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 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:08 PM   
 By:   Marcato   (Member)



I have not heard all - did not have time to hear it

but from what i head i did not quite get into the music

I have not seen the film yet.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:21 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

This post troubles me on so many levels, indeed it does, yes.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:26 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

This post troubles me on so many levels, indeed it does, yes.

I think it's a matter of 2nd language and wanting to start a discussion...perhaps to encourage him to see the film (which he absolutely SHOULD) and, also perhaps, to suggest ways for him to approach the music.

It's a masterpiece, regardless.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:42 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

He may not like it which is perfectly OK, but at the very least a complete listen should be given before making an even preliminary assessment, especially before dedicating a thread to it. Realistically one should give several listens to something that may not grab them right off just to make sure or to give it a second or third chance if it wasn't exactly what they were expecting, esepcially once that expectation is no longer in play after the first listen. After that if it doesn't work for someone at least they gave it a reasonable try.

Granted, North is not for everyone. His music is very complexly crafted and penetratingly intelligent both musically and emotionally at times which often times requires some very dedicated listening and something of a feeling and liking of a more modernistic musical language. Certainly not to everyone's taste, but if you do have a feel for it, his work is breathtaking in every way and unmatched by most.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Matt B   (Member)

While I think we can all agree that much of North's canon is something of an acquired taste, I personally love both the film and score for Dragonslayer. To me, the music and the dragon are one entity, inseparable from each other. It's not always the most... pleasant... listen, but it is striking and wildly original. The romantic music is gorgeous as well.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I actually like this more than Spartacus. Perhaps it's because it was one of the first North scores I heard but I can listen all the way through this score. Spartacus is great but there are some key moments there that I like as opposed to the whole thing. Then again, I'm weird. Cheyenne Autumn is my favourite North score.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:52 PM   
 By:   Robert0320   (Member)

I find North's work easy to take and always intriguing. It's the newer stuff I find disengaging.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

While I think we can all agree that much of North's canon is something of an acquired taste, I personally love both the film and score for Dragonslayer. To me, the music and the dragon are one entity, inseparable from each other. It's not always the most... pleasant... listen, but it is striking and wildly original. The romantic music is gorgeous as well.

It certainly has it's moments. Talk about a score that divides people- I have friends who loathe it. And a few who love it. Ah, well.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 3:04 PM   
 By:   danbeck   (Member)

It certainly has it's moments. Talk about a score that divides people- I have friends who loathe it. And a few who love it. Ah, well.

I'm not a big fan of North's, but this score is one I loved, probably the one I like more from him!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 3:30 PM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

I don't get it and really can't listen to this score. I like Cheyenne Autumn and believe Cleopatra is a masterpiece. However, my favorite North is Spartacus by a wide margin...

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   calbuth7   (Member)

Dragonslayer and Cheyenne Autumn are my two favorite scores by North. I am not very keen on his other scores though.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 3:55 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Dragonslayer and Cheyenne Autumn are my two favorite scores by North. I am not very keen on his other scores though.

Amazing! I love most of Alex North's scores, but can't listen to either Dragonslayer or Cheyenne Autumn. God knows I've tried! Dragonslayer the film is in the same bucket as the score, for me. Peter MacNicol is an actor whose success is a continuing mystery to me (with the possible exception of his comic role in Ally McBeal).

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 4:42 PM   
 By:   Adm Naismith   (Member)

I liked 'Dragonslayer' immediately, but I had a hard time getting into North's other scores. When I heard 'Streetcar Named Desire' everything clicked into place for me regarding North. His scores are challenging (and he upped the ante the longer he wrote), but don't dismiss his entire output based onone score.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 5:32 PM   
 By:   Matt B   (Member)

Peter MacNicol is an actor whose success is a continuing mystery to me (with the possible exception of his comic role in Ally McBeal).

"He's Vigo! You are like the buzzing of flies to him!"

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 7:34 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

He may not like it which is perfectly OK, but at the very least a complete listen should be given before making an even preliminary assessment, especially before dedicating a thread to it. Realistically one should give several listens to something that may not grab them right off just to make sure or to give it a second or third chance if it wasn't exactly what they were expecting, esepcially once that expectation is no longer in play after the first listen. After that if it doesn't work for someone at least they gave it a reasonable try.

