a Classical Music discussion

Stefan A

Second Unit
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May 27, 2001
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397
I thought the section was called attack of the sand people. At least something to do with sand people. Whatever it is, it is exactly like the Rite of Spring section I mentioned.
My comments about John Williams were not meant to persuade you or anybody. But, I never said that he was a bad composer - just not very original and unchanging. I have no interest is bashing John Williams or debating the topic. Just giving my opinion.
I don't care what anyone says, there is nothing better in the orchestral world than the score to the first Star Wars movie. And I love classical music.
Now this I could easily debate. But before I do, I will give you a chance to type IMHO
 

rob kilbride

Supporting Actor
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Mar 12, 2001
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Rob Kilbride
I have no interest is bashing John Williams or debating the topic. Just giving my opinion.
Myopinion is that your dead wrong. And saying which piece is better than another is by nature an opinion and I won't type what you requested because its not necessary and is implied. Your trying to bait me and I won't fall for it. Its pointless to debate whether its the best piece or not I was just saying you can't convince me otherwise. So if you still feel compelled to discuss it then go ahead. If you guys can listen to Williams and say its nothing special then discussing it is pointless. Plenty of people say the Beatles are nothing special and then pull some obscure or less popular group and say they are better. Whatever. I think thats why a lot of people get turned off from classical music. Whenever they speak to so called classical experts they tell you what you've loved for years and brought you into orchestral music is crap or just average. So I guess all the millions of John Williams fans are morons. Well call me moron #1. I'm not a little bit passionate about this am I?
 

Stefan A

Second Unit
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May 27, 2001
Messages
397
Jeez Rob. You sure are taking this more personally than you need to. I am not calling you a moron for liking John Williams (actually you called yourself one). I wasn't even trying to bait you. And as I said, and you confirmed, debating the topic is pointless.
But you have to admit, John Williams stuff is kind of lame.


Stefan
 

Justin Doring

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Jun 9, 1999
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1,467
"I never said that he was a bad composer - just not very original and unchanging."
I agree up to a point. Williams writes very good music, but it's not particularly original or groundbreaking. This is not necessarily a good or bad thing, but Williams' music is not as diverse or exciting as the music of someone like Jerry Goldsmith, my personal pick for the most innovative and original composer of the "Silver Age" of filmscoring.
I personally don't think Williams has produced a very remarkable score in the last decade, but I do think his concert works have improved considerably since then. I get the impression that Williams is tired of scoring films, as every score of his since Schindler's List and Jurassic Park sounds as if he's merely going through the motions.
"One rant: How does Hans Zimmer get away with it?"
I have NO clue! Zimmer, although a seemingly nice guy based on his interview on the Gladiator DVD, is talentless! What's especially disturbing is that I think he is the, if not one of the, highest paid composers in Hollywood! Only Williams and Horner possibly demand higher salaries. Horner is a hack, but at least he knows who to steal from. Also unlike Zimmer, at least Horner can read and compose music without the help of his computer, and Horner's dramatic instinct is superb.
"John Williams is a gateway drug."

NP: Goldsmith's Logan's Run
 

Zen Butler

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Rob K I certainly hope I was kind in my opinions of John Williams. I felt you made some great mentions in your early post. I hope this thread will regain it's original intent, which was as Jack put a "coming out party"
simply just to share thoughts on the wide if not vague genre.
I mean if a "Classical Music" threads gets closed, I will hit the floor in hysterics, never to return.
Do you feel me?
 

Jack Briggs

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Jun 3, 1999
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16,805
John Williams is a gateway drug.
Rob, that is the funniest thing I've read on the boards all friggin' day long. Thanks for the LOL moment.

Gentlemen, you are conducting one of the most interesting discussions in all of Home Theater Forum. Forum duties have made it difficult for me to give this thread the time and contributions it deserves--not that you need my presence. But I promise you I have comments aplenty when I return to this thread--I hope--tomorrow.

I'm in the mood to discuss Neilsen, Scriabin, Debussy, and Stravinsky.

Food for thought: Were Stravinsky's own readings of his masterpieces--with the studio ensemble known as the "Columbia Symphony Orchestra"--necessarily the best? And were Copland's interpretations of his own Americana any better than the definitive Bernstein recordings on Columbia/CBS from the 1960s?

