Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

Well Nip, I wouldn't exactly call it "classical" music, but Goldsmith IS an excellent composer of orchestral music and often for motion picture scores and themes, and who knows?  Maybe Ludwig AND Pete might have been impressed!  :)

 

Sepiatone

 

That's a fun speculation but we know of course that Ludwig would not have understood any of it. It would be like babbling (musically) to him and he wouldn't consider it seriously. Peter would have been less confused. Music might have evolved sufficiently by his day to provide an inkling that might have prevented it from seeming unabashedly appalling.

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a fun speculation but we know of course that Ludwig would not have understood any of it. It would be like babbling (musically) to him and he wouldn't consider it seriously. Peter would have been less confused. Music might have evolved sufficiently by his day to provide an inkling that might have prevented it from seeming unabashedly appalling.

 

From what I've ever read about Beethoven, he probably wouldn't have liked it.  Or anything ELSE that HE didn't compose.

 

And judging from Pete's obsessive insecurity, he might have been envious enough to have "offed" himself much sooner!

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I've ever read about Beethoven, he probably wouldn't have liked it.  Or anything ELSE that HE didn't compose.

 

And judging from Pete's obsessive insecurity, he might have been envious enough to have "offed" himself much sooner!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Remember too Beethoven came fairly early, he predated nearly all of any generally famous composer that might come to mind. Among those who preceded him, he no doubt admired Mozart and Haydn because the influence is obvious. He probably admired the famous Baroque composers (Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, etc.) too. Conservative listeners back then (made up of the high born) couldn't handle Beethoven in the early going, he was seen as a crude and rebellious. Beethoven was a trailblazer. My thought that B wouldn't like Goldsmith was based on how composers in that era were just locked in to their own style. Goldsmith wouldn't (this is so hypothetical) be understood because the idiom would have seemed outrageous. You looked at if from a personality point of view, correctly pointing out that Beethoven has the image of an irascible man.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember too Beethoven came fairly early, he predated nearly all of any generally famous composer that might come to mind. Among those who preceded him, he no doubt admired Mozart and Haydn because the influence is obvious. He probably admired the famous Baroque composers (Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, etc.) too. Conservative listeners back then (made up of the high born) couldn't handle Beethoven in the early going, he was seen as a crude and rebellious. Beethoven was a trailblazer. My thought that B wouldn't like Goldsmith was based on how composers in that era were just locked in to their own style. Goldsmith wouldn't (this is so hypothetical) be understood because the idiom would have seemed outrageous. You looked at if from a personality point of view, correctly pointing out that Beethoven has the image of an irascible man.

Beethoven wanted to study with Mozart, but Mozart died before he could accomplish that dream. Beethoven idolized Mozart and saw himself as a successor to that genius.

 

As for the Great Master Hayden- - Beethoven studied with Hayden from 1792 to 1795.

 

The composers who composed for the movies in the 19 thirties and forties are seriously studied and played by symphonic orchestras all over the world. Korngold who worked for Warner Brothers as well as Max Steiner, Franz Waxman and Hitchcock's composer Bernard Herrmann. These composers also created serious compositions that are not associated with the motion picture industry.

 

One Motion Picture conductor, arranger and composer from MGM, Andre Previn, actually became a conductor of a major World Symphony Orchestra the London Symphony Orchestra.

 

For the most part, recent Motion Picture music is relegated to the pop Circuit of orchestras. John Williams was the conductor of the Boston Pops for a number of years and there was even a great deal of acrimony, among those artists, about him presenting his Movie music for the Pops Orchestra.

 

Bernard Herrmann was the chief conductor of the CBS Symphony Orchestra.

 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold composed ballets and operas in Vienna in the twenties and thirties. He was also a professor at the Vienna State Academy.

 

Korngold was Jewish. Had it not been for the rise of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, he probably would have stayed in Vienna and become one of the most famous operatic composers of the 20th century.

 

He left all that and a great deal of his savings behind to save his life and that's the reason he started working for Warner Brothers and the movies.

