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Thread: Singing and Dancing on the screen

  1. #151
    Senior Member Rogerx's Avatar
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    West Side Story - Gee Officer Krupke! (1961) HD
    Meanwhile lets remember the old one.

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  3. #152
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    Absolutely brilliant lyrics and a wonderful tune. And funny too. Those Bernstein songs would not have been easy to negotiate for singers because they shifted unpredictably.

    That's Russ Tamblyn singing first, isn't it.

    That song would trigger a lot of people today too!!!
    Last edited by Christabel; Yesterday at 07:12.

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  5. #153
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    It's risky, isn't it, when the original is so incredibly good. There are dated elements, of course, in the original - such as the finger snapping - but, boy, that choreography...!!!!!
    Agreed. There is a trailer or two on YT and they look rather good. As to the music, I have the full score and every note feels enshrined forever in the correct and perfect place. The problem for Spielberg might have been making the music relevant post 'LaLaLand' and living up to what is expected of a modern cinema score. I suspect there will have been tinkering from what I've heard so far, probably even new underscore and arrangements. I just hope the music's gutsy dissonanaces are not watered down to make the whole sound like a typical modern musical written for instant appeal.

    Get ready for potential drum loops under the 'Cool' fugue.....actually I'd be ok with that, it'd be very urban and contemporary. Maybe LB would approve that too, after all, the music's certainly strong enough to take radical adaptions. (On the trailer, the famous tritone hook is whistled).
    Last edited by mikeh375; Yesterday at 07:23.

  6. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Agreed. There is a trailer or two on YT and they look rather good. As to the music, I have the full score and every note feels enshrined forever in the correct and perfect place. The problem for Spielberg might have been making the music relevant post 'LaLaLand' and living up to what is expected of a modern cinema score. I suspect there will have been tinkering from what I've heard so far, probably even new underscore and arrangements. I just hope the music's gutsy dissonanaces are not watered down to make the whole sound like a typical modern musical written for instant appeal.

    Get ready for potential drum loops under the 'Cool' fugue.....actually I'd be ok with that, it'd be very urban and contemporary. Maybe LB would approve that too, after all, the music's certainly strong enough to take radical adaptions. (On the trailer, the famous tritone hook is whistled).
    It was Arthur Freed from the eponymous MGM unit who said that audiences didn't like Leonard Bernstein's music because it was 'classical music'. Consequently, he had Comden and Green compose new numbers for "On The Town" to avoid audience exposure to dissonances and other art-music techniques which, of course, are all familiar to those of us who love great music.

    But this comment did provide an insight into the dilemma facing film-makers who have to appeal to the broad distribution in film. Bernstein's score for "West Side Story" still upsets people who find it 'difficult' (including my own spouse!).

  7. #155
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Agreed. There is a trailer or two on YT and they look rather good. As to the music, I have the full score and every note feels enshrined forever in the correct and perfect place. The problem for Spielberg might have been making the music relevant post 'LaLaLand' and living up to what is expected of a modern cinema score. I suspect there will have been tinkering from what I've heard so far, probably even new underscore and arrangements. I just hope the music's gutsy dissonanaces are not watered down to make the whole sound like a typical modern musical written for instant appeal.

    Get ready for potential drum loops under the 'Cool' fugue.....actually I'd be ok with that, it'd be very urban and contemporary. Maybe LB would approve that too, after all, the music's certainly strong enough to take radical adaptions. (On the trailer, the famous tritone hook is whistled).
    But bear in mind, Bernstein did not do the orchestral arrangements for WSS, neither the stage production nor the film. And interestingly, Bernstein cut the tritone at the top of the show when he recorded the concert version. And it is not included in my copy of the complete piano score.

    I thought Jeanine Tesori worked on the orchestral arrangements for the Spielberg version, but I was wrong - she worked as a vocal coach. The orchestrator is David Newman. A review of his prior work listed on Wikipedia leaves me concerned as to whether he is the right person for this project. I also wonder if Sondheim tweaked the lyrics. His lyrics for “America” in the film are much better than the lyrics for the stage version. I think I’ve read that some of the “changes” were actually the original lyrics that were altered during rehearsal of the stage version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    It was Arthur Freed from the eponymous MGM unit who said that audiences didn't like Leonard Bernstein's music because it was 'classical music'. Consequently, he had Comden and Green compose new numbers for "On The Town" to avoid audience exposure to dissonances and other art-music techniques which, of course, are all familiar to those of us who love great music.

    But this comment did provide an insight into the dilemma facing film-makers who have to appeal to the broad distribution in film. Bernstein's score for "West Side Story" still upsets people who find it 'difficult' (including my own spouse!).
    I recall being confused the first time I heard the album. Of course, I was 5 at the time.

