Classical Music/ Film Soundtracks

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Joll, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. Joll

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    Bit random, this - but does anybody else think that some of the best new classical music these days is composed for film soundtracks?

    Stuff like Schindler's List, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Da Vinci Code, Master & Commander, etc. - all had really awesome orchestral scores - almost, if not as good as traditional composers.

    Anyone else have any feelings on this?
     
    #1 Joll, Feb 23, 2009
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  2. ManlyBanisters

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    Some of those scores, movie scores in general - notably the Hans Zimmer scores for me (Pirates, Black Hawk Down, Glaidator) and Mike Nyman (The Piano) - are indeed very good, but when else do the majority of us hear new 'classical' (orchestral) music?

    Name the last time not in a movie context that you heard late 20th C / 21st C orchestral music.
     
  3. Joll

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    Hmm, that's true. Maybe it's the best way of getting classical music to a wide audience these days?

    I agree about Hans Zimmer - love the 'Chevaliers de Sangreal' tune from Da Vinci...
     
  4. tripod

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    Classical music is most accessible in the movie music format these days, that is for sure. More people saw fucking Celtic Woman than went to symphonies the last few years. :(
     
  5. D_Jared Padalicki

    D_Jared Padalicki Account Disabled

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    Well if you notice it well, classic music is always the best in blockbuster movies. Classic just gives that extra to a big movie, makes it more spectacular. Others movies like Titanic and so have made their power with that classic music.
     
  6. jjsjr

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  7. thirteenbyseven

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    Sadly, the musical literacy in today's contemporary society is such that a rapper or hip-hop artist chanting the blockbuster hit "F*** Yo Mama" can go platinum in no time. Nobody seems to care about 19th to early 20th century classical music anymore. Even well known opera arias taken out of a familiar context become unrecognizable. An episode on a 2003 TV show called Joe Millionaire featured an instrumental version of Puccini's Nessun Dorma, but because Luciano Pavarotti wasn't singing the aria women were posting questions in realty TV forums as to its source.

    We were at the piano bar in Hedonism II one time when a classically trained pianist came in and began playing YouTube - pletnev - rachmaninov, rhapsody on a theme of paganini: iii The women to my right immediately became interested and asked the man what he was playing? He replied that it was a composition of his own, to which I chimed in that it must have been the 18th variation. :biggrin1:

    Many struggling U.S. symphony orchestras far down the list from The Big Five have the philosophy that to get a wide audience to listen, the composition has to be both familiar and have great dynamics; which is why the following is played to death in orchestra schedules near and far: YouTube - Pictures at an Exhibition: Esa-Pekka Salonen (4 of 4)

    Until society in general stops thinking of Gansta Rap as music there will be no place for Brahms or Beethoven. :frown1:
     
  8. D_Jared Padalicki

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  9. eddyabs

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    I agree joll, some of the best modern classical music is composed for movies.

    I always LOVED Ennio Morricone's 'On Earth as it is Heaven' from 'The Mission'....such a moving piece of music...

    On Earth as it is in Heaven.
     
  10. Joll

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    Thanks for the links ppl! - will check 'em out. Haven't heard/seen some of them (apart from Mohicans).

    Pieter - I agree man, it definitely adds a sense of occasion and takes the experience off the scale sometimes. My little sis has tickets to a special screening of Fellowship of the Ring at the Albert Hall in April - with the London Philharmonic (i think) playing the soundtrack live :)
    Problem is - she doesn't think she'll be able to go :rolleyes:

    Sometimes it can be used dramatically to kind of be unsettling, too - like hearing beautiful music when something horribles happening (Clockwork Orange, etc) which is a bit incongruous.

    Oh, forgot the Band of Brothers Theme, and Harry Potter lol - they're cool too.
     
    #10 Joll, Feb 23, 2009
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  11. Joll

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    Thirteen by Seven - cool post man - you obviously know a lot about it!

    Occassionally a classical tune gets big popularity by being linked to something else - in 1990 Nessun Dorma suddenly became really popular over here, because it was the BBC's theme tune for the World Cup (soccer) that year :)

    Also - if they're sampled in pop/rap tunes they can be quite effective too - I'm thinkin of Pachelbel's Canon sampled in the Farm's 'All Together Now' and William Orbit's dance mix of Adagio for Strings, etc..
     
    #11 Joll, Feb 23, 2009
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  12. jason_els

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    I'm not sure it's the best, and not all of it is classical; orchestral, yes, but not classical. The big guns who will be considered classical from the 20th century will be names like Copland, Glass, and Cage. Even then, strictly speaking, they're not classical composers.

    Movies frequently give us the best opportunity to hear orchestral music however that particular genre is called, program music; music made to fit into a story being told. There are, and have been since movies began, some outstanding pieces of orchestral program music and even some non-orchestral, such as the entirely electronic score by Louis and Bebe Barron for the classic masterpiece, Forbidden Planet, made in 1956! Yes, before the transistor! It's a brilliant soundtrack that set the standard for eerie space music for decades to come.

    However, give one of the greatest film scoring composers an electric violin, an electric bass, 2 theremins (treble & bass), test oscillators, vibraphone, 4 pianos, 4 harps & approximately 30 brass instruments, and you actually get an orchestral score that doesn't sound orchestral in the slightest! That's what the genius of Bernard Herrmann gave us in The Day the Earth Stood Still. It is so enduring you even heard a few bars of it during the Oscars last night.

    I adore film soundtracks precisely because they add so much unspoken emotion to films. Even what many consider to be the greatest film of all time, The Passion of Joan of Arc, originally made without a soundtrack at the end of the silent era, is better with a score (done by Richard Einhorn). Take 2 and a half minutes to listen to this. It's extraordinary.
     
    #12 jason_els, Feb 23, 2009
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  13. Joll

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    Interesting post, man - will go and listen to that now for 2 1/2mins hehe.

    Even though soundtrack/program music is made to fit the film (time limits, theme etc) - do you think it's as good as/ or even better in some cases than the modern composers you mentioned - or famous classical ones?

    Maybe it's just the way great orchestral music is stimulated these days?

    I agree about brilliant scores of other genres - didn't scarface have quite a radical electronic soundtrack? (think it was scarface anyway!).
     
  14. chicagosam

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    Three film scores immediately come to mind that I have always enjoyed.

    Lady Caroline Lamb (Sir Richard Rodney Bennett)

    The Lion In Winter (John Barry)

    Somewhere In Time (John Barry)

    Now that I am retired from staging shows, I have had the time to go back and explore a tremendous amount of classical music.

    Current favorite: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 29 by Alexander Scriabin and also his Piano Concerto in F sharp Minor, Op. 20.

    The following are threads that deal with the subject of classical music that you might also enjoy. Perhaps it is time for them to make a return to the top.

    http://www.lpsg.org/45677-five-classical-favorites-my-ipod.html
    http://www.lpsg.org/46001-five-favorite-classical-vocals.html
     
  15. kalipygian

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    I think that has been true since music was first composed for films, probably beginning with films produced in Germany.
     
  16. Joll

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    John Barry's good. Didn't he do some Bond themes, too?
    Slightly prefer John Williams tho :)
     
  17. MASSIVEPKGO_CHUCK

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    The entire FOOTLOOSE soundtrack.
     
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