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Topic: John Barry at the Opera

I mentioned this in my podcast this week, but I thought I'd mention it here to. Last week I went to Francesco Cilea's 1902 opera Adriana Lecouvreur and heard something familiar. It was the Act IV Prelude. Listen at the beginning here for about 30 seconds:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dARguK4kW0

It sounds a lot like John Barry. Listen more and you'll hear more that might remind you of Barry. But something very similar to the first four bars in particular can be heard in Moonraker.  Listen to "Cable Car And Snake Fight" at 2:42:

https://youtu.be/tbSKFMkvEr8?t=161

Barry clearly was a fan of this opera. And it's a fantastic opera.

Barry also used this motif in his 1980 score for Night Games and developed it more. Listen to "Descent Into Decadance" at 1:12:

https://youtu.be/G29cRsXpTLM?t=72

Does anyone know if Barry used it anywhere else? Or does anyone have any other Barry/opera comparisons?

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Thanks Matt, the motif is very similar all right! Not being an opera fan, I'd never heard that piece.

As to JB using that motif (or similar) in other pieces, have a listen to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGfa8Ybsou0 "Pyramid Of Cheops" from "Ruby Cairo". I'll have to have a listen to "Out Of Africa" again, I think it turns up there as well though I can't remember in which track.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

On another note (pun intended), the opening of "Prelude To A Million Years" by Tony Banks (keyboard player from Genesis)

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=to … ORM=VRDGAR

sounds pretty like the opening of "Wine With Stacey" from AVTAK:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfKcX0HzuLE

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Great find, Barbel, always loved „ Wine with Stacey“

Same with the FYEO , „Take me home“ matches the tone beautifully.
It‘s definitely Barry-worthy  ajb007/cheers

BTT: Barry does these orchestral overtures always well, such as with YOLT title song which is in the same tune as the above mentioned pieces.

Last edited by Higgins (25th Jan 2019 11:19)

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

I had never heard the Ruby Cairo score before. Very similar style there indeed.

It's great to hear the influence Barry has had on others.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Ruby Cairo is a beautiful score- here's another track  from it which I hope you enjoy, Matt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2v9bVh … mp;index=2

The flamenco version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pn7SHf … 5-VHk0vcIu

And thanks, Higgins.  ajb007/smile

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

Ruby Cairo is a beautiful score- here's another track  from it which I hope you enjoy, Matt:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2v9bVh … mp;index=2

The flamenco version:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pn7SHf … 5-VHk0vcIu

And thanks, Higgins.  ajb007/smile

Thanks! I just listened to the entire soundtrack, and it's a beauty! There are a few really special moments in there, which I don't usually expect from his 1990s works. I keep going back to "Pyramid Of Cheops". The chord that comes in at 21 seconds is not what I usually expect from Barry, at least at that point in his career, and it's genius. The way it progresses from something sad, to something mysterious, then resolves to something wondrous! It's a true chord progression that progresses somewhere and tells a story. I don't know what's going on in the film, but I can certainly picture something.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Glad you like this one, too! IMO the film itself is no more than ok, but JB's music is among his best (latter day best, at least).

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

Glad you like this one, too! IMO the film itself is no more than ok, but JB's music is among his best (latter day best, at least).

I agree that it is amongst his latter day best. But his best works were all from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. As great as Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves are, they don’t do anything Barry hadn’t done before.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Couldn't agree more- most of my favourite JB music- not just scores, have you heard the "Americans" album?-  is from that period.

John Barry "Americans" https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=jo … ;FORM=VIRE

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

Couldn't agree more- most of my favourite JB music- not just scores, have you heard the "Americans" album?-  is from that period.

John Barry "Americans" https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=jo … ;FORM=VIRE

I haven't heard that album, but I know some of the tunes on it. I'm listening to it now. Thank you!

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

I heard something in Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle that sounds like "Goldfinger". Specifically the opening lyric "Gold-finger".

Start listening here at 5:05: https://youtu.be/bHRdmXX5hNw?t=305

At 5:15 this motif develops into "Goldfinger". At 5:19 you heard the same notes and same chords as "Goldfinger".

Perhaps Barry took those three notes and two chords and developed Goldfinger from there. Overall, this frightening opera would be better compared to a Bernard Herrmann score than a Barry score, but every time I heard this opera I want to sing "Goldfinger" along to this part.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Not able to listen right now, will check it out later- sounds interesting.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

Not able to listen right now, will check it out later- sounds interesting.

I'd like to hear your thoughts.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

That is very very similar, there's no doubt. Again, well spotted!
I've read somewhere (if memory serves, it was the sleeve notes of "John Barry Revisited" a vinyl album about 50 years ago) that JB liked Bartok but once again my apathy for opera means that I would never have come across this. Thanks Matt.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

That is very very similar, there's no doubt. Again, well spotted!
I've read somewhere (if memory serves, it was the sleeve notes of "John Barry Revisited" a vinyl album about 50 years ago) that JB liked Bartok but once again my apathy for opera means that I would never have come across this. Thanks Matt.

You're welcome! I and everyone else knows where John Williams got his classical inspiration, but I feel like there's not enough about John Barry's influences out there. When I hear these passages that sound like Barry's music, I appreciate Barry's music even more.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

Barbel wrote:

On another note (pun intended), the opening of "Prelude To A Million Years" by Tony Banks (keyboard player from Genesis)

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=to … ORM=VRDGAR

sounds pretty like the opening of "Wine With Stacey" from AVTAK:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfKcX0HzuLE

I want to properly thank you for turning me onto Tony Banks' music. I've listened to his orchestral albums now and really love them, and not just for the similarities to Barry. It also gives me a new appreciation for Genesis. They made brilliant music!

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

You're welcome. Will be happy to discuss further when I'm back home.

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Re: John Barry at the Opera

This isn't opera, but it's still classical music. I've just discovered the American composer Roy Harris's Symphony No. 6 "Gettysburg" from 1943-44. The start of the second movement titled "Conflict" reminds me of some of John Barry's work from the 1980s, and made me think of A View to a Kill's score. I never knew Barry to have been inspired by American classical composers, but it's possible. Here's the second movement:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_ZNU_As_H8

I've just listened to the entire symphony and loved it!