Author Topic: Film (movie) Music  (Read 168607 times)

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eyeresist

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2008, 10:20:43 PM »
Your opinion. IMO (and I co-edited two magazines on film music over a combined period of 13 years)  it was a crass misjudgement that paid off only in the minds of the easily impressed. Jerry Goldsmith was certainly right on that one. And HE understand a lot more about film music than either of us, or, for that matter, Stanely Kubrick.

But Mr Kubrick probably knows a lot more about film.
 

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2008, 10:40:41 PM »
But Mr Kubrick probably knows a lot more about film.

I doubt it, as far as Goldsmith and North are concerned.  8) Certainly, the two had a lot more experience.

The composer knows best about which music is most effective for a film, i.e. if he knows his craft. More often than not, scores in film history that were rejected were so because of considerations other than the QUALITY of the rejected score. And in most cases these were replaced with scores that were musically and dramatically less sound and less effective (Frenzy, Torn Curtain, Legend, Troja, etc.)

Thomas
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 10:46:27 PM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2008, 10:52:02 PM »
Interesting discussion. I saw Elizabeth on DVD last week and agree about totally inappropriate use of "Nimrod". The Tallis Fantasia in "Master and Commander" worked better I thought.

I agree with Mike that the Salonen Herrmann CD is excellent.

The use of Howard Hanson in "Alien" was also a non-sequitur.

I like the use of classical music in 2001

As for pop music I thought that Bjork's "Venus as a boy" worked well in the film Leon.

Decca Phase 4 produced some excellent Herrmann CDs.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #63 on: August 17, 2008, 10:52:49 PM »
As you noted, a re-recording.  Is the vinyl that is out there contain the original soundtrack work, Thomas? or does this cd work for original music?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vertigo-Original-Recording-Soundtrack-CD-Herrmann_W0QQitemZ320285893462QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item320285893462&_trkparms=72%3A1073%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

The Mathieson CD has been a controversial one in so far as it wasn't absolutely clear whether the cuts on it were identical to the tracks used in the film. Because there was a musicians' strike in Hollywood at the time, Herrmann was not able to record it himself. Muir Mathieson, an experienced film music conductor, recorded parts of it with the Sinfonia of London, and other parts with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. For some time, people discussed whether the material on the CD was recorded in Vienna or in London. I think it the matter has now been resolved in that they are all played by Sinfonia of London.

Herrmann, apparently, was dissatisfied with the quality of the playing and conducting. Or maybe, he was just angry and sad that he couldn't do it himself.

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2008, 10:56:35 PM »
I thought that was The Buggles, Thomas? Was Zimmer a Buggle (so to speak)?

Indeed he was. He was playing the keyboards.  ;D

Too bad he didn't restrict himself to that profession. A lot of movies would have gotten better scores without him and Media Ventures.  >:D

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

M forever

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2008, 11:05:04 PM »
By you, most likely.

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2008, 11:13:00 PM »
By you, most likely.

Another supremely pointless "contribution" by M forever. But typically ungebildet. :o

Since you have nothing to contribute to this thread, why don't you just mosey off.

Quote
I just picked up a book on "Hitchcock's Music" by Jack Sullivan in London. Should make a very interesting read.

BTW, I read parts of that book this weekend, and it's excellent! An important contribution to film(music) research, as Sullivan studied memos by Hitchcock, the producers and the composers in depth, doing away with some misconceptions about Hitckock's opinions regarding the music for his films. Well-written, too.



Thomas

« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 11:31:19 PM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

M forever

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2008, 11:43:07 PM »
Another supremely pointless "contribution" by M forever. But typically ungebildet. :o

You are right. That wasn't such a good joke. A good joke shouldn't be too far-fetched. But since it is obvious that you don't have any really solid musical background, just adopted attitudes and opinions (carefully filtered only by the criterion that they must be "non-mainstream" and make you look like a critical, independent thinker), that was not a good joke.

Since you have nothing to contribute to this thread, why don't you just mosey off.

