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 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 12:33 AM   
 By:   Brandon Brown   (Member)

I've always wondered about how well certain composers got along with one another.

I specifically wanted to know what the relationship was between John Barry and John Williams, if any. Were they ever in contact with one another? Had they commented on each others' music at one point?

Also, I believe I read on here that John Barry had some correspondence with Bernard Herrmann. Is that true? I've read A HEART AT FIRE'S CENTER, but can't recall any mention of John Barry in the biography.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

When reading the name of the subject I thought it was about composers who where related with each other. But things like that can happen since english is not my first language.

Well, returning to the actual subject: I can`t answer you regarding those composers but I do believe that Jerry Goldsmith and Alex North where good friends.

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 3:20 AM   
 By:   Mathew   (Member)

I don't know about the relations between Barry and Williams. But Mark Mancina put a nice montage online about the advantages of his career:

http://www.markmancina.com/perks/

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Mike_H   (Member)

Richard Kraft: "Jerry Goldsmith once told me that if he was ever making a movie, the composer he would choose to score it would be John Barry — because no one else was better at creating music that best captured the heart of a film."

Leonard Rosenman commented favorably on Mark Snow's X Files scores.

Herrmann commented during sessions for Goldsmith's Lonely are the Brave: "The music's too damed good for this picture!"

Goldsmith on Superman: "I think John captured it beautifully. He wrote a beautiful love theme, and he got the energy that the film really needed and the grandeur and heroism of the man. Plus, he also somehow captured the gentle quality- the sort of shyness."

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 4:09 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Brandon, there's an old newspaper interview with John Barry knocking around somewhere in which he says something like, "Whenever Jerry, John and I get together, we always talk about how completely different our backgrounds were, and yet we all ended up doing film scores". The interviewer had to ask who Jerry and John were, and of course the answer came back, "Oh, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams", which seems to indicate that they were close enough as friends for John Barry to just casually assume that the interviewer would know this, and that the use of their surnames was superflous info.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 4:32 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Not that different backgrounds, though. Both Johns, at least, had a pretty extensive career in jazz before they ended up in film music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 4:36 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Not that different backgrounds, though. Both Johns, at least, had a pretty extensive career in jazz before they ended up in film music.

Well, I suppose so Thor. But even the spectrum of "jazz" is so vast that two jazz musicians could have completely different backgrounds, training and leanings.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 4:57 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

True. But I've always seen the general paths of Barry and Williams as quite similar, the only major difference being perhaps the cultural difference between Britain and the US -- and the differing film & jazz scenes. Also, Williams seems a bit more schooled than Barry, even though neither stayed that long in the education system. Williams "buzzed around" at various institutions in the 50s, but the years involved in total would hardly make up a bachelor's degree today. Far more important were the top-class tutors that trained him in a practical sense. I guess the same applied to Barry, but I'm not familiar with his pre-film background beyond the JB 7 and all that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Thor, I'm having a little chuckle to myself imagining YOU being the original interviewer -

John Barry: "Whenever Jerry, John and I get together, we always talk about how completely different our backgrounds were".

Thor: "Not SO different"!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 5:05 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

double bloody post

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 5:09 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

He, he...that actually doesn't sound so far from what I would have said, no. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 5:57 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

I understand, from Carrie Goldsmith's unpublished biography, that her father and John Williams socialized regularly when both were starting out, JW often playing piano duets with JG in Jerry's home. Similarly, in Lyn Murray's collection of anecdotes, "Musician," Murray mentions John Williams playing piano at musicians gatherings held at Murray's house. I know that Jerry admired Bruce Broughton enough to recommend Bruce to score "Tombstone." Apparently Jerry was also at one time somewhat the champion of James Horner (I'm sure they would have had interesting discussions about Gyorgy Ligeti, with whom Horner studied privately in Hamburg). James attending at least one of Jerry's ST:TMP sessions. Have heard the following reasons why the relationship soured (neither of which I buy):

1) Jerry felt James had ripped him off on either "Battle Beyond the Stars" (ST:TMP) or Aliens (Alien). This doesn't make sense as most Hollywood composers at one point or another in their careers have to deal with the reality of temp tracks.

2) Jerry was upset that he was either passed over for ST2 (WOK) or because James didn't use his themes. Supposedly JG didn't do WOK because Paramount couldn't afford him (the film had 1/4 the budget of TMP, so this is plausible). As far as not using Jerry's themes goes Jerry always encouraged people to write their own melodic material.

Then again there was this quote from Horner (taken from IMDB):

'I had no idea who Jerry Goldsmith or John Williams were before I did "The Hand" (1981). I'm sure that I was influenced by Goldsmith's large orchestral scores when I started out, and that was because the people who employed me wanted that kind of sound.' This sounds contradictory as how can one be influenced by someone they've never heard of? JH had, by then, scored ten or so films, including "Battle Beyond the Stars,"the release of which predated "The Hand" by almost a year.

Also, Jerry's daughter, Carrie, knew James Horner in high school (known then to both Carrie and Jerry as 'Jamie Horner'). Hard to believe, with James' interest in composing, the fact that her father was a famous composer (by 1970 JG had scored Patch of Blue, The Blue Max, The Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes and Patton, so yeah, quite famous) never came up.