 

I have the movie Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn, that Korngold scored so brilliantly. They have a feature on the DVD where you can just listen to the music because it's considered to be able to stand on its own as a musical composition.

 

On the classical radio station, I've heard original compositions by Korngold and Herrmann, which have nothing to do with the movies. But they also play their movie scores as well as those of Waxman and Steiner.

 

Your talent and background has a lot to do with the quality of the music that you would be writing for movies. Like everything in life - - it varies according to the individual.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is not The Nutcracker but it is a scintillating little morsel from Swan Lake. It has a Christimas-y sound IMO. A delight to watch. Six versions in succession.  These are not demonstrably different from each other, at least not to the lay viewer (of which I am a member) as there is not much freedom to attempt a real tour-de-force alternate take with classical ballet. (excepting spoofs or novelty takes, which are for fun only.

 

If you're ambitious and watch all six, see which one is best for you. One category would be to what degree do the four dancers dance in unison. Watching the precise head movements is another.

 

A pas de quatre, bien sur, but it also known as the Four Little Swans.

 

 

This partially makes up for the loss of the dueling Nutcrackers.  Really hard to choose.  Maybe the Bolshoi, just because my mother idolized them, and saw them perform in San Diego a few times.  All six had my cat convinced--he watched with great interest.  Brava!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You left AARON COPELAND out of that list of "serious composers who wrote music for movies" PRINCESS. ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

No, I was talking about people who actually had contracts and worked primarily in the Golden Era of Hollywood for the big studios for whatever reason, political or otherwise.

 

 

Aaron Copland was a serious musician who may have been asked to do a couple of things in Hollywood, but he primarily belongs to the world of classical music.

And he may have gotten involved with the studios because he needed the money - - his style of composing wasn't that popular in some quarters when he was just making his reputation.

 

 

At any rate I think Aaron Copland is so overplayed and overdone in American music that we shouldn't even talk about him anymore-- okay?

 

 

I don't have to tell you how many American composers there are that we never hear on the radio and are not played by symphonic orchestras.

 

Yeah, almost everytime I turn on the radio-- I mean just about every day they play Aaron Copland. Because the people who donate money to the stations absolutely want to hear maybe just two or three American composers - - Copland, Bernstein and Gershwin, that's all they know.

 

There's so much more to American, music so much more.

 

Recently I discovered a composer named Howard Hanson and I've been playing him a great deal and I hope to discover more people in the near future.

 

Every time they start to play Appalachian Spring,, I just turn it off and turn on Howard Hanson.LOL

 

 

BTW-- They used some of Howard Hanson's music in Alien, instead of Jerry Goldsmith's. Hanson was still alive but he decided not to take them to court because they did not ask his permission first. Isn't that a cute story since we were talking about Jerry Goldsmith?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Another movie composer that I forgot to mention who was absolutely wonderful is Miklos Rózsa. Rózsa actually said that he had a double life as a film composer and as a serious classical composer.

 

That is amazing when you consider how many film scores he actually wrote-- I counted more than 90 on IMDb.

 

My favorite one is Spellbound for the Alfred Hitchcock movie; Rózsa won the Academy Award for that one as well as 2 others - - Ben-Hur and A Double Life.

 

Among his most notable scores were:

 

Double Indemnity

The Lost Weekend

Adam's Rib

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

The Asphalt Jungle

El Cid

Fedora

King of Kings

Lust For Life

 

 

His classical compositions are vast. They include a symphony, concertos, chamber music, vocal music, piano music and works for solo instruments.

 

His last score was for the Steve Martin movie, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, 1982.

Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it's NOT okay to not mention Copeland.  He's had a lot of influence on other great (and often overlooked) American composers.  Primarily LEONARD BERNSTEIN, who he had a long friendship with. 

 

And I don't hear him "overplayed" on the classical station I listen to. 

 

I also mentioned somewhere in this thread, a few months  ago that on that station, in a feature they have on weekends called "Music in film"  that hey played ELMER BERNSTEIN'S( no relation to Len, but they were close friends early on) score for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD  sounded( to me) a lot like Copeland's composition style.

