Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
Miklos Rozsa
Last post Tue, Nov 05 2019 by agitato, 14 replies.
Options
Go to last post
Posted on Thu, Oct 24 2019 03:22
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1025

Trying and almost failing to cope with unmitigated madness and uncertainty recently, I've been listening to a lot of music and reading a lot of books. I happened upon this rarity amongst everything else and thought to share it here.

For the uninitiated, this is what a professional orchestral (film) composer should be capable of technically - if not in quantity of talent.

Try and compose the following with 'layers', 'arpeggiators', and 'inspiration patches':

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S64OtXn80FU 

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Thu, Oct 24 2019 15:11
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5397

I've also been in a state of madness and depression.  It's strange I was thinking of Rozsa this morning then happened upon this.  I had not heard it previously.  What masterful writing!  There are echoes of his film style but it is more harmonically complex.  There is tremendous rhythm in it as well.  This is such a powerful recording also - the piano part is extremely difficult and the player is in complete command along with  all the orchestra.    It's an inspiring piece and great to hear.  

Posted on Fri, Oct 25 2019 00:40
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

I am also in a state of depression, although, it is related to my scientific world and not music;)

This piece is so refreshing. Rozsa is one of my favorites. I have not heard this piece but I have the violin concerto. As Bill says this has echoes of his film scores like Ben-hur, but yet so technically masterful, sounds like Tchaikovsky blended with Prokofiev, yet being so uniquely Rozsa. 

...hard to believe the kind of training these folks had with no technology or computers.

I find it inspiring that such music is possible, or maybe it is not possible anymore!

Anand

P.S. quickly looked up his bio wiki..his piano teacher learnt from students of Lizst. Oh well....

Anand Kumar
Posted on Fri, Oct 25 2019 00:52
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

since we are on this topic here is his violin concerto as well, played by none other than Heifetz.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRxCQ-Ktfn4

Anand Kumar
Posted on Fri, Oct 25 2019 00:53
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5397

We're all mad or depressed!  And listening to Rozsa. 

Posted on Fri, Oct 25 2019 21:47
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1025

Thanks for the link Anand! As with the piano concerto, I wasn't aware of this remarkable work! The only concertante piece I knew of Rozsa's was the so-called Spellbound concerto which, impressed as I was with the soundtrack, that was a film based concertino really (there are a few in that genre), nothing like what Anand and I posted here; fully fledged concert music. And what spellbinding music this violin concerto is! And what a great 2nd movement. When it started I thought it would be lyrical, but -film composer à propos- it was as dramatic as the 1st. The 3rd movement is what you'd expect from a Hungarian. I would say the whole work at least on par with Korngold's, but these are personal preferences of course.

So I looked Rozsa over and he apparently wrote a cello concerto that Piatigorsky performed! These are concert credits that very-very few composers can boast.

Overall, great music for mad or depressed minds guys, but not lobotomized ones (we know the right music for those...)

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Tue, Oct 29 2019 15:57
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 188

I'm loving the Violin Concerto. The boy Rosza could compose and the boy Heifetz could play allright.

Posted on Thu, Oct 31 2019 23:23
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

That was well put Mike.

What a line up of composers there...Errikos, William and Mike Hewer...I love this forum where I can banter with serious composers and ask amateurish questions. like the one below:

I wonder what you think about John Williams' violin concerto, and where you would place it in the 20th century music literature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi3ECEzyfAY

To my naive ears, this sounds atonal. I can barely make out a tonal center or melody....(even more remarkable given JW is one of the great melody makers of Hollywood.) But would you also consider this "atonal"? The Rozsa piece surely has a tonal center and quite a few beautiful melodies.

I find this piece to be an interesting contrast from Rozsa although I immensly enjoy both of the. Both were film composers but fully trained in the classical tradition. But why does William's music sound so different...is it just the few decades that separated them?  I didnt go to music school and am really curious what you think. It is also interesting to me that JW would not choose to write a more populist piece for his concert works. Its as if he didnt have to answer to anyone and was purely driven by his artistic vision.

