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 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 12:29 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

As many here have suggested to me, I've put together an analysis of Williams' Superman March. As with the other themes I've analyzed, Williams manages to suggest so much about the character through a combination of musical features. Enjoy!

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/john-williams-superman-theme-superman-march/

 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 2:08 AM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)



Williams gets a spirited rendition out of the Pittsburgh Symphony in this old clip from the great movie music episode of PBS's "Previn and the Pittsburgh."

I notice the piano part more than usual in this clip, though the pianist is never shown.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 4:43 AM   
 By:   stay-puft   (Member)

As many here have suggested to me, I've put together an analysis of Williams' Superman March. As with the other themes I've analyzed, Williams manages to suggest so much about the character through a combination of musical features. Enjoy!

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/john-williams-superman-theme-superman-march/


interesting read and site. Thanks.
What will be next?

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 6:15 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

As many here have suggested to me, I've put together an analysis of Williams' Superman March. As with the other themes I've analyzed, Williams manages to suggest so much about the character through a combination of musical features. Enjoy!

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/john-williams-superman-theme-superman-march/


interesting read and site. Thanks.
What will be next?


Zimmer's Man of Steel, partly as a sort of comparison between it and the Williams. Should be fun.

 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 6:20 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

Williams gets a spirited rendition out of the Pittsburgh Symphony in this old clip from the great movie music episode of PBS's "Previn and the Pittsburgh."

Some one needs to put that whole series to DVD or at the very least the two episodes featuring movie music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 15, 2013 - 11:12 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)



Williams gets a spirited rendition out of the Pittsburgh Symphony in this old clip from the great movie music episode of PBS's "Previn and the Pittsburgh."

I notice the piano part more than usual in this clip, though the pianist is never shown.


Thanks, Ford. That's my favorite rendition of the march. It's got so much gusto and oomph. It's also one of the only recordings that follows what Williams wrote in the concert version. The real difference there is in the transition to the march theme itself - the rhythmic pattern in the bass is stated four times rather than the usual two. Then on the "big" chord just before the march comes in, the pattern is stated three times rather than two (the concert version on the CD) or four (in the film itself). Maybe Williams had more control over this recording and played it the way he initially wrote it (some big assumptions there, but still).

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 4, 2013 - 9:05 PM   
 By:   koolman   (Member)

As many here have suggested to me, I've put together an analysis of Williams' Superman March. As with the other themes I've analyzed, Williams manages to suggest so much about the character through a combination of musical features. Enjoy!

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/john-williams-superman-theme-superman-march/


Great analysis! I love the FILM version of the theme, how it starts with quaint woodwinds and flutes over the little square black-and-white movie image of the kid's hand turning the pages of the comic book as he talks about the Daily Planet. Then, as we zoom past the rotating Daily Planet logo on top of the building and past the moon, the music swells with horns along with the hissing sound-effect of the "Alexander Salkind Presents" title bursting into wide-screen Panavision, followed by us travelling through stars and that giant rumbling timpani that segues into the little three-note "bump ba-bump' motif and a burst of brass as we see the title "A Richard Donner Film" and then the big red S to the three-note motif of "Su-per-MANNN!!!" Brilliant! Perfect fusion of sight and sound! Pure imagination!

This totally blew me away as the 13-year-old kid that I was who saw this splayed across a Panavision screen and heard it in then-new Dolby Stereo in 1978. It was mind-blowing and still is! Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 5, 2013 - 2:48 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Great analysis! I love the FILM version of the theme, how it starts with quaint woodwinds and flutes over the little square black-and-white movie image of the kid's hand turning the pages of the comic book as he talks about the Daily Planet. Then, as we zoom past the rotating Daily Planet logo on top of the building and past the moon, the music swells with horns along with the hissing sound-effect of the "Alexander Salkind Presents" title bursting into wide-screen Panavision, followed by us travelling through stars and that giant rumbling timpani that segues into the little three-note "bump ba-bump' motif and a burst of brass as we see the title "A Richard Donner Film" and then the big red S to the three-note motif of "Su-per-MANNN!!!" Brilliant! Perfect fusion of sight and sound! Pure imagination!

This totally blew me away as the 13-year-old kid that I was who saw this splayed across a Panavision screen and heard it in then-new Dolby Stereo in 1978. It was mind-blowing and still is! Thanks for bringing back some fond memories.


Thanks koolman. Interesting you bring up the film version, because I'm fascinated by a subtle difference between it and the concert version when that "bump da-bump" motif you mention starts up.

In the film version, the motif is preceded by a chord called the half-diminished chord, so when the motif enters, it sounds like the dominant of the key. In other words, it sounds like the music needs to resolve that motif to a note a 4th higher or 5th lower (the tonic). This adds a certain tension to the music, as though we eagerly await Superman's arrival.

