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Poll

Do you entertain the possibility that (e.g.) Williams "borrowed" from other composers, from the classical literature?

Yes, pending proof
14 (73.7%)
No, it is impossible
5 (26.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)  (Read 8099 times)

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Offline karlhenning

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #140 on: May 17, 2012, 10:42:44 AM »
That's fair.  Operas based on the plays, I consider in a somewhat different 'space'.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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eyeresist

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #141 on: May 17, 2012, 05:46:22 PM »
I've got a recording of the Britten work, but I always feel that when adapting the plays to opera too much is lost of the original, including that work.

This is something I've been thinking about - in the same way some people see movie music as inherently inferior, for me opera is a trashy genre. Because the music is subservient to the story, there is no structural integration beyond recurring themes, certainly nothing comparable to sonata form or fugue. (Hindemith's Der Harmonie der Welt is an obvious exception.)

Also, most opera's plots are primitive in literary terms.


That said, Lucas is echoing other and finer directors, in underscoring the important role which the musical soundtrack plays.  The obvious examples are Bernard Herrmann and Shostakovich.

The driving scenes in Psycho would be boring if not for Herrmann, whose music gives the action psychic import.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #142 on: May 17, 2012, 06:49:52 PM »
This is something I've been thinking about - in the same way some people see movie music as inherently inferior, for me opera is a trashy genre. Because the music is subservient to the story, there is no structural integration beyond recurring themes, certainly nothing comparable to sonata form or fugue. (Hindemith's Der Harmonie der Welt is an obvious exception.)

Also, most opera's plots are primitive in literary terms.

My, my, my...I'm inclined to agree with you about the music being almost an afterthought in an opera BUT Wagner has made me appreciate the genre. Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle is another opera I love. The music behind the voices is so extraordinary that I don't pay attention to the singing, but with a movie, which, let's be honest, is completely different medium of expression altogether, I can easily focus on the story at hand and tune the music out. An opera's story has never interested me, it's the music itself that I'm fascinated by. What's interesting is people ask me why don't I just buy, for example, a recording of Wagner's preludes and overtures  and don't worry with the full work. The main reason is because overtures and preludes don't contain all the music of an opera. The music that accompanies the voices is still an integral and vital part of the work.

P.S. Speaking of operas, have you ever heard Langgaard's Antikrist? All I have to say is the music will blow you out of here. The story doesn't make any sense to me, but my goodness --- THE MUSIC!!!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2012, 06:53:57 PM by Mirror Image »
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eyeresist

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #143 on: May 17, 2012, 07:16:13 PM »
Haven't heard Antikrist, as Langaard hasn't hugely impressed me so far. I do wish there were (many) more recordings of the Fiery Angel. (Plus there is Terterian's Earthquake, hopefully recorded before I die.)

Wagner had the advantage of being the greatest opera composer of all time ;)

I've been wondering how I'd react if I was asked to write an opera libretto. It would be interesting to try to produce something serious and substantial as a basis for the music - but who gives a damn about librettists? It's a thankless job, being an historical footnote only mentioned to point out weaknesses and errors. So I'd say no - unless there was serious cash on the table.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #144 on: May 17, 2012, 07:23:25 PM »
Haven't heard Antikrist, as Langaard hasn't hugely impressed me so far. I do wish there were (many) more recordings of the Fiery Angel. (Plus there is Terterian's Earthquake, hopefully recorded before I die.)

Wagner had the advantage of being the greatest opera composer of all time ;)

I've been wondering how I'd react if I was asked to write an opera libretto. It would be interesting to try to produce something serious and substantial as a basis for the music - but who gives a damn about librettists? It's a thankless job, being an historical footnote only mentioned to point out weaknesses and errors. So I'd say no - unless there was serious cash on the table.

I should also mention my love for Shostakovich's twisted Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk and Berg's brutal Wozzeck. These operas, for me, are rare exceptions in the genre to where I have actually read the libretti. My reaction to reading both of these was ??? but, again, THE MUSIC!!! :) Wow...

I think you'd like this Langgaard opera. Give it a listen sometime.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

eyeresist

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #145 on: May 17, 2012, 07:45:37 PM »
I think you'd like this Langgaard opera. Give it a listen sometime.

Have you seen the DVD?

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #146 on: May 17, 2012, 07:51:06 PM »
Have you seen the DVD?

No, I own the hybrid SACD.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline James

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #147 on: May 18, 2012, 04:15:42 AM »
This is something I've been thinking about - in the same way some people see movie music as inherently inferior, for me opera is a trashy genre. Because the music is subservient to the story, there is no structural integration beyond recurring themes, certainly nothing comparable to sonata form or fugue. (Hindemith's Der Harmonie der Welt is an obvious exception.) Also, most opera's plots are primitive in literary terms.

You're just talking for the sake of it now. The music is absolutely central, absolutely central to opera/ritual .. and you're completely off about structural cohesion & unity. There are operas out there that are entire ultra-complex & varied musical worlds .. the composer has built a entire world .. where the depth & layers are seemingly endless. Opera is arguably the most challenging undertaking for a composer.
"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein

Offline Cato

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #148 on: May 26, 2012, 03:38:59 PM »
Today I heard on local classical radio a piece previously unknown to me:

George Antheil's Hot Time Dance.

Listen here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmHkxgQ3fVI

Now I kept thinking: "This sounds familiar...or at least I have heard something similar..."  And then it struck me:

The score by Danny Elfman to Pee-Wee's Big Adventure:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSgO9gwW-FU  Especially the part around 1:50 or so.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 04:38:26 PM by Cato »
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Offline Cato

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George Antheil and Danny Elfman
« Reply #149 on: May 26, 2012, 04:40:28 PM »
Who knows if Elfman had ever heard the Hot Time Dance?

A case of coincidence in style?
"Soldiers and spies, teachers and poets are the most under-appreciated people in the world!"

Nicholas Bishop as "McQuade" on Covert Affairs.

Offline karlhenning

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #150 on: May 27, 2012, 03:59:15 PM »
Hah!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline karlhenning

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #151 on: May 30, 2012, 09:52:19 AM »
The real John Williams (and I am definitely a fan).
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://henningmusick.blogspot.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

eyeresist

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Re: An Earnest Inquiry (of John Williams fans)
« Reply #152 on: May 30, 2012, 05:36:13 PM »

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