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CoS, what did JW do?


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I have to admit I've never owned (or heard the score on its own in its entirety) the CoS album mainly because I'm not sure how much rehashed stuff is in it. My question is, what did JW do and what did he not do? I'm of the impression he wrote everything will William Ross finetuned it to the movie. Am I right?

I may pick up one copy soon. Would you recommend picking this up over say, AI or Sleepers? Thanks

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What's on cd it's all pretty much new material (there new versions of previous tracks here and there). What's on the film, however, it's whole different story. It's a score that is much better as presented on the album than in the movie.

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coS is a great album.You get a few re-hash from PS but it's unreleased stuff(dark forest music,the house cup)

K.m.

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Williams just conducted the score, which was composed entirely by William Ross (with help from ghostwriter Don Davis).

Ray Barnsbury :(

:P

Then why does it say "Music Composed by John Williams Music adapted and conducted by Williams Ross" from the album?

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Williams just conducted the score, which was composed entirely by William Ross (with help from ghostwriter Don Davis).

Ray Barnsbury :(

:P

Then why does it say "Music Composed by John Williams Music adapted and conducted by Williams Ross" from the album?

You tend have trouble recognising the sarcasm of a smart arse, don't you? ROTFLMAO

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yes its been determined that Williams wrote all the new music, and that Ross adapted a few pieces.

while its not entirely known what happened, its fairly obvious that Williams did not care for what Ross had done.

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I'm still not convinced that this is the case.

Ross probably wrote a lot more then he is generally given credit for.

It might explain why this score is so very dull.

Yes, if there's one thing that Williams hasn't written in the last few years it's dull scores.

Justin :roll:

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Wael said Ross original music was rejected, then Williams was going to make just the new themes. In the end, Williams had to write all new music, and i suppose Ross arranged existent cues to fit new scenes.

So its all Williams' music, even more than Superman II

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Man, this discussion crops up every few months here just like clockwork!!! Not that I mind. :mrgreen:

For pete's sake, get CoS!!!! The pieces are really, really great, and yes, JW wrote them all, and WR conducted them all. And oh yeah, the indomitable LSO performed them all.

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hey i have to ask. sure, normal prices for CDs here are about 10USD, but I can do a LOT with 10 USD in these parts of the world. :mrgreen:

Man, that's cheap! Normal prices for new CDs here in Vienna (Austria) is about 15 Euro -- which is about 18USD. Where do you live anyway?

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Malaysia. Sadly, relative to earning power, 10USD is a lot of money for a student. Heck, to give u an idea of living expenses here, when in highschool (only one year ago), i could get by on a 18USD monthly allowance which buys me a half decent lunch at the school canteen for the month, one or two magazines (foreign licensed but published locally so its pretty cheap) and one or two trips to the cinema). :mrgreen: I need to migrate and earn Euros...:P

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I love this score. And it's obvious to me that 95% of what is on the soundtrack album is composed by Williams.

Yeah I agree,

I think Ross just re worked some old cues and that's it.

The spiders is complex as hell and the flying car is just classic williams.

Probably the only score I heard the classic Williams orchestration coming back for good (and then going again on PoA)

Love that score.

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hey i have to ask. sure, normal prices for CDs here are about 10USD, but I can do a LOT with 10 USD in these parts of the world. :mrgreen:

Man, that's cheap! Normal prices for new CDs here in Vienna (Austria) is about 15 Euro -- which is about 18USD. Where do you live anyway?

I think these days we pay around 20 Euros for newly released CDs here.

And they wonder why filesharing is so popular.

Idiots!

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hey i have to ask. sure, normal prices for CDs here are about 10USD, but I can do a LOT with 10 USD in these parts of the world. ROTFLMAO

Man, that's cheap! Normal prices for new CDs here in Vienna (Austria) is about 15 Euro -- which is about 18USD. Where do you live anyway?