In the concert version, however, that same motif is preceded by a long tonic bass of the key itself, so it gives the music a solid stability from which to depart. In other words, it sounds like we'll be "in good hands" with the hero of the film.

It's just interesting that the two approaches differ greatly from the point of view of tension and resolution, but both have an equally good reason for doing so. Which do others prefer?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 6:54 AM   
 By:   Reeve   (Member)

Always the film version for me!

We are so fortunate to have the complete music collection in a little known gem that is also known as "The Blue Box".

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Another fine, "down to the bone" treatment, m'Lud.

The composer does alot to conserve the 'thematic' undertones of the character, along with the LSO, who make their contribution too. For years I had the original double album in which gigantic holes (like the side of Ben Garner's boat) existed, thereby leaving alot of material in the 'phantom zone' before being yanked down to terra firma by the likes of MV and Lukas.

I only recently got a hold of the Rhino (second hand), from an Amazon 3rd party supplier. Unfortunately, the liner notes were missing, so I have no idea what territory the commentary covered. The one thing that caught my attention, and which I've commented on in a previous post, was a section of Disc One, track 3 - Destruction Of Krypton. It starts off exactly as it did on the LP up until 1:30. Then it temporarily makes a deviation in style until just before 2:14. This was the bombshell, in relative terms. Because during that interval, Williams deliberately mangled himself so that he became, for the duration, Alex North. The transformation was so complete I was taken completely by surprise on first listen. Both Lukas and Mike could very well have commentary about that in their respective notes. I really don't know. Of course, I'd be interested in what you make of that brief expedition to the North-ern lights.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 3:40 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I only recently got a hold of the Rhino (second hand), from an Amazon 3rd party supplier. Unfortunately, the liner notes were missing, so I have no idea what territory the commentary covered. The one thing that caught my attention, and which I've commented on in a previous post, was a section of Disc One, track 3 - Destruction Of Krypton. It starts off exactly as it did on the LP up until 1:30. Then it temporarily makes a deviation in style until just before 2:14. This was the bombshell, in relative terms. Because during that interval, Williams deliberately mangled himself so that he became, for the duration, Alex North. The transformation was so complete I was taken completely by surprise on first listen. Both Lukas and Mike could very well have commentary about that in their respective notes. I really don't know. Of course, I'd be interested in what you make of that brief expedition to the North-ern lights.

I searched for this "deviating" music in the film, but it seems not to be there. I don't know for sure, but my guess would be that there was going to be a lengthier scene with Kal-El's parents final moments with their son and that it was edited out. I say that because of the prominent cello line, which tends to suggest intimate and poignant moments between characters. But then we get that female choral sound, suggesting something mythic and other-worldly, so perhaps it was to be used with the final preparations for the escape pod.

Musically, both versions work even though neither is stitched together at 1:30 in the film itself - that blast of brass we get is a transition into another scene that begins without music. In the original LP version, the reiteration of the same motive in about the same tempo provides a nice link even though the key is suddenly different. In the Rhino version, there is a satisfying progression in the bass as it drops by semitone from C# to C natural for the cello passage, as though resolving some of the tension.

I haven't seen the other thread where you mention this, so I'm not sure about the facts surrounding this cue, but those are my two cents.

 
 Posted:   Oct 6, 2013 - 11:14 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I think I remember that Williams was working from storyboards and sketches for the big destruction-of-Krypton sequence originally, as the effects footage was substantially unfinished when he first recorded the score.

He'd clearly re-thought/refined his approach by the time he was scoring "to picture," or once the final effects footage was completed, as his image-specific uses of things like the Superman fanfare (for when the starship crashes through the lab's glass ceiling) seem much more direct in the film version of the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2013 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

I think I remember that Williams was working from storyboards and sketches for the big destruction-of-Krypton sequence originally, as the effects footage was substantially unfinished when he first recorded the score.

He'd clearly re-thought/refined his approach by the time he was scoring "to picture," or once the final effects footage was completed, as his image-specific uses of things like the Superman fanfare (for when the starship crashes through the lab's glass ceiling) seem much more direct in the film version of the score.


Interesting. I'm assuming the use of storyboards and sketches for composing was because the shooting of the film was going way overtime and over-budget. I don't know that I've ever heard of a composer using those kinds of materials for writing a score (though there certainly are examples of scores written before any storyboards etc. are laid down). Surely this was uncommon, no?

 
 Posted:   Oct 7, 2013 - 8:44 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Did Jerry also have to resort to this kind of thing on ST:TMP?

 
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