Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This is a test

Soho the dog has posted a questionnaire about musical taste, opinion and such
There are 10 questions plus some extra credit stuff
I, being a purely intellectual being, have no opinions or any taste to
speak of. Therefore I don't participate in such things. Even my own
music is of intellectual interest only. I could in no way tell you what it "means" or what you're supposed to feel about it. Nobody's buying it is all I know.
Also, I am too lazy.

However,
the Omniscient (except for opera) Mussel did provide the following
answer to #7 which ought to resonate with all the unsung (or un-performed) composers of the world.
It awarded myself with a satisfying snort of derision; John Williams? pfui!

- What’s the best use of a classical warhorse in a Hollywood movie?

Everything John Williams ever wrote is just a rearrangement of Mars from The Planets or the finale of Tchaik 6.
Oh no! It’s the Apocalypse.
Again.
Yawn.

Actually, my answer, if I were not too proud to participate in this sort of thing, would be, (who was it) Kubric's? use of the ride of the Valkyries in "Apocalypse now".
It's not so much the music as it is the comparison between "fearless women
warriors on noble steeds collecting the fallen heroes and bringing them
to their reward" and "lunatic surfer dudes riding flapping helicopters
to drop flaming gasoline on hapless villagers".

It's the sense of humor involved.

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4 Comments:

Blogger butch said...

Dougie, oh Dougie:

You were on the right track sir, but your data was incorrect.
APOCALYPSE NOW was actually directed by Francis Ford Coppola, giving him a nervous breakdown, and Martin Sheen a heart attack, and Marlon Brando a million bucks and a chuckle. The venerable Stanley Kubrick was not involved in the project. But you are correct, sir, in that Kubrick was hot to use classical music in his films.

Take 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
Just some of the music he used was:
1. ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA by Richard Strauss, performed by Die Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna)
2. THE BLUE DANUBE by Johann Strauss, performed by Die Berliner Philharmoniker.
3. GAYANE BALLET SUITE by Aram Khachaturyan, Performed by the Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra.
4. REQUIEM FOR SOPRANO, MEZZO-SOPRANO, 2 Mixed Choirs and Orchestra, by Gyorgy Ligeti, performed by the Bavarian Radio Choir and Orchestra.

I have always felt that film composers today, well versed in the classics, are the modern equivilant of those classical composers of yore. Even the classical composers borrowed from each other for Christ's sake. How condescending can you be? There is nothing "new" under the sun. Unless it was the early computer music score done by Vangelis Papathanassion for CHARIOTS OF FIRE (1981), even though in that film they did use (3) Gilbert & Sullivan tunes, and JURUSALEM by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, with lyrics by William Blake.

Now Francis Ford Coppola, a real opera fan and classical music lover did use some classical fare in THE GODFATHER, PART III (1990).
1. VITTI NA CROZZA by Francesco Li Causi.
2. SENZA PERDONCO by Francesco Pennino.
3. a GREGORIAN CHANT.
4. SANTA ROSALIA from LA BARONESSA DI CARINI.
5. CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti.
And a song sung by Julius LaRosa, and one by Elvis Costello.

And that is just a few examples off the top of my head. Jerry Goldsmith was a master of film composition,(consider listening to the score from THE OMEN), ditto Ennio Morricone. Elmer Bernstein is a hack. John Williams has a sameness about some of his work. I loved Howard Shore's score for the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy. James Horner does some great scores too, like his for BRAVEHEART. I loved the authentic instrumentation in that, as well as Alex North's grand score for SPARTACUS.

Just remember this, "I love the smell of napalm in the morning. It smells like --victory."

Most of us saddle pals wouldn't have ever heard of THE WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE if we hadn't watched THE LONE RANGER.
The overture to the opera William Tell, especially its high-energy finale, is a very familiar work composed by Gioachino Rossini. There has been repeated use (and sometimes parody) of this overture in the popular media, most famously for being the theme music for the Lone Ranger media property, and it is quoted by Dmitri Shostakovich in his Symphony No. 15. William Tell was the last and most enduringly famous of Rossini's 39 operas, after which he went into semi-retirement, although he continued to compose cantatas, sacred music, and secular vocal music.