I think these days we pay around 20 Euros for newly released CDs here.

at least its 20 dollars to you. i mean, to put it another way, a can of Coke costs about 2 Euro there and while it costs 2 malaysian dollars here. ur CDs cost you 20 Euro but it costs me 40 to 50 malaysian dollars. ROTFLMAO

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It was originally reported that Williams would write around 50 mins of original material and William Ross would adapt JW's music from the first film to fill out the score.

We've had many reports from different sources including Ross himself that Williams provided more music.

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  • 4 months later...

I love this post. It really shows how much reality can become distorted when reading or hearing various sources.

John Williams wrote about 20 minutes of music for Chamber of Secrets. William Ross adapted, arranged, re-orchestrated, and wrote about 80 minutes of "Harry Potter Music" for the movie. Whatever you heard or read somewhere else is false. End of the story.

John and Bill worked very closely on CoS. Bill traveled many times to London (where John Williams was at the time) to discuss the score, the new themes, and the major musical orientations. Bill had full access to John's extensive score library, be it the Harry Potter original manuscripts and scores or any of his other scores for that matter (including Superman).

Bill is a *huge* John Williams fan and during the *whole* scoring process, his goal was to mimic John's music so well that you couldn't tell the difference. Bill is also an amazing orchestrator and worked extensively with Conrad Pope to make sure the whole score would have the exact same John William's sound than the previous score.

John Williams was delighted with William Ross' score. The *fact* is, John Williams said himself to Wiliam Ross at the end of the premiere that he couldn't tell when it was his writing or Bill's.

Those who claim that they can hear a difference between John's and Bill's writing are imagining things. Or they have better ears than John Williams himself. You choose.

The fact is, you should listen to Chamber of Secrets without asking yourself questions about who *really* wrote this or that cue. Because it doesn't matter. Chamber of Secrets is pure John Williams music, and it's good.

William Ross could have said, like Mr. Doyle, "fuck it" to the whole Harry Potter musical world. Instead, he decided to be as faithful as he could to the universe created by John Williams.

We should all give him credit to for that.

Hellgi

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I love this post. It really shows how much reality can become distorted when reading or hearing various sources.  

Hellgi

Again, how do you know this?

What are your sources?

As for Ross writing 80 minutes of music, if that is so, why is so much music from Philosophers Stone re-used.

This sounds like a John Williams quicky to me, like Home Alone 2.

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And yet CoS has the Sorcerer's Stone motif all over the place as a motif for Voldemort, a segment of music found exclusively in the chess scene in SS playing when harry is in the chamber, and music for flying keys playing over a scene with Cornish Pixies. There's even some borrowing from AotC.

Staying true to a style is one thing, simply recycling old material is something else.

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Oh yes, and Star Wars Episode 2 has the Imperial March even though we don't hear it before Empire Strikes Back. Stupid, stupid John Williams! I hate him! He's such a bad composer!

Did it ever occur to you that there's more to the film music craft than just actually writing notes?

Hellgi

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Oh yes, and Star Wars Episode 2 has the Imperial March even though we don't hear it before Empire Strikes Back. Stupid, stupid John Williams! I hate him! He's such a bad composer!

If you know so much about Williams then why don't you know that that's not how Williams innitially scored that films final scenes.

It should be:

Stupid, stupid George Lucas! I hate him! He's such a bad director!

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Funny you mention that, Hellgi, as we had long discussions about the Imperial March being in AotC about four years ago (as you can read here).

It is of course possible Columbus requested this material be recycled, but personally, I think that's one of the weaker things in the CoS score. In fact, it's what sinks it. It has great new material, but everytime the score starts recycling old material (and I don't mean just a theme reappering, but entire chunks of music copied and pasted) it pulls me out.

Whether it's Williams or Ross who is behind the copying is irrelevant to me.

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Ok, let me be clearer.

You happen to know that before a movie get scored it has a temp track. You also surely know that when a director gets too used to his temp track, he doesn't want to go another way.

Now, ask yourself the question: If George Lucas had the power to tell John Williams that he wanted the Imperial March in Episode 2, even though Williams didn't agree with it, then why wouldn't Chris Columbus have the power to tell William Ross where he wants the Harry Potter theme or the Sorcerer's Stone theme - and have it his way in the end?

