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Is John Williams considered to be the best film music composer?


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8 minutes ago, Fabulin said:

Check their ages. It might be a conflict of generations, as witnessed in the erosion of Alex Ross' confidence of Herrmann's superiority that took place between the 1990s and 2020s.

 

Thinking of it, you're very right.

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1 hour ago, Remco said:

I have a suspicion that they see him as somehow less artistic and more a business man type of composer but I think that's very naive. 

I remember, a similar accusation was made by the so called "intellectual" critics to Alfred Hitchcock. 

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3 hours ago, Remco said:

I wonder what's with the more 'intellectual' film score enthusiasts that they will often leave out Williams in favor of Herrmann, Morricone, etc. ?

 

I have a suspicion that they see him as somehow less artistic and more a business man type of composer but I think that's very naive. 

 

3 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

They're probably feeling insecure about their own taste.

 

I agree with Jurassic Shark.  They're just insecure about being seen as having middlebrow taste or whatever.

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

Outside of when I am complaining, I rarely complain, but could we please fix the thread title--it hurts my brain.  

Jon William he very good. Rite for the star war. I like he song. They happy.

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36 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

Another thing you mentioned in your other post that I find appropriate and sort of puts John Williams and his scores in a rather sweet category of iconic artists and artistic works is how his music resonates with children. The kinds of things kids are drawn toward can often be multi-faceted and not all of it is gonna be exactly "good art," but there is always something a little extra special to me about something I might have memories hearing, enjoying, or even simply noticing as a kid and then later in life appreciate how it "holds up" through strength of craftsmanship.

 

I think this sort of criteria is a little different to judging something as the greatest of all-time, but somehow it makes sense to me to associate John Williams and his most popular films and scores with the likes of The Beatles, Walt Disney, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, The Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf...other things kids may not LOVE but are certainly familiar with and can recognize and comprehend on a basic level like the Mona Lisa, Starry Night, The Last Supper, even some Shakespeare like Romeo & Juliet. 

 

I guess in this way, I'm less concerned with how highly Williams is judged as the greatest, because some of the things I mentioned aren't exactly considered that, but simply that he endures as a foundational part of Western culture, that his music doesn't really feel like something that needs to be "discovered" but rather something that is always there, always acknowledged, always enjoyed in anyone's living memory and then at a certain point, those people grow up and think "Oh right, THAT'S why I kept hearing this everywhere" and understand its artistry. I think that's one cycle that helps elevate something above the rest of the forgotten crap we all gobble up as children. There's sort of this blending of nostalgic familiarity and critical thinking that goes on when I look at some of these "Great" works, where I can't remember NOT being aware of them going all the way back to childhood, but now can see why they're "Great" for myself. 

 

My hope for John Williams's legacy is simply that it endures. I don't care if everyone thinks he's The Greatest. I don't care if everybody knows his obscurities. I just want him to keep getting the listens on Spotify and YouTube, I want his franchise themes to keep getting recycled and remixed even if they get it wrong, I want his music played in theme parks and awards shows and commercials and all kinds of kitsch forever, I want normies calling him our Mozart without having any idea why they're saying that, and I want him to have a place of honor in the big mural of cultural history. This stuff lately with Vienna and Berlin feels pretty significant. I look at the respect he commands with our younger leading conductors and performers, the passion they have to want to perform his music, the smiles on their faces when the most familiar moments in his pieces arrive. I look at the Concertgebouw programming the Star Wars Main Title, Princess Leia's Theme, and Adventures on Earth and feeling like it's representative of an overall sense that John Williams will be integrated into musical tradition, education, appreciation going forward and it's like, god! That is one hard-won victory right there. It's so exciting.


I totally agree and thanks for this beautiful expansion! 

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On 28/10/2021 at 2:32 PM, Tom said:

Outside of when I am complaining, I rarely complain, but could we please fix the thread title--it hurts my brain.  

 

He, he. It reminds me of that old videogame "meme" from a few years back - "All your base are belong to us" or whatever it was.

 

But yes, removing 'does' and putting 'is' in front would alleviate my brain too.

 

As for the topic at hand: Yes, I consider Williams the best film composer who ever lived, for many different reasons. But 'best' is a very vague term.

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'Best composer' and 'best conductor' is too far for me. But 'best film composer', sure. But again, one would probably need more parameters that moved 'best' away from being just 'favourite'.

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On 30/10/2021 at 3:35 AM, Jurassic Shark said:

Logically, Beethoven is the greatest.

Mozart > Beethoven > Bach: in that order. The Holy Trinity of classical composers.

 

On 30/10/2021 at 3:33 AM, Sandor said:

Imagine Dragons

Who?

 

On 30/10/2021 at 3:33 AM, Sandor said:

Maroon 5

Who?

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16 hours ago, Thor said:

'Best composer' and 'best conductor' is too far for me. But 'best film composer', sure. But again, one would probably need more parameters that moved 'best' away from being just 'favourite'.

Yes, better said, I didn't clarify correctly. Favourite indeed for both film composing and conducting.

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I think, you can argue if John Williams is the best film music composer.

Still he is apparently the best when it comes to inspiring youngsters who grew up with film music to also sneak into classical music. He inspires people to study plaing instruments and become serious orchestra musicians and to listen to his music in concert halls without the movies. All that does not really belong to the skill set of a film music composer. Still it makes him very special as an artist. I would say, he really plays a unique role when it comes to the bridge between film and so called serious orchestra music. At least for my generation.

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The old 'my composer is more successful than yours' spiel is as old as the film music messageboards and certainly psychologically revealing, how many guys badly need such legitimization of their own taste. It's a flip of the coin of the proven fact that most can't admit they like crap.

 

 

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I'd find threads like this more entertaining (and actually helpful) if they showed examples from all composers of particular instances where they absolutely knocked it out of the park. Many would be Williams' best moments, and some would be other composers on top form.

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I don't understand why my "popular" post on the previous page have only 5 likes.

 

I gave all I was able to give, excuse my idiosyncratic english... but com'on a little much enthusiasm would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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42 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Well, Bes, your post got five likes, then it was quoted, and that got a like, so you could argue that you got six likes. Then your next post got six reactions, as well, so what's the what?

 

I just can't get enough!

 

I just can't get enough

I just can't get enough

I just can't get enough

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6 hours ago, Score said:

The best film music composers are John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Jerry Goldsmith and Bernard Herrmann, in no particular order. Each of them wrote a lot of great music, and each of them outdid the others in some particular styles. Many other composers wrote beautiful scores, but those 4 stand out for the quality and quantity of their output. 


those are the 4 names I would have taken. I will throw in North and Steiner.

 

 There is one mark against Williams. Only one.

 

innovation. Williams is the perhaps the most exemplary film composer in the traditional symphonic romantic orchestral realm.

 

But it can be argued he doesn’t have many scores that break the mold.

 

hermman has several. Scores like Psycho and main titles like North by Northwest are some of the most originally things ever done in the movies aurally.

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