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TheUlyssesian

Alan Silvestri's AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019)

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I remember thinking that this was probably the first one of Silvestri's scores since First Avenger with Joe Johnston - a guy who obviously recognized how important film music is as opposed to a utilitarian tool for "enhancing" mood - where he got to actually SCORE the movie. Most Marvel films - with the recent exceptions of Mothersbaugh on Ragnarok and Goransson on Black Panther - tend to pay lip service to themes and motifs, and never really let the composers develop those ideas. They get one or two statements total and that's about it.

But this film has Silvestri taking musical ideas places over the course of the movie. There's a sense of development, musically, that doesn't really happen in Marvel films aside from the aforementioned scores, which both came shortly after that one video about the Marvel Symphonic Universe went viral. I don't think that's a coincidence.


You could probably glibly describe it as "The Abyss + Back to the Future" and be more correct than not, but I was probably most surprised by how good Silvestri's work is on this movie, and how much room he was given to do things.

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I haven't listened to the OST yet, but in the cinema, the score had some weight to it. Despite being relatively standard style wise for Silvestri. He's not breaking new ground, but the score has some presence to it. 

 

I do like it when Silvestri writes BIG (Judge Dredd, The Mummy Returns)

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48 minutes ago, Larry O said:

You could probably glibly describe it as "The Abyss + Back to the Future" and be more correct than not, but I was probably most surprised by how good Silvestri's work is on this movie, and how much room he was given to do things.

 

Some of his choral stuff in Infinity War is evocative of The Abyss.

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Funny how the first Avengers film had a shorter version of digital release yet Silvestri and Intrada added more music to the physical release. 

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Bought the digital album yesterday. Didn't think that would happen when I first started playing it last week.

 

As suggested above, it doesn't break any new ground but the surprisingly emotional tone struck me. Might revisit the first score for which I bought Intrada's CD but never quite gave it the time of day.

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6 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Get out of here. This has fucking 31 themes and motifs? I would have never imagined. Is this fucking Howard Shore in middle Earth level complexity?

 

Not sure I buy the identification of all of these motifs, though.

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Not necessarily. I mean, I have my own reservations about some of the "monster" pieces (they're obviously not leitmotifs in the usual sense of the word - although they are thematic) and some of the Shire variations. But on the whole I think his breakdown of the themes is on-point.

 

At the end of the day, there's some subjectivity in the definition of a leitmotif or recurring theme. Its not all cut and dry.

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43 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

Not necessarily. I mean, I have my own reservations about some of the "monster" pieces (they're obviously not leitmotifs in the usual sense of the word - although they are thematic) and some of the Shire variations. But on the whole I think his breakdown of the themes is on-point.

 

At the end of the day, there's some subjectivity in the definition of a leitmotif or recurring theme. Its not all cut and dry.

 

Isnt that basically what I just said?

 

You have the odd habbit seeming to disagree with a person, while you in fact dont.

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4 hours ago, Chen G. said:

 

Not sure I buy the identification of all of these motifs, though.

 

Of course. Hopefully someone here will eventually spend the time to go through all of them and confirm or deny the existence of the themes. 

 

Theme identification is often suspect in that some people mistakenly characterize some theme variations as new themes. Even the best like CC do it sometimes.

 

It is a beast of a score at 2 hours. So I think the discussion of theme allusions will go well into the period when the movie is released on home video and people can check up on all the themes and allusions and what they signify.

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1 hour ago, TheUlyssesian said:

Theme identification is often suspect in that some people mistakenly characterize some theme variations as new themes.

 

Its mostly that, but also people taking literally ever pair of notes that happen to reappear over the course of the score and making a leitmotif out of them.

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17 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

Its mostly that, but also people taking literally ever pair of notes that happen to reappear over the course of the score and making a leitmotif out of them.

 

Yes. Leitmotivic design isn't just to stroke a composer's own dick ego. It has to be lucid and comprehensible so that a discerning audience can appreciate it and follow along. I would rather leitmotifs are more meaningful than merely incidental. And that sometimes a theme variation can indeed be the right answer rather than yet another leitmotif. So if some leitmotifs aren't clearly or distinctly well expressed somewhere, then they aren't worth the bother.

