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 Posted:   Sep 22, 2013 - 9:34 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Here's my latest analysis - a look a thematic transformation in one of the best scores from Classical Hollywood. Hope you enjoy it.

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/thematic-transformation-in-korngolds-robin-hood/

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Korngold's style is so powerfully 'lyrical' it is almost like a narrator telling the audience the bleedin' obvious by use of musical language. It's a refreshing look at the score, so thanks again.

In the 'Romantic Longing' section, where you've cited Wagner you've put "Now hear the same chord (through transposed) in Robin’s theme at the start of the love scene:" where I believe you meant to write 'though transposed' inside the parenthesis. It's one of those "huh?" moments.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 8:42 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Korngold's style is so powerfully 'lyrical' it is almost like a narrator telling the audience the bleedin' obvious by use of musical language. It's a refreshing look at the score, so thanks again.

Thanks, Grecchus. Always good to hear your responses.

Just as a question, wouldn't you say that leitmotifs only obvious if you're really listening closely to the score and have an understanding of how these things work - like those of us here on the board? I would bet, for example, that there are many who don't realize that the Star Wars main theme is also Luke's leitmotif in the original trilogy, especially A New Hope. In other words, are leitmotifs only for afficionados?

In the 'Romantic Longing' section, where you've cited Wagner you've put "Now hear the same chord (through transposed) in Robin’s theme at the start of the love scene:" where I believe you meant to write 'though transposed' inside the parenthesis. It's one of those "huh?" moments.

Lol - oops. It's been corrected. Thanks for pointing it out.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 4:28 AM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I was playing MAD WORLD in the car and my wife, at one point, said "is that Spencer Tracy's theme?" Which, indeed, it was. And this from the woman who constantly harangues me by calling Max Steiner "that thief"!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Just as a question, wouldn't you say that leitmotifs only obvious if you're really listening closely to the score and have an understanding of how these things work - like those of us here on the board? I would bet, for example, that there are many who don't realize that the Star Wars main theme is also Luke's leitmotif in the original trilogy, especially A New Hope. In other words, are leitmotifs only for afficionados?

Absolutely. We should never forget how little attention most people pay to the music. Case in point: after a 1969 screening of the BEN-HUR reissue (reserved seat, stereophonic, the works), my mother said to me that she didn't think there had been much music in the film. (And she was a musician!) Film music most often works on the subconscious, and that is where leitmotivs have their function. Halfway through B-H, for example, there's a scene where an old man turns up at a desert oasis. The visuals are mostly bleached and brown. The music, however, recalls the Nativity prologue of two hours earlier, which was dominated by nocturnal images in dark blue. The old man will turn out to be Balthazar, who was seen (but not heard) in the prologue. A few movie buffs might have recognized the actor, Finlay Currie, but I doubt that even a professional musician would have noticed on first viewing that the music was connecting this new character to an earlier event. The initial effect was solely on the subconscious.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The old man will turn out to be Balthazar, who was seen (but not heard) in the prologue.


Except of course, as you know, he also NARRATES the Prologue in 'Anno Domini'....

This all really hinges on repeat hearings.

For example, how many people actually recognise a melody from even an opera's overture, when it re-appears in the libretto later on? Only later do they do so, on a repeat hearing or, nowadays, a recording.

Music to the ear is what architecture is to the eye, at least in a leitmotif score. You need to step back and see the overall structure of the whole to appreciate the whole thing, but you can still take a walk through the building and see one thing at a time.

Incidentally, I've had that experience too, of different 'perceptions' on different screenings of s film. Since you mention B-H, I've sometimes seen this film and thought, 'There isn't that much music in the film really somehow', though I know full well it's at least 70% scored. Sometimes the music launches itself foremost into your awareness, at other times not. And although Rozsa was a full-blooded composer, he could also be sparse if he felt it was necessary, and B-H is not overscored.

 
 Posted:   Sep 25, 2013 - 12:27 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Korngold's style is so powerfully 'lyrical' it is almost like a narrator telling the audience the bleedin' obvious by use of musical language. It's a refreshing look at the score, so thanks again.

Thanks, Grecchus. Always good to hear your responses.

Just as a question, wouldn't you say that leitmotifs only obvious if you're really listening closely to the score and have an understanding of how these things work - like those of us here on the board? I would bet, for example, that there are many who don't realize that the Star Wars main theme is also Luke's leitmotif in the original trilogy, especially A New Hope. In other words, are leitmotifs only for afficionados?


I think this is true in the main. But you have to be careful. I was only a kid having come away from the Susannah York, George C. Scott TV movie of Jane Eyre. Only, I saw it as a theatrical presentation in a cinema that first time. It left a vivid impression of the music and I wasn't even trying hard to remember it. It just stuck in a wholly involuntary way. This must happen all the time with youngsters. This is what I meant by the topmost statement, particularly with regard to Korngold's Robin Hood. Even if you can't place that music exactly, you just know it's one of the Errol Flynn feel-good oldies smile

 
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