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 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

that you're not a Wagner expert, it is clear. I own several Goldenthal scores, Pet Sematary, Frida, Drugstore Cowboy, the two Batmans, etc., and there's little special about them, originality the least of all. And you have to be a bit slow not to notice the similarity, note by note, of the themes linked above.

I had a good laugh reading 'the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics (sic) and visual style' (sic) thanks!

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I had a good laugh reading 'the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics (sic) and visual style' (sic) thanks!

I'm sure it was laughter as a defense mechanism because you were obviously unable to comprehend the meaning.

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 7:04 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

that you're not a Wagner expert, it is clear. I own several Goldenthal scores, Pet Sematary, Frida, Drugstore Cowboy, the two Batmans, etc., and there's little special about them, originality the least of all. And you have to be a bit slow not to notice the similarity, note by note, of the themes linked above.

I had a good laugh reading 'the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics (sic) and visual style' (sic) thanks!


that you're not a Wagner expert, it is clear. I own several Goldenthal scores, Pet Sematary, Frida, Drugstore Cowboy, the two Batmans, etc., and there's little special about them, originality the least of all. And you have to be a bit slow not to notice the similarity, note by note, of the themes linked above.

I had a good laugh reading 'the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics (sic) and visual style' (sic) thanks!


I don't own the scores that you mention, just batman forever. i also have his Alien3, Final Fantasy, Demolition Man, Othello, Cobb, and a couple of others that escape me. I really enjoy them, but i don't have much wider knowledge of influences on composers. I thought Horner's stuff was all his own! So is there any other stuff that you think Goldenthal 'homages' specifically, because i'd probably like it and buy it. The only Wagner i have heard has been in Excalibur and Apocalypse Now.

I links you provided didnt work for me for some reason.

 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 7:47 PM   
 By:   Khan   (Member)

I'm pretty sure that GRENDEL will be getting additional US performances in the next few years. Placido Domingo is also the general director of the Washington, DC Opera, and I'm pretty sure he'll want to bring it to DC sometime soon.

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 8:35 PM   
 By:   rbrisbane_1984   (Member)

Thor writes "I'm sure it was laughter as a defense mechanism because you were obviously unable to comprehend the meaning."

Defense mechanism against ignorance of Wagner and ignorance of what's original and what's homage', you mean. Very funny indeed, let me quote it again (the English mistakes remain): "the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics and visual style, for one"

ouch!

 
 
 Posted:   May 30, 2006 - 8:35 PM   
 By:   Wickenstein   (Member)

Asside maybe from Williams, Goldenthal is the best composer writing for film today. He might be the closest thing there is to an heir to Goldsmith. Try Alien3, Titus, Sphere, Final Fantasy, Heat, and SWAT before you call him unoriginal. I happen to like the Wagnerian style of his Batman scores.

I too hope that somebody records this opera one day. Perhaps it will be like a cross of Jaun Darien and Fire, Water, Paper. Then again, I always find Goldenthal's theater and concert work to have a different sound from his film scores (Othello being an exception) so maybe Grendel will be something new. I just hope there's some pitch-bending somewhere in there. You gotta love that Goldenthal staple.

I also hope that now that he's done he'll take a short break and then start scoring movies again. He needs to do another sci-fi movie. He can't go wrong with those.

 
 
 Posted:   May 31, 2006 - 6:09 AM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

Ah, i forgot i had SWAT and Heat, too. Some very different scores there. I find Goldenthal's scores very powerful. I like his style. And i agree his sci-fi scores are top-notch indeed.

 
 
 Posted:   May 31, 2006 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   Matthijs   (Member)

I think Goldenthal is one of the best composers right now.
He has a certain writing style that you will like or hate, personally I love it.
There is indeed a big Wagner/Prokofiev/Mahler influence in his style but I don’t see what is wrong with that. Almost every film composer has a classical favorite who you can hear every now and then coming back in the scores. For example:
- “Star Wars” a lot Gustave Host stuff there.
- Newton Howard a big Beethoven fan, etc.
- “Gladiator” the battle scene, a homage to “Mars the bringer of War” from Holst
- “Vertigo”, Herrmann thought of “Tristan and Isolde” (Wagner) when he wrote that

Lot of Stravinsky, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Holst, Wagner, Mahler, etc is used as influence in the film scoring. I really don’t see a problem by showing homage to the once who influence ones writing style.

And personally I think Goldenthal’s batman scores are the best.

Best,

Matthijs

 
 
 Posted:   May 31, 2006 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Defense mechanism against ignorance of Wagner and ignorance of what's original and what's homage', you mean. Very funny indeed, let me quote it again (the English mistakes remain): "the mythological vastness and scope of both thematics and visual style, for one"

1. I admit that I'm no Wagner expert, but I know enough about him and his works to recognize general paralells to other works of art. I'm not totally Wagner ignorant. And I know perfectly well the difference between 'original' and 'homage'. I refer to the three points I made earlier.

2. My English may not be perfect (as it's only my second language), but I don't think there was anything wrong with the sentence above. If you think so, care to point out what, exactly?

3. In my opinion, you're just another one of those internet gremlins who have stumbled across a stylistic similarity between two pieces of music, convinced yourself (and only yourself) that it's a note-for-note rip and then finally getting an incessant urge to share it with everyone and everything in public ("Oooooh, look what I have found! Look what I have found!"). I have encountered it THOUSANDS of times before in relation to James Horner, in particular, but that's somewhat understandable as he has a reputation. In relation to Goldenthal, however, it just becomes absurd and falls on its own unreasonability.

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2006 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   scoringsessions   (Member)

So who made it last night?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2006 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   Doug Adams   (Member)

So who made it last night?