I do, actually:

Well, this is the sort of thing someone says on an internet board to make themselves look good, or "edgy", or whatever.

But it actually makes them look little more than pseudo.

You and I can't even begin to approach the accomplishments of an acknowledged master of his craft. And Kubrick is just that. To even attempt to trivialize his efforts by suggesting "improvements" in what is universally regarded as a masterpiece is the HEIGHT of pomposity. What would you suggest Brahms do with his fourth symphony?   

I have to agree with donwyn here. We rarely agree on anything, so that lends that more weight. And sound67 doesn't care about Brahms' 4th symphony. That is way too mainstream for him.

Only in a fantasy dreamland is it that simple. Commissioning a score is a costly endeavour because come what may, the composer has to be paid. NOBODY commissions a score unless he intends to use it!

Here I have to agree with sound67. Commissioning the score and then not using it is very strange. But there is a good explanation: When he heard North's version, Kubrick must have realized that for hat he wanted to do there, it was simply impossible to top the opening sequence of Also sprach Zarathustra which is not only one of the most striking musical ideas in history, it is also so condensed and to-the-point that it can't be expressed better. And on top of that, the music is actually about the same idea that his pictures express, too (roughly at least) - so it is not just a great sounding "clip", it also makes sense as cultural reference.

North's attempt is also simpy pretty bad music, it begins and ends kind of like AsZ, awkwardly paraphrases Copland in between, as sound67 himself pointed out, rambles all over the places - it sounds like music for a bad Italian gladiator movie from the 50s. Kubrick must have realized that he wasted the money he had paid North. At least he admitted that by discarding the score. But that's natural. a lot of elements get discarded during the making of a movie.

Ever read the MAD magazine spoof on it?

So MAD magazine is where you get your education about movies from? Is anybody surprised? Anybody? Hello?

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2008, 11:52:30 PM »
North's attempt is also simpy pretty bad music, it begins and ends kind of like AsZ, awkwardly paraphrases Copland in between, as sound67 himself pointed out, rambles all over the places - it sounds like music for a bad Italian gladiator movie from the 50s. Kubrick must have realized that he wasted the money he had paid North. At least he admitted that by discarding the score. But that's natural. a lot of elements get discarded during the making of a movie.

That's nonsense. It is excellent film score and most appropriate for the film. But apparently, it wasn't pretentious enough for Kubrick. You have no real interest or knowledge in that field, so quit pretending. You don't know that music.

The re-recording is still available from Varese Sarabande so everyone can judge for himself:

Quote
So MAD magazine is where you get your education about movies from? Is anybody surprised? Anybody? Hello?

MAD magazine film spoofs are often better - and more profound! - "reviews" than those by the regular papers (one of which I worked for as a cultural affairs editor, thank you very much - they thought that when more than five people understood their articles they'd made a mistake - a very "professional" attitude towards journalism), and more entertaining, too. Their 2001 cartoon nicely denounces some of the film's more blatant pretensions.

Thomas
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 12:21:53 AM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

karlhenning

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #69 on: August 18, 2008, 03:25:04 AM »
Just read that the actor who played Alex in A Clockwork Orange has a lifelong fear of eyedrops because of the in-effect-torture of working the Conditioning Scene.

Isn't that bizarrely and unfortunately fitting?

M forever

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #70 on: August 18, 2008, 06:33:57 AM »
That's nonsense. It is excellent film score and most appropriate for the film. But apparently, it wasn't pretentious enough for Kubrick.

Not "pretentious" enough? What does that mean? There is nothing "pretentious" about Strauss' opening for AsZ. It is as simple and concentrated as it can be musically, but at the same time, strikingly effective. Strauss only needs a few notes to express the idea with unparalleled suggestiveness. There is really nothing one can do to better that. It's not Mr North's fault. Although what he handed in really is not very good at all. Cuper-clichéed, cobbled-together stuff.

