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JW's most direct and longwinded concert arrangement introductions


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I've recently started paying attention to how JW starts his concert arrangements of film themes and specifically instances where the A theme is stated right away vs pieces that have more of a preparatory phrase before introducing the A theme.

 

Two clear examples of the former are The Rise of Skywalker which starts right away on a soft statement of the victory theme:

 

And Anakin's Theme which does the same:

 

Versus, say, The Adventures of Han which has a pretty extended preparatory section before introducing the A theme:

 

Or Luke and Leia's Theme (although Leia's Theme and Han and the Princess also have preparatory introductions before stating the A theme. 

 

I didn't mean for all of my examples to be SW themes. So, what are other clear examples of JW themes that start right away on the A theme or the opposite: themes with longer introductions? And what is your opinion of these contrasting approaches?

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I consider the friendship theme the A theme because it's the better one

Gotta love the intro to the 1941 march. I don't particularly like the original intro to the Olympic Theme and Fanfare - it takes too long to kick into gear. I prefer it with the Bugler's Dream intro.

To me it's A theme = victory theme and B theme = friendship theme. I agree the friendship theme is better. It is the more lush and sentimental of the two, which is fitting for JW's send off to the ent

The concert arrangement of the march from 1941 that's typically heard in rerecordings and live performances takes a while to get to the meat and potatoes. You've got fragments of the melody but things don't kick into gear till after the first key change.

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7 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

Gotta love the intro to the 1941 march. I don't particularly like the original intro to the Olympic Theme and Fanfare - it takes too long to kick into gear. I prefer it with the Bugler's Dream intro.

 

I prefer the Bugler's Dream intro too!

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22 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

There's too many repeated notes!

 

;)

My guess is that you think the first couple of measures of Soundings is the best stuff Williams has ever composed.  

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On 5/21/2021 at 10:46 PM, Not Mr. Big said:

I consider the friendship theme the A theme because it's the better one

To me it's A theme = victory theme and B theme = friendship theme. I agree the friendship theme is better. It is the more lush and sentimental of the two, which is fitting for JW's send off to the entire SW saga, even if the onscreen friendships the music correlates to do not earn the same level of sentimentality.

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I don't like when JW takes two different themes that have completely different purposes in the film score and then combines them together as a concert arrangement.  Combining themes within a score cue and also for an end credits arrangement are great.  But for whatever reason, the "Rebellion Is Reborn" and "Rise of Skywalker" concert arrangements still kinda seem goofy to me

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On 5/22/2021 at 3:09 AM, artguy360 said:

So, what are other clear examples of JW themes that start right away on the A theme or the opposite: themes with longer introductions? And what is your opinion of these contrasting approaches?

 

There are countless examples of prelude-like material opening a concert piece to create a sort of anticipation before the appearance of the main thematic subject and I personally always love it when JW does it that way (the most obvious example I can think of is the Superman March). Williams is an absolute master at creating excitement, tension and preparation, then releasing it all with a powerful musical statement of the main thematic idea. It's one of the main qualities of his music, imho.

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What I always find interesting when these introduction elements, that you don't pay so much attention to in the fist place, later on become some kind of trademark, develop a life of their own.

 

For example the 4-note introduction to the theme from Jurassic Park.

 

That was an experience. As I said, I did not pay any attention to it when I heard it on the Jurassic Park soundtrack. But when I heard it first time at the beginning of the endtitles of The Lost World I thought, wow, that is a beautiful and characteristic motif. I did not really recocnize it before. 

Since then I pay more attention to such little things.

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The opening of the Jurassic Park theme is such a terrific horn solo that is hard not to take notice, but I get what you mean. It's one of the great things in JW's music (and all the great music written with talent and purpose)--there is always something to discover and to enjoy, as the craft is always impeccable and there is a lot to sift through. After we have familiarized with a piece, we start to focus on some smaller (but not lesser!) details instead of the big tune, i.e. how a line is developed, how chords progress, how an instrument is playing a passage, etc. In this regard, Williams' music has a lot of replay value.

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I wish he had written more than just a new opening and ending to lead into and out of the existing "The Dinosaurs" cue, and instead continued writing unique concert arrangement different from the "The Dinosaurs" film cue and the "End Credits" arrangement.

 

He could have done more

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