Obviously a school march isn't going to be emotional. Neither is the Cantina music from Star Wars. It's just a fun piece! My personal favorite, though, is:
My favorite thing about my 2nd viewing of GOF was how thunderstruck I was by this score - I couldn't believe I didn't appreciate it the first time.
I like Doyle quite a bit but I haven't loved anything he's done, except maybe Sense and Sensibility. I'm sorry to have sidetracked this thread from the Williams discussion though.
From the two minute point this is pretty damn awesome.
I was just listening to that too, Bremen! I feel like this score never got appreciated at the time as it seemed to be alot of hate for the film at the time. But I think it's rousing and wonderful.
Dent, that Fiddler piece is just wonderful. AND THE HOGWARTS HYMN. Not to keep Doyling this thread up, but Hogwarts Hymn is so perfect.
Back to Williams, lol. "Cadillac of the Skies" is, like, quintessential John Williams.
BREAKING NEWS: Man of Steel is a hit! We're getting more superhero movies! AW commits mass suicide.
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I'll echo the love of Doyle's Potter score, and Hogwarts Hymn in particular. I was always saddened that never came back (or if did, I forgot). Gorgeous theme.
But you know what three classic Williams scores haven't gotten any love in this thread yet?
It's funny - these three kind of track Williams' relationship with Spielberg. When Williams first played the Jaws theme for Spielberg, Spielberg thought he was kidding. For Close Encounters, Spielberg basically turns over the climax to Williams and trusts him to make it work. And finally, on ET, Williams does the score first and Spielberg cuts to it, rather than the other way around. And with work like this, it's no wonder Spielberg has never gone to another composer since Jaws (except for Color Purple). And of course, there's the great story about Williams turning down Schindler's List because he didn't think he was good enough, and Spielberg saying "That may be, but anyone who's better is dead!"
Sidenote: How fucking awesome is that arrangement of the Jaws theme? If you ever get a chance to see Williams conduct live, take it. He's still great and energetic at 81 (that ET video is from last year - and what a special night that was, to be in the audience. That came at the ending of a two-hour+ concert, and they just pull that performance out of the hat. Awesome.), has a fun rapport to the audience, and does a terrific piece with live film scoring (which you can see some of in the ET video there, though not the intro) where he'll actually step through the scene, discuss the themes and the process, then conduct the live score then and there. I'll be going for a fourth time to his Hollywood Bowl concert this summer - this year he's doing a tribute to Henry Mancini with special guest Julie Andrews, which should be great.
And to lighten the mood, Williams' wonderfully fun riff on Sing Sing Sing from the one truly standout moment in 1941 (sadly, this isn't the original film version, which is even wilder):
Now that swings. I dunno if Williams still has it in him to go that completely bonkers on a score, but it'd be great if he does.
Last edited by Dent; 02-19-2013 at 04:00 AM.
I've seen him conduct at the Hollywood Bowl every year since 2005. He's not quite as energetic as he used to be on stage, but he still has it.
I'd like to say a few words about Williams work with Oliver Stone. Stone, like Spielberg, is not afraid to use music in an intrusive, melodramatic manner, which is of course in Williams comfort zone. Stone was entering his high period in the late eighties. He would distill painful, complex political issues into three powerful, passionate dramas: Born on the Fourth of July, JFK and Nixon. Each were scored accordingly by Williams.
The least remembered, but very important in terms of its impact on Williams' later career is Nixon. The dark, brooding score borrows heavily from the likes of Gustaf Mahler and Jean Sibelius in its more propulsive moments, but is capable of containing elegiaic and misty passages too. Reflecting its subject's powerful, far-reaching influence in history, the score is used unsparingly, notably during the film's many montages. The film's influence is especially pervasive in Williams' music for the new Star Wars trilogy, as can be heard here:
Born on the Fourth of July likewise contains a lot of music, mostly variations on its main theme, which ends up being just about the only notable passage in the entire score, popular in trailers to films such as Carlito's Way. But what a lovely piece it is:
The best of the trilogy is undoubtedly Williams' powerful, accomplished score to JFK, which Williams composed and conducted in a difficult position. He was tied down working on Spielberg's Hook and had to finish most of the score before the principal photography had even wrapped. Stone recycles a lot of Williams' material, no doubt a function of the fact that the composer had to record much of the material in advance. This works to the film's advantage in many ways, as Stone cut some of his scenes to Williams music, most notably in the astonishing opening scene which introduces the main theme:
The polar opposite to the theme's thundering majesty is the distressed immediacy of The Conspirators, rather memorably portrayed during the 1992 Oscar telecast:
Stone originally wanted Williams to score World Trade Center as well. Although that film wasn't entirely successful, it would have been interesting to hear what Williams could've done with the subject.
Last edited by Markku Palo; 02-19-2013 at 11:25 AM.
I used to be into composing and wanted to be John Williams as a kid so pretty familiar with his work from early on to the 90s. I sent him some CDs and records and he signed them for me. I agree his scores aren't as interesting anymore but neither are so many of the Hollywood films today.
Some of my favorites which haven't been mentioned yet are these.
I saw him conduct the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and it was fantastic.
He may not be the most technically accomplished, but the man has an uncanny ear for themes that worm their way into the popular consciousness. He's contributed the soundtrack for so many peoples' adolescent years. It's an undeniable gift. He may be a "pop" composer, but his achievements and artistry are staggering. I love this man so much.
My three favorites:
Will Oscar have Riva Fever?
I know we've got a few prequel score fans here - they're not on the level of the OT scores (partially due to Ben Burtt fucking with them - the guy's a great sound designer and mixer, but he really fucked with the prequel scores, cutting out great material and tracking in old stuff), but they've got some solid stuff (Across the Stars, which I will defend as one of the best themes Williams wrote for the series, and the finale of ROTS, not to mention Duel of the Fates) in there. Unfortunately, they were never released fully, but YouTube has some attempts at reconstructing the full scores. The ROTS mix is particularly solid and I gained a new appreciation of Williams' work on it after listening last night - some very nice work building the Imperial March and, particularly, Palpatine's theme. The AOTC one isn't mixed as well - you still get some dialogue in there, but it's still pretty good. Worth a listen, if you're a Williams/SW fan.