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 Posted:   Jul 10, 2008 - 4:21 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Thor, I wouldn't waste any more time with Rosenman. You've tried, and he's not your cup of tea. I don't think any amount of crisp, sparkling, re-recorded suites(!) would make you change your mind. I grew up hearing film music on a tiny tinny TV, and taped bits direct onto cassette. The composers I picked up on back then as being the good ones for me are still the good ones. And the ones I kind of dismissed - well, you could do a lovely re-recording, or release the original tracks in cleaned-up stereo if possible, but it probably wouldn't make me change my opinion.

Just imagine somebody who was never really into Beethoven. If I gave him THE best-sounding, best-performed version of his "greatest hits", would the guy turn to me and go - "Wow, I was wrong about him!"? Or my grandmother, who was never really into rap, but "knows what it sounds like" because she's heard it through the wall from the neighbours next door... If I gave her a super-sounding rap compilation and forced her to pay attention to the sound nuances through headphones, would she be wearing big clothes, jewellery, driving a Limo and talking about her bitch all of a sudden?

I have hugely exaggerated these hypothetical situations of course, but the bottom line still may be - Thor, move on. And don't bother sending me any of your bloody Pink Floyd, 'cos I could never stand them in crappy sound, so in good sound it would just multiply the torture.

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2008 - 4:51 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

Anyone who moans about the audio quality of the Intrada CD (or its later incarnation) can't have heard the grotesque mix on the original double-LP.

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2008 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

While I wouldn't have dismissed it quite so brusquely as bruce marshall, I have to confess to being underwhelmed by it myself.

So you understand where I'm coming from, here's my Rosenman history: I enjoy his Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in the context of the movie and as a standalone listen, despite its differences from the more "usual" Trek sound which I love immensely; I'm in the camp that maintains Rosenman's Trek score is perfectly suited for the particular adventure it accompanies. It didn't grab me in RoboCop 2, though - I thought it was both overly derivative of Star Trek IV and also not really right for the movie. It's been a long time since I saw the movie, mind you, and I might reevaluate the score in it.

I've never gotten to see Fantastic Voyage yet (it's on my list of movies to see, and I've read the novelization, but I just haven't gotten to it yet), but I did very much enjoy listening to the score the first time through that I ever heard it, when this forum's starblade brought it in to work for us to listen to years ago, when FSM first released it. Some years later I acquired it myself, and it didn't grab me as much, and I don't play it often.

I also have his two scores for the Planet of the Apes series, and find they mesh well into a general Apes template, but they don't do nearly as much for me as Jerry Goldsmith's original, and again, I find myself seldom listening to them.

Despite all the above, I decided to get his Lord of the Rings as I could get MP3 downloads of it ultra-cheaply from eMusic some years ago, so I took a chance on it (because of the format, I'm not going to address discussion of the audio quality at all). I'd watched the movie on video a couple times many many years ago, and didn't recall anything anything particularly wrong with the score in the movie, but that was a long time before, and listening to the score on its own I found music whose most notable attribute was its similarity to other music from this composer.

I'm aware there's a level of sophistication in his music to which I'm perhaps just not receptive, and that may be my failing as a listener rather than his as an artist, but to me Rosenman's music generally sounds kind of shapeless, containing a few ideas but not fully expressing or developing them, and generally not engaging me; above all else, it sounds very self-derivative - while Rosenman may not reuse whole melodies and such quite as often as, say, Horner, so much of his music is so similar that it makes me think of similar passages in his other scores, to a point at which it pulls me out of the narrative if I'm hearing it in a movie because it reminds me of some other movie of his - for example, with all the bad things said about RoboCop 2 as a movie, for me the worst thing is the way the score constantly reminds me of Star Trek IV. Trek IV I can still enjoy, but I think that's partly because it's the first Rosenman movie I became really familiar with and so the others remind me of it more than it reminds me of them, and partly just because my emotional attachment to Trek allows me to overlook things in it that would bother me in other movies. Even apart from the tendency of his scores to sound like his other scores, though, his music mostly doesn't engage me anyway; it usually strikes me as somewhat anemic, and seldom really related to what's going on in the movie it accompanies.


