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Krull in full score


ricsim88
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I finished reading this score today.  It's such a fantastic score.  No danger motif!  The scoring is so amazing.  Lots of exotic and very precise instrumentation.  Moments where there are 3 piccolos, other moments with 3 pianos.  Sometimes a trio of D trumpets, other times Bb and C trumpets, etc.  You just never see this level of precision and care on each phrase.  Lots of extended techniques and synthesizers too but never doing the horrible 80's synth thing but very interestingly blended.  The score is clearly modeled after Star Wars being quite motific with a hero theme, a princess/love interest theme, a villain theme (and chord), swashbuckling action, loads of fantasy and sci-fi tropes, etc.  Interestingly, where SW had fantastical characters and settings, Lucas wanted a traditional score to help connect with audiences.  In contrast, Krull had a more traditional setting (no space battles, horses instead of ships, etc) and Horner created an exotic score though still rooted in traditional thematic styles.  For example, there are some chords (for the beast/black mountain) that I'm struggling to understand how to spell the chord other than "dense cluster".  I even felt some of it sounded like Herrmann....not a rip but a tip of the hat.  Notice in the clip below, the Horner trope of the Horner Riser at bar 76.  This is used in many of his scores but here we get a bit of a "proto version" of it.  You hear glimpses of it in ST2, here it is developed.  In ST3 it is further enhanced.  Very impressively done in Rocketeer, and also prominent in his concert overture, The Fourth Horsemen (aka Flight). I wish they would remix the OST though.  Some tracks sound great, others have aged poorly.  Stand out moments are Ride of the Firemares and Death of the Beast but there are so many other very memorable moments.  One small point, it looks like Neumation Music referenced the sheet music and not the OST which doesn't always match.  From reading the score while hearing it, the recorded music is superior to the originally written music IMHO.  I'll assume these were changes made on the stand and not put back in the scores.  They aren't significant but noticeable to picky listeners like me.  Considering this score has millions of notes, this never gets in the way of "understanding" what is happening musically, just very minor nitpicks.  It is like having the first edition of a Mahler Symphony.  The current version has undergone changes, but they are almost entirely in very specific details, not major revisions.  Truly a fantastic and ambitious score (arguably Horner's most ambitious since he had free reign with the mighty London Symphony at his disposable).  I ADORE this score and finally having it even further enhances my appreciation of how great it was.

 

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4 hours ago, karelm said:

I wish they would remix the OST though.  Some tracks sound great, others have aged poorly. 

Are you not aware of the multiple expansions it had? The LLL sounds really good.

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9 hours ago, Holko said:

Are you not aware of the multiple expansions it had? The LLL sounds really good.

 

Yes, and I own them too.  What I'm referring to is on some cues, the horns are close mic'ed with lots of reverb added which does not make them sound far but close with a long reverb tail.  We know the mic is a spot mic because there is such little blead from the other instruments as you'd get in decca tree where you would use spot mic to enhance, change volume somewhat, isolate or fill in some missing colors.  I don't know why this is done on some cues and not others.  For example, in the attached excerpt, the horns sound quite isolated.  After a two second pause, I repeat only the left channel and you don't hear the horns at all (you can hear them, but they are barely heard, again showing this is more spot mic bleed then a room mic setup like the decca tree).  So, horns are purely coming from the left and isolated, similarly the trombones are isolated but right.  The effect is you are getting an unnatural "spot mic" sound with reverb and tight pans rather than a symphonic sound.  It's possible this was done for practical reasons like this from a pickup take or maybe even recorded differently and was an edit using the best available source, but it would be better to use more room sound if it were available and a hint of spot rather than only spot as is heard here.  

 

If interested, I've attached a comparison from one of my works of the same passage from three perspectives.  The first is spot mic only on the brass.  So though the rest of the orchestra can't be heard, it's in there through mic blead only but you get a sense for what the horns sound like with close mic only...this is what we're getting in the Krull passage.  After a two second pause, there is a tree only...this is what is heard right in the room with no spot mic.  A much fuller, richer sound in the brass because the sound is more idiomatic.  The third example is the combination of the two and the best overall version.  You get the warmth and natural reverb of the room plus filling in some details from the spots but most of the heavy lifting is done from the room mic (the tree).

 

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