 

Funny thing your mention of WAXMAN----

 

I was turned on to him by a friend who is a classical guitarist turned jazz musician by having us sit in another room while an old movie with a Waxman score was on TV in the next room.  He told me to just tune out the dialog and listen to the background music.  I was really taken with the complexity of his music, and made it a habit to also "tune out" the dialog and other ambient sound in movies as often as possible ever since.  I've also since learned how to WATCH a movie, follow the plot and conversations while STILL being able to single out the score.  You can( as I suspect you do) hear a LOT of great but unheralded music that way.

 

LEONARD BERNSTEIN too, is another "serious" musician and composer who also had forays into film scores.  But unfortunately, there are many who don't know about any of it.  Some folks I know only are familiar with his name and music in connection with WEST SIDE STORY and ON THE TOWN.  At least those who never bothered in their youth to watch any of his YOUNG PEOPLE'S CONCERTS.

 

You mentioned HERRMANN.  Yeah, too bad that not only do many people think he ONLY wrote music for Hitchcock movies, but don't know he composed music for many other films. Like many of those HARRYHAUSEN flicks they like so much

 

Same with KORNGOLD.  Some think(TOO many IMO)  that he only wrote scores for  EROLL FLYNN swashbucklers.   And I've had occasion over the years to hear music NOT connected to any movies composed by both Herrmann and Korngold, and concur with your  statements.

 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Princess is allergic to Appalachian Spring. I don't blame her, I can't get through it anymore either. But to cavalierly dismiss the guy is to crude, too crude I say.  ;-) @ Princess . Many CM stations probably do play that a lot. Copland (sans e) has a body of work on the serious side that is not readily accessible and I haven't as yet taken a serious look at some of those works. The Billy the Kid Suite and Rodeo are famous and popular and do capture a quintessentially American mood.

 

During a preview of The Heiress the brass were appalled when the audience laughed when the heroine got stood up on the porch when the coach swept by. For which to remedy Copland was asked to do something about it. Listen next time, nothing fancy but just a few modern sounding musical phrases here and there seems to have provided the needed gravity.

 

Leonard B was asked to write music for On The Waterfront but instead of watching the rushes and being inspired by that he, perhaps due to time constraints, wrote a suite for the movie based on what he knew of the project. I remember reading that this was a surprise and they had trouble working with it. Last time I looked still not sure the music in the film actually worked for me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If American classical music is to survive we have to stop concentrating on a couple of composers because they're popular and the symphonic orchestras and classical stations need bucks.

 

And I say very popular with people who don't love classical music, have little knowledge of classical music but can fill seats.

 

American classical music composers have always had to struggle against the European surge and worse than that those who or not white males have had an even more difficult time getting their music heard.

 

To be fair if American classical music is to survive we have to start bringing out and supporting more than just the same 2 or 3 composers at every concert.

 

Of late it's only natural that even the classical music scene has been watered down culturally due to the cultural desert that is now the United States.

 

Especially with the lack of funding etc going on all over, it's only understandable that sometimes orchestras have to cater to people who have very limited interest in classical music. And who will buy tickets if they play only a composer whose music they have heard on television or probably in a TV commercial.

 

Just imagine what classical music would be if you only could listen to a handful of composers - - and I won't say Beethoven and Mozart because none of the Americans that have been mentioned here are on the level of Beethoven and Mozart. We would be listening to and talking about 2 talented overplayed composers night and day.

 

And I bring Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin into this completely. No one loves West Side Story or Gershwin's few symphonic compositions more than me, and yet I have enough sense to know that we have to support other composers and broaden our knowledge of our own native classical music in order for it to survive for future Generations.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This partially makes up for the loss of the dueling Nutcrackers.  Really hard to choose.  Maybe the Bolshoi, just because my mother idolized them, and saw them perform in San Diego a few times.  All six had my cat convinced--he watched with great interest.  Brava!