This is the impression I've gotten of his music from the scores in my library (which include Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Fantastic Voyage, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Battle For the Planet of the Apes, and The Lord of the Rings, as well as the RoboCop 2 main title and a medly from East of Eden), as well as from hearing most of those and perhaps some others I'm forgetting in the context of their movies. Based on my experience I wouldn't recommend this score to Gunnar. I keep what music of his I have in part hoping that sometime I'll listen and something will "click" for me and I'll finally understand what his admirers hear in him; I don't ever expect to get past how much his scores remind me of his other scores even without my playing them often, but perhaps I can at least appreciate it all as one large body of music. The reemergence of this thread has motivated me to give The Lord of the Rings another try sometime in the very near future, in fact, so I'll play it soon with as open a mind as I can bring to it, and fingers crossed. That's all I can promise. I realize my failure to enjoy Rosenman's work may disappoint his admirers here, but I hope others will recognize and appreciate that I'm at least going to continue to give him a chance.

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2008 - 2:33 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

While I wouldn't have dismissed it quite so brusquely as bruce marshall,.....

Considering the extreme length of your post Blondie,, maybe u should have!


bruce r. marshall

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2008 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   astrosound   (Member)

If you are interested in hearing some complete "Rings" cues, someone has put a few on YouTube. Here's the Main Title:

I really enjoy this Rosenman score.

 Posted:   Jul 14, 2008 - 4:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Thor, I wouldn't waste any more time with Rosenman. You've tried, and he's not your cup of tea.

In general, no, but I actually do enjoy my copy of STAR TREK IV, untypical Rosenman as it might be.

Also, I'm more in line with Blondie-Wan here. I will never dismiss anyone outright untill I feel it's...uhm, comfortable to do so. For example, I disliked Herrmann for many years, but "discovered" him as both my taste and Herrmann exposure grew. Same with Howard Shore. The LOTR trilogy was a pleasant surprise from someone who's music I've shunned (on CD!). Although I'm not quite there with Barry or Rosenman yet, I still have an open door.

In general, I'm prioritizing stuff from the composers I KNOW I like. At the same time, I'm not shutting out anyone untill I feel the time is right. I don't think these things have to be mutually exclusive.

By the way, I'll be sending you 13 copies of Pink Floyd albums in super-delicious surround sound. I know you'll be diggin' to Waters' grooves by the end of the day! wink

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

A quick buzz-through of this topic shows me nobody mentioning the missing guitar part in the cut "The Journey Begins" on the cd (I have the Fantasy cd release, and the LP).

It was on the LP but not on this cd.

Is it in the film with guitar? And is it in the film with guitar?

 Posted:   Jun 14, 2013 - 8:11 AM   
 By:   Bibliomike   (Member)

Late to this discussion, but I would recommend Rosenman's "Lord of the Rings," yes. I don't think the Main Title really captures the spirit of Tolkien's books (and it has been a long, long time since I've seen the film, but, as I recall, it's a bit "jaunty" for that, as well), but it's a memorable melody and there is a lot of good action music in the rest of the score. I also, frankly, enjoy the vocal "Mithrandir" piece, even though it's kind of simple and sentimental.

My feelings about this score are no doubt influenced by the fact that I asked my mom to buy the double LP for me when I was just a kid, solely on my having read some of the books. "You haven't even seen the movie!" she said. "How do you know you'll like it?" (See, even then, I was developing a film score fan's mentality. Who says you *have* to see the film? ) So I was probably determined to like it - but I did then, and I do now.

My only other exposure to Rosenman is Trek IV, which I had a very low regard for until finally hearing the full score in isolation on the recent Intrada release.

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