New Podcast - King Arthur!

Join Judge Clark Douglas as he explores the musical side of film courtesy of the world's finest composers.

New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby cdouglas » Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:26 am

Hey folks,

What is this noble thing I see before me? Why, it's another edition of "The Sounds and Sights of Cinema", offering music from films that depict Arthurian lore! Like King Arthur himself, this show rules! *rimshot* Okay, here's what you'll hear:

King Arthur - Hans Zimmer
Merlin - Trevor Jones
Excalibur - Richard Wagner
Knights of the Round Table - Miklos Rozsa
Quest for Camelot - Patrick Doyle (plus a bonus bit from Celine Dion)
First Knight - Jerry Goldsmith
The Mists of Avalon - Lee Holdridge
Special Sorta-Arthurian Bonus Track: Army of Darkness - Danny Elfman

Plus, my review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

So grab a goblet of ale and a turkey leg, pull up a throne, put your legs up on the round table and enjoy some great music!

"The only thing in existence more awesomely magical than myself is The Sounds and Sights of Cinema. That show is ----ing good." - Merlin
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby BrettCullum » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:03 am

Ah, how I love KING ARTHUR. But I have to say EXCALIBUR is the single one that stands out in my mind as the strongest adaptation of the tale. I love all the Wagner music and the skillful use of the now over-used O FORTUNA theme. But I suppose very little could be counted as a true "score" since they just used classical themes that would eventually be used again and again in films, TV, and anime. But embarassingly enough, because I saw the film so young... I associate ALL of that music with the Boorman film.
Alex: It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen. (Clockwork Orange)
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby cdouglas » Tue Jul 21, 2009 8:10 am

BrettCullum wrote:Ah, how I love KING ARTHUR. But I have to say EXCALIBUR is the single one that stands out in my mind as the strongest adaptation of the tale. I love all the Wagner music and the skillful use of the now over-used O FORTUNA theme. But I suppose very little could be counted as a true "score" since they just used classical themes that would eventually be used again and again in films, TV, and anime. But embarassingly enough, because I saw the film so young... I associate ALL of that music with the Boorman film.


Yeah, Trevor Jones wrote some original score material for Excalibur, but it was mostly rather forgettable, particularly in contrast to the classical stuff that surrounded it.

I know what you mean about associating classical pieces with a particular film. Though the Blue Danube is closely associated with 2001, it almost always reminds me of a bunch of Bugs Bunny cartoons I saw as a kid. Ditto Ride of the Valkyries from Apocalypse Now... every time I hear it, I can't help but hear Elmer Fudd singing, "Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit..."
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby Carl Wonders » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:47 am

cdouglas wrote:I know what you mean about associating classical pieces with a particular film. Though the Blue Danube is closely associated with 2001, it almost always reminds me of a bunch of Bugs Bunny cartoons I saw as a kid. Ditto Ride of the Valkyries from Apocalypse Now... every time I hear it, I can't help but hear Elmer Fudd singing, "Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit..."

Count me in there as well. In fact, I associate so many pieces of music with Kubrick it's not funny, even Singin' in the Rain -- sorry Gene Kelly, but I tend to think of Clockwork Orange.

As for the show, great stuff as always, though I admit I lunged for the skip button once Celine Dion came on. I've never been a fan of Hans Zimmer's score, probably because it was back in the days after Gladiator where he became obsessed with including the duduk in everything, whether it was appropriate or not. I also thought the Rozsa piece was interesting, especially since there were fragments in there that he used again for Ben Hur, though for my money I think his score for Ivanhoe is a bit better (though that's Richard III era rather than Arthur).
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby cdouglas » Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:36 pm

Carl Wonders wrote:
cdouglas wrote:I know what you mean about associating classical pieces with a particular film. Though the Blue Danube is closely associated with 2001, it almost always reminds me of a bunch of Bugs Bunny cartoons I saw as a kid. Ditto Ride of the Valkyries from Apocalypse Now... every time I hear it, I can't help but hear Elmer Fudd singing, "Kill the Wabbit, Kill the Wabbit..."

Count me in there as well. In fact, I associate so many pieces of music with Kubrick it's not funny, even Singin' in the Rain -- sorry Gene Kelly, but I tend to think of Clockwork Orange.

As for the show, great stuff as always, though I admit I lunged for the skip button once Celine Dion came on. I've never been a fan of Hans Zimmer's score, probably because it was back in the days after Gladiator where he became obsessed with including the duduk in everything, whether it was appropriate or not. I also thought the Rozsa piece was interesting, especially since there were fragments in there that he used again for Ben Hur, though for my money I think his score for Ivanhoe is a bit better (though that's Richard III era rather than Arthur).


I'm a big Rozsa fan, but here's the thing that amuses me about him. Every time he would get one of these "historical epic" assignments, he would bury himself in research and do a detailed examination of the music and instruments of the era, vowing to make his score as historically appropriate as possible. Somehow, the end result was always just another good old-fashioned sweeping Rozsa score.

And yeah, I'd be fine if the duduk went on hiatus for a while... it's been overexposed in the past decade. Heck, even Paul McCartney used one on one of his albums!
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby Carl Wonders » Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:21 am

cdouglas wrote:I'm a big Rozsa fan, but here's the thing that amuses me about him. Every time he would get one of these "historical epic" assignments, he would bury himself in research and do a detailed examination of the music and instruments of the era, vowing to make his score as historically appropriate as possible. Somehow, the end result was always just another good old-fashioned sweeping Rozsa score.

You make a great point there. I don't doubt that Rozsa did a lot of research, but listening to his scores, you would think that the Romans and Middle Age England were swapping chord progressions! Alex North also said that he did a ton of research for Spartacus, but I certainly don't hear much other than the typical Alex North sound (not a huge fan of that score, to be honest).

On that subject, I seem to remember reading somewhere that Jerry Goldsmith was quite accurate with his fanfare for First Knight in that all of the brass play only open notes (no valves on instruments back then), which is why the progressions are largely perfect fifths. Not sure how accurate that is, but it sounds plausible to me...
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby atons » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:07 am

I really like how King Arthur act in the movie especially the way he used his excalibur.
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Re: New Podcast - King Arthur!

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:07 am

Holy zombie, double entendre spam Batman!
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