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 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

Not sure if there was already a topic about this...one forgets after the years .
But what are /is the biggest orchestra and choruses used in filmscoring.
Is it QUEST FOR FIRE ?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 5:22 AM   
 By:   lacoq   (Member)

Not sure if there was already a topic about this...one forgets after the years .
But what are /is the biggest orchestra and choruses used in filmscoring.
Is it QUEST FOR FIRE ?[/endquot


Maybe Rozsa’s BEN HUR?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 5:45 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

I've just read that Jerry's Blue Max had 120 + playing.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 6:12 AM   
 By:   moolik   (Member)

QUEST I think combines 2 (!) Orchestras and chorus..LONDON SYMPHONY and LONDON PHILHARMONICS.......so...I guess Tiomkin´s FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE is also eligeble for a contender...dont know

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 6:53 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I'm sure I read (in the booklet notes probably) that BED OF ROSES by Michael Convertino featured something like 200 string players for the massive sound he wanted.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 7:17 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

QUEST I think combines 2 (!) Orchestras and chorus..LONDON SYMPHONY and LONDON PHILHARMONICS.......

Although Quest for Fire credited the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, it doesn't mean both orchestras were combined. Rather, some sessions were handled by the LSO, and others by the LPO.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

There's been one or two threads for sure; I know I posted in one years ago.

One thing to note: a large number of players doesn't mean they are all necessarily there at the same time playing. A large orchestra like that end up only using a standard number of most cues, with players for certain cues or additional players doubling up on others.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   Nicholas_DW   (Member)

QUEST I think combines 2 (!) Orchestras and chorus..LONDON SYMPHONY and LONDON PHILHARMONICS.......

Although Quest for Fire credited the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, it doesn't mean both orchestras were combined. Rather, some sessions were handled by the LSO, and others by the LPO.


Didn't something similar happen with Sphere?

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 9:16 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

some of the largest ensembles assembled were to perform Varese's concert works. one of his pieces required 17 percussionists and huge orchestral resources to achieve the sound textures he wanted.

But as Justin says, large groups are not meant for a large sound. Usually, it's unique chord voicings that require more of a particular orchestral choir. hence why Mahler's symphonies require such large resources. You can achieve plenty of weight with a standard 80 piece orchestra if you know how to orchestrate properly.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 9:44 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Brian's "Gothic" Symphony requires so many players that theres no professional, full recording of it with the composer's preferred number.

Theres a lovely bit of it on YouTube



As to film score, I'm going to say either North's Spartacus or Goldenthal's Final Fantasy. Even if I'm wrong, those are likely in the running.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 11:16 AM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

As of 1965-66, the biggest "aggregation" of musicians was on The Hallelujah Trail. (As described by the composer himself on a disc used for radio promotional purposes at the time). By "aggregation" he meant, of course, orchestra and chorus combined, so not sure if this counts, or if it has been overtaken in the years since...

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 11:36 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Brian's "Gothic" Symphony requires so many players that theres no professional, full recording of it with the composer's preferred number.

Theres a lovely bit of it on YouTube



As to film score, I'm going to say either North's Spartacus or Goldenthal's Final Fantasy. Even if I'm wrong, those are likely in the running.


I would second those two, and they sound it too!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   soundtracksi   (Member)


Would Ennio Morricone's Guns for san Sebastien be a contender?

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Shame on me for forgetting this one - I was listening to it last week - but Jarre's Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

IIRC, augmented London Philharmonic, 4 grand pianos, 11 percussionists and a children's choir.

Thats damn way up there in terms of size.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 6:57 AM   
 By:   pzfan   (Member)

Older thread
https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?forumID=1&pageID=1&threadID=38898&archive=1

And some classical with 7500 musicians
https://www.classicfm.com/composers/dvorak/news/biggest-orchestra-world-record/

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 7:09 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Amusing question, but somewhat beside the point for film music. The gargantuan imaginings of Berlioz and Mahler had to do with filling an acoustical space with sound. Recordings mostly annihilate space. They achieve their effects by other means. Korngold achieved spectacular results with probably no more than fifty musicians.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Also, the extra instruments used by the late Romantics weren't there just to make a bigger sound. When there are eight horns, they seldom just play together. Sometimes there are divisi parts. Sometimes the extra musicians serve to give the first player a rest. Obviously the last issue is irrelevant in recording sessions.

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2021 - 2:09 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Also, the extra instruments used by the late Romantics weren't there just to make a bigger sound. When there are eight horns, they seldom just play together. Sometimes there are divisi parts. Sometimes the extra musicians serve to give the first player a rest. Obviously the last issue is irrelevant in recording sessions.

Indeed. Mahler's 8th Symphony is one of the orchestral works requiring very large forces (not just a large orchestra, but several choirs and vocalists, organ, etc.), yet many passages of the music are rather quiet (though there are some loud ones for sure). Likewise Schönberg's Gurre-Lieder, which also require a large orchestra, but it is not per se a "loud" composition.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2021 - 2:43 AM   
 By:   Fifloe   (Member)

And some classical with 7500 musicians
https://www.classicfm.com/composers/dvorak/news/biggest-orchestra-world-record/

-----------------------------------


In Japan Beethoven 9th had a cast of 10.000.

Personally I have an older CD release of this with conductor Naozumi Yamamoto (who also was a film composer).

Just recognized that this was repeated with conductor Yutaka Sado in 2016 (perhaps even more times since there is also a youtube-video from 2012):

2016:


2012:

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2021 - 3:21 AM   
 By:   bigjimwilson   (Member)

Wasn't Back To The Future one of the biggest assembled at the time?

From the Intrada booklet.... "It's exciting to be in a room and hear all these people playing together - 98 people! I've been told it's the largest orchestra ever assembled in the history of Universal pictures."

I'm sure I've also read it was 101 players. But no idea where I saw that number.

 
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