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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: King Kong: The Deluxe Edition (2CD)
 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

Now imagine a hundred Anthony Hopkins' reading the same in unison. It would sound bigger, more cavernous, but some of those exquisite details would be lost in the mass of sound.

One possible advantage of the smaller orchestra may be to keep certain voicing crisper, achieving the crispness you'd associate with solo or duo delivery. Studio techniques can keep it sounding big without losing that crispness.


Here, here!, Stephen.

Miklos Rozsa pulled off some great moments in BEN-HUR by dropping most of the orchestra for delicately phrased and coordinated intonations (ala, the brass at the start of "Aftermath") and then bringing the rest of the players in as the phrase ascended.

John Barry's descending harp glissandos in King Kong's "Ravine", accompanying Kong's victims falling off the ravine-spanning tree, was something I couldn't hear in the movie sound mix because of the screams.

How pleased I was to discover it on The Deluxe Edition.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   JohnF   (Member)

This score is a masterpiece. Everytime I spin it I find something new in it.

 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 12:45 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The CD presentation, let alone the score, is a labor of love and an exquisite thing of beauty. I actually prefer it to The Deep.

 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 12:57 PM   
 By:   Wedge   (Member)

Okay, I admit I'm no expert on composing or orchestrating, but it seems to me that, actually, smaller orchestras can have certain advantages of their own and might be able to achieve certain effects larger orchestras might struggle to achieve. It's not all about size.

Yes, a lot of getting a "big sound" from relatively small ensembles is about the orchestration. The best composers are able to do much with little because they understand how the human ear perceives music, and what instruments in combination and in the appropriate ranges can best fill up that spectrum. If this is not done properly, even a huge orchestra can sound perplexingly small and underwhelming. Whereas a small group can sound spacious and full in the right hands.

 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 1:53 PM   
 By:   Mr Greg   (Member)

Big sound from a small group has more to do with the orchestra than anything else. Power comes from an equal combination of volume and accuracy.... - 4 players playing together at forte can sound far more powerful than 4 people playing roughly together at fortissimo. This is half the talent of a musician - playing as part of a group - it's not given as much priority as scales, grade exams, solo recitals etc but it should be given equal - if not more - weight. It's so absolutely vital, and my life is blighted by good "players" who can't play for shit in a group, despite what their mums say (and have undoubtedly ground into them over the years) about how absolutely wonderful they are.

 
 Posted:   Mar 1, 2014 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

Still playing this cd. A true holy grail.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 3, 2014 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   thommy   (Member)

As an earlier poster said its amazing that there were no more then 66 members of the orchestra. The sound is BIG, romantic and heartpounding suspensfull to my ears.

Okay, I admit I'm no expert on composing or orchestrating, but it seems to me that, actually, smaller orchestras can have certain advantages of their own and might be able to achieve certain effects larger orchestras might struggle to achieve. It's not all about size.

To illustrate my point, imagine Anthony Hopkins doing a passionate solo reading of Shakespeare. You can delight in every roll of the tongue; in every change in cadence; even in the sharp intakes of breath between each staccato phrase.

Now imagine a hundred Anthony Hopkins' reading the same in unison. It would sound bigger, more cavernous, but some of those exquisite details would be lost in the mass of sound.

One possible advantage of the smaller orchestra may be to keep certain voicing crisper, achieving the crispness you'd associate with solo or duo delivery. Studio techniques can keep it sounding big without losing that crispness.

I'm not sure I believe this and I've never seen it corroborated, but the commentary track on Star Crash claims Barry had a VERY small orchestra, i.e. just a handful of players, and that the 'big' sound was achieved exclusively with studio techniques. Like I said, I'm not sure about it being that small, but it almost certainly would have been a smaller orchestra than he had on The Black Hole or Moonraker.

A lot of people are surprised to learn that Alice's Adventures In Wonderland was also a small orchestra.

Cheers


Thank you Stephen!

That is wonderfully spoken and i so agree! One anthony hopkins brings more nuance then a hundred. In a nuttshell what makes Barry so great for me and also what makes a great score and film such magic togheter. Something i rarely find these days in the cinema.
John Barry was so aware of the feelings a sound evokes that his choice for orchestra size brings exactly what is needed. And apart from the movie it is just a wonder to behold. All the nuances speak to me even more as i get older and my own emotional palet has grown.

Barry's way to underscore an action is very subtle, increase in volume, a harp glissando, or a bass line when someone leaves. It;s all there while he keeps the music flowing.

lots of great reply's, thank you. And i am glad King Kong still gets enough playtime around the world!

 
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