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 Posted:   Jul 3, 2014 - 1:06 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me, the only decent music Williams can write is some of his film scores. The only primary "film composers" that wrote good concert music; Rozsa, and Korngold. Any other examples come to mind??

Herrmann's Moby Dick and The Fantastiks as well as his Symphony 1 are very strong works. Wuthering Heights too.

 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2014 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Does the work of Pollock REALLY stack up against something like the breathtaking, almost photo-realistic wonders of the Hudson River Artists...?

The late, great John Romita said it best - no real artist cares how photo-realistic art can get. A *child* can do that. It takes very little talent to do that stuff. Its all reference - be it through swipes or memory.

Now if you can make *movement* in a painting and have the *height of drama*, well, thats talent.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2014 - 1:28 PM   
 By:   McMillan & Husband   (Member)

Herrmann's Moby Dick and The Fantastiks as well as his Symphony 1 are very strong works. Wuthering Heights too.

Oooh yeah. Particularly Moby Dick - that one's amazing.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2014 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Bill in Portland Maine   (Member)


It's what the Battle of Hoth would sound like if all the Imperial walker crews were drunk.

-

 
 Posted:   Jul 3, 2014 - 2:49 PM   
 By:   Gunnar   (Member)

I like the Scherzo a lot and would love if a proper recording was available soon. There is a lot of interesting stuff happening between the piano and the orchestra that I'd love to listen to more closely.
Isn't there a microphone stand right in fron of the piano?

The piece reminded me of some of Williams' film music - my initial reaction being that it is a close relative of "The Hunt" from The Lost World. I actually found it pretty evocative with its call and answer parts. And I liked particularly the contrast between the frenetic piano writing and the heavy, voluminous, quite film music-like orchestral statements. If I see a kinship to the Lost World here, I should also note that I thought of The Five Sacred Trees as somewhat like a grown-up approach towards "magic", a serious sibling of Harry Potter, so to speak.

Honestly, this scherzo excited me more and made me stop and listen much more than, let's say, The Book Thief. The latter is still beautiful, accomplished music and probably has a compositional quality beyond many other composers. But as pure music, it sounds nice to me and not much more. The Scherzo, on the other hand, really made me want more of it.

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 3:35 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

In all seriousness, my problem with this kind of music is exactly what I stated before: It is, almost single-handedly, what killed the symphony orchestra. It's not accessible, it's not memorable, it's very harsh and grating and the number of people who would PAY MONEY to sit through something like this is vastly marginal compared to something like, say, THE NUTCRACKER Suite.

THAT piece of music will be loved and cherish (and performed) for hundreds of years. John Corigliano's Clarinet Concerto? Or this? Probably not, except perhaps by music historians as a small footnote in the history of music.

This kind of stuff feels elitist and pretentious, intentionally designed to be enjoyable only to fellow musicians who can appreciate the "virtuosity" of the performance requirements and complexity of the meters or rhythms, without offering anything the average listener can take away and be transported by (except, of course, to cat-punching territory).


I was in a philharmonic concert last year. It began with Smetana's Vltava (The Moldau) followed by the Schumann Piano Concerto. In the second half they played a symphony by Martinu. About half of the audience had left the Philharmonic Hall during the intermission. I often like music of the 20th century but the Martinu piece was so boring. I can understand why so many had no interest in hearing this. And there was not even an encore performed after that.

Later I heard the first Brahms symphony in concert and they played after that the Hungarian Dance No. 5 and Unter Donner und Blitz by Strauss. The audience was happy and cheering. Go figure.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 4:29 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Later I heard the first Brahms symphony in concert and they played after that the Hungarian Dance No. 5 and Unter Donner und Blitz by Strauss. The audience was happy and cheering. Go figure.


Easy - the majority of people like the "easy listening" end of any sort of music. Bob's repeated reference to Tchaikovsky shows that. I love Tchaikovsky, but will never listen to Nutcracker or Sleeping Beauty if there's a version of his 4th or 5th symphonies to hand. And they're not exactly Lutoslawsky.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 6:01 AM   
 By:   Smaug   (Member)

It's the big problem in classical music. Look at the top albums at iTunes Classical. It's so expensive to put on orchestra concerts that it remains incredibly conservative unless it's a specialty orchestra. That Martinu program sounds like something I'd go to...

