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 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 2:55 PM   
 By:   Panavision70   (Member)

Classical music critic at Washington Post admits John Williams is good.

www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/music/as-a-classical-music-critic-i-used-to-think-the-star-wars-score-was-beneath-me-i-was-wrong/2019/01/17/80fe0744-18f0-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.dd4eacb64f25

"As a classical music critic, I used to think the ‘Star Wars’ score was beneath me. I was wrong."

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   Avatarded   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 4:05 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

"My real lesson in learning to admire John Williams lay in recognizing yet again the degree to which many of us who love the arts, both popular and “fine,” live in silos of our own making, affixing labels that have nothing to do with the music and impede our enjoyment of it. This is as true for classical fans, looking down their nose in horror at so-called pop, as it is for fans of indie-rock who are put off by the supposed elitism of the concert hall."


The truth has been spoken!

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?


A snob finally saw the light. That's a good thing!

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 6:38 PM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?


>>>>he finally realized that he has been "stealing" from classical composers all
this time?

 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 9:06 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I read (or heard) virtually the same sentiments by some BBC Classical Radio 3 critic in the 1970s, but that time the subject was Korngold.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 18, 2019 - 10:11 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?

Well, I feel some measure of vindication here. In my youth I was constantly told "John Williams is not a real composer", "Film music isn't real music", "All John Williams' music sounds the same", "John Williams' music is loud and annoying", "That theme is a ripoff of such-and-such", "What a waste to use the London Symphony for Star Wars", etc., etc., etc.

I remember this one time as a teenager, when I asked the proprietor of one of our local record stores -- a guy with Rick Ocasek's hairstyle -- "Do you have any Boston Pops albums?" He responded with a resoundingly vehement, slightly-insulted "NO!" (He did have the soundtrack for Sin & Nancy though.)

A number of years ago, music critic Norman Lebrecht wrote an article titled "Maestro Magpie", which pilloried Williams for his habitual "plagiarism" -- and what's ironic is that Lebrecht was a friend and admirer of James Horner (and even named Horner in the article as an example of a film composer who was superior to Williams). roll eyes

Then there was this douche at my college who taught a film composing class -- and he actually venerated Bernard Herrmann -- but espoused the usual snobbery when it came to John Williams. On top of this, he -- erroneously -- taught his students that Williams only wrote a theme and the orchestrator wrote the actual score.

Even Royal S. Brown was dismissive of Star Wars, claiming it "set back an interest in film music" (which is ludicrous, when SW actually inspired legions of people to start listening to film music -- and rekindled an interest in more symphonic scoring in Hollywood).

So after years of hearing this kind of guff, I find it refreshing to see a critic finally admit "I was wrong".

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 12:47 AM   
 By:   Avatarded   (Member)

I just have a hard time with that sort of classical critic and their snobbery, because I simply fail to understand why and what makes their opinion matter so much (like the oft-repeated Alex Ross / Horner criticism. Why should his opinion matter to me? Who made him an authority I'm supposed to take seriously? I was never reading them in the first place.)

The music shop owner just sounds like an asshat who shouldn't have disdain for his customer's buying choices. They (you) keep him in business. He should keep his tastes to himself for the sake of that business. A restaurant owner might think grilled cheese sandwiches are for cheapskates but if they're on the menu and they sell, then they should be sold like they're steak and the low opinions of them kept away from those who pay money for them in the restaurant and give said owner a vacation now and then.

I get the need for validation and vindication, because I've come to learn a LOT about Horner and feel very vindicated indeed based on the information the team I'm part of has gathered and had revealed to us. Lots of misconceptions cleared up, that sort of thing.

I can't ever say I hear something in Star Wars that is somehow lesser than some Mozart symphony because I don't subscribe to the idea that one has to have been dead for a century to have made a positive and worthy contribution. John Williams is the 20th and 21st century father of contemporary orchestral music. Nothing on this earth will ever change that, except maybe if he said something 20 years ago some jerk holds against him now because that's what the world of social media has devolved into but that's another issue entirely.

Does it all sound the same? Honestly, most music does coming from particular people whether it's classical, hip-hop or a banjo-strumming folk musician. That's what keeps people coming back for more if they gravitate toward a particular author or composer. But if you like it, and there's a lot of other people out there who like it, they don't need to be told their likes are somehow wrong or that there's something wrong with them for preferring it.

She was wrong. No one asked if she thought she was right. Never heard of this person before. I doubt Williams himself would ever give a damn. He's doing just fine for himself and we all know that. wink

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 1:38 AM   
 By:   dtw   (Member)

"...And another thing..."