I find it funny how you insist that this score is better for the film than what the director decided. I am personally not a real fan of most of Kubrick's films (including this one), but I can easily see that he was a master film maker, and in this case, he definitely made the right decision. As the almost (almost?) legendary character of the use of the music in this film impressively demonstrates.

Offline sound67

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2008, 10:29:57 AM »
There is nothing "pretentious" about Strauss' opening for AsZ. It is as simple and concentrated as it can be musically, but at the same time, strikingly effective.

The use of the piece is pretentious. It was a lapse of judgment on the director's part, an embarrassing cry for attention and a trivialization of what might been. I don't give a damn whether you agree.

You know, if Karl writes something I don't agree with, I'll give it a minute. If vandermolen writes something I don't agree with, I'll give it a minute. If you do, I don't give it a minute. Life is too short.

Thomas

« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 10:48:49 AM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #72 on: August 18, 2008, 02:04:47 PM »
The unused North score for 2001 reminds me a bit of Jerry Goldsmith's fine Planet of the Apes music. I find it difficult to judge without the visuals and I have the R Strauss/Ligeti/Khachaturian score deeply ingrained in me since I saw the film 8 times in a row at the Odeon Leicester Square in 1968 (on the big screen....those were the days), when I was 13. I wish there was a DVD where you could programme either score to accompany the film, as is the case with the Ron Goodwin/William Walton scores for Battle of Britain (1969).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

karlhenning

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #73 on: August 18, 2008, 05:43:34 PM »
You know, if Karl writes something I don't agree with, I'll give it a minute. If vandermolen writes something I don't agree with, I'll give it a minute.

Truly, there is disagreement which is worth one's time and reflection.

And, there's the other kind.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #74 on: August 18, 2008, 06:30:42 PM »
Thomas,
Was about to PM this, but thought it fit here.  When you have a chance, might you list, IYHO, the "best" efforts in regard to Hitchcock film recordings.  I know you listed some recordings earlier, but which seem to come the nearest to the actual score used, and for that matter, are there any recordings of the actual score for any of Hitch's movies (vinyl, earlier pressed cds, etc.)?


There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

eyeresist

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #75 on: August 18, 2008, 06:32:27 PM »
I have to agree with donwyn here. We rarely agree on anything, so that lends that more weight.

LOL
 

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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    probably something somebody somewhere is snickering at...wait, Schoenberg! Definitely Schoenberg! (And, let's see, does he have a disciple or two...)...
Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #76 on: August 18, 2008, 07:16:05 PM »
LOL
 

 ;)

Yeah, what M said is true - he and I rarely agree on anything. But I agree with him here.

All the amateur (internet) self-aggrandizement in the world can't compare to the accomplishments of the rightful masters of their craft.

It hurts to say it, but the 'less able' just need to accept that.



« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 07:56:43 PM by donwyn »
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

karlhenning

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #77 on: August 18, 2008, 07:46:33 PM »
Hmm.  This seems an apt moment to recap thoughts I posted Elsewhere . . . .

In considering the relative accomplishments of (to borrow a term from jazz) 'legit' composers and the providers of film scores, let us consider distinct (though, in the art of music, related) readings of the noun composition:

Quote from: Sense A
A putting together of parts or elements to form a whole; a combining. [. . .] The arrangement of artistic parts so as to form a unified whole.

And:

Quote from: Sense B
The art or act of composing a literary or musical work. [ Word for word how I find this, though I reckon that they ought not to have used “composing” in a definition of “composition.” ~kh ]

Sense A is the criterion by which we distinguish a Matisse canvas as a composition, from a repeating pattern for wallpaper (e.g.) as not a composition.  The wallpaper is designed so that it can go on and on for whatever desired height and width.  The question of the proportion, shape and layout of the room, is not a concern of the person producing the wallpaper.  A designer (e.g.) can produce a motif which can be employed in wallpaper, but he is not by that act an artist who can create a composition.

Messiaen, Cage, Shostakovich & Golijov are composers in the time-honored sense of, not only were/are they capable of generating sound-material, but they have the inspired ability to organize it in coherent compositions on both smaller and greater scales.

