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  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone here listen to film scores?

    I'm curious if anyone else here enjoys listening to film scores. I don't mean soundtracks, but actual scores, written by a composer for the film, and played by a symphony. With this unique, and diverse crowd, there has to be SOMEONE else who likes this music.

    I have a real hard time getting much sustained enjoyment out of rock/pop/etc after having listened to film scores for so long. I want to gush about the genre, and go on about what I love about it, but maybe I'll wait to see if anyone even responds to this thread. Self preservation and all that.

  2. #2
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    It's my favourite music.


    If you find my posts in this thread you'll find a bunch of now broken video links to a few of my favourite pieces:
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...-thread-3.html

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    No way! Cooool. It's been my favourite for years now. I'm on my crappy phone which chokes if I open more than one tab (I tried loading that thread). What are some of your favourite scores and composers?

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    Well, the obvious answer to "favourite composer" is John Williams, who I described in that other thread as almost certainly the most celebrated composer of the last 40 years. Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park: the list of great stuff he has done is almost endless.

    I always loved sci-fi movies and I think the genre allows composers to have a little more free reign and room to push themselves and their music. I like many of the scores guys like Silvestri, Horner and Goldsmith did (the latter two did a bunch of the Star Trek movies, Silvestri did Back to the Future, Predator).


    I think just about the only composer whose work I don't care for is Hans Zimmer, who is easily the most overrated composer of the last 15 years or so and seems to be most appreciated by listeners who can't discern 'loud' from 'good'. (Apologies if you're a Zimmer fan.)

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    I am not a Zimmer fan either, though I do own both Batman scores. The first being the better one, thanks the JNH balancing things out. I'm not big on Horner either, though again, I do have Krull and Willow. But after hearing that 4 note prelude to doom that he recycled in so many pieces (Willow to Avatar, then Enemy at The Gates... that's quite a leap), it bothered me. Same with Zimmer using those yelping vocals in tragic scenes (Gladiator, Blackhawk Down, etc..).

    You didn't mention Conan, or Poledouris! Sacrelige!

    Sci-fi and fantasy were always my favourites as well. We had Star Wars on vinyl when I was little (I believe Cantina Band was one of my jams). I have the Astra 4 disc set now which is awesome. I never got into Star Trek though.

    My favourite composers in no particular order are Basil Poledouris, James Newton Howard, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Alan Silvestri. There are others who have put out a few of my favourite scores (ie. Alex North, Trevor Jones, etc), but the ones I mentioned above make up the bulk of what I listen to.

    The 80's really spoiled us film score fans.

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    See, if you listened to the music of Star Trek you'd have heard where all of Horner's recurrent motifs come from! He got his start in the '70s but his first big break was Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982.

    He is pretty bad for re-using the exact same cues from one movie to another. The most egregious example is his re-use of something he didn't even compose, Khachaturian's "Gayane" ballet, in Aliens, Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger. Still, he does have some excellent scores that are very unique. Cocoon, Field of Dreams, The Rocketeer, Sneakers and The Mask of Zorro are a few examples.


    I'm not really a fan of James Newton Howard but that's more a reflection of the films he has worked on than his ability and the merit of his work. I think the only thing he's ever done that stands out for me is The Fugitive. A lot of what he has done is action movies and frankly action scores tend to be pretty forgettable as a function of how they're cut. That goes back to what I said earlier about sci-fi (and fantasy) composers having the free reign to create something unique.

    I like some of Basil Poledouris's work but I'm not familiar with much (read: any ) of it beyond Conan The Barbarian, RoboCop and The Hunt for Red October (I love the title theme from that one, "Hymn to Red October"; I have a CD of "The Great Fantasy Adventure Album" arranged by Erich Kunzel & performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra that has a great rendition with the Red Army Choir).


    If you're a Goldsmith fan you really should listen to his work from some of the Star Trek movies, particularly the first. The film is a bit of a bore because a lot of it is just the crew staring out the proverbial window but that gave Goldsmith an opportunity to compose some very interesting themes. A lot of which were re-used throughout the later expanded Star Trek universe. If you go back through that other thread I posted a video of a piece of music from Star Trek: The Motion Picture called "The Enterprise". It is largely unaccompanied by dialogue and captures the characters' feelings and Kirk's in particular perfectly when he sees the ship for the first time in years, which also happens to be the first time the audience has seen it since the TV show was cancelled in 1969.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93JC View Post
    I think just about the only composer whose work I don't care for is Hans Zimmer, who is easily the most overrated composer of the last 15 years or so and seems to be most appreciated by listeners who can't discern 'loud' from 'good'. (Apologies if you're a Zimmer fan.)
    Well, I think he's a professional and has worked on a variety of films, pretty ballsy. He even tried his hand at a Malick pic years ago that almost killed him due to Malick's working style. I don't know if he's the most inventive, but his work can be effective. (I remember liking the opening battlground waltz in Gladiator, it wasn't quite what I expected to hear; and his ending to Inception mirrored Cobb's restrained anticipation to see his children, etc.) as a musician, I admire someone who can produce consistently and puts himself out there again and again while wrestling with feelings of failure. "Overrated" doesn't necessarily mean he's incompetent or bad, he's just probably overhyped.

