Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 2:51 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

As for your second point, I just played them 3 times in succession and stand by my claim -- I see far too much similarity to call it a mere "homage." And my hearing is just fine.

I’ve always thought that was too obvious. When is ‘homage’ not ‘homage’ and something else? Frankly, whenever I hear the ‘Parade Of the Ewoks’ cue, I’m inclined to check the booklet expecting to read something akin to “Prokofiev, arr. Williams”.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 3:08 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

As for your second point, I just played them 3 times in succession and stand by my claim -- I see far too much similarity to call it a mere "homage." And my hearing is just fine.

I’ve always thought that was too obvious. When is ‘homage’ not ‘homage’ and something else? Frankly, whenever I hear the ‘Parade Of the Ewoks’ cue, I’m inclined to check the booklet expecting to read something akin to “Prokofiev, arr. Williams”.



If you can find the piano roll version of Three Oranges played by Prkf himself the similarity is even more striking.

Homage or more? Who's to say where the line is. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Williams didn't think "Heh heh, I'll use some Prokofiev here, nobody will notice".

 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 3:43 AM   
 By:   steb74   (Member)

Similarly if you can find and study the full orchestral score to each, the similarities become even more superficial regardless of how much one would like them to be more than an homage.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 7:08 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I also love that it brings Williams' compositional skills straight to the forefront... no hiding behind dense orchestrations or layers of electronics here, and I daresay the music sounds better than ever!

Not to go negative, but I don't think many of today's young whippersnappers would fare nearly as well under such a scenario.


I'd agree, Matt. Though I have nothing against other ways of composing, it's always nice when film music can make that transition from orchestra to piano. It's really a matter of what's emphasized. In Williams, it's melody, harmony, and phrase structure, which translate beautifully to the piano, whereas many newer scores simply cannot translate because they emphasize percussive rhythms, textural layering, and timbral colours, which have no equivalent on the piano.



Are you familiar with the piano transcription of the Shostakovich 4th? I'm no musician but all of those things are miraculously included to my way of thinking.

I also took some time last night to track down the Beethoven/Liszt symphonies on YouTube. Glenn Gould playing the 5th and parts of the Pastorale was revelatory, and I also enjoyed very much Katsaris playing Eroica and excerpts from the 7th.

TG


TG - Yes, I agree about Shosti 4. I should have been clearer that what I meant was the actual sound of percussion instruments and the other effect-like sounds we get in Zimmer-style scores. It's basically the same reason why pop music generally doesn't translate well to piano. Strip away all those things, and all we're left with is a very basic harmonic and melodic framework that wasn't really the emphasis to start with, whereas it is in someone like Williams.

Liszt's transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies are a dazzling delight. For playing, though, I much prefer something simpler that is more idiomatic for piano music. Those Liszt things are so bloody hard to play - unidiomatic, really - and I never feel that all those extra notes add much musically. But they are damn fun to hear.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 7:16 AM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

As for your second point, I just played them 3 times in succession and stand by my claim -- I see far too much similarity to call it a mere "homage." And my hearing is just fine.

I’ve always thought that was too obvious. When is ‘homage’ not ‘homage’ and something else? Frankly, whenever I hear the ‘Parade Of the Ewoks’ cue, I’m inclined to check the booklet expecting to read something akin to “Prokofiev, arr. Williams”.



If you can find the piano roll version of Three Oranges played by Prkf himself the similarity is even more striking.

Homage or more? Who's to say where the line is. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Williams didn't think "Heh heh, I'll use some Prokofiev here, nobody will notice".


An anecdote which I must imperfectly paraphrase, and cannot certify, but read somewhere in one of these forums: In his Boston Pops days, Williams had programmed both "Parade of the Ewoks" and Prokofiev's Three Oranges "March." At rehearsal, after finishing his own "Parade," John asked the orchestra to turn to Prokofiev by slyly announcing, "And now for the real thing." The homage was certainly not lost on Mr Williams, who is something of a scholar of Russian composers according to Steven Spielberg. And the fact he programmed his own music alongside that of the template piece by Prokofiev speaks to his humorous acknowledgement of the relationship between the two.

If Johnny writes a piece that sounds like Prokofiev, it's because he wants to sound like Prokofiev, not because he lacks his own inspiration or is unaware of the similarities.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 8, 2014 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

Aside from all that, these transcriptions sound like great fun, and a fresh way of hearing such familiar music. A very enthusiastic purchase!

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2014 - 11:46 AM   
 By:   Matt B   (Member)

Another John Williams piano album by one of the performers... more variety, but the mp3 download appears to be only mono. Very listenable, if not up to the high standard of the Star Wars album.

http://www.amazon.com/John-Williams-Enguerrand-Friedrich-L%C3%BChl/dp/B002B3UFN6/ref=sr_1_1?s=dmusic&ie=UTF8&qid=1394390701&sr=1-1&keywords=Enguerrand+Friedrich+L%C3%BChl

 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2014 - 2:12 PM   
 By:   Other Tallguy   (Member)

Apart from being nicely executed, the reason this brings a smile to my face is that it sort of moves the movie and score even closer to the Saturday Matinee authenticity that Lucas wanted it to have in the first place. I easily imagine the movie playing on screen silently with these two guys down in the pit pounding the keys furiously, providing the pulse to the excitement.