(btw The one sure difference between the two is JW is alive, and I have "met" him....it was when he was leaving after a BSO concert. I was a few inches away but too embarassed to even get an autograph.)

Anand

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sat, Nov 02 2019 05:39
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1505
Errikos

Thank you for introducing me to this master as I'm a little embarrassed to admit that, although I've heard the name before, I have not had the immense pleasure of hearing his music. And from listening it would seem that perhaps Mr. Rozsa may have spent some quality time with madness and depression himself?

As for my sojourns into La La Land (Madness Depression) I've always found Nietzsche to be quite the traveling companion, not to mention an overall cheeky fellow too. If there's anybody who knows his way around La La Land it's Nietzsche. But it seemed like the more depressed and insane he became the more brilliant he was. It's funny how that's works.

It's the same for music too. Beethoven wrote some of his best works while not "hooked up right" in the head. Unfortunately it got to a point where his compositions were unplayable and nobody would touch them. So I guess there's a threshold or a point Where the brilliance ends and the madness begins; Nietzsche's writings were incoherent towards the end of his life.

I've also been reading works by the late Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. I started reading him because I read that Stanley Kubrick was a voracious Jung reader. I think Kubrick learned from Jung that since cinema is a visual and audio artform you can use it to affect the subconscious as well as the conscious mind. This blew me away because it explained so much about Kubrick's style with his use of lightning, colors, composition, details and pacing.

Anyway I'm sorry Errikos I'm not trying to turn your Rozsas thread into a Kubrick thread but you mentioned that you'd been reading a lot as well as listening to music.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it."
- W.C. Fields
Posted on Sat, Nov 02 2019 19:31
by Errikos
Joined on Tue, Jun 12 2007, Posts 1025

Anand: You took me back... I rememebr buying the vinyl of that violin concerto back in the late '80s if I remember right. I was barely a student and in awe of Williams' filmic achievements, so I was surprised when I heard that kind of music coming from his pen, but not totally boggled as I was familiar with much stranger music by living composers at that time, and Williams was in his mid-40s when he composed that in the '70s, at the time when Modernism was only beginning to relax its stranglehold on the neck of 'serious' music. The piece is not atonal of course, it vacillates between Berg, Bartok, Prokofiev and others, and tonal centres are hard to pinpoint without a score (for me at least). Did you notice towards the end of the third movement how the work shifts to the Williams of the big screen?

From his concerti that I have heard -about four or five- I prefer the Violoncello Concerto, which comes on a CD of his cello and orchestra works, very atmospheric. Also, you are right in that Williams and Rozsa differ due to their generational difference. Williams is a child of post-modernism, where the palette was expanded considerably in all respects. Pity you didn't get to shake hands after that B.S.O. concert...

 

Jasen: Well, madness certainly goes with the territory. Hopefully, depression is only transitory. I had read quite a bit of Nietzsche in my youth, always a favourite, and I actually appreciate his last period, even with madness having set in (see in Ecce Homo chapter titles like 'Why I am a Destiny', or 'Why I Write Such Great Books' - beautiful stuff!). Beethoven however, let's just say he grew more and more eccentric, having been driven there partly by the imposed solitude of deafness that paralyzed his concert career. The difficulties in his music were surmounted early enough in the 19th century with the advent of virtuoso-playing, a consequence of his creative life and endeavours mostly.

I am not a Kubrick expert, but I submit to everyone's admiration. I suppose I was too young to appreciate Barry Lyndon and The Shining when I caught them on TV and wasn't terribly impressed, but I was very impressed by 2001 -both as a young man and today- as well as with Dr. Strangelove and Eyes Wide Shut. Not so much by Full Metal Jacket, but that may have been due to the genre and that I am not American.

Jung I haven't read, but I imagine the Red Book would be very relevant to this thread  As for my recent voracious reading, I can recommend Marcus Aurelius' Meditations that I read a couple of months ago. Sublime!