There was a temp track on CoS. Am I making any sense here or what?

Hellgi

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That is another possibility. But it seems to be slightly different version of accounts than the one you gave above.

Although a combination of these two could be possible.

I'd like to read that 2002 article as well, btw.

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Well that certainly makes sense.

And there is a precedent. Williams pretty much redid his own Home Alone score for the sequel, both were Columbus films.

It might also explain why I simply cannot get into this score.

I'm not saying I believe you, but your comments make a certain amount of sense. :)

However we had another source here a few years ago, also fairly close to Williams saying the exact opposite of what you are claiming.

You gotta love the Internet......

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I agree with you, Mr. Breathmask. The fact htat it's Williams or Ross who is behind the score is irrelevant.

All I'm asking here is exactly that: to stop making it an issue. It's a non-issue.

If you love the score, thank both William Ross and John Williams. If you don't, then don't try to point the finger of who is responsible, because nobody knows and it doesn't really matter anyway.

All I care personnaly is that the facts about the making of this soundtrack get known. We're not talking about a "Batman Begins" type of collaboration, where each composer get distinct cues and you can clearly recognize both composers' styles. If you know William Ross' music a bit, you know that his music doesn't sound like CoS.

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And yet we got other "inside info" before telling us that John Williams ended up writing the entire score.Willaims also said he wrote 40 minutes initially,not 20.And the c.d. is credited to be "all tracks composed" by JW,which is more than 60 minutes.20 minutes is not enough for the new themes.Unless it's William Ross that actually composed such cues as Fawkes the Phoenix or The Chamber of Secrets concert versions.That would be as unbelievable as telling me he composed action music like The Flying Car or Duelling the Basilisk

K.M.

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William Ross could have said, like Mr. Doyle, "fuck it" to the whole Harry Potter musical world. Instead, he decided to be as faithful as he could to the universe created by John Williams.

I let this one slide earlier, but I respect Doyle for putting his oen stamp into the franchise.

Unlike Ross, he's a established enough composer not to have to suffer the humiliation of doing a Williams imitation.

We should all give him credit to for that.

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That's a point of view one can respect. I personnaly don't agree, but everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion :)

King Mark, in case you don't know it, there's a difference between how you get credited and the actual work you do.

There's also a difference between how much new music you write initially, before even seing the final cut, and how much music will end up being used in the final score.

Hellgi

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Yes I could have sworn Williams mentioned in an interview that he would be writing about 40 mins of new music and that Ross would be adapting the rest from the first Harry Potter film to fit the film.

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Let's just put it this way.

When you want to maintain the John Williams sound, you hire a competent arranger and orchestrator that adopt the Williams style to some degree and not taint it with any personal signature sound the replacement composer might have.

You don't hire Patrick Doyle to do a Williams imitation, you hire him because you think he's a talented composer in his own right.

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Which is what Patrick Doyle is.

It's kinda obvious the director and producers of GOF didn't object that Doyle put his own stamp on the film.

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I personnaly prefer the first option, especially after hearing what Patrick Doyle did to the Harry Potter musical universe.

Not that I think he his a bad composer (I do own more than one of his soundtracks), but I think there's a difference between bringing your own musical touch and doing something with an entirely different sound.

Now, again, that is a decision a director could totally make, so it might not be Doyle's fault.

Hellgi

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Unlike Ross, he's a established enough composer not to have to suffer the humiliation of doing a Williams imitation.

.

Man, John Williams' contacts me because he's in panic working on another movie with a crazy schedule and wants *me* to help *him* out? I don't call that a humiliation, I call that an honor.

This is exactly how William Ross saw it.

We might have different standards here, but I thought this was a John William's Fans board?

Hellgi

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We might have different standards here, but I thought this was a John William's Fans board?

Hellgi

I was employing an ironic hyperbole to bring home a point. :)

This is a John Williams Fan Board, actually this is the John Williams Fan Board.

But we don't shy away from critisism here.

At least I don't.

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