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 Posted:   Dec 10, 2013 - 10:30 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

I've always loved the quartal harmony in this chorale from STRAW DOGS. Any idea which 'school' of composers influenced this kind of writing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dLjLhoIITc

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2013 - 5:46 PM   
 By:   dukeman   (Member)

Fielding absolutely sounds like he is channeling Bela Bartok in Straw Dogs and many other of his scores.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 10, 2013 - 6:15 PM   
 By:   stravinsky   (Member)

Straw Dogs is rather a bare faced rip off of Stravinsky's music for L'Histoire du Soldat. His other favourite classical work for plunder was Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra. It is referenced in many of his scores including the most recent release of his music for "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure". I really don't know how he got away with it. Some of the worst plagiarism I've heard. But strangely this theft draws me to Fielding. At least he had excellent choice!

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 8:00 AM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

It was not a rip-off. It was a highly creative interpretation of Stravinsky's piece for the drama's context. Quite brilliant, IMO, and he put his own stamp on it. Fielding was up-front about the direct influence of Soldier's Tale in Straw Dogs. It's stated in the notes for the promo album he produced in the late 70s. Also cited as strong influences on his wider work were Lutoslawski, Bartok and Takemitsu.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 8:15 AM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

Would you cite Toru Takemitsu as a strong influence on the soundworld of THE MECHANIC? I think I can hear some Roberto Gerhard there, too.

*Paging ToneRow*

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 11:38 AM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

Fielding absolutely sounds like he is channeling Bela Bartok in Straw Dogs and many other of his scores.

Not to mention Charles Ives' "The Unanswered Question".

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

And "The Gambler", Mr. Mahler.

The Titan symphony

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 5:02 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

I've always loved the quartal harmony in this chorale from STRAW DOGS. Any idea which 'school' of composers influenced this kind of writing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dLjLhoIITc


Hi, Mr. Shark.

I don't think there's any specific school to speak of.

The harmonic writing is neither strictly serial nor tonal but rather someplace in between these 2 ends of the spectrum. (I'm referring to STRAW DOGS here, not THE MECHANIC).

The brass chorale in particular evokes British composers, to my mind. More adventurous than the Vaughan Williams cow-pat territory, this brass fanfare is nevertheless far from being anything avant-garde by the likes of Harrison Birtwistle's soundsculptures or Brian Ferneyhough's ultra-post-modernism.

I'd position Jerry Fielding's STRAW DOGS in a mid-point area, not unlike Michael Tippett.
While Tippett's 1962 Praeludium for brass, bells and percussion is obviously different, it's nonetheless conjured in my mind when listening to Fielding's prologue/fanfare music for STRAW DOGS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGsSnMJgXjA&feature=player_detailpage

When one's at a level of appreciation for Fielding's soundtracks, one could similarly explore the concert music of Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. Again, just as with Tippett, Hoddinott's music does not sound much like Fielding's film music, but they can exist in a similar classification of "thorny" dissonance co-existing with tonal beauty.

Aside from the Mephistophelean violin solos, Fielding's STRAW DOGS does not sound very much like Stravinsky's music to me. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Would you cite Toru Takemitsu as a strong influence on the soundworld of THE MECHANIC? I think I can hear some Roberto Gerhard there, too.

*Paging ToneRow*


You rang?

Somewhere within these FSM threads, I chatted at length about Jerry Fielding's THE MECHANIC but forget the thread (it may have been something like "film music taken as a whole" by a member named Mike).

Anyways, I did mention that the piano parts in THE MECHANIC are reminiscent of some of Takemitsu's early 1960s solo piano pieces.

Although THE MECHANIC is a superb specimen of dodecaphonic techniques in film scoring, it is still not hard-core 12-tone enough to surpass the concert works of Roberto Gerhard, IMHO.

Even Fielding fans may consider Gerhard a tougher nut to crack. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 11, 2013 - 5:56 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)


The brass chorale in particular evokes British composers, to my mind. More adventurous than the Vaughan Williams cow-pat territory, this brass fanfare is nevertheless far from being anything avant-garde by the likes of Harrison Birtwistle's soundsculptures or Brian Ferneyhough's ultra-post-modernism.

I'd position Jerry Fielding's STRAW DOGS in a mid-point area, not unlike Michael Tippett.
While Tippett's 1962 Praeludium for brass, bells and percussion is obviously different, it's nonetheless conjured in my mind when listening to Fielding's prologue/fanfare music for STRAW DOGS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGsSnMJgXjA&feature=player_detailpage


Would Benjamin Britten be another composer to consider? He also comes at a midpoint between Elgar/Delius/Vaughn Williams and the Manchester School.

When one's at a level of appreciation for Fielding's soundtracks, one could similarly explore the concert music of Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. Again, just as with Tippett, Hoddinott's music does not sound much like Fielding's film music, but they can exist in a similar classification of "thorny" dissonance co-existing with tonal beauty.

Any particular Hoddinott works spring to mind?

Aside from the Mephistophelean violin solos, Fielding's STRAW DOGS does not sound very much like Stravinsky's music to me. smile

I can hear quite a bit of A Soldier's Tale in STRAW DOGS - a lot of the gentler, more pastoral moments have a striking similarity. i.e. - @4:30 here with the clarinet solo. Also, there's a chorale starting at 21:42 with certain contrapuntal dissonances that remind me of the cue I linked to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwIC7Jf-0kI

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 13, 2013 - 12:12 PM   
 By:   Mr. Shark   (Member)

Although THE MECHANIC is a superb specimen of dodecaphonic techniques in film scoring, it is still not hard-core 12-tone enough to surpass the concert works of Roberto Gerhard, IMHO.

