Film Score Monthly
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   WagnerAlmighty   (Member)

I ask because I just had a really good experience listening to the Prometheus Fall of the Roman Empire and was curious:

how would you describe the music of this obvious master to a person whom hadn't heard his music?

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   Jon C   (Member)

As one who has never listened to Tiomkin, I am curious of the answers.

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 3:41 PM   
 By:   BornOfAJackal   (Member)

Slavic Romanticism, which was later merged with the Hollywood Operatic Style to create a unique sonic palette all Tiomkin's own.

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 3:47 PM   
 By:   Jim Cleveland   (Member)

EASY!!! First, you get a sledgehammer.........big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grin

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

How To Describe the Music of Tiomkin To Newbies?

"Real music, you stupid bastards!"?

Just kidding. ;-)

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 5:00 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)


 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 5:46 PM   
 By:   WagnerAlmighty   (Member)

Involved. So much so at times it demands the listener's attention lest he or she miss something wonderful in it. But more than capable of relatively simplistic beauty (just more immediately identifiable through the former attribute I think).

 Posted:   Nov 28, 2017 - 10:29 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

I first notice Tiomkin when I heard the music to GIANT. While he did compose dissonant scores like THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD, I would mainly describe him as a composer of strong virile themes and lovely melodies. Some of my favorites are THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY, DUEL IN THE SUN, THE ALAMO, FRIENDLY PERSUASION, GUNFIGHT AT O.K. CORRALL, and many others. (I don’t think he’d like our current soundscape trend.) He and Alfred Newman, Waxman, and Rozsa were Men or Composers of great Melodies.

When describing him to newbies, I’d say that they might or might not like his orchestrations which I would describe as very DENSE. BUSY is another apt term. Seems like every instrument is playing in the large orchestra. Some would call his orchestrations too dense and busy. In the hands of a weak conductor and players, his music sounds rather muddled. It takes a strong conductor and players who can play crisp notes to handle parts of his scores.

I have enjoyed many of his scores, but I have learned at FSM he isn’t for every listener.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 1:08 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

how would you describe the music of this obvious master to a person whom hadn't heard his music?

Page Cook's favorite composer?

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 1:12 AM   
 By:   batman&robin   (Member)


 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 1:27 AM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

I have enjoyed many of his scores, but I have learned at FSM he isn’t for every listener.

It depends on the score, and often, what part of the score. Take Roman Empire: it's such a hodgepotch of styles one could like one track and dislike the next. Or even like a track but just wish it wasn't so damn busy. I don't mind busy myself, but I can see how in some minds it can be emblematic of a certain Hollywood style of form over substance, or crash bang used to cover lack of invention. Tiomkin at his best, such as in cues like Pharaoh Enters Egypt from Land of the Pharaohs, scales the heights, but just as often, especially during uninspired dialogue scenes, he can noodle endlessly, going nowhere (a common failing which Rozsa in particular somehow avoids). Surely of all the Hollywood composers Tiomkin is the most mercurial in style, the hardest to pin down, and probably he wanted it that way; his personality matched his music.

(And don't you love the story about him saying to Franz Waxman, who was upset about him thanking various classical composers during his Oscar acceptance speech: "But Franz, I don't know what you're so upset about. I don't hear the influence of any of those composers in your music.")

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 2:05 AM   
 By:   alton_333   (Member)


For those that are new to Dimitri Tiomkin, a great place to start would be The Alamo. Namely the complete score re-recording. Cannot recommend it enough.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 5:00 AM   
 By:   michael469   (Member)

I would say read all the above posts, which are really very good, for they really do describe Tiomkin's 'style'.

1) For the grand American West theme, look no further than The Big Sky.

2) For sheer choral bravura look no further than Search for Paradise and in particular Lost Horizon.

3) The combination of the above I would recommend Land of the Pharaohs.

1 and 2 can be heard on the excellent Vocalion CD Lost Horizon, the Classic Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin. 3 is reproduced in the very good FSM CD Land the Pharaohs.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   hyperdanny   (Member)

sometimes cheesy, often noisy, always turgid.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 6:38 AM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

Too many notes!

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 6:39 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Someone said "busy", I would agree with that.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Too many notes!

For the win!

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 7:16 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Seeing so many of Tiomkin's films in the 1950s/60s, I was probably more aware of his music than any other composer - albeit mainly on a subliminal level - such as LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, THE UNFORGIVEN, THE ALAMO, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, 55 DAYS AT PEKING and FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. It was years later before I began buying Tiomkin soundtracks but for me he's in my top four; in order, Rozsa, Newman, Herrmann, Tiomkin.

I like the fact that Tiomkin has such an immediately recognisable style and it's his expansive richly orchestrated scores which I prefer. Darby/Du Bois sum up Tiomkin's music well in "American Film Music":

"Tiomkin's strengths lie in the memorability of his thematic ideas and in his projection of high-energy in western scores, where his thumping, motor-driven rhythms and big, often pompous orchestrations are well suited to fill the vast spaces of a last round-up or a great empire in peril."

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 7:43 AM   
 By:   robertmro   (Member)

Dear WagnerAlmighty,

You wouldn’t find much encouragement here when it comes to Tiomkin.

Tiomkin is my favorite though Bernard Herrmann is in a class by himself, and Max Steiner wrote my all time favorite score.

Watch “The Old Man and The Sea” for a real treat. The album is scaled down and doesn’t have the same impact.

“Strangers On A Train” is very enjoyable, in particular the tennis match.

“55 Days at Peking” is phenomenal. The music for court of the empress is haunting and atmospheric.

“The Guns of Navarone” is right up there. You might still be able to get a copy of the wonderful Tadlow re-recording.

“Lost Horizon” set a new standard at the time.

Right now you are lucky to have the opportunity to own “Duel In The Sun”. Some of us waited a lifetime for it.

In short you are in for a real treat.

Big, Atmospheric, Operatic and always Fun.

 Posted:   Nov 29, 2017 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Over nearly 50 years of buying and listening to soundtracks, I have probably listened to THE ALAMO more often than any other single recording I own.

You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.