I dearly love your prose, sir, especially, "Lunatic surfer dudes riding flapping helicopters to drop flaming gasoline on hapless villagers." Sometimes you approach the lofty pinnacle of wordsmithing.

Well, in my attempt to shed some light on your chosen topic this morning, I hope I did not muddy the waters too much.

Glenn

6:55 AM  
Blogger butch said...

One of the questions on SOHO THE DOG was what piece would you have liked Glenn Gould to have performed.

Glenn Herbert Gould (birth name "Glenn Herbert Gold"[1]; September 25, 1932 – October 4, 1982) was a Canadian pianist, noted especially for his recordings of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. He gave up concert performances in 1964, dedicating himself to the recording studio for the rest of his career, and performances for television and radio.

One of Gould's performances of the Prelude and Fugue in C Major from Book Two of The Well-Tempered Clavier was chosen for inclusion on the NASA Voyager Golden Record by a committee headed by Carl Sagan. The disc was placed on the spacecraft Voyager 1, which is now approaching interstellar space and is the most distant human-made object from Earth.

Perhaps that would count as the most ardent use of a classical piece, in or near or related to movies.

Some of you studs and studettes out there should check out the film 32 SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD (1993), directed by Francois Girard, starring Colm Feore.

Some of the music in the film was:

"Aria from Goldberg Variations"
, BWV 988
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude from Tristan und Isolde"
Richard Wagner
Performed by NBC Symphony Orchestra, Arturo Toscanini



"Invention No. 13 in A minor"
, BWV 784
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude from English Suite No. 5 in E minor"
, BWV 810
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Allegro molto e vivace from Sonata No. 13 in E Flat Major"
, Op. 27 No.1
Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Variations XXVI & XXVII from 32 Variations on an original theme in C minor"
, WoO 80
Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Allegretto from Sonata No. 17 in D minor"
, Op. 31 No. 2
Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude No. 2 in C minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I"
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Gigue from English Suite No. 2 in A minor"
, BWV 807
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Adagio cantabile from Sonata in B minor"
, Op. 5
Richard Strauss
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Downtown"
Hatch
Performed by Petula Clark



"Andantino from Sonatine for Piano in E Major"
, Op. 67 No. 2
Jean Sibelius
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude from English Suite No. 2 in A minor"
, BWV 807
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Variation 19 from Goldberg Variations"
, BWV 988
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Fugue No. 14 in F sharp minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier"
, Book I
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Precipitato from Sonata No. 7 in B Flat Major"
, Op. 83
Sergei Prokofiev
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Desir from 2 Pieces"
, Op. 57
Alexander Scriabin
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Sehr lebhaft"
from Piano Sonata No. 3
Paul Hindemith
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Gigue from Suite for Piano"
, Op. 25
Arnold Schöenberg
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Leicht, zart from Six Little Pieces for Piano"
, Op. 19
Arnold Schöenberg
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Sarabande from French Suite No. 1 in D minor"
, BWV 812
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude in D minor, BWV 926 from Nine Little Preludes"
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Prelude No. 1 in C Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier"
, Book I
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould



"Contrapunctus 9 from The Art of the Fugue"
, BWV 1080
Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Glenn Gould

Anybody whose first name is "Glenn" had to be good. And that's all I have to say about that.

Glenn

7:11 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Ah yes F.F. Coppola. Sorry about that.
Did you hear this Saturday Night Live Weekend Update joke?
We have made contact! We have heard from Voyager! This message was recieved by NASA. It reads thus;
"Send more Chuck Berry!"

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Butch:--
"performed by" in German is "von den Wiener/Berliner Philharmoniker aufgeführt"; i.e., "by" requires the genetive form grammatically; thus,the "den" and not "die" is correct.
You are very accurate when you imply that tonal music in the harmonic style of 19th century composers is only acceptable by the culture snobs of music when it is used in films. This is why today's Verdi of music, Andrew Lloyd Webber, is not taken seriously as an opera composer (which his works really are!!) by said snobs.
You are also quite right that Rossini's "William Tell" overture would be unknown if it were not for the "Lone Ranger"!
-- Anonomann

3:00 AM  

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