Don't get me wrong -- I wasn't implying that the score surpassed Gerhard's works. Just that Fielding at his most avant-garde (barring ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ) reminded me of the Iberian dryness of Gerhard's music -- in particular his first three symphonies.

Even Fielding fans may consider Gerhard a tougher nut to crack. smile

Heh. I ordered several Gerhard study scores from Amazon this summer after you suggested him in my FANTASTIC VOYAGE thread, along with corresponding CDs. I actually really his music - much less stuffy and academic than you made him out to be. More imaginative than Babbitt, with a knack for interesting tone colours. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2013 - 9:18 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Any particular Hoddinott works spring to mind?

Yeah. Mind you I don't own a lot of Hoddinott's music, but there's 2 works of his on this Nimbus CD that I refer to:



Passaggio and Star Children (neither of them on YouTube)

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2013 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)


Would Benjamin Britten be another composer to consider? He also comes at a midpoint between Elgar/Delius/Vaughn Williams and the Manchester School.


You can add Britten, if you wish.

I wouldn't.

What I've heard from Britten does not motivate me to explore any of his music further. smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2013 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Don't get me wrong -- I wasn't implying that the score surpassed Gerhard's works. Just that Fielding at his most avant-garde (barring ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ) reminded me of the Iberian dryness of Gerhard's music -- in particular his first three symphonies.


Not to worry - I know you weren't implying that. And I agree: THE MECHANIC is Fielding at his most modernistic.

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2013 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Heh. I ordered several Gerhard study scores from Amazon this summer after you suggested him in my FANTASTIC VOYAGE thread, along with corresponding CDs. I actually really his music - much less stuffy and academic than you made him out to be. More imaginative than Babbitt, with a knack for interesting tone colours. smile

Sure, to us listeners of 20th century absolute music the works of R. Gerhard go down very well and are very satisfying.

However, to soundtrack collectors who haven't yet explored abstract concert pieces from the past 65 years, the music of Gerhard is much more - shall we say - uncompromising because there's no filmic 'story' with which listeners can hang their hats onto.

I think there's plenty of soundtrack buffs who are not able to handle Fielding's THE MECHANIC and come to terms with it, let alone a Gerhard concert piece such as his Symphony No. 4.

It depends very much on the listening habits and experience/exposure accumulated by the listener!

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2013 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

I read that Jerry Fielding played a number of classical music pieces for director Sam Peckinpah, and Peckinpah liked Igor Stravinsky's Histoire du soldat the best.

So even though Fielding had acknowledged that this Stravinsky work was the inspiration/foundation for his score for STRAW DOGS, when I listen to STRAW DOGS I hear Fielding (and Stravinsky is rather far away from my mind).

Somehow I find Fielding's overall early-1970s aesthetic to be quite removed from the sardonic temperament of Stravinsky's neo-classicism.

Fielding, with his score, still manages to convey an ethereal atmosphere that (I feel) is opposite from the neo-classical mindset.

I would sooner associate Auric & Honegger & the rest of Les Six with Stravinsky than any other film composers.

Perhaps this may very well be why Stravinsky did not write film scores; I understand Stravinsky asked for too high a fee for his services, also!

Check out a few films such as Joseph Strick's 1963 THE BALCONY or Jacques Rivette's 1991 LA BELLE NOISSEUSE to hear how selections of Stravinsky's concert pieces are utilized in cinema. See if they 'work' for you. I don't think Stravinsky (and his music) was ideally suited to underscore filmic content. But that's my opinion. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2021 - 7:56 AM   
 By:   Jedothek   (Member)

Straw Dogs is rather a bare faced rip off of Stravinsky's music for L'Histoire du Soldat. His other favourite classical work for plunder was Lutoslawski's Concerto for Orchestra. It is referenced in many of his scores including the most recent release of his music for "Beyond the Poseidon Adventure". I really don't know how he got away with it. Some of the worst plagiarism I've heard. But strangely this theft draws me to Fielding. At least he had excellent choice!


The issue is not whether Fielding should have allowed himself to be influenced by Stravinsky. That’s how art works: one artist influencing another. But the Straw Dogs score resembles Histoire du Soldat SO much at certain points that mere honesty would have required some mention of Stravinsky in the credits ( I recall none such). A simple “ inspired by...” would have sufficed. To be fair, the fault may not lie with Fielding: the producer or whoever may have dropped the ball on this.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 13, 2021 - 8:40 AM   
 By:   Schopenhauer1   (Member)

It was not a rip-off. It was a highly creative interpretation of Stravinsky's piece for the drama's context. Quite brilliant, IMO, and he put his own stamp on it. Fielding was up-front about the direct influence of Soldier's Tale in Straw Dogs. It's stated in the notes for the promo album he produced in the late 70s. Also cited as strong influences on his wider work were Lutoslawski, Bartok and Takemitsu.

The issue is not whether Fielding should have allowed himself to be influenced by Stravinsky. That’s how art works: one artist influencing another. But the Straw Dogs score resembles Histoire du Soldat SO much at certain points that mere honesty would have required some mention of Stravinsky in the credits (I recall none such). A simple “ inspired by...” would have sufficed. To be fair, the fault may not lie with Fielding: the producer or whoever may have dropped the ball on this.

 
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