 

I know you didn't do this for me but I am happy that someone actually watched all six. That cat has taste too.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

@PRINCESS

 

Can't argue with your assertion that there needs to be more concentration and exposure to American composers of orchestral classical style music.  Sadly, I confess I too, am sorely lacking in much knowledge and familiarity of  them.  Besides those already mentioned, I can only think of

 

SAMUEL BARBER(unless I missed mention of him earlier)

 

CHARLES IVES

 

PHILLIP GLASS

 

DAVID AMRAM

and...

LOREN RUSH.

 

So, help us out here.

 

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings-- I've been in love with it for about 10 years. Everytime I hear it it just drives me crazy. Barber's Opera, Antony and Cleopatra, open the Metropolitan Opera season in its new home in Lincoln Center in 1966. The great Leontyne Price was Barber's first Cleopatra and she made a recording of this opera with RCA in 1968.

 

Howard Hanson and William Grant Still are my two favorite " unknown" American composers. Of course, they wrote symphonies and I found out about them because my classical radio station happens to be National Public Radio and their DJ'S are the great classical musicians who have been educated in American music and are not afraid to play it.

 

However, they have to play a strong weekly diet of at least one of those three American composers, previously mentioned, because a great deal of their budget depends on donations. Whenever one of their Rich listeners makes a request, as a birthday or wedding anniversary, they most always ask for the Rhapsody are the Concerto, or Rodeo or Appalachian Spring are West Side Story or Candide. C'est la vie.

 

Howard Hanson has already been mentioned, as his music was illegally used, due to an inadequacy found in the Jerry Goldsmith score in the film Alien. Hanson also wrote 7 symphonies, choral works, chamber works and works for the piano. His most beautiful symphony and my favorite is No. 2, The Romantic, some of that music that was used illegally in the Alien movie. Hanson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his Symphony No. 4.

 

William Grant Still wrote 5 symphonies, 8 operas, and numerous orchestral suites. He was awarded 2 Guggenheim Fellowships and also arranged for the movies, which included Pennies from Heaven,1936 and Capra's masterpiece Lost Horizon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

The Monk and His Cat

adapted by W. H. Auden from an 8th or 9th century anonymous Irish text

 

Pangur, white Pangur,

How happy we are

Alone together, Scholar and cat.

Each has his own work to do daily;

For you it is hunting, for me, study.

Your shining eye watches the wall;

My feeble eye is fixed on a book.

You rejoice when your claws entrap a mouse;

I rejoice when my mind fathoms a problem.

Pleased with his own art

Neither hinders the other;

Thus we live ever

Without tedium and envy.

Pangur, white Pangur,

How happy we are,

Alone together, Scholar and cat.

 

The Monk and His Cat (from Hermit Songs) – Samuel Barber

 

May 18, 2009 by operanut

 

The Hermit Songs are 10 short songs by Samuel Barber. The lyrics are based on poems translated from anonymous Irish texts written in the 8th-13th century. These poems were written by monks and scholars, often scribbled on the margins of manuscripts that they were copying or editing, much like you might sketch an idea for a logo on a napkin at a restaurant. Their subject matter suggests that they were probably not meant for the eyes of the author’s Father Superior, or for that matter anyone but themselves. The poems are short, mere thoughts or observations about the simple lives the authors led. One of the pieces, “Promiscuity,” is especially risqué, speaking bluntly of the late night adventures of a mysterious person named Edan. Some of the poems are literal translations, while others were made especially by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman. The cycle was written for the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation between 1952 and 1953, and was premiered on October 30th, 1953, at the Library of Congress by soprano Leontyne Price.

 

The Monk and his Cat, translated by W.H. Auden, contrasts the lives of these two very different beings by focusing on their similarities. Musically the piece presents some very different elements that are immediately apparent, such as the lack of time signature, and the very specific dynamic/stylistic markings. Having no time signature creates a very flowing, kind of lazy melodic line. It also allows the melody to “feel” like it’s in a meter different from that of the accompaniment. The form is simple, and personally I wouldn’t choose to analyze the piece based on the form, but instead on the unique musical ideas in each phrase.