    I think what Don Davis did with The Matrix -- branding the movies audibly -- should be given more credit, considering it was entirely constructed melodies rather than conventional progressions... basically like doing something in 12-tone, yet everyone recognizes that snippet in the first few seconds.

    I tend to like piano work, which Silvestri (in Contact) and Howard do decently with. For a throwaway, Howard's boy's choir piece during the Flatliner credits probably outshined and tonally capped the movie. Howard's typically seen as conventional, I'm sure, but he manages to capture unexpected beauty at times and can adequately support the emotional center of a movie. I don't think the Sixth Sense would have been as powerful without his music shaping and building upon it. I do agree with what you said, @93JC, that some of his work is forgettable; but for me personally, some of it endures.

    (I also agree with your about Horner, and his resuse of scores. Uggh, some of his music ends up sounding all alike. I like it when I first here it, but then it gets old.)

    I was not really a fan of William's in his mainstream years (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.), I kind of looked down on him... and then in the last 15 years or so he has been taking a lot of new chances. I usually bring up the A.I. score, for example. Yes, that was Williams, but it was Williams I had not been exposed to previously. I have a newfound respect for the man.

    Gattaca (Nyman) seemed very simplistic but the strings caught the emotional centers of the film at least. And there is an interesting piece written for 6-fingered hands on the piano.

    The Cloud Atlas sountrack (Tykwer and Klimek) actually was very important, since the songs written for the movie also had to justify the "intertwined melodies" of the sextet, mirroring the intertwining of the dramatic narratives. It really did capture the grandeur it needed to, in order to justify the movie's own claims about this celestial symphony.

    Oh yeah, David Julyan. Now there's a guy who knows how to create atmosphere.

    And Michael Giacchino. He's capable in various styles, while also capable of working simply and evocatively to set mood and tone. My first experiences with him were on The Incredibles and with LOST; I don't think LOST would have been such a tearjerker show for many without what he did on it. (I should probably give a nod to X-Files' Mark Snow for kind of setting a trend, but I didn't find Snow as evocative as Giacchino.)

    I'm not sure how I feel about Howard Shore. Lord of the Rings didn't do much for me, honestly; however, I like his approach to The Silence of the Lambs a great deal.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well, I think he [Zimmer] is a professional
    Well, yeah, so do I. I don't think he's incompetent, I just don't care for his work in comparison to the work of others.

    I tend to like piano work,

    ...

    I was not really a fan of William's in his mainstream years (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.), I kind of looked down on him... and then in the last 15 years or so he has been taking a lot of new chances. I usually bring up the A.I. score, for example. Yes, that was Williams, but it was Williams I had not been exposed to previously. I have a newfound respect for the man.
    I understand why some might not like Williams's work. In general media it tends to be overused. I can see why it can become tiresome.

    Funny coincidence that you like piano; Williams is a pianist. Take a listen to some of his work in Sabrina (the 1995 remake). That's him on the piano.

    Gattaca (Nyman) seemed very simplistic but the strings caught the emotional centers of the film at least. And there is an interesting piece written for 6-fingered hands on the piano.
    I also liked Gattaca's score.

    And Michael Giacchino. He's capable in various styles, while also capable of working simply and evocatively to set mood and tone. My first experiences with him were on The Incredibles and with LOST;
    I love his work in The Incredibles. He replaced John Barry, which I found kind of funny because his score sounds a lot like a jazzy Barry piece.

    My first exposure to Giacchino's work was in video games, and I think it's some of his best work. He scored the first few Medal of Honor games about 10-15 years ago and they were superb, especially Medal of Honor: Frontline.

    Despite my love of Star Trek music and my appreciation for Giacchino's past work I thought his score for Star Trek was 'meh'. I'm curious to find out what Star Trek: Into Darkness sounds like.

  9. #9
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    Film scores are one of my favorite musical themes! I love so many musics from films. Brad .. Fiedel? Terminator's score. I've listened to Goldsmith's scores so many times. I love film scores.

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    ahh.. I could post a list of 100 best film scores I like
    Edit: HEY WAIT! Some of the film scores I picked on the youTube had changed, or perhaps I didn't pick them properly in the first place. I'll find the real soundtracks I meant if I can find them.

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