    When considering On the Town, I think you have to take into account the fact that the stage version opened during WWII; the film was post-war. Thus, there is almost necessarily a darker undercurrent to the stage version.

  8. #156
    Senior Member mikeh375's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    But bear in mind, Bernstein did not do the orchestral arrangements for WSS, neither the stage production nor the film. And interestingly, Bernstein cut the tritone at the top of the show when he recorded the concert version. And it is not included in my copy of the complete piano score.

    I thought Jeanine Tesori worked on the orchestral arrangements for the Spielberg version, but I was wrong - she worked as a vocal coach. The orchestrator is David Newman. A review of his prior work listed on Wikipedia leaves me concerned as to whether he is the right person for this project. I also wonder if Sondheim tweaked the lyrics. His lyrics for “America” in the film are much better than the lyrics for the stage version. I think I’ve read that some of the “changes” were actually the original lyrics that were altered during rehearsal of the stage version.

    .
    Yes of course, I was referring to the theatre pit scoring which is what I have a copy of. I think Bernstein did do that (am I correct?). I have doubts about Newman too and thinking about it, I'd only trust someone like John William's know how, musicianship and judgement for this. Still, I'm open minded and tbh, on further reflection, someone not loaded down with the tradition of the work might be better placed to update it anyway. We'll see eh...
    Last edited by mikeh375; Yesterday at 15:26.

  9. #157
    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    Yes of course, I was referring to the theatre pit scoring which is what I have a copy of. I think Bernstein did do that (am I correct?). I have doubts about Newman too and thinking about it, I'd only trust someone like John William's know how, musicianship and judgement for this. Still, I'm open minded and tbh, on further reflection, someone not loaded down with the tradition of the work might be better placed to update it anyway. We'll see eh...
    Actually Bernstein didn’t do the theater pit scoring. He is co-credited with Sid Ramin and Irving Kostal; however my music teacher, who took master classes from Bernstein, doesn’t believe Bernstein played a large role in orchestrations. It would be difficult for someone to spend days in rehearsal, and maybe evenings composing new music to do so.

    It does look like David Newman did an orchestration of some of the music in 2011, which must have been approved by the Bernstein Estate.

    https://leonardbernstein.com/works/v...est-side-story
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Yesterday at 18:53.

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  11. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by jegreenwood View Post
    Actually Bernstein didn’t do the theater pit scoring. He is co-credited with Sid Ramin and Irving Kostal; however my music teacher, who took master classes from Bernstein, doesn’t believe Bernstein played a large role in orchestrations. It would be difficult for someone to spend days in rehearsal, and maybe evenings composing new music to do so.

    It does look like David Newman did an orchestration of some of the music in 2011, which must have been approved by the Bernstein Estate.

    https://leonardbernstein.com/works/v...est-side-story
    But we have it on the public record that Bernstein disliked the lush scoring for the film version of his musical, preferring instead the leaner forces and less ostentation of the 'orchestra pit'.

    It wasn't usual for composers to complete the orchestrations; that was too time-consuming and mostly went to people who excelled in that craft, for example, Robert Russell Bennett - who did the orchestrations for Rodgers & Hammerstein on Broadway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christabel View Post
    But we have it on the public record that Bernstein disliked the lush scoring for the film version of his musical, preferring instead the leaner forces and less ostentation of the 'orchestra pit'.

    It wasn't usual for composers to complete the orchestrations; that was too time-consuming and mostly went to people who excelled in that craft, for example, Robert Russell Bennett - who did the orchestrations for Rodgers & Hammerstein on Broadway.
    ..nothing`s changed in that regard, believe me.

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  14. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeh375 View Post
    ..nothing`s changed in that regard, believe me.
    Taking the process in reverse, just image this on two staves (sometimes it could be more) in piano reduction form: it's a masterpiece with its aesthetic clearly focussed on the American people enduring the separation and grief of WW2.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKG5X0QMSWA

    Conrad Salinger orchestrated this in a masterful way; it becomes a hymn/chorale of the type composed by Bach. Listen to the bass line. I feel confident in saying this would not have been in the original composition.

    Salinger was trained at the Paris Conservatoire with Andre Gedalge and possibly Nadia Boulanger. I cannot over-estimate Salinger's genius and no less a person than Andre Previn said so.

    Here is Conrad Salinger, at the Paris Conservatoire with Gedalge at the piano, standing last on the left:



    There would be other, as yet unidentified, notable persons in that picture!!
    Last edited by Christabel; Yesterday at 23:23. Reason: Picture

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