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Thread: Dr. Zhivago- breakout music?

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Dr. Zhivago- breakout music?

    In watching some videos the other day, I noticed something about Dr. Zhivago. It seems to be the music that helps US skaters have a breakout season!

    1995- Nicole Bobek won her first US title using this music

    2004- Johnny Weir wins the US title and puts to rest the disastrous year from 2003

    2009- Alissa Czisny won US Nationals after her 8th try

    I just find this to be interesting. It seems to be the music for skaters who seemingly are done for, to make a miraculous comeback. Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maoyuna View Post
    ?
    The fair thing then would be to have a coin toss over the music - heads Michelle, tails Sasha.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-05-2009 at 02:40 PM.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    That's brilliant. I can totally see Sasha going for that given her penchant for Russian music. (It's Russian enough. Sorry, Monsieur Jarre!)

    PS: Welcome to Goldenskate, maoyuna! Nice to see you're not caught up in the fanbot wars!
    Last edited by Spun Silver; 06-05-2009 at 02:58 PM.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Zvivago is simplistic music and very good for skaters who really can't perform the emotions of a great piece of music like some written by Ricard Straus. Most skaters are limited in the emotional department. They are much too young and inexperienced in life, but the pretty music gets the fans.

    The alternatives to Zvivago, Roti's R&J, Thais, and all those pieces of music with those sugary themes would be Carmen. Also very good for skaters of young age. It shows a variety of movement to those tunes. At least one can judge the skater's ability for timing and rhythm

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    Tanguera feraina's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Zvivago is simplistic music and very good for skaters who really can't perform the emotions of a great piece of music like some written by Ricard Straus. Most skaters are limited in the emotional department. They are much too young and inexperienced in life, but the pretty music gets the fans.
    That's very condescending! And totally untrue, to boot.

    One might say the opposite, that only artistically talented skaters like Johnny and Alissa can pull off this beautiful piece. That's ridiculous, to imply that these skaters, of all skaters, "can't perform the emotions of a great piece of music" and thus sticking with some "simplistic music" like Dr. Zhivago!

    By the way, I was rewatching Johnny's old programs the other day (and really enjoying them), and it struck me that Alissa has been picking Johnny's old music a lot: Dr. Zhivago, The Swan. What's she going to do next? Otonal? That remains my favorite of Johnny's programs. Suguri didn't do it justice, but maybe Alissa could.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Zvivago is simplistic music and very good for skaters who really can't perform the emotions of a great piece of music like some written by Ricard Straus.

    Doctor Zhivago is just one of many great scores composed by Maurice Jarre. It is hardly simplistic which is why it was a Grammy and Academy Award winning score in 1965. Other notable scores by Jarre include:

    1962 Lawrence of Arabia Won the 1962 Academy Award for Best Music score

    1965 Doctor Zhivago Grammy Award / Academy Award for Best Music Score

    1966 Is Paris Burning?
    1966 Grand Prix
    1968 Isadora
    1969 Topaz
    1970 Ryan's Daughter
    1971 Plaza Suite
    1972 The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
    1974 The Island at the Top of the World
    1976 The Last Tycoon
    1977 Mohammad, Messenger of God Nominated for Best Music, Original Score
    1980 Shōgun (TV miniseries)
    1982 Firefox

    1982 The Year of Living Dangerously (interesting electronic music score)

    1984 A Passage to India Won the 1984 Academy Award for Best Score

    1985 Witness Nominated for Best Music, Original Score
    1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
    1986 The Mosquito Coast
    1987 No Way Out
    1987 Fatal Attraction

    1988 Gorillas in the Mist: Nominated for Best Music, Original Score
    1989 Dead Poets Society British Academy Awards, 1989, Best Original Music

    1990 Jacob's Ladder
    1990 Ghost Nominated for Best Music Academy Award
    1993 Fearless
    1993 Mr. Jones

    1995 A Walk in the Clouds Golden Globe, 1995, Best Original Score
    1996 The Sunchaser

    2000 I Dreamed of Africa
    2001 Uprising

    He wrote more than what I listed and people in the music industry consider him an extraordinary writer.

  7. #7
    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feraina View Post
    That's very condescending! And totally untrue, to boot.

    One might say the opposite, that only artistically talented skaters like Johnny and Alissa can pull off this beautiful piece. That's ridiculous, to imply that these skaters, of all skaters, "can't perform the emotions of a great piece of music" and thus sticking with some "simplistic music" like Dr. Zhivago!
    Well, movie soundtracks are often more simplistic than, let's say classical music. That's a fact, I can prove that. They are not written to be complex, they are written with the intention of underlining certain scenes in movies. They are written in order to evoke clear emotions that are relevant to the action of the movies.

