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

Notification

Icon
Error

Forum Jump  
"The Great Escape" by Elmer Bernstein
Last post Thu, Apr 11 2019 by Minardi, 13 replies.
Options
Go to last post
Posted on Thu, Mar 14 2019 16:22
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hello,

I recently purchased the Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon and Flute full library ensembles.  Love the sound. In the past, I have tried to replicate an ensemble, but always was not satisfied with the results. I tried de-tuning and time shifting very slightly the multiple tracks, but, no good.  I couldn't get away with it !

With these new sounds I decided to record a rendition of a piece of music from a 1963 movie called "The Great Escape", composed by Elmer Bernstein.  It is probably one of the first sound tracks I was so impressed with as a child.  I was only eight years old in 1963 ( I'm dating myself now!) and I probably didn't see the movie until the late sixties.

I found three slightly different tracks of the piece on youtube and put together an arrangment that I liked.  I also found a composers score someone made a video of and I screen captured all of it.  The final quality was not too good, but it gave me some idea of what was being played.  Most of my rendition was done by listening to the sound track.

Here is a Copy & Paste link to my rendition of the music;

https://www.broadjam.com/songs/johnminardi/the-great-escape/Play

Hope you enjoy.

 

John Minardi

Posted on Fri, Mar 15 2019 03:10
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5307

That sounds excellent.  Another fabulous score by Elmer Bernstein who was such a great composer.  

The music is so good it makes you want to see the film again...

Posted on Fri, Mar 15 2019 18:10
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hello William,

Thank you for your kind comment.  Yes! I try to catch that movie if I see it's going to be on T.V.  Almost three hours but I love watching it all the way through.

Take care William,

 

John Minardi

Posted on Sun, Mar 17 2019 02:03
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5307

This reminded me of thinking previously about this score - it seems Bernstein created a theme that was energetic and dynamic, almost carefree,  in the midst of a horrible situation. It was almost sassy and jaunty as if to say - these guys know they will win.  Steve Mcqueen was so cool in that... the perfect actor for it.  He couldn't care less - he is ON it. 

Anyway, Bernstein must have been thinking about something along those lines when deciding "how will I score this?..."  A master of film music.  

Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 10:14
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1462

Well done John! and Thank you for sharing.

I agree with William that the score sounds more lighthearted then the serious subject matter the film portrays. Maybe, since Bernstein was Jewish, he saw scoring this film as an opportunity to give a one finger salute to the Nazis in his own small musical way. So maybe he just has some fun with it.

The score reminded me of John Williams 1941 March (composed 15 years later) but not because they sound alike, because both composers took similiar approaches with the scoring style.  The difference however is that The 1941 March is a bombastic and cartoonish score to a bombastic and cartoonish film so the score fits.

But in a strange sort of way Bernstein's score fits too.  Go figure. 


"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 Mon, Mar 18 2019 15:08
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hi William,

I agree with you, although I did not think much on the emotion Mr. Bernstein had put into this score.  It does have that carefree feel but it also makes me think of a strong determination feel also.

John Minardi

Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 15:20
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hi Jasen,

Thank you for your kind comment.  Yes, I think it sounds somewhat like the 1941 March also. I like that piece a lot and I like John Williams' music in general.

I have a CD I purchased a long time ago that has every second of the Raiders of The Lost Ark music. Although some of the music seems like its just filling a space, it's interesting to listen to and analyze.  I can imagine coming up with enough music to fill almost 2 hours is quite a challenge.

 

John Minardi

Posted on Mon, Mar 18 2019 18:28
by William
Joined on Sun, Nov 24 2002, USA, Posts 5307

Actually I wasn't thinking it was merely lighthearted - I was thinking it was the idea of using that energetic tune instead of something heavy to suggest that these people are so confident they will win. And that allows them to.  The "lively" energy carries them through.

You don't hear that usually nowadays.  Normally it is a super-heavy dark theme - brooding, always brooding - we must brood!  -  to accompany anything so daunting as what these men faced.  Bernstein deliberately did something the opposite, though as you mentioned it shows a determined quality also.  

Posted on Tue, Mar 19 2019 09:45
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1462

Originally Posted by: William Go to Quoted Post

brooding, always brooding - we must brood!  -   

Well ain't that the sad truth

And nothing says brooding more than the ominous DRONE burrrrrrrrr...

And no self-respecting so-called composer today wouldn't be caught dead without their loyal army of drones standing at attention on their harddrives just waiting to be called upon to do their duty.


"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 Tue, Mar 19 2019 09:59
by jasensmith
Joined on Tue, Jan 15 2008, Arizona, Posts 1462

Originally Posted by: Minardi Go to Quoted Post

I have a CD I purchased a long time ago that has every second of the Raiders of The Lost Ark music. Although some of the music seems like its just filling a space, it's interesting to listen to and analyze.  I can imagine coming up with enough music to fill almost 2 hours is quite a challenge.

 

John Minardi

And I bet that, at the very least, 1 hour and 50 minutes of the music on that JW CD could stand on its own without a visual and still be enjoyable music. Unfortunately not 1 minute of a contemporary score today couldn't stand on its own.

"Coming up with enough music to fill almost 2 hours." 

Try writing an opera John.  Although I have never actually gone to the theater and seen one performed I hear that operas are pretty much "wall to wall" music, from start to finish, and some operas are 3 + hours long. But if you have an army of drones at your fingertips then 3 hours is nothing.


"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 Fri, Mar 22 2019 15:12
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hi Jasen,

Yes, I know what you mean about today's contempoary scores.  I have to admit, I haven't gone out of my way to listen to much of it but, even with the little I have heard makes me feel creeped out.  It's seems so dark and, yes, brooding!

Posted on Thu, Apr 11 2019 18:57
by Paul McGraw
Joined on Mon, Feb 29 2016, Georgia, USA, Posts 388

Well done Minardi. That brings back a lot of memories.

Posted on Thu, Apr 11 2019 20:36
by Minardi
Joined on Fri, Feb 10 2017, Posts 22

Hi Paul,

Thanks so much.  I enjoyed putting that together.  And it does bring back a lot of memories for me also.

 

Take care,

 

John Minardi

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.