Thank you for a marvelous read!
 

rob kilbride

Supporting Actor
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Mar 12, 2001
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Rob Kilbride
I felt you made some great mentions in your early post.
Thanks Zen, I was trying to point out some stuff that was a little less mainstream. I didn't want to come on and say well uh Beethoven's 5th is pretty cool check it out.
Which ones in particular did you like?
 

rob kilbride

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Rob Kilbride
By the way I think this should remain a potpourri thread because I think it a subtopic discussion will get lost in the shuffle.
 

rob kilbride

Supporting Actor
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Rob Kilbride
Classicstoday.com Here's a link to a really cool website that reviews new recordings both mainstream and off the beaten path. The things I like best about it are that they list reference recordings of many pieces, if you need help deciding which recordings of a piece to buy and the fact that they give ratings on a scale of 1-10 for artistic merit and sound quality, not just recommendations or nonreccomendations. I've discovered lots of interesting stuff at this site.
 

rob kilbride

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Rob Kilbride
I just listened to the Stravinsky and Williams cues again and I noticed that while Stravinsky is being referenced for sure not very much is actually lifted. And Williams develops and twists the theme in a way Stravinsky simply did not. Certainly not a criticism of Stravinsky because this segment is merely part of this movement not the focus. The Star Wars track is called the Dune Sea of Tattooine. Listen to the two one after the other and I think you will agree.
 

Stefan A

Second Unit
Joined
May 27, 2001
Messages
397
Yes, folk music is prevalent in many composer's music. And, I agree that the way in which the composer uses that folk music is what makes the composer more or less interesting or original. The section from the Star Wars album in question is not folk music though. It was the "interesting and original" accompaniment that Stravinsky made up. Furthermore, I think there is an unspoken amount of quoted material that is acceptable. If I recall (I don't actually own the Star Wars Album) the "quote" goes on for a long time. Many composers quote other composers for various reasons but it only lasts a few moments. A purposeful, documented quote.

One of my favorite quotes is in the 4th mov't of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra. Bartok was disgusted by Shostakovich's use of the "German Invasion Theme" in his 7th Symphony. Bartok quotes that theme, but in a disfigured form for the purpose of making fun of it. Now, as much as I would like to say I discovered this, I didn't. Bartok did this on purpose and it is documented. I think I read it in program notes when I went to a concert.

It just would have been nice for Williams to give Stravinsky credit. I think it is safe to assume that many people who know and love Williams music probably do not listen to Stravinsky. Therefore, they wouldn't be aware of this quote. It's as if Williams is trying to pull a fast one.

BTW, how about the love theme from Superman. It sounds an awful lot like the main theme from Richard Strauss' Death and Transfiguration.
 

Rob Roth

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 1, 2001
Messages
113
I know composers recycle themes and melodies but Zimmer is the General Motors of film scoring; one platform for all vehicles. Worse, we went to see Sum of All Fears and 3 of the previews had the Gladiator 'Mars' Theme in the background. I shudder to think....

On the plus side I picked up Vol. II of the Ali soundtrack. This is the Lisa Gerrard/Pieter Bourke stuff. Michael Mann has used them extensively. I make no special claims but she is a guilty pleasure of mine.

I'm not on the same level as some of you but I would like some advice. I tried listening to Mahler 20 years ago and got nowhere. Part of the problem may have been the early generation CD player I was using. Anyway, I now have the Tilson-Thomas Mahler 6th (SACD), the Zander Mahler 5th (SACD), The Von Karajan 5th, Solti for 1 and 2, Bruno Walter for the 9th, Simon Rattle for the demi-10th. Oh, and Salonen for the 4th.

Are these decent versions? Any tips on listening to Mahler?


thanks
 

Mike Broadman

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Aug 24, 2001
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Are these decent versions? Any tips on listening to Mahler?
I only have Mahler on SACD (symphonies 1, 2, 6, and some of 10 which was never finished), so I don't know about different versions. But as for listening to Mahler, all I can see is to just sit back and take it all in. It's very "big picture" music. If I try to focus in on the details (like I would with, say, Bach or Stravinsky), I go nuts.

I don't listen to Mahler as much as others. His work is taking Romanticism as far as you can take it, and I'm generally not into that style as much.

NP: Robert Fripp, Radiophonics, CD
 

Stefan A

Second Unit
Joined
May 27, 2001
Messages
397
I love Solti with Chicago, but I know that it isn't for everyone. You don't have the 3rd on your list though. I recommend either Solti with Chicago or Bernstein with New York (the newer one). The Solti is very powerfull and aggressive - with real strong brass - as it should be
. The Bernstein is probably more musical - but not as German (dark) a sound.
 

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