Perhaps someone here knows the real story?

One last Goldsmith tidbit:

Jerry Goldsmith on AOL Chat (1996)

Chat question: Don't you think John Williams has lost it?

JG (quote): 'John Williams has not lost it. Listen to Schindler's List.' Jerry had early remarked that "Schindler's List" is a movie he really wanted to score.

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Brandon Brown   (Member)

This is all great, valuable information. Thanks for your replies!

I'd like to find to find that old newspaper interview with Barry that Graham S. Watt mentioned.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 10:18 AM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

Broughtfan: You mean "Carrie Goldsmith." Carol was Mr. Goldsmith's second wife.

In any event, in addition to the aforementioned admiration for Mark Snow and his music for "The X-Files," Leonard Rosenman was good friends with several of his peers, including Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, Alex North (in spite of his mixed feelings on his music), and (based on the fact that he hosted his 80th birthday party) Hugo Friedhofer. Later on in life, he and his wife became friendly with Paul Haslinger. He was also very close with several seminal figures in the American concert world including Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.

Rosenman and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett were also close friends, as were Bennett and Angela Morley.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)

Broughtfan: You mean "Carrie Goldsmith." Carol was Mr. Goldsmith's second wife.

In any event, in addition to the aforementioned admiration for Mark Snow and his music for "The X-Files," Leonard Rosenman was good friends with several of his peers, including Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, Alex North (in spite of his mixed feelings on his music), and (based on the fact that he hosted his 80th birthday party) Hugo Friedhofer. Later on in life, he and his wife became friendly with Paul Haslinger. He was also very close with several seminal figures in the American concert world including Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein.


Yes, of course you're correct: Carrie Goldsmith (corrected in original posting).

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 11:33 AM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)


Perhaps someone here knows the real story?


I'm certainly in no position to know the real story, but the version of events that I'd read of previously suggested that Goldsmith's daughter and Horner were in fact dating, that as a result Goldsmith had gotten Horner's foot into the door of the industry, introduced him to some people, and let him visit some recording sessions. When Horner was interviewed some years later, he was being asked about how his style was very Goldsmith-like, and his reply was that when started, he'd never even heard of Jerry Goldsmith. When word of this got back to Goldsmith, this caused an angry rift between them. Years later, when Henry Mancini died, Goldsmith was offered the job as the official conductor at the Academy Awards. This was the year that Titanic was being nominated for pretty much everything, and when Goldsmith realized he'd be spending the night playing Horner's music, he declined the job.

Who but those involved can really say that's true. All I'm doing is spreading Celebrity scuttlebutt.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

This is all great, valuable information. Thanks for your replies!

I'd like to find to find that old newspaper interview with Barry that Graham S. Watt mentioned.


I've just come across it! Unfortunately my cutting machine and tin of paste seems to be "broken", but if you Google "John Barry Interview (From York Press)", it should be at the top of the links.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Broughtfan   (Member)


Perhaps someone here knows the real story?


I'm certainly in no position to know the real story, but the version of events that I'd read of previously suggested that Goldsmith's daughter and Horner were in fact dating, that as a result Goldsmith had gotten Horner's foot into the door of the industry, introduced him to some people, and let him visit some recording sessions. When Horner was interviewed some years later, he was being asked about how his style was very Goldsmith-like, and his reply was that when started, he'd never even heard of Jerry Goldsmith. When word of this got back to Goldsmith, this caused an angry rift between them. Years later, when Henry Mancini died, Goldsmith was offered the job as the official conductor at the Academy Awards. This was the year that Titanic was being nominated for pretty much everything, and when Goldsmith realized he'd be spending the night playing Horner's music, he declined the job.

Who but those involved can really say that's true. All I'm doing is spreading Celebrity scuttlebutt.


I remember someone asking Jerry a couple of questions at a master class in 1986, one of those questions was about James Horner, Jerry acting as though he didn't hear the guy's question as he didn't offer a reply, just, 'anyone else have a question'?

One of the things I've often wondered was if James Horner in fact received his DMA. According to his 1982 Starlog interview he abandoned work on it in 1979 or 1980, right around the time he started doing work for Roger Corman at New World. In later interviews (including one on-camera that I've seen) Horner talks about receiving his doctorate and I suppose he could have finished it during a "light year" (possibly 1984) "Spectral Shimmers," likely his dissertation work, having been completed and performed by the time Horner got busy in films.

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   johnmullin   (Member)

Years later, when Henry Mancini died, Goldsmith was offered the job as the official conductor at the Academy Awards. This was the year that Titanic was being nominated for pretty much everything, and when Goldsmith realized he'd be spending the night playing Horner's music, he declined the job.

Who but those involved can really say that's true. All I'm doing is spreading Celebrity scuttlebutt.


Mancini died in 1994. TITANIC came out in 1997, meaning that it wouldn't have been at the Academy Awards until spring 1998.

 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

I don't know about the relations between Barry and Williams. But Mark Mancina put a nice montage online about the advantages of his career:

http://www.markmancina.com/perks/


That's terrific. The James Newton Howard one is my favorite.

 
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