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

I wouldn't even dare to mention the works of my compatriots Iannis Xenakis and Jani Christou...!

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 6:30 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

It's very good, what we hear of it here.


This kind of music needs two things:

(a) that you maybe just a little try to follow the structure (he's doing things here with repeated stuctures in subtle ways with variation), and,

(b) that you plug into the emotion. Film 'emotion' is often of the 2D primal, simplistic kind. That's how they hook the biggest audiences. But real everyday emotion is COMPLEX and conflicted. God knows that Williams had in mind, if anything, in his emoting for this. It may well be unconscious for himself. That's art. Can you go with it?

There's a great slightly indignant, resolved propulsion about this piece.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 7:23 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

A member of my household just overheard this, and without knowing anything about it at all, said "I know that - it's Harry Potter..."

So there you go - vox pop indicates it isn't as "random" as has been suggested.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 8:37 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Sounds like a bunch of crap to me, the only decent music Williams can write is some of his film scores. The only primary "film composers" that wrote good concert music; Rozsa, and Korngold. Any other examples come to mind??

Herrmann, Moross.


Previn, especially the Violin Concerto.

By the way, I thought the Williams piece was very good. Parts of it reminded me of AI. Like a lot of modern music, it will take me a few listenings to really "get" it. When I was young I hated "The Rite of Spring." Now I love it.

 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 9:08 AM   
 By:   nuts_score   (Member)

This is a wonderful piece! This dislike towards it by some very intelligent board members is baffling -- perhaps it is me who is wrong?!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

This is a wonderful piece! This dislike towards it by some very intelligent board members is baffling -- perhaps it is me who is wrong?!

No, it is quite bizarre.

Of course, one is free to like or dislike the piece, but I don't think Williams -- being who he is -- deserves the kind of language being used here (like 'shit' or 'crap'). One should at least expect constructive criticism from the membership.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 10:54 AM   
 By:   kingtolkien   (Member)

Personally I love almost everything that he writes and I really enjoy the piece very much.
BUT I think that he should write a big romantic piano concerto. His romanticism and neoclassicism in his film scores is quite spectacular and I don't understand why he doesn't try to write something that will probably be more accesible to lots of people. He was a pianist after all. Actually I think that he started writing piano concert works too late. Conversations and this piece. His 50's sonata doesn't count for me. A symphony would also be nice. Even something from his film music like Korngold's symphony or Scott's Odyssey of the Belem symphony.
Of course he writes whatever he likes. I just think that if he writes something in the 19th century romantic style he is afraid that the critics will be all over him.
It's a shame.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   Gunnar   (Member)

Actually, my experience is that there will be critics who pan him every time he writes for the concert hall.
I'm with you - I'd love to hear him write for the concert hall in his film music style, free from the requirements of a movie. And this is what I expected to hear when I bought his first concerts (violin and flute) a long time ago. And to be honest, I was a bit let down back then by these works. I definitely listened more to Jurassic Park, which I picked up around the same time!
But by now, I completely understand if he wants to use the freedom of a concerto for trying something else; be it exploring the sonorities (or limits) of an instrument. Writing in a style that is not in demand by the people who hire him in Hollywood. Or perhaps even expressing something more complex than what a film asks for. I think, quite often his film music has to be very utilitarian. Sometimes he might be able to do something more complex, like conveying different moods or ideas at the same time, or exploring the psychology of a character. But film music will always ask him to convey something that is both rather specific and decipherable by the audience. Concert works may be the one chance for him to write pure music, and he might use this freedom to go to places that he wouldn't get the chance to explore otherwise. We'll never know what kind of music he'd write if he hadn't become a film composer who has been writing in the neo-romantic idiom all his life.
But, summing up, to me some of his albums actually play almost like symphonies, and after getting used to his "concert voice", I am very happy to be able to hear this side of him as well.

 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2014 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Nicely put, Gunnar.

Some nifty keyboard work by the pianist at 6:20! Personally I find the piece an interesting choice of expression for piano and orchestra.

 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2014 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Not a DP, but the Sabrina theme on piano with accompanying orchestra. I thought this would make an interesting contrast with the thread theme. One to enjoy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEcrylolMEA&index=3&list=RDOO7qIIaaGIM

 
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