    And yes, I think it's a lot easier to perform to these kinds of music than to certain kinds of classical music. Especially if you have this controlled lyrical polished and precise style of Czisny and Weir (continue the list with Zhang, Asada etc.), they can just skate their natural style, they don't have to be on the beat of the music. Of course you need this style to begin with, but just put Zhivago on to Zhang's Ave Maria, Johnny's Notre Dame, Asada's Claire de la Lune... It always looks good, it often evokes the right emotions.

    Same actually goes for one of my all-time favourites, Yagudin. He used the same kind of soundtrack over and over again. Majestic simple music, like in Gladiator and Man in the Iron Mask, with lyrical slow section. It suited his powerful skating style perfectly and everyone was in awe.

    True versatility is difficult to achieve in my opinion. I am a fan (obviously) but I think Lambiel is a true versatile skater. You can't exchange the music of the Four Seasons with the music of Poèta, or the music of Romeo&Juliet with one of his jazzy numbers. Takahashi is pretty good too. (Amodio, Chan and Rippon are my candidates for the next generation)
    Last edited by Medusa; 06-05-2009 at 06:27 PM.

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    I think Labiel was unique and no one came close. Takahashi is not up there but he is good too. And a favorite for next season. I cannot forget the one GP he skated Fantom of the Opera program with stomach pain and his face and reaction in straight steps at the end. He won me there.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    Well, movie soundtracks are often more simplistic than, let's say classical music. That's a fact, I can prove that. They are not written to be complex, they are written with the intention of underlining certain scenes in movies. They are written in order to evoke clear emotions that are relevant to the action of the movies.

    And yes, I think it's a lot easier to perform to these kinds of music than to certain kinds of classical music. )

    Those are interesting points medusa. One of the things musicians learn is that sometimes it is harder to play a slow simple melody beautifully - than a faster one full of many notes. Perhaps that is why school figures were also considered so difficult. Simple but also had to be more exact.
    Music composed for films differs in style from "classical" music because it must appeal to a wider audience. But it is also the natural successor to the great opera music of the 19th century. Most opera scores are composed for the same reason film scores are written - to help tell a story. They are also similar in that they are commissioned works written - not out of some moment of inspiration - but strictly for money. Like film composers, Beethoven did not stare at the moon or a beautiful lake for inspiration. He wrote when he had a commission and was getting paid for his work.
    In today's music world the most competitive area of composing is in the film/TV idiom. It is where the most talented writers work, if they can break through and get a chance.
    The composer in residence of the Philadelphia Orchestra (my city) makes less in his five year contract than John Williams makes for a single film score.
    Not all classical music is complex and I am sure you don't need me to tell you that. But almost all of it was written for some commercial purpose and there are quite a few jokes about the music of Hadyn and Mozart because it can be so simple. Doesn't mean it is not beautiful, just not very complex - after trying to master the solos of Charlie Parker or playing the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim like a Brasilian - and not like I have heard it played in parts of Europe.
    Music changes as society changes. Popular music from today is nothing like popular music from 1909 just as 1909 is so different from 1809. Does that mean that the art songs by Schubert or Schumann are better or more complex than the popular songs of George Gershwin? I can tell you some of the Gershwin stuff can get difficult and some of the Schubert/Schumann stuff can be played by any good 3rd year student. But just like "it" factor this is all so very subjective.
    Because I am not much of skater I can't tell you which style of music is easiest for certain skaters to skate to. As a musician and music publisher I can say in my opinion there is alot of extremely well crafted and very beautiful film music that has been written. Skating is about motion and so distinct because of the gliding not possible in Dance. Whether music comes from film or the classical repertoire is not what makes it better or harder to skate to. "Danse Macabre" works so well because you can feel the motion in the music. Clair de Lune has a totally different feel that is more sensual. Both can be skated to but the choreo will be much different. "Lara's Theme" from "Zhivago" also has a feeling of motion (as do many waltzes) which is why skaters may like using it. i don't think it is used because of anything doing with "simplicity" but for the fact that it is a beautiful well known melody with a rhythmic motion that is good to skate to.
    I also believe that if we could bring back a couple of "classical" composers they would probably be impressed by the beauty, power and drama of scores like "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Doctor Zhivago." Good music is good music regardless of why it was created - and being "popular" does not automatically make something crass or vulgar.
    I enjoyed your comments and sorry if I went too far - off - or out with this response.
    I could talk about this - music - for hours, and skating too
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-06-2009 at 08:35 AM.

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium
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    I won't argue about whether or not it's easier to interpret film scores as opposed to classical music, but I will say it's a whole lot easier to cut them. Film music is composed as a series of moments, rather than as a coherent, developed whole. When my daughter skated, it was a lot easier for me to make a 4 minute program out of a film soundtrack than it was to condense a 20-minute tone poem. With the film scores, I could even rearrange the clips so that particular skating moves would fall at certain places in the program. It's much more difficult to edit classical music and retain its integrity.

