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 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 5:43 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

A question for the ever-knowledgeable TheFamousEccles --

On a similar note to my recent DRAGONSLAYER thread, could you cite a couple of other influences for the sound of FANTASTIC VOYAGE (in particular - the hypnotic scuba diving music of Group Leaves and Channel To Ear with the temple blocks and subtone clarinet; the second half of Cora Trapped and Proteus In Inner Ear - apologies if this is vague), BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (think the washes of dissonance in the Main Title) and Chamber Music II?

I can hear the Sessions influence more strongly in Rosenman's streamlined later scores, such as KEEPER OF THE CITY, STAR TREK IV and KEEPER OF THE CITY - FV seems more extroverted, aggressive and of course, psychedelic. Apart from Dallapiccola, are there any other Italian composers that might have had an effect on Rosenman's style through osmosis? Berio maybe? There are certain passages in FV that remind of his large scale works like Epifanie.

- Mr. Shark

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 12, 2013 - 6:02 PM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

A question for the ever-knowledgeable TheFamousEccles --

On a similar note to my recent DRAGONSLAYER thread, could you cite a couple of other influences for the sound of FANTASTIC VOYAGE (in particular - the hypnotic scuba diving music of Group Leaves and Channel To Ear with the temple blocks and subtone clarinet; the second half of Cora Trapped and Proteus In Inner Ear - apologies if this is vague), BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES (think the washes of dissonance in the Main Title) and Chamber Music II?

I can hear the Sessions influence more strongly in Rosenman's streamlined later scores, such as KEEPER OF THE CITY, STAR TREK IV and KEEPER OF THE CITY - FV seems more extroverted, aggressive and of course, psychedelic. Apart from Dallapiccola, are there any other Italian composers that might have had an effect on Rosenman's style through osmosis? Berio maybe? There are certain passages in FV that remind of his large scale works like Epifanie.

- Mr. Shark


My Dear Mr. Shark,

I've never left a post like this before (sort of the prelude to an actual post), but I just wanted to let you know that I've read your post, and will be editing this one with a more detailed reply a little later. I'll revisit "Fantastic" tonight (believe it or not, even though it's one of my favorite Rosenman's, I haven't listened to it in full in a while), and go through some of my concert music collection.

I can definitely hear a bit of a Berio flavor in certain parts though, to be sure. I'm not sure, but I can imagine that LR and Berio would have crossed paths at some point while Leonard was in Italy. There may (though I haven't listened to any of his work in ages, so I'm acting on my residual musical memory) also be something of a mild Boulez influence on the score, too.

Anyway, more to come! Thanks for reviving this thread about a most singular and brilliant score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 12:31 AM   
 By:   Regie   (Member)

I just read a great interview with Herrmann where that was brought up, and Herrmann said simply that this was the way he wrote--that the music sounds similar because it's written by the same composer and this is his style-- and the idea that he consciously reused music was nonsense. He also said he basically forgets a score once he's done writing it--and in a weird way I think collectors like us become much more familiar with some of these scores through repeated listening than the composer does. So just the way you and I will likely utter the same sentence numerous times over a lifetime, certainly a composer whose job is to generate thousands upon thousands of notes of music is going to be likely to repeat himself. I'd like to see a comparison of a prolific film composer and a concert composer and see what the proportion of total written (and especially, PERFORMED) notes is. Rosenman reused gestures all the time (there seems to be a kind of brass "tone pyramid" in everything he writes), but they seem to me to be elements of his style and not rehashes of bits and pieces of previous scores. I'm sure that makes me an "apologist" to some of the people around here but I'll take the actual composer's take on the subject (I'm sure Rosenman has said much the same thing that Herrmann said about his own music).

Wow, these are excellent comments!! I agree with you that we listeners probably know more about a composer's scores than he himself did because of our ability to listen repeatedly. Same for kunstmusik, I'm sure. And with film - we can see every flaw a hundred times over and, of course, this was never the intention when the original film was made. It was meant to be an ephemeral experience. Amazing, then, that so much film and music has stood the test of endless scrutiny.

I love Rosenman's score for "East of Eden" and its influence on David Amram for "Splendor in the Grass". A score and film I adore!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   dashrr   (Member)

"That said, there is some clear evidence of self-borrowing in Herrmann's works."

and Herrmann denies it in the Zador interview, almost like he was caught...but who cares, the Ghost and Mrs. Muir theme and music from Jane Eyre were appropriate for Wuthering Heights...Herrmann said it himself..."OK, so I'm fond of a few cues I've done...so what?...who the hell cares?"

