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Countless Main Title of SW Poll


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54 members have voted

  1. 1. Best?

    • 1977
      15
    • 1980
      7
    • 1983
      7
    • 1990 with The Skywalker Symphony
      1
    • 1996 with LSO
      5
    • 1999 - 2005
      15
    • 2015 - 2017
      2
    • 2019
      1
    • Pops In Space (1980)
      0
    • VIenna (2020)
      1


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4 hours ago, Datameister said:

Hmmm...oh, also, the trumpets have a short countermelody from bars 24-27 (about 0:33-0:36 in the ESB recording) that's not heard in ANH.

 

Woah.  Never picked up on that before!  Gotta love finding new things in music you've heard countless times....

 

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Well, if you care to go further down the rabbit hole, I can help fill in some more of the differences, especially with timpani and percussion, which I played professionally for several years:  

One of the biggest changes has to do with the violins. In the earliest takes from '77 (and in the suite published that year), when the A theme returns toward the end at bar 38 (0:48), the 1st violins

Wild to think there's only a single take with that opening! The first three have the lead-in chord, and the last take cuts out most of the orchestra.   By the way, that deleted pick-up chord

1 hour ago, Jay said:

 

Woah.  Never picked up on that before!  Gotta love finding new things in music you've heard countless times....

 

 

Keyword "heard", not "listened" :P I admit my ears have largely glossed this tune over since I was a teen. This thread has been so crucial in making me actually listen to this again! I also find it inspiring that over half a century, just about, Williams never truly became complacent with even his most famous composition, always thinking of new ways to try and improve the piece.

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14 hours ago, Jay said:

You guys are talking about this album when you talk about a 1996 recording right?

 

The Hollywood Sound

 

That reminds me I need to listen to it again.  I think I've only heard it once!

 

It contains the best recording of SW Theme conducted by Williams.

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On 1/13/2021 at 11:55 PM, Manakin Skywalker said:

Oh man... I'd have to go with ROTJ/1983. Both the main title and end title recordings are so powerful.

Definitely agree with that. For whatever reason, ROTJ has the only main and end titles that I always distinctly remember the sound of. All of the material from ANH just sounds so refined and precise by ROTJ. Really think that's when Williams got the Star Wars sound perfected. 

 

Edit: I just re-listened to the original movie's main title, it seems the trumpet countermelody is there, but weaker sounding in the French Horns instead for whatever reason. 

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48 minutes ago, superultramegaa said:

Definitely agree with that. For whatever reason, ROTJ has the only main and end titles that I always distinctly remember the sound of. All of the material from ANH just sounds so refined and precise by ROTJ. Really think that's when Williams got the Star Wars sound perfected. 

 

Edit: I just re-listened to the original movie's main title, it seems the trumpet countermelody is there, but weaker sounding in the French Horns instead for whatever reason. 

 

The horns do play in that moment, but it's not quite the same as what the trumpets get in later films.

 

For me, the biggest thing that distinguishes the ROTJ performance is the trumpets shortly before the return to the A theme - it sounds like there's a tie missing, effectively adding an extra note.

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15 hours ago, BrotherSound said:


Well, if you care to go further down the rabbit hole, I can help fill in some more of the differences, especially with timpani and percussion, which I played professionally for several years:

 

In the 1977 version, the very first chord has a single B-flat in the timpani, while the subsequent versions all have three grace notes leading in:

image.png

 

 

 

 

That's probably my favorite part of the original recording; the way it just smacks you in the face right on the downbeat, without the grace notes.  Another little detail about the original that I prefer, is that the first three measures are played at a constant tempo, without the slowdown leading into Luke's Theme that became commonplace later on.  That gives the recording a great deal more drive, in my opinion.

 

I've never been too fond of the 1997 LSO recording; the whole percussion section is overbearing to my ears (I don't know if it's the way it's mixed, or if the players were just playing very loudly).  I feel that's the case throughout the entire "Hollywood Sound" album.

 

 

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‘83 and ‘19 are my favorites. Hearing the opening for TROS in theaters was a surprise, especially when TFA and TLJ weren’t as strong and blasting as the previous entries(even through they’re all unique in their own ways).

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3 hours ago, superultramegaa said:

Edit: I just re-listened to the original movie's main title, it seems the trumpet countermelody is there, but weaker sounding in the French Horns instead for whatever reason. 

 

Yep, there's an example of an change that was probably necessary solely due to the reduction in instrumentation from 6 to 4 horns. In the LTP version, which calls for 6 horn parts (like the 1977 original), the countermelody is restored to the horns and the trumpets are once again tacet.

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1 hour ago, Matt S. said:

That's probably my favorite part of the original recording; the way it just smacks you in the face right on the downbeat, without the grace notes.

 

Wild to think there's only a single take with that opening! The first three have the lead-in chord, and the last take cuts out most of the orchestra.

 

By the way, that deleted pick-up chord (a spiky Gb/F) actually ended up in the original 1977 band arrangement!

