I didn't get the memo that it was Under-appreciated Music Day today, but I'm quick on the zig-zag. Besides, I didn't have my Friday's Forgotten Book post written up yet and was sitting here wondering what to write about. It's been THAT kind of week. Lazy. Sleepy. Relaxing.
All of today's blog links are gathered over at Todd Mason's blog, SWEET FREEDOM. Don't forget to go take a look and listen.
On the spur of the moment, I've come up with my own favorite under-appreciated music to talk about. I'm including a few youtube links at the bottom of the post which will take you to various sections of John Williams' magnificent film score for SUPERMAN - my entry in today's under-appreciated or forgotten music day.
This is my favorite John Williams movie score - not to mention, his own personal favorite - one I listen to all the time, especially when I'm needing a bump on the boot to get things working - art wise.
Of all of Williams' superb scores (among them, JAWS, STAR WARS, JURASSIC PARK, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, E.T., CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, etc. etc. etc.) SUPERMAN still has the most resonance with me because of it's perfectly on pitch emotional variety. When needed, there's the stirring, rock/em-sock/em full orchestra thunderclap in the more explosive scenes with Superman in the city and/or saving the world.
But in the early half of the film (after the thunderous musical accompaniment to the destruction of Krypton), we get the emotional farmland/heartland music of the young super child, super boy, super teen.
Phyllis Thaxter's close-up through the screen door as 'her' son leaves to find his destiny is heart wrenching, as is the music that accompanies it.
John Williams musically captures the vastness of the early Midwestern setting. It is a joy to listen to.
Of course, the energetic and stirring Superman theme is just as good in its own forceful way.
It's great driving music, by the by.
Later in the film we get a terrific thing (called March of the Villains on the CD.) which, if I'm remembering correctly, accompanies Ned Beatty (Lex Luthor's incompetent henchman Otis) as he thumps along the street, oblivious.
Of course, very little can compare to the 'flying' theme, when Superman takes Lois on a special flight around the skies of NYC. It is definitely a Big Sigh moment. Absolutely gorgeous music. Williams captures the movement of flying, the lightness - the freedom of it.
I've listened to this score since the 1978 film debuted (was it really that long ago?) and I've never tired of it. I own several of John Williams' memorable film scores, but SUPERMAN still reigns musically supreme for me. Far as I'm concerned, the man is an incomparable genius.
Okay, the embeds didn't work. Obviously I'm still doing something wrong. So here are the links.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGUyNy07ZYg&feature=related The Main Theme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXYj8nChItw&feature=related Leaving Home
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD0RofPgoo8&feature=related Love (Flying) Theme
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moA6RGE_MzM&feature=related March of the Villains
Ah, technology, how great thou art.
Composer/conductor John Williams.