Track 45 of White Witch Doctor you will find the opening bars for Cape Fear.

5 Fingers is used all over the Harpies sequence from Jason and the Argonauts....but again...who cares?

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I don't think I've ever listened to an Alex North score that doesn't have some moment from another Alex North score in it and I can't think of any time I've heard North referred to as a "serial self-plaigerist." I doubt there's a film composer who's never revisited some of their old territory, intentionally or unintentionally.

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I can hear the Sessions influence more strongly in Rosenman's streamlined later scores, such as KEEPER OF THE CITY, STAR TREK IV [...]"


ST:IV TVH wasn't really streamlined. You can find many of his orchestration and compositional ideas from that score in some of his earlier works, including a good deal in his scoring for a short-lived TV series called "Nakia" (1974).

I seem to recall Rosenmanb stating his Trek score was the most original. He must mean in comparrison to other Trek scores, 'cause his score is by no means original in other itself.


A one or two CD set of "Nakia" score would be quite nice.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

ST:IV TVH wasn't really streamlined.

I meant in comparison to Rosenman's scores from the time he left Rome to around 1970. In terms of contrapuntal lines, klangfarben, clusters, hemiolas (triplets, quintuplets, sextuplets etc.), imperceptible entrances and huge almost totally chromatic chords - FANTASTIC VOYAGE is much more complex.

Re: classical influences - I can hear a strong similarity between the opening of The Proteus to the micropolyphony in Ligeti's Lontano (composed in '67). Must have been something in the air...

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

The problem with Rosenman is he can't go for more than 8 bars without going back to that darned "tone pyramid" thingy.
Total lack of creative imagination
brm

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

...his time working with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Dallapiccola played into his work around this time in a big way

very interesting, maybe Poledouris should have asked Rosenman how to approach the big Roman orchestra in order to exactly get what he wished for Conan

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

The problem with Rosenman is he can't go for more than 8 bars without going back to that darned "tone pyramid" thingy.

You could say the same for Herrmann with half-diminished chords or Barry's cello/harp arpeggios. It's got nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with a composer's voice. Their individual thumbprint.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

...his time working with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Dallapiccola played into his work around this time in a big way

very interesting, maybe Poledouris should have asked Rosenman how to approach the big Roman orchestra in order to exactly get what he wished for Conan


That would have been an interesting meeting, particularly given Leonard's remarks about Poledouris' first "RoboCop" score those many years later. (But that's not what this thread is for - let's not hash up that dead horse again, please.)

Rosenman was a conductor-in-residence with Santa Cecilia for many years in the 60s, and he and his family speak highly and fondly of their time in Rome. "The Chapman Report" LP was recorded there, as was the majority of Rosenman's "Combat" music (not necessarily with the S.C. orchestra, but with Italian musicians).

Rosenman's influence can of course continue to be heard in scores by people like Goldenthal (who once cited Rosenman as a favorite), Christopher Young (same as Goldenthal), and several other contemporary composers (Sir Richard Rodney Bennett was a tremendous Rosenman admirer and fan, long before the two became close friends, ditto jazz bassist extraordinaire Charlie Haden).

To use the rest of this post to provide actual detail to Mr. Shark's note earlier:

There's actually quite a bit of Alban Berg in "Fantastic Voyage," too - having listened to it. Berg was another major favorite of Leonard's - the second movement of the "Lulu Suite" in particular seems to have much of that churning rhythmic push and the extreme dissonance of much of the score, as well as a few interesting devices involving the low end of the orchestra that both scores seem to share. There's some of the denseness and sound mass of Stockhausen in a few moments of that score (but also in that bravura Main Title from "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"). And a great deal "Voyage" came about as a result of some of the unique musical experimentation and exercises that Leonard was indulging in around that time, as well. More music to look into is dancing around my head, but I'm stunned to find that many of my 20th Century Concert music recordings are not around - so I don't want to speak much more without specific repertoire mentions - perhaps our good friend ToneRow can chime in! Certainly though, elements of "Fantastic" would reverberate throughout the rest of Leonard's film & concert oeuvre, and there are facets that were being developed in previous scores (the style of woodwind writing and rhythmic figures there remind me of a few spots of "Edge of the City," and the extensive bass clarinet writing has its forebear in "East of Eden.")