I was going to post pretty much the same thing.

An anecdote which I must imperfectly paraphrase, and cannot certify, but read somewhere in one of these forums: In his Boston Pops days, Williams had programmed both "Parade of the Ewoks" and Prokofiev's Three Oranges "March." At rehearsal, after finishing his own "Parade," John asked the orchestra to turn to Prokofiev by slyly announcing, "And now for the real thing." The homage was certainly not lost on Mr Williams, who is something of a scholar of Russian composers according to Steven Spielberg. And the fact he programmed his own music alongside that of the template piece by Prokofiev speaks to his humorous acknowledgement of the relationship between the two.

That's terrific. But what about The March of the Villains?

 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2014 - 4:55 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

TG: Re: Homage or more? Who's to say where the line is. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Williams didn't think "Heh heh, I'll use some Prokofiev here, nobody will notice".

Well, I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but, for me, they are so alike that I've changed my iPod credit from "Williams" to "Prokofiev/Williams" -- I find it easier to find things when I put the last name of the composer to the left of the cue title with a colon. And I prefer using the soundtrack composer's full name under Artist even if Gracenotes gives us the conductor and orchestra. Just a personal preference. But for John Williams to declare that it's just his homage to Prokofiev would ring awfully hollow for me, and I would feel the same if Andrew Lloyd Webber said that he was paying tribute to Fauré when he "wrote" his famous "Pie Jesu" from his Requiem -- LW did some interesting embellishment, but it's still the work of Fauré and not LW.

I've long had the CD in which Glen Gould plays the entire Liszt transcription of Beethoven's 5th symphony followed by a movement from his 6th. (Just played them a couple of days ago.) Plus I have all of Cyprien Katsaris' Liszt transcriptions of the Beethoven symphonies, even 1 and 2, not my favorite Beethoven symphonies, and his 4-hands version of the 9th is thrilling. Liszt was such a magician when it came to transcription!

For the past week I have been helping an old friend organize his large stuffed apartment -- he had a stroke and is in a care facility, never to return -- and have played little except classical music, mainly piano concertos, and it's clear that they are going to long outlast the soundtrack music that so many of us here find so important.

 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2014 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   steb74   (Member)

Well, I'd like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but, for me, they are so alike that I've changed my iPod credit from "Williams" to "Prokofiev/Williams"

Dear, oh dear, oh dear ......you've raised the bar man roll eyes roll eyes

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2014 - 7:50 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

....the rhythm isn't even the same. The notes are definetly not the same.

Changing the m to an n, and adding in....

 
 Posted:   Mar 10, 2014 - 7:59 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

T.E.: Go back to the previous page and read what some who agree with me wrote. You are so adamant about this, so maybe you're thinking of a different J.W. cue.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2014 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

T.E.: Go back to the previous page and read what some who agree with me wrote. You are so adamant about this, so maybe you're thinking of a different J.W. cue.


Ron - from a practical point of view finding The March of the Epons - sorry, Ewoks wink - via the "artist" alpha listing might be compromised by having Prokofiev's name first. If I had to describe it (and I'm not sure I've even got this particular Star Wars score in my collection without actually checking) I'd call it Williams from an idea by Prokofiev!

Sorry to hear about your friend, by the way. Much as I love a lot of film music, when it really comes down to it, it's concert hall stuff that has accompanied me through most difficult times.

 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2014 - 8:48 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

TG, re: Ron - from a practical point of view finding The March of the Epons - sorry, Ewoks wink - via the "artist" alpha listing might be compromised by having Prokofiev's name first. If I had to describe it (and I'm not sure I've even got this particular Star Wars score in my collection without actually checking) I'd call it Williams from an idea by Prokofiev!

Sorry to hear about your friend, by the way. Much as I love a lot of film music, when it really comes down to it, it's concert hall stuff that has accompanied me through most difficult times.


The title is long enough without adding that, but I see your point.

Today I was up before 6 to race to "the home" to pick up my friend's driver's license just in case we get an Auto Club guy who insists on seeing it. Now I have several hours of my OWN personal business before racing across town by 6 pm to call the Auto Club and get my ailing friend's car started again. I'm still listening to my long playlist of piano concerti -- today it was the Beethoven 1st and 3rd and the Tchaikovsky 2nd and 3rd. I was struck by the joy in the Beethoven as well as how hard it is to believe that after writing his 1st piano concerto that Tchaikovsky followed it with the uninspired 2nd. Sort of like how I feel about Brahms -- I adore his 2nd piano concerto but find it hard to believe he wrote his 1st (and they tell us the 1st was actually written second). And while I adore the Chopin 1st, I rarely want to hear his 2nd. I think that if I could only listen to one thing the rest of my life it would be the classical piano concerto. But luckily we don't have to make such a heartbreaking choice!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 11, 2014 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

T.E.: Go back to the previous page and read what some who agree with me wrote. You are so adamant about this, so maybe you're thinking of a different J.W. cue.

No I'm not. And well, I'll grant perhaps they share two of the the same first three notes in the same rhythm. But I would also hope you'd label the main title "Korngold/Williams" because otherwise you're incredibly inconsistent.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.