Jon, Tim, Al and I were there last night. We'll have a podcast report up once I'm back in Chicago.

-Doug Adams

 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2006 - 5:34 PM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)

Any news on the planned podcast? The online critics I've read so far are sometimes ambivalent, but rather positive altogether. But who cares... wink

Better: I found two short, yet impressing video clips from the opera performance on the Lincoln Center website, showing Eric Owens in his role as Grendel and Denyce Graves as The Dragon. It's unmistakably vocabulary from Goldenthal's musical language, within the world of grand opera. I can't wait to hear this one day.

http://www.lincolncenter.org
(search for "Grendel")

mms://wm.media.streamingculture.net/lc-2305-500.wmv

mms://wm.media.streamingculture.net/lc-2306-500.wmv

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2006 - 8:26 PM   
 By:   Doug Adams   (Member)

Should be up this weekend, I think.

-Doug Adams

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 23, 2006 - 9:08 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I'm interested in Doug's review. If you use your search engine, posters can find reviews on this opera. Lots of kudos for the technological aspects of the opera and for the performances; however, I found mostly medicore and tepid reviews for the music. (And several references to John Adam's style.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2006 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   Doug Adams   (Member)

>>>I'm interested in Doug's review. If you use your search engine, posters can find reviews on this opera. Lots of kudos for the technological aspects of the opera and for the performances; however, I found mostly medicore and tepid reviews for the music. (And several references to John Adam's style.)>>>

The podcast will most be our post performance musings… complete with a lovely bottle of Silvestri wine! I did an actual review for the site, which I believe will go live Monday.

Short story, however, I thought the entire piece was terrific. If Goldenthal’s score didn’t get the attention that the set design did, I think it’s because he and Taymor chose to interlock their efforts on the opera, rather than compete for attention. Taymor took the wild pan-everything approach crazy left turn approach, and Elliot created something more straight ahead. The music was no less colorful and imaginative, it just didn’t veer into postmodern territory like the visuals did – no sudden big band outbursts, nothing like that. If you can imagine the language of Titus’ orchestral music matched with the restraint of Othello, you’d be in the ballpark.

As for the John Adams’ comparisons – boy, I don’t see that. Adams has certainly gone past his pure minimalist phase and is now doing some sort of meta-minimalism (metamilism?), but it’s still largely a contrapuntal, pattern-based style. Maybe Doctor Atomic took a large turn for him, I haven’t heard that yet, but otherwise I’m going to go on a limb and say that those who claim Goldenthal is swimming in Adams’ waters are getting way too hung up on the concept of pulse-based writing, and are largely failing to grasp either composer’s approach.

But, maybe my Saturday morning coffee hasn’t kicked in yet and I’m just cranky. wink

-Doug

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2006 - 3:22 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Doug, I hope you don't think that I meant any insult at all. I just referenced some of the reviews I've read. I'll look for links. I was just stating what I read. I value your insights a lot more than certain critics.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2006 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   Doug Adams   (Member)

Doug, I hope you don't think that I meant any insult at all. I just referenced some of the reviews I've read. I'll look for links. I was just stating what I read. I value your insights a lot more than certain critics.

Oh no, not at all. I’ve seen a few of the John Adams claims in reviews, and was refuting those. Didn’t intend to get in a huff in the least.

Best,

-Doug

PS – I’ve had my coffee now… wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2006 - 3:48 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

http://today.reuters.com/news/newsarticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-06-10T223601Z_
01_N25220841_RTRUKOC_0_US-ARTS-GRENDEL.xml&src=rss

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/entertainment/homepage/article_1176082.php

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060615/stage_nm/stage_grendel_dc


Above are a couple of links with reviews and two mention John Adams. (I've not listened to Adams' music. Maybe I should as I hear his name quite often. I think Doug did a fine job of refuting that reference.) And if any posters read the various reviews on the Internet, they will find differing opinions. Personally, I'd LOVE to see this opera.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2006 - 1:29 AM   
 By:   Sal. Berger   (Member)

Thanks for the first insights already, Doug! smile

As to all the references around, one shouldn't take them all too serious. I think it's just the easiest way for newspaper critics to convey what they've listened to. After all, there have to be fixed categories to put the impressions across the common newspaper reader, without becoming all to circumstancial. That's quite difficult with music in general, though, "speaking in references" exclusively, especially in a disdainful tone, seems rather primitive and superficial.

So, while many reviewers tend to call all Philip Glass music "minimalist" for this reason, they will describe Goldenthal's music as Philip Glass-influenced when there are passages dominated by ostinato figures, like e.g. the Ship's Arrival scene in OTHELLO. Just to get the readership, assumably not one of experts, halfway close to the score.

When there's a big choir/orchestral moment, it's of course heavily Orff-influenced, at least O Fortuna-influenced! Which is generally an often-used and rather careless comparison. But it perfectly shows that the canon of references is rather small; I'm surprised to find John Adams in it.

Elliot Goldenthal makes it even more difficult for those reviewers, as he tends to use several different techniques within one score (which I consider a healthy thing for a composer to do, especially within longer forms.)
Now, I think in most cases there's still a difference between using certain already existing techniques (minimalist, aleatoric, contrapuntal, twelve-tone etc.; orchestrational technqiques) and stealing from a certain [popular] composer. For a critic, it's the next step of being populist to "confuse" that.
(And there isn't the slightest Philip Glass lifting in OTHELLO, to keep the example. It's just an ostinato figure; context, phrasing, effect are far away from Glass.)

Well, under certain circumstances all this serves for reviews like the following, which is of course far away from being analytic.

"[...] This pastiche of Philip Glass, Carl Orff and countless cinematic motifs that he calls 'Grendel' lacks a unified voice."
-- (David Mermelstein for Bloomberg News)

 
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