Granted, North is not for everyone. His music is very complexly crafted and penetratingly intelligent both musically and emotionally at times which often times requires some very dedicated listening and something of a feeling and liking of a more modernistic musical language. Certainly not to everyone's taste, but if you do have a feel for it, his work is breathtaking in every way and unmatched by most.


I think there's something to be said for being patient and acquainting yourself with a score if there's some chance the effort will pay off. But if a score is in an idiom (say, atonal or avant guard) that you dislike and have always disliked and, lifetimes being finite, will almost certainly always dislike, why bother? I have no doubt that I could play Dragonslayer over and over until I knew every note and I would still hate it because it says nothing to me on an emotional level; it's a purely intellectual exercise. This is why I think Spartacus is great, because it gave North a huge palette to work with and enabled him to roam far and wide technically and artistically without being able to stray too far from the tonal and romantic centre of the film. In other words, it gave him room to be great but imposed just enough discipline on his work to keep him in touch with the film's audiences.

Don't get me wrong: Dragonslayer probably works in the film (at least, I wasn't aware of the score when I watched it). But as a separate listen...it's for the North cogniscenti only.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I have no doubt that I could play Dragonslayer over and over until I knew every note and I would still hate it because it says nothing to me on an emotional level; it's a purely intellectual exercise. This is why I think Spartacus is great, because it gave North a huge palette to work with and enabled him to roam far and wide technically and artistically without being able to stray too far from the tonal and romantic centre of the film. In other words, it gave him room to be great but imposed just enough discipline on his work to keep him in touch with the film's audiences.

Well said! As good as North could be at getting under the skin of a film emotionally (WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF for example), he seemed to get lost at times in his own musical brilliance and produced cerebral, fascinating but emotionally empty scores. DRAGONSLAYER is one I would put in that category. In a way it's a marvel, but it hits me with a dull thud as a listening experience.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   gmontag451   (Member)

I'm a huge Goldsmith fan, and I'd heard Goldsmith was influenced by North, so I've tried several pieces of North's work and just can't get into it. Surprising how, as some have said, his music divides people.

Michael

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 9:22 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I think there's something to be said for being patient and acquainting yourself with a score if there's some chance the effort will pay off. But if a score is in an idiom (say, atonal or avant guard) that you dislike and have always disliked and, lifetimes being finite, will almost certainly always dislike, why bother?

You're quite right on that point, which begs the question, why buy the score in the first place if it's not in a style of music you like? There seems to be enough samples to help someone get a feel for what they're getting into. Save the $20 bucks up front!

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

I'm a huge Goldsmith fan, and I'd heard Goldsmith was influenced by North, so I've tried several pieces of North's work and just can't get into it. Surprising how, as some have said, his music divides people.

Michael


I think it was more the case that Goldsmith admired and loved Alex North as a composer and as a person, rather than that his own style of composition was influenced by North's. The two are quite distinct and easily identifiable, to my ear.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2010 - 9:40 PM   
 By:   mark ford   (Member)

I'm a huge Goldsmith fan, and I'd heard Goldsmith was influenced by North, so I've tried several pieces of North's work and just can't get into it. Surprising how, as some have said, his music divides people.

Michael


I think it was more the case that Goldsmith admired and loved Alex North as a composer and as a person, rather than that his own style of composition was influenced by North's. The two are quite distinct and easily identifiable, to my ear.


True in an overall general way, but I hear a whole lot of North's percussive work echoed in Goldsmith's compositions of the late 50s and early to mid 60s as well as some of the clean, cool chamber like string writing. As with nearly all composers, they often times adopt certain aspects of their mentors in the early parts of their careers, it's only natural.

One thing is for sure, both gentlemen had complete command of their musical abilities and understood and wrote music at the highest level often times using a lot of modernistic musical techniques, new to film at the time. This is often reflected in the keenly intellectual quality of their work. There is a lot to admire!

 
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