 

image.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fabulin said:

That was unexpectedly funny ROTFLMAOI'm sure each of them plays their instrument better than I would, but together...

image.png

 

It still sounds better than the godawful Vienna Philharmonic, with all of their endless flubs and timing issues....

 

But seriously, that is an interesting arrangement, I remember playing that in my college wind ensemble!  It's relatively faithful to the original, but there are some weird transitions and modulations here and there, so certain sections are played in different keys than we're used to.

 

I also have an orchestral performance of that same arrangement; it was released by the Orchestra of the Americas, conducted by Bill Broughton (Bruce's brother).  

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Do we know if the main titles were originally conceived in B major but dropped to B flat major to connect with the fox fanfare? I’m wondering since Kings Row is in B major and it is kind of a more typical key to write in for Williams, I think.

 

Mentioning Kings Row btw because Williams tends to stick with the key of the temp track.

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Hmmm, but reading the discussion it’s said that Williams wrote the fanfare last! I’m imagining that he wrote Luke’s theme as part of the score, maybe having Korngold in the back of his mind unconciously, then when he needed to write the fanfare it turned into a big b flat major statement to evoke the Rósza (sorry @Holko) temp track. And so it started to sound more like the Kings Row intro. 
 

Edit: Ah, I see you corrected some things.

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8 hours ago, Remco said:

Do we know if the main titles were originally conceived in B major but dropped to B flat major to connect with the fox fanfare?


It could have changed during the process of composing, but it was definitely in B-flat major by the time the full score and parts were done. I remember JW has also mentioned the intentional choice of B-flat for the main title as a key that the brass instruments sound especially brilliant in. Anyone happen to remember which interview had that?

 

Another Star Wars main title tidbit: there was actually an official “single edit” released, and it is truly dreadful: 

 

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6 hours ago, Fabulin said:

What was the story with Alfred Newman's fanfare again? Wasn't it Williams who suggested breaking it out of the museum? It wouldn't surprise me if he talked with Lionel about it, and it ended up opening the film because it itself was also (back in the days) inspired by Korngold, and Williams thought it would have enhanced the opening of the film. Maybe Lionel Newman suggested to Williams that there was a similar Fox property written by his brother that could be used in the first place?

 

The liner notes from the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope's soundtrack says of Newman's fanfare,

Quote

it was George Lucas' inspired creative stroke to reintroduce it when Fox released Star Wars in 1977.

 

And I think that makes the most sense. Lucas had already drawn together influences from old serials, samurai films, westerns, and sci-fi, and he knew he wanted the music to be like the old Hollywood scores of the 30s and 40s, so it fits neatly with that whole creative vision.

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4 minutes ago, Ludwig said:

 

The liner notes from the 1997 Special Edition of A New Hope's soundtrack says of Newman's fanfare,

 

And I think that makes the most sense. Lucas had already drawn together influences from old serials, samurai films, westerns, and sci-fi, and he knew he wanted the music to be like the old Hollywood scores of the 30s and 40s, so it fits neatly with that whole creative vision.

It makes neither less nor more sense to me, but if that's our only source, that's our source...

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2 hours ago, Fabulin said:

It makes neither less nor more sense to me, but if that's our only source, that's our source...

 

Why so doubtful? They are Matessino's liner notes after all...

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I voted for the LSO That Hollywood Sound.  I keep thinking the perfect career ender would be for Williams to record a two (or three) CD album with the LSO featuring the SW suites.  It would be cool to hear all the pieces freshly recorded, but we would then also get the sequel (and Han Solo) pieces with the LSO.  

 

Vaccinate Williams and the LSO and get it done.  

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33 minutes ago, Tom said:

I voted for the LSO That Hollywood Sound.  I keep thinking the perfect career ender would be for Williams to record a two (or three) CD album with the LSO featuring the SW suites.  It would be cool to hear all the pieces freshly recorded, but we would then also get the sequel (and Han Solo) pieces with the LSO.  

 

Vaccinate Williams and the LSO and get it done.  

 

Nah, I don't think he's likely to travel overseas again, certainly not for that.

 

Bill Ross, on the other hand...

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2 hours ago, Datameister said:

 

Nah, I don't think he's likely to travel overseas again, certainly not for that.

 

Bill Ross, on the other hand...

Then fly the LSO to LA.  Just get it done.  

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On 1/15/2021 at 3:50 AM, BrotherSound said:

That’s a particularly famous moment among timpanists, and a great example of what’s possible with really strong pedal technique:

image.png

 

 

Thanks for that. This has always been one of my favourite moments in the piece, and I've never been quite sure if it was revised for the concert score & sequels or if the timpani was just played/mixed less prominently and thus covered by the double basses in all the other recordings.

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5 hours ago, BrotherSound said:

Another Star Wars main title tidbit: there was actually an official “single edit” released, and it is truly dreadful: 

 

 

:folder:

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