Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Elfman vs. Williams - Cage Match
So I went to rehearsal for the community orchestra last night, expecting to be welcomed with the same music we always play in the summer - the same arrangements of the same musicals and oldies.

Well. Wasn't I pleasantly surprised? The theme this summer is the movies, so the concert is chock-full of great stuff.

First. A really great arrangement (basically the same as the original, but just abridged) of 'An American in Paris' including a teeny 3 measure cello solo! Gershwin is such a favorite of mine.

Then, an incredible compilation of John Williams' movie themes.
And we're talking the real deal. Not some babied down arrangements. It's as if they plucked right from the movie scores. He wrote some complex rhythms. It was from when he was honored at the Kennedy Center and included Superman, Star Wars, Jaws, Harry Potter and Raiders of the Lost Ark. All the great, instantly-recognizable themes.

Next we pull out selections of melodies from Rocky. Now scoff if you want, but there are some crazy, kick-ass string lines in there. Bill Conti wrote some amazing stuff. Complex, very touching motifs that really work to convey the character. I love how dated the music sounds but it's just so recognizable at the same time.

THEN.....an arrangement of themes from Spiderman. Written by my most favorite movie score composer of all time: Danny Elfman!! I have his cds of movie score music and I just sit enraptured by it. And I knew it had to be impossibly hard, especially when you listen to how layered it all is - you've got the strings playing this crazy-fast ostenato, strangely beautiful melodies that are almost always haunting, and just absolutely brilliant music. I was in heaven.
So needless to say, I was deliriously happy with what we're playing. The only exception was this arrangement of James Bond themes. It's a real clumsy arrangement - the songs are dumbed-down rhythmically, they're in different keys than they were written in and the transitions from song to song are very cumbersome. But, it's still fun to play.
So who would win a cage match between Danny Elfman and John Williams?
Oh, and my abdomen seems to be behaving better. No more searing gas pain and no kidney pain as of late. So either the stone has vacated the premises or it's hiding quietly and plotting it's next wave of terror against me.

10 comments:

Melliferous Pants said...

Danny Elfman all the way.

Big Pissy said...

I was going to say Williams...but then Elfman is so much younger...

hmmmmmmm........

Crabby said...

Wow! That's gonna be a great show!

If I lived closer, I'd have to come.

buddha_girl said...

I am so completely envious of you! I'd love to hear that performance!

Kerry said...

Love Danny Elfman.
Are you an Oingo Boingo fan?

Jerrster said...

Elfman is going to have a long an illustrious career...Williams has that now...but as for fun in the concert hall...Elfman's work can be just crazy fun...if you are close enough to see the musicians playing his music at times they look like they are dying to start laughing...it looks like real FUN.

Jill said...

I don't know on the contest, not at all, but glad you're feeling better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

Pants - Yeah, I just love Elfman.

Pissy - See, Williams has the vast career and body of work, but Elfman does have youth on his side.

Crabby - I can only imagine how much more fun the concert would be with you in the audience!!

Buddha - Thanks!!

Jer - I've played both and can easily say, Elfman is way CRAZIER than Williams. Seriously. His music is super crazy hard. Williams has hard rhythmic stuff going on whereas Elfman's is technically hard.

Jill - Thanks! Official word is probably no stone, just kidney swelling, so I'm just guzzling water!

Kerry - Danny Elfman ROCKS! I do like Oingo Boingo - I have though his solo album - Boingo along with all his film score stuff.

Maureen said...

Ooooh. I love them both. But I have to choose Williams as I have his autograph (a couple, in fact). Since I used to be a real Star Wars geek, I actually wrote him a letter and he sent me some autos ... so I have to stand by him.

My favorite type of music is soundtracks; when our local symphony had a John Williams tribute concert, I was in heaven!

Curly Glamour Girlie said...

Maureen,

Thanks for stopping by! I heard a soundtrack concert one night on the classical station. They did music from a few Alfred Hitchcock films and a few Martin Scorcsese films - with him doing some narration. How cool is that?

My favorite concerts though, were 2 a small local symphony did - they played film scores from King Kong (the old one!) The Wizard of Oz, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Yearling and more and had the films playing above the orchestra. Best concerts I had ever been to!