We here all know that Williams writes concert music too. As do/have many of our other favourite film music composers. Do these classical snobs think there is a qualitative difference between the music a particular composer is commissioned to write to accompany a motion picture and that which (s)he writes for any other reason?
If the answer is "no", they've shot down their own opinion.
If the answer is "yes", the follow-up question is how does this differ from Ibsen commissioning Grieg to write a score for Peer Gynt or the King of Prussia commissioning Mendelssohn to write a score for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream?

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 2:15 AM   
 By:   Swaj   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?


>>>>he finally realized that he has been "stealing" from classical composers all
this time?


As you so eloquently put it to someone in the Bad Times at the El Royale thread when someone said Tarantino ripped people off:

“Blah.blah. blah.
Yada yada yada.
xzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 3:43 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?


>>>>he finally realized that he has been "stealing" from classical composers all
this time?


That's all right, classical composers have always stolen from other classical composers.

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 4:45 AM   
 By:   judy the hutt   (Member)

So some classical music snob "admits" Williams is good and that is supposed to matter to those who have admired his career for a lifetime because...?


>>>>he finally realized that he has been "stealing" from classical composers all
this time?


That's all right, classical composers have always stolen from other classical composers.


amen to that. And this discussion yields to the fact that a film score composer is starting to get recognized. Think how that has changed over the past decade. It will only get better. And if this happens to one then more will follow = unless you do not believe in the greatness of music for film.

if that is the case there is nothing more to say

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 4:55 AM   
 By:   Mike Esssss   (Member)

“supposed elitism” LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Related: “Steven King” LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Thank you for the oh so charitable gift of your apology to the commoners! I shall place it upon the mantle betwixt my Slim Jim dispenser and my queso fountain.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 5:24 AM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)


On top of this, he -- erroneously -- taught his students that Williams only wrote a theme and the orchestrator wrote the actual score.


I saw someone state this recently. I was....pretty flabbergasted that anyone could believe such.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

That was a more decent, less pretentious, article than I expected based on the comments. Every little bit of appreciation for film music helps. Don't knock it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 6:41 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

So the next thing will be

"Orchestral film music fan admits Hans Zimmer is good".

it's just the same.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 7:02 AM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

I'm glad we can just accept that good music is good. My local symphony players seem to like film music even though it sounds like it usually means more prep for them in rehearsals. A french horn player said he really liked the challenge of John Williams' music in particular

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 8:39 AM   
 By:   Nono   (Member)

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/star-wars-composer-made-very-9497097

The 83-year-old says that while his Star Wars themes are revered around the world, he doesn't consider them classics.

He went on : "I don't know. A lot of them are not very memorable and so on. It's probably the most popular music that I've done."

"So I'm a composer of music and I look at Mozart and I look at Beethoven and Bach, the greatest organizers of sound that we've ever had, and you need to be humble when the shoulders that we stand on are so great."


https://www.lexpress.fr/culture/cinema/john-williams-mes-roles-de-composition_1231336.html

Do you listen to music when you are not working ?

"Not that much, because, if I start listening to Haydn or Brahms, I realize immediately that it's much better than anything I will be ever able to do."

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

So the next thing will be

"Orchestral film music fan admits Hans Zimmer is good".

it's just the same.



Great point.

 
 Posted:   Jan 19, 2019 - 9:05 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Always amuses me that so many film music lovers crave acceptance from classical music listeners.
I consider maybe a half of 1% of my film music collection (about 2,500 recordings) as suitable for a presence in a classical concert or a strictly classical radio program. And those would be by composers already noted for a "classical" leaning, whether Korngold or Glass or Prokofiev or maybe Moross or Herrmann.
To me, the rest is simply what I enjoy and doesn't need to be labeled as "serious" or particularly substantial music. I don't mind admitting I have neither the patience nor intellect to sit through lengthy symphonies or concertos or operas time after time after time – I prefer the quick-fix shots of orchestral adrenalin or sentimentality that film music provides. It's popular orchestral music. Just because some of it mimics Ravel or Berlioz or Strauss doesn't raise its stature beyond what it is.
When I hear Williams, I hear film music. Sometimes, with pieces like the Well of Souls or Fortress of Solitude material, I think "This stuff is great and sounds like it could be part of a serious concert piece". But it isn't. It's film music. It's the orchestral stuff I enjoy and like to listen to, just like the song in Gunfight at the OK Corral, or the mickey mousing in Adventures of Don Juan.
I think some people like to think their film music tastes should be approved by classical critics simply to validate their own musical intellect. For my part, I'm happy to admit to having no great musical intellect whatsoever and so film music serves me just fine.

 
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