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Reading that reddit breakdwon, I don't really agree with some of his associations, as I think he sometimes mistakes motifs with musical references or callbacks. If a motif plays only two times, each in a different movie in scenes that are similar between each other, I think it would be better to say it's just a nod to a previous scene that is very similar to other.

 

For example, in his analysis he mentions

Spoiler

a "Death theme" that played in Coulson's death in Avengers and that plays again after Natasha's death in Endgame

, and I think is more of a homage or reference to that scene, rather than a proper theme (or motif)

 

But aside from that, I think it's a really great analysis and it has made me go back to previous scores and appreciate them even more. Especillay the Silvestri ones.

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20 minutes ago, Knight of Ren said:

a "Death theme" that played in Coulson's death in Avengers and that plays again

 

But the music for that moment is also used for Gammora's Death in Infinity War and - as has been pointed out to me - plays when Tony nearly-sacrifices himself in The Avengers. That's very much a theme.

 

Some of the other stuff, I'm not so sure.

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48 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

But the music for that moment is also used for Gammora's Death in Infinity War and - as has been pointed out to me - plays when Tony nearly-sacrifices himself in The Avengers. That's very much a theme.

The music from Gamora's death is the Sacrifice Theme that he lists elsewhere, that comes from "One Way Trip" of The Avengers and in Endgame plays in "Not Good" in its epic glory during 

Spoiler

Black Widow's sacrifice

And the theme he mentions as the Death Theme appeared in Avengers in the track "They Called It" and in Endgame at the begining of the track "I Was Made for This", right after the brief statement of the Black Widow's theme.

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Don't think I've gotten the chance to post about this score yet - I've been really busy these last few weeks - but rest assured I've been listening. To some extent I agree with those who are disappointed in this score and think it could have been much better. As a whole, I don't think this is as good as, say, Ready Player One..... However, I think "Portals" will be one of the very best cues of 2019 (although I'm not sure if it can top "Forge" from two years ago): 

 

 

That cadence at 1:30-1:55 is so darn powerful (as it always has been since the first film, but more so than ever here). Absolutely incredible. And then the march version at 2:25 to the end is some swashbuckling awesomeness. 

 

My second-favorite cue has to be "Go Ahead." Although it doesn't soar quite as much as I might have liked (compared to, say, the Ready Player One finale cue) it still has a gorgeous segment near the end, capped off with the heraldic reprise of Captain America's theme:

 

 

Classic Silvestri warmth, through and through. 

 

Cues like those two (plus the rip-roaring main title cue) make me really love this score, even if I don't think it's necessarily the most consistently good listening experience. 

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Well Giacchino wrote a good theme for Iron Man in Spiderman Homecoming

13 minutes ago, Ghostbusters II said:

 

You had me until you went out praising Giacchino. Why did you edit this in? I'm bound by indefatigable good form to leave this post liked.

 I wasn't finished composing my post.First I write my main idea,post, then put my secondary ideas. Takes a few minutes

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5 hours ago, King Mark said:

I wasn't finished composing my post.First I write my main idea,post, then put my secondary ideas. Takes a few minutes

I love this. It's like a MIDI mock-up of a post

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12 hours ago, King Mark said:

I listened to it and apart from a few tracks near the end , it can't get more generic sounding that that .I felt like skipping almost every track. Even the Avengers main fanfare is below mediocre, and I'm not difficult to please when it comes to heroic tracks

  

 I've disliked most of Silvestri's stuff from the past few years.Same can be said of Elfman and JNH who have adopted the same soulless brand of orchestral music .The only thing I liked from Silvestri is the Captain America fanfare

 

At least Giacchino, while not at the level of Williams, writes interesting scores I might listen to more than once

 

Well, I do agree that the Captain America fanfare is Silvestri's best piece of the decade (and one of my favorites by any composer). But I also have loved some of his other stuff, like this from Ready Player One:

 

 

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