And regarding composers that dabbled both in film and concert music - especially concerti, you might enjoy William Walton's Viola Concerto, Alan Rawsthorne's two piano concerti, actually I just realized the list would be enormous so I'll leave it there.

If you can't notate/MIDI it yourself, it's NOT your music!

In these modern days to be vulgar, illiterate, common and vicious, seems to give a man a marvelous infinity of rights that his honest fathers never dreamed of. - Oscar Wilde
Posted on Sun, Nov 03 2019 04:22
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

Ah, nice bit of history there. Actually I havent come to the third movement yet. Cant wait to hear it now. Will check out the cello concerto as well!

Anand Kumar
Posted on Sun, Nov 03 2019 12:30
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5397

I have also been obsessed with Nietzsche, who did go very mad near the end.  It happened in Turin, Italy, and he rushed out of his room when he saw a horse being beaten and screamed at the owner then embraced the horse sobbing.  This inspired the great proto-surrealist painter Giorgio De Chirico whose early canvases depicted deserted city streets, mannikins, statues, bunches of bananas, giant iron artichokes.  And then there is the great Robert Schumann,  who also went mad and kept on hearing the note A...   A! ......... A!!!

Oh, sorry, got carried away there. Yes, Rosza, a fine composer.  He didn't go mad but did some crazy scores, such as the one for the obscure sci-fi film The Power  starring George Hamilton.  It featured closeups of the cembalo being pounded while playing tritones obsessively and people were being driven crazy by psychic powers directed at their brains, eyes bulging out and hearts thumping visibly in their chests before they collapsed dead.      

Posted on Mon, Nov 04 2019 14:20
by mh-7635
Joined on Wed, Aug 04 2004, Posts 188

Originally Posted by: agitato Go to Quoted Post

That was well put Mike.

What a line up of composers there...Errikos, William and Mike Hewer...I love this forum where I can banter with serious composers and ask amateurish questions. like the one below:

I wonder what you think about John Williams' violin concerto, and where you would place it in the 20th century music literature: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi3ECEzyfAY

To my naive ears, this sounds atonal. I can barely make out a tonal center or melody....(even more remarkable given JW is one of the great melody makers of Hollywood.) But would you also consider this "atonal"? The Rozsa piece surely has a tonal center and quite a few beautiful melodies.

I find this piece to be an interesting contrast from Rozsa although I immensly enjoy both of the. Both were film composers but fully trained in the classical tradition. But why does William's music sound so different...is it just the few decades that separated them?  I didnt go to music school and am really curious what you think. It is also interesting to me that JW would not choose to write a more populist piece for his concert works. Its as if he didnt have to answer to anyone and was purely driven by his artistic vision.

(btw The one sure difference between the two is JW is alive, and I have "met" him....it was when he was leaving after a BSO concert. I was a few inches away but too embarassed to even get an autograph.)

Anand

 

hi Anand,

Errikos has answered your question I feel and I, like Errikos, also prefer the cello concerto, although the violin concerto is rather good too. The cello concerto is a lot sexier and sumptious in its harmony for me. This is the recording I have and it is beautiful....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Ua6-ebLv0

You are right about his concert works being more shall we say complicated. He has more to say than a film cue and in the concert hall there are no restraints. His command of the long line is often in evidence and the rigour in his work ensures a liberated and yet controlled unity of expression - a quality in good music that is sometimes overlooked  by lesser composers of concert music imv.

BTW I nearly met him too (sort of). I was working at Abbey Rd Studios when he was there once. I waited in the bar for a few hours to see him, but he never came in. There are of course worse places to wait in.

Posted on Tue, Nov 05 2019 07:02
by agitato
Joined on Mon, Jun 22 2015, Posts 350

I just started listening to the cello concerto and like it as well! I am yet to listen fully. The opening is far more sunny and cheerful than the violin concerto.

Anand Kumar
You cannot post new threads in this forum.
You cannot reply to threads in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.