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View Full Version : Will John Williams be remembered as the Mozart of our time.



scruffziller
09-29-2003, 06:28 AM
Every single movie that he has written a score for I can immediately recognize even if I haven't heard it yet. And listeneing to them brings tears to my eyes every time. He captures sheer emotion with every arangment. Even just thinking about the pieces now is making me misty, (ok I confess, I just got done watching eps 2). But yes, certainly a chapter title for the music history books.:zzz:

Exhaust Port
09-29-2003, 09:18 AM
That's a good question. I doubt there is any way that history could forget JW but I wonder if how highly he'll be regarded. It would be an interesting question to pose to a classical music fan/historian. Perhaps there are other composers at this time that are more influencial and we are only familiar with the popular one.

scruffziller
09-29-2003, 10:06 AM
Well after all, alot of the composers that you find in the music history books wrote alot of music for plays, operas, etc.. JW would be a madern version of that.

El Chuxter
09-29-2003, 11:18 AM
Every single movie that he has written a score for I can immediately recognize even if I haven't heard it yet.

I've just gotta know if you're familiar with the scores for Heartbeeps or Sleepers (two of the most un-Williams of his scores). Sheerly curiosity.

I think Williams is easily the best composer of the 21st century. Of the 20th, it depends on what you're looking for. Stravinsky might be "more artistic," for example, but Williams is still my favorite. There are very few works by him I can't listen to over and over.

My faves:
Star Wars (all of them--it's impossible to pick one favorite)
Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets
Hook
Far & Away
Empire of the Sun
Home Alone 2
ET: The Extra-Terrestrial
The Fury
Dracula
Jurassic Park

I also saw part of Space Camp a few weekends ago, and I hope this soundtrack will finally be released domestically on CD sometime in the future.

EricRG
09-29-2003, 11:42 AM
I'm no connoisseur of classical music, but I myself love a lot of JWs works. However, most friends who are very into classical music scoff at Williams' work, especially when compared to that of the masters.

JEDIpartner
09-29-2003, 11:46 AM
John Williams is a very influential composer and regarded as one of the best in his field. Also very notable are: Vangelis (when he puts his mind to it) and Ennio Morricone.

scruffziller
09-29-2003, 01:01 PM
I've just gotta know if you're familiar with the scores for Heartbeeps or Sleepers (two of the most un-Williams of his scores). Sheerly curiosity.


Oh you would have to put me on the spot......:D
I was basically generalizing, I am sure that JW could surprise me.

Pendo
09-29-2003, 01:29 PM
Johnny Williams is a legend!!! I hope his work is remembered forever, and CDs of his music are lined up next to the works of the greats - Mozart, Beethoven, and Motorhead (erm... whatever :crazed:).

Listening to William's music brings tears to my eyes, I can't wait to hear the fantastic music he's composing for the next Star Wars film :).

PENDO!

Exhaust Port
09-29-2003, 01:35 PM
I hear it's going to be all banjos and mouth-harps. ;)

scruffziller
09-29-2003, 03:37 PM
I hear it's going to be all banjos and mouth-harps. ;)
Well they said EPS 3 is going to be very dark, it might have a "DELIVERANCE" theme then.....:D

plo koon 200
09-29-2003, 07:06 PM
I think you guys need to look into a lot more modern classical music. JW has some serious competitors. There are many good ones. Look beyond the movies and you may be surprised at what you find. That is all I will say on this issue.

jjreason
09-29-2003, 07:32 PM
Regardless of whether or not he's remembered as our Beethoven or Bach, his contribtution to the soundtrack of our lives cannot be minimized. :rolleyes: :D

I, for one, hear the theme to "Superman" every time I look in the mirror.......

Jargo
09-29-2003, 08:19 PM
John Williams is a good composer but not the best. His scores have too many similarities to mark him out as a genius. And if you classify a film score composer that way then you might as well add John Barry into the category or Howard Shore exept Howard Shore has wupped the butt of Williams with his LOTR soundtracks.
Can't count Danny Elfman because he's really a one trick pony. Ennio morricone would be another choice of mine in the movie score category. But then you'd have to go back toprevious decades, to the golden age of cinema and look at the body of work that guys put out for movies like Gone with the wind, Spartacus, and all the gazillions of musicals, comedies, dramas, thousands and thousands of hours of music. To say John Williams is the modern Mozart is like saying that Jim Carrey is the modern Chaplin or buster keaton. You just can't compare the two. Different classes of musician altogether. John Williams write simplistic music and Mozart wrote the most complex pieces. Williams or Mozart, Williams or Mozart..... No contest IMO. Chopin wins.

Darth Jax
09-29-2003, 08:21 PM
john williams being given the credit for the music he's written by the 'classical' musician would be like stephen king being remembered as the homer of our time.

scruffziller
09-29-2003, 09:00 PM
To say John Williams is the modern Mozart is like saying that Jim Carrey is the modern Chaplin or buster keaton.
Jim Carrey gets my vote, and lots of people have said that Jim Carrey is the Stooge of our time. I whole heartedly agree.

JEDIpartner
09-30-2003, 09:17 AM
Jim Carey's a stooge all right... and I'm not saying that as a compliment! ;)

El Chuxter
09-30-2003, 11:21 AM
Adam Sandler could kick Jim Carrey's butt. :p

First, scruffy, I wasn't intending to get you on the spot. I was just curious if you were familiar with those two. Heartbeeps is from an obscure early 80s flick and is heavily synthesized, but once you get past that it's rather good. (You can sorta hear themes from ET, AI, and Harry Potter evolving already.) Sleepers relies heavily on electric guitar riffs, and it's one of the few Williams scores I've heard that I'd recommend passing on.

