to do rerecordings, but except for that I haven't heard anything from him.

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On 9/13/2019 at 11:49 AM, Modest Expectations said:

Not Holst, Stravinsky, Korngold, Rózsa, Steiner, but perhaps about Hindemith, or about modernists in general. 

 

Good catch: I was noticing quite a bit of Hindemith in the score of Sleepers the other day, and it’s not a name you often hear cited as an influence.

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3 minutes ago, TownerFan said:

Read an exclusive interview with talented award-winning American composer Peter Boyer about his career in the classical music field and how the music of John Williams inspired his own artistic journey:

https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2019/09/16/peter-boyer-interview/

 

Nice!  I'm a fan of his work.

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Looking forward to reading it. Just glancing the first couple of paragraphs, it is perhaps worth noting that the piano sonata of 51 is almost certainly an exam piece after a year at UCLA. And the wind quintet, which he composes while in the air force, almost certainly another exam piece as he graduates from UCLA in '53 -- while still in the air force!

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13 hours ago, TownerFan said:

In this article, I explore Williams' early days as a composer of concert stage music, taking a deeper look into his works written between the 1960s and the '70s, including an closer look at his almost-unknown "Symphony No.1". It's a fascinating journey into some of Williams' lesser-known works, his friendship with composer/conductor André Previn, and the overall approach to art music.

 

https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2019/10/08/john-williams-early-concert-works/

 

It has been a thorough and long research for me, but absolutely fun and full of discoveries. Hope you will enjoy reading it.

A truly wonderful and well researched article Maurizio! Such a joy to read! 

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On 10/8/2019 at 12:43 PM, Disco Stu said:

I've just finished reading the article and it's truly wonderful work, Maurizio.  Thank you for your research and hard work!

 

I was so saddened by his statement about removing the symphony from the Houston concert.  I hate to think that he ever feels constrained by what he or others think an audience attending a "John Williams concert" is expecting to hear, whether he got cold feet, or the orchestra administrators, or both.

 

Great article! I was at the Houston concert. It was replaced in part by The Reivers suite narrated by Burgess Meredith so not too bad a substitution (I don't remember what else was played)

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6 minutes ago, MarkRSmith said:

It was replaced it part by The Reivers suite narrated by Burgess Meredith so not too bad a substitution (I don't remember what else was played)

 

Cool that they flew Meredith out for that.  I wonder how many times he performed that with Williams throughout the 80s, maybe into the 90s as well?

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:01 AM, TownerFan said:

New episode of The Legacy Conversations podcast: music theorist Frank Lehman (aka @Falstaft) shares his wonderful academic knowledge about the music of John Williams, illustrating methodology and approach with his usual great observations. He's definitely one of the best examples of how Williams's music ended up influencing not only musicians, but also scholars, academics and historians.

 

https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2019/11/14/frank-lehman-podcast/

What a fantastic conversation! Maurizio, you really nail the musical examples/editing (Powerhouse vs. Mine Car Chase, Ahch-To vs. Sibelius' 2nd, "planing" brass for Coruscant, etc.). And Dr. L was full of brilliant insights as always.

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9 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

I wasn't aware of your book, @Falstaft. It looks interesting, and the paperback version is reasonably priced too. Is Superman the only JW score analyzed in it?

 

Thanks! Along with the Superman example, I touch on "Faking the Code" from ROTJ and "The Plane" from Empire of the Sun, but that's more or less it. I tried to cover a lot of different composers briefly, rather than focus on one figure -- the exception being Shore, who's the focus of the the 5th chapter.

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On 11/20/2019 at 11:38 PM, Falstaft said:

 

Thanks! Along with the Superman example, I touch on "Faking the Code" from ROTJ and "The Plane" from Empire of the Sun, but that's more or less it. I tried to cover a lot of different composers briefly, rather than focus on one figure -- the exception being Shore, who's the focus of the the 5th chapter.

 

Interesting. While we're on the subject of books, how's it going with your JW book? You must have been working on it for a few years already! :)

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