Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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Re-Recordings and Whatnot

I just skimmed over my LJ and was surprised to see how many of my recent postings didn't really have much in the way of real content. Much of this is due to the holiday season, which had been absorbing quite a bit of my time of late. This is, of course, over with, and I now face the beginning of the first full week of work that I've had in quite a while. Not the worst fate imaginable, but strangely daunting after all of the half-days and holidays of late.

Work on The Early Mixes continues, and I hope to pick up the pace on that now that everybody doesn't familial obligations.

So... without further ado...

  • "What's a Beautiful Broad Like You Doing With a Malaca Like This?"
    My co-worker Pete just called up his customer contact. The contact answered the phone with "Hello pretty lady!" Pete has been called many things, but never "pretty lady" (it was, incidentally, the nicest complement he had received all day). I have to say that I'm disappointed that I couldn't see the look on the contacts face when Pete explained (pleasantly but with his bassy voice) that he was not exactly a 'pretty lady' but rather a technician responding to a trouble ticket.

  • On the Rag
    I recently picked up Silva Screen's disc "Goldsmith Conducts Goldsmith," a re-issue of the "Suites and Themes" recording from 1988 because of the recommendations about the suite from The Blue Max that opens the album, both in terms of performance and sonics. I have to say that I found this to be an outstanding recording, not only of the aforementioned material from The Blue Max, but also of the other represented pieces, and that the selection was more interesting than most other compilations of his. This is actually a very good companion piece to the Frontiers recording for Varése Sarabande, as they are both beautifully conducted by the composer and have no overlap (maybe the London Symphony Orchestra recording of The Wind and the Lion on Telarc's "The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith" in the "Motion Picture Theme Medley" was a bit stronger).

    In addition to the standard concert pieces, such as "The Generals," "Television Theme Medley," "Motion Picture Medley," this disc has bold renditions of Masada and Lionheart. It also has a Stanley Black-arranged suite from Gremlins. I do have to say that hearing the orchestral version of the original "Gremlins Rag" was a very interesting experience. Of course I had heard something like it in Gremlins 2: The New Batch but with different bridging themes. While Goldsmith often gets flack about his reliance on electronics in the 80s, this particular piece is actually a good example of when that worked. The orchestral arrangements are entertaining, but they don't have the impish quality that makes the original electronic version so compelling. I mean, the end title sounds like it was written and performed by gremlins:

    WORK SAFE (Music Only)

    The image that makes my Goldsmith icon is the first picture I had ever seen of the maestro; it was of him in the early 80s and, frankly, his appearance was exactly what I would have expected of the man who composed the Gremlins score.

  • Robin Hood Daffy
    Speaking of sonics, as pleased as I am about Prometheus' release of the complete original score from John Barry's Robin and Marian, I have to say that this is a case where the limitations in sound quality did impede my enjoyment of the score.

    I am usually a proponent of the "performance first, sound quality second" school of thought when it comes to music, but it every once and a while I come across a situation where, for some reason the audio doesn't allow the music to truly come across, and this is such a case. While by no means unlistenable, the pinched monaural sound does not do the score much justice. I found myself feeling... I guess 'claustrophobic' is the correct word for the term... during the glorious "Dawn in Sherwood" cue, which had no sonic room to 'blossom' on the Prometheus disc.

    I'm not complaining about Prometheus' work, as I consider this an important release of one of Barry's most intimate scores and I have no doubt they have done their best with the tapes. Nevertheless, I have ordered the Nicholas Raine-conducted re-recording, and suspect that will be what I listen to from now on. I also found good prices on the Silva versions of The Lion in Winter and The Last Valley. While I prefer the original recording of Zulu now that I've located the stereo version, I have found their recordings of Raise the Titanic and Walkabout to be indispensable. The suite from The Lion in Winter that appeared on the "Cinema Choral Classics" disc was an outstanding performance, so I'm looking forward to hearing their rendition of "The Herb Garden."

  • Where the Demons Dwell ♫│♪ And the Banshees Live and They Do Live Well
    This is an interesting theory... Dr. Rupert Till studied the acoustics of Stonehenge and believes that it was designed to create or amplify particular sounds. His conclusion is that the construction of the landmark is perfect for Druid-style raves. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, "Many respectable historians said that they weren't going to stand for this, partly because it was a debasement of their discipline, but mostly because they didn't get invited to those sorts of parties." Don't eat the green acid.
Tags: audio, douglas adams, film music, jerry goldsmith, john barry, the early mixes, work
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