As I understand the art of music and the craft of composition, I should not call (e..) Morricone a composer, based solely on the skill with which he furnishes sound appropriate to film;  because that work, while clearly related to Sense B, fails to fulfill Sense A.  Because of the peculiar requirements for music in film, and the exigencies of post-production editing, it is a rare thing when writing music for film fulfills Sense A.  Generally, the person driving the ”compositional” process involved in film, is the film-maker;  his goal is to produce a work of cinematic art which is a unified whole, and any music furnished is one element on his pallette.

Some portion of the general musical public are quite content to listen to a “suite” of selections from the soundtrack written for a given film, and consider it a “composition.”  But it is not, quite.  I don't know any of Morricone's concert works, so I cannot offer what I consider a fair answer to the question.  What I can say is, that at the Museum shop we have on offer two discs of anthologized Morricone film bits;  and neither of those discs is a "composition."

eyeresist

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #78 on: August 18, 2008, 09:21:37 PM »
Sense A is the criterion by which we distinguish a Matisse canvas as a composition, from a repeating pattern for wallpaper (e.g.) as not a composition.  The wallpaper is designed so that it can go on and on for whatever desired height and width.  The question of the proportion, shape and layout of the room, is not a concern of the person producing the wallpaper.  A designer (e.g.) can produce a motif which can be employed in wallpaper, but he is not by that act an artist who can create a composition.

Messiaen, Cage, Shostakovich & Golijov are composers in the time-honored sense of, not only were/are they capable of generating sound-material, but they have the inspired ability to organize it in coherent compositions on both smaller and greater scales.

As I understand the art of music and the craft of composition, I should not call (e..) Morricone a composer, based solely on the skill with which he furnishes sound appropriate to film;  because that work, while clearly related to Sense B, fails to fulfill Sense A.  Because of the peculiar requirements for music in film, and the exigencies of post-production editing, it is a rare thing when writing music for film fulfills Sense A.  Generally, the person driving the ”compositional” process involved in film, is the film-maker;  his goal is to produce a work of cinematic art which is a unified whole, and any music furnished is one element on his pallette.

Some portion of the general musical public are quite content to listen to a “suite” of selections from the soundtrack written for a given film, and consider it a “composition.”  But it is not, quite.

I'm not sure if you're saying that (1) context of creation determines the intrinsic worth of a composition, or (2) the worth of a composition is determined by its ability to stand without other context, or (3) a composition meant to be situated within a greater context is by definition inferior. I sympathise with (2), but the other two assertions seem to me to be without merit. There's no practical reason why a wallpaper designer cannot create something of artistic worth, and if we admit this possibility, it follows that this designer might "compose" something of greater worth than a composer proper.

To put in another way, there are plenty of mediocre composers around, who have been designated with Composer status by peers, critics and themselves, and undoubtedly some of them have produced music inferior to Herrmann and Goldsmith's film scores, even when those scores are deprived of cinematic context.
 

Offline knight66

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Re: Film (movie) Music
« Reply #79 on: August 18, 2008, 09:34:51 PM »
Film music is not designed to stand alone. Although I quite like the wallpaper analogy, buried within an extended score there are often small compositions that can be extracted or arranged.

Prokofiev's Nevsky was film music initially and the suite he produced is not quite as in the film. Likewise, the disc of music from The Mission by Morricone; though stated to be a filmtrack, is really a number of short compositions extracted from the whole. That soundtrack has at least two standout pieces in it. But the wallpaper effect is absent in many of the soundtracks; as the composer has either expanded his composition to fit the images or has extracted the kernel of a piece from what was written to fit the images and what ends up on disc is a series of pieces, not bits of cutup wallpaper.

However it was achieved, no matter how derivative, the Gladiator music was very effective and a lot of it memorable. I have not claimed it was on a Beethovenian level, or up there with the exceptional Prokofiev scores. But we are discussing film music and I explained what I liked.

So, here I am much more with eyeresist than Karl on this subject.

Mike
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