I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but his closing pyramids at the end of scores were, quite literally, his "signature," which he would use to spell out his name in some fashion or another (either through the number of notes, or pitch relations, etc.) Not a pyramid, but the last seven notes of the "Star Trek IV" End Credits are actually "I am Leo-nard Ro-sen-man." He was always tossing in little bits of musical humor for no one's amusement or edification but his own.

Also (and I'm purely joking here), but when I read Jeff Bond's marvelous recent post, discussing how these devices aren't just compositional gimmicks, but an active part of the voice, vocabulary, and personality of these composers, I had an internal chuckle as I imagined some overeager tabloid publishing the headline: "Film Music Expert Calls Alex North 'Plagiarist!'" All right, so I'm the only one who thought of that and found it amusing.

And yes, Mr. Shark - it's apt that you point out the Ligeti notion - I'd heard (and seen) "Fantastic Voyage" when I was five, and a few years later, saw "2001: A Space Odyssey," and while the Ligeti didn't remind me of "FV," it evoked the same kind of sensations and thoughts, and the two men do have some commonality in their voices - particularly in their use of clusters.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2013 - 6:41 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

There's actually quite a bit of Alban Berg in "Fantastic Voyage," too - having listened to it. Berg was another major favorite of Leonard's - the second movement of the "Lulu Suite" in particular seems to have much of that churning rhythmic push and the extreme dissonance of much of the score, as well as a few interesting devices involving the low end of the orchestra that both scores seem to share. There's some of the denseness and sound mass of Stockhausen in a few moments of that score (but also in that bravura Main Title from "Beneath the Planet of the Apes").

Yes, I remember a someone somewhere comment a similarity to the rhythmic later half of Cora Trapped (with the crew groping Raquel Welch to remove the antibodies) and the Berg's Lulu. I can also hear some of Bartok's Miraculous Mandarin.

Any particular Stockhausen works you're thinking of?

Edit - Here's the article:

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jun/17/entertainment/ca-serial17

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

The problem with Rosenman is he can't go for more than 8 bars without going back to that darned "tone pyramid" thingy.

You could say the same for Herrmann with half-diminished chords or Barry's cello/harp arpeggios. It's got nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with a composer's voice. Their individual thumbprint.


wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barry and Herrmann have a large variety of stylistic devices plus unique approaches to orchestration.
Rosenman is a a one chord pony
brm

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 3:02 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

Barry and Herrmann have a large variety of stylistic devices plus unique approaches to orchestration

So did Rosenman.

"oh no he didn't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"Oh yes he did!"

and etc.

Rinse and repeat.

Grow up, quit with the exclamation marks and GTFO of my thread. I'm tired of your infantile shit.

Blocked.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   steb74   (Member)

The problem with Rosenman is he can't go for more than 8 bars without going back to that darned "tone pyramid" thingy.

You could say the same for Herrmann with half-diminished chords or Barry's cello/harp arpeggios. It's got nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with a composer's voice. Their individual thumbprint.


wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barry and Herrmann have a large variety of stylistic devices plus unique approaches to orchestration.
Rosenman is a a one chord pony
brm



Disliking Rosenman is fine .....well, idiotic in my opinion but I suppose I/we should be tolerant of all having different tastes and needs.
To say that he is a one trick pony though is more embarrassing than factually incorrect and unfortunately reveals a total lack of understanding or ability to analyze music in general, if you truly believe that.
A 'liner note' musical education doesn't exactly give you the mental hardware to back up your claim I'm sorry to say .....actually, do you even know what a tone pyramid is, could you analyze or construct one?
It must be absolutely horrific to have such a two dimensional ability to perceive music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 8:25 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

Mr. Eccles, would Stockhausen's Gruppen (1957) be one of the influences you're thinking about, or maybe Stop (1965)? I think I know what you're talking about in Fantastic Voyage - like the ever-shifting clots of sound from 1:17 onwards in Get The Laser. How would've Rosenman generated the pitches in those dense chords - are they tone row aggregates or just chosen for their colour?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   xG-MONEYx   (Member)

Which label is going to do the RE-release?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 8:43 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

It needs to be remastered or better yet, rerecorded. The dry acoustics of the original recording doesn't do the score justice.

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

Goldsmith once mentioned Alban Berg as an influence on his music too...

 
 Posted:   Jun 15, 2013 - 1:17 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

Boy, Rosenman fans sure take criticism of their hero well, don't they?

 
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