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    Figure Skating Is A Dangerous Sport Dee4707's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    That's brilliant. I can totally see Sasha going for that given her penchant for Russian music. (It's Russian enough. Sorry, Monsieur Jarre!)

    PS: Welcome to Goldenskate, maoyuna! Nice to see you're not caught up in the fanbot wars!
    Spun, I hope Sasha doesn't pick Zhivago music, I just curl up in a little ball when I hear that music...I'm not quite sure why I don't like it...I would rather chew on nails than to hear that music.

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee4707 View Post
    Spun, I hope Sasha doesn't pick Zhivago music, I just curl up in a little ball when I hear that music...I'm not quite sure why I don't like it...I would rather chew on nails than to hear that music.
    I happen to like the score (Johnny's cut slighty better than Alissa's) but i agree with you that we need another "Zhivago" program as badly as we need another "Carmen."
    (Why do I have a hunch that Yuna may use "Carmen" for either her SP or LP?
    She used it in her junior years and sometimes skaters like to revisit old programs.)
    You may not like the music (especially "Lara's Theme") the way some people can't stand hearing Jobim's "Girl From Ipanema" due to hearing it a million or more times it some of the silliest , most vanilla type "elevator" music arrangements ever recorded. I happen to love the song "Moon River" and my favorite is when Audrey Hepburn sings it in a simple arrangement featured in the movie. But geez - I have heard so many bland versions of that song that I can live without ever hearing it again. I think we all have songs or music that can bug us that way.
    Last edited by janetfan; 06-07-2009 at 01:41 PM.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dee4707 View Post
    Spun, I hope Sasha doesn't pick Zhivago music, I just curl up in a little ball when I hear that music...I'm not quite sure why I don't like it...I would rather chew on nails than to hear that music.
    DEE! Even if it's Sasha? Even if it's her ticket to the Olympics? I"m shocked. Shocked!

    (I'm not dying to hear it again either, but we know Sasha likes over-familiar music so we're screwed no matter what she chooses. Anyway, Alissa did so beautifully with it that I know Sasha could make it work. For me, it's her Moonlight Sonata program that makes me want to puke and it's not a good-luck talisman....)

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    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    I won't argue about whether or not it's easier to interpret film scores as opposed to classical music, but I will say it's a whole lot easier to cut them. Film music is composed as a series of moments, rather than as a coherent, developed whole. It's much more difficult to edit classical music and retain its integrity.
    Film music is not composed in the bits or snippets we may hear when watching a finished motion picture. It is typically composed much the way a work like "Pictures At An Exhibition" was composed - in suite form, as a series of movements or impressions - sometimes without benefit of a script or any out take scenes from the movie. Of course there is discussion between the director and composer which serves as an outline for the composer.
    For instance, if the film is a love story - a love theme will be composed - often with variations and different orchestrations. That certainly happens with "Lara's theme from "Zhivago."
    "Motion music" is typically needed for most films. The director will tell the composer "I need early 20th century motion music for steam powered trains and also for some horse drawn carriages". So the composer will write a movement or two of motion music and then write some variations on it..
    "Titanic" is full of recurring motion music in various orchestrations - and James Horner wrote a six minute movement "Southampton" and about 15 minutes more of variations whose theme recurs in various orchestrations (and durations) throughout the movie's soundtract. Like it or not, it would be good for skating to and also very easy to cut for a skater's program. ( I published a few pieces from "Titanic" for Brass Ensemble so I had to spend alot of time listening to the soundtract.)

    It can be much easier to cut film score music for a skating program because it has in effect already been cut many times by the film's music editing crew as they break it down and adapt it - scene by scene (sometimes even frame by frame) for the film. With the miracle of today's digital tecnology this is much easier now, but still requires a very well trained and talented crew.

    As far as the integrity of "film" music vs "classical" music there is no intentional difference. Maurice Jarre composed "serious" concert works but I don't think he was using any less effort - or only part of his talent - when he wrote "Lawrence." Nor did he consciously use more of his talent and training when he composed a suite commissioned by Radio Orchestra de Paris.
    BTW, Mozart and Hadyn constantly had the "integrity" of their music cut and changed by their patrons and Emperor Franz Jospeh was a notorious medler.
    He often asked for more movements, sometimes "less notes" faster tempos, etc.
    The samething happened with many operas. Many cuts were made, variations were added from an earlier movement, aria, or instrumental section. Sometimes arias were rewritten to better suite a singer's style and range, and even orchestrations were changed when budgets ran over and the size of the orchestra had to be reduced. This happened for symphonic works as well. Without any financial constraints who knows how many Horns Wagner might have used or how large his choruses might have been. He was a very grandiose (some might say bombastic) sort of fellow.

    Anyway, a soft summer day here - and if this is way off topic then sorry for that.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Anyway, a soft summer day here - and if this is way off topic then sorry for that.
    On the contrary, great post!

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