 

He sets the scene of the piece by using open intervals in the accompaniment at the beginning, suggesting medieval harmonies. This kind of walks hand in hand with, in my opinion, one of his most interesting compositional techniques. The vocal line is actually a decorated paraphrase of the piano’s melody, which is made only more chant like by paralleling it in fourths. (example on pg.1256) The music also portrays the text by using two different moods: a long legato line for the monk, and a playful and separated one for the cat.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

PRINCESS---

 

The station I listen to is connected to a local junior college, and also depends a lot on listener donations.  But those of us( and I DO also donate)  who tune in and donate do so because we LIKE their programming and for instance...

 

There was some kind of "outage" for several hours of my cable service, so I switched my reciever from "video" to "tuner" and listened to the classical station for at least five hours yesterday.

 

And not ONCE did I hear ANY Copeland in all that time.  True though, the playlist WAS devoid of much American classical music.  In fact, much of what they DID play were works by European composers I've never heard of and works I've never HEARD before.

 

A most relaxing and enjoyable afternoon.  :)

 

I think the assesment of your station's catering to their largest donors is a bit cynical. 

 

Sepiatone

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sep-- since I've been on the classical music stations from my cable TV I've been learning a lot more about composers, new to me, here and abroad.

 

When I'm finished with that I have other choices which are of course my traditional rock and roll hits from the fifties to the eighties. Ironically, I'm finding a great of new information those artists and composers as well.

 

It's fun to see how popular music trends have changed over the decades.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sep-- since I've been on the classical music stations from my cable TV I've been learning a lot more about composers, new to me, here and abroad.

 

When I'm finished with that I have other choices which are of course my traditional rock and roll hits from the fifties to the eighties. Ironically, I'm finding a great of new information those artists and composers as well.

 

It's fun to see how popular music trends have changed over the decades.

You're talking about MUSIC CHOICE?

 

Yeah, I go there now and then.  LOTS of interesting stuff there.  And more GENRES than I was ever aware of!

 

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Someone had mentioned that Stravinsky wrote a musical play for television, The Flood.  It premiered on CBS television (can you imagine that happening today?) in 1962.  The narrator was Laurence Harvey, Noah was played by Sebastian Cabot, and Elsa Lanchester was Noah's wife--with a Cockney accent no less.  I couldn't find it on YouTube, so here's a different version recorded more recently.  If I find it I'll post the original version.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ravel composed some beautiful music, and his orchestration of PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION  was(and still is) stellar.  But lo, the ONLY work of his I have a problem with is his oft and "overcelebrated" BOLERO.  I much rather prefer DAPHNIS and CHLOE.

 

 

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your comment, Sep.

 

Ravel was chagrined at the popularity of Bolero, he once claimed that it was meant only as an exercise. Ravel wanted to be known for other more interesting works (and of course he is) but it stung a bit to have the pop factor with Bolero. Actually I like the piece, so long as the conductor doesn't mess with the tempi, it should be uniform throughout. The seemingly monotonous repetition of the melody can actually take on power as the piece goes on and become quite moving. One of the keys to experiencing this is to give the music undivided attention and don't think. I get goose bumps when the piece finally abandons the melody and enters into the small coda that ends piece. It happens suddenly and is rather brief (and dramatic to me), but not without effect. that rousing fall of the orchestra, like a balloon that suddenly loses air.

 

It's hard to find words to describe music (unless you're a music critic, or something) and Daphnis et Chloe, an absolute masterpiece, is no exception. The first five minutes or so of the Second Suite (beginning with the "Daybreak" sequence [lever du jour]) is certainly in the running for my all-time favorite five minutes in the whole realm of the Classics. This version is the best on the tube. Most of the others are too tepid to my taste, But Dudemal gives this the oomph it needs. What a fine young orchestra.

 

(no, that's not Obama playing the flute)

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...