Who is out there who's better than Williams (or Shore, or Howard, or Elfman, or Zimmer, or any other film composer, for that matter)? Again, not trying to be confrontational at all. I consider myself pretty ignorant of modern classical music outside of film scores (and Frank Zappa, if you include him as a classical composer).

I think one thing that some of you are overlooking is that one of the measures of success for an artist is popularity. I'm not saying that it's right (in many cases, it's very wrong). For one thing, being the best means nothing if no one is aware of you to recognize it. And in asking if Williams will be the Mozart of our time, I think it's more a question of recognition. I think there's a good chance he will be. Howard Shore may have sold more copies of the Titanic CD (for whatever reason, since it really bites), but overall Williams has sold more and is more recognizable.

Lastly, in defense of Elfman (my second favorite modern composer :)): it's easy to say "Batman sounds like Dick Tracy, which sounds like Darkman, which sounds like the Flash." And I wouldn't argue with that statement at all. But Batman does not sound like Mars Attacks, and neither sound like Edward Scissorhands, nor do any of these sound like Sommersby or Sleepy Hollow. Even though several of his works do sound very similar, I actually think he has more range than Williams, who does mainly SW-esque music.

Exhaust Port
09-30-2003, 12:12 PM
I've always believed that popularity creates short term success but talent creates long term success. Mozart wouldn't be popular today if his music wasn't any good.

I think the one point that could keep JW from long term success is the movie soundtrack genre. Yes he does put out a great soundtrack but in 50 years who's going to care about the composer of the music for some old movies? JW is a master of carrying movies through music but does his music stand alone? I don't think any of us really can answer that. Would we be excited by the opening SW music if we never saw the movie?

A lot of the classical music I like tells a story or paints a visual picture, like Holst's "The Planets." (the opening to the Metallica cover of "Am I Evil?" comes from this piece :D ) Very little of each soundtrack to a movie does that for me. A soundtrack doesn't have to paint the picture, only compliment it. There are a few pieces in the SW library that do paint an amazing picture. The absolute best (albiet short) is "The Asteroid Field" from ESB. Damn fine music!

plo koon 200
09-30-2003, 03:04 PM
In case you guys did not know. Mozart was not popular in his time. He was despied by some people and considered impudent and vulgar. Many people considered Mozart more or less the Emminem or however you spell his name of their time.

Also, consider that in 200 years that the Rap, Rock, Jazz, etc of today will become classical because of its age. What is classical may not neccessarily be in a film score. Who knows what the people of the future will view as a genius. There is no way of telling.

mrmiller
09-30-2003, 03:24 PM
Sonce no one has mentioned it- John Carpenter gets my vote for best composer of modern movie music :crazed:


=MATT=

scruffziller
09-30-2003, 05:07 PM
Jim Carey's a stooge all right... and I'm not saying that as a compliment! ;)
Right.............That is why "Stooge" is capitlized in my post.;)

Darth Jax
09-30-2003, 08:49 PM
Sonce no one has mentioned it- John Carpenter gets my vote for best composer of modern movie music :crazed:


=MATT=
aside from the ultra-creepy halloween soundtrack, nothing i'd listen to by itself. zimmer, williams, elfman and trevor jones (last of the mohicans) are all composers that the music by itself to enjoy. carpenter accompanies the movie well but really can't stand alone.

Jaff
10-01-2003, 11:05 PM
I think John Barry, and James Horner are pretty strong composers comparable to Mr. Williams.

With that said John Williams is the master in my eyes. I only listen to movie soundtracks, and John Williams always clings to me. Whether it's the somber Saving Private Ryan, to his masterful Close Encounters. I do love the SW soundtracks, and I am sure he will be remembered for themes like Jurrassic, SW, and not to forget Jaws. The truth is many music critics will never accept Williams as a mozart because sometimes he rehashes his music subtely. Some of Saving Private Ryan can be toned in Episode I. Hook is a rehash with some E.T. moods. However in my mind any Williams rehash as long as it is done by him is good to go. I will say that he needs to stay away from electric guitars in hover car chase themes. That part in Episode II still bugs me. Talk about lowering the standard!!!!!

scruffziller
10-02-2003, 01:51 PM
I will say that he needs to stay away from electric guitars in hover car chase themes. That part in Episode II still bugs me. Talk about lowering the standard!!!!!
Are you talking about Zam's speeder's sound?
That was done by Skywalker Sound.

El Chuxter
10-02-2003, 02:03 PM
On the soundtrack, there's an electric guitar riff in a few spots during "Zam the Assassin and the Chase Through Coruscant." Lucas said he didn't want it in the movie, so the sound effect was substituted.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-05-2003, 11:04 AM
John Williams has the benefit of massive audiences. He is being remembered in his own time. He makes links to the images seen in the films with his recurring motifs (Raiders theme, Yoda's theme, Superman love theme, etc.) that make the songs more memorable. He uses several instruments, including electric and synthsizer ones, and only occasionally voices. Is Harrison Ford the greatest actor of all time? He's made the most money from his films. If you use that aspect, Williams must be the top composer, from all the gross receipts.

Basically, it's tough to say. Do I like his work? Oh, yeah. :)