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not a fan of ALW 
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Pounce wrote:
To me, for something to be culturally relevant, society has to want to embrace it so that it makes an impact. Something can be all the things you name but if it is ignored or rejected it as no effect on society.


Whether or not something is culturally relevant and whether or not the relevance has any significant effect on society is two different things.

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Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:06 am
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I think ALW has written some really beautiful music at some parts, but I don't think he really lets all of his music come natrually. Listen to Joseph for example.... doesn't some of that sound totally forced? I think he should spend his time and concentrate on writing really good show instead of a bunch of mediocre, one-good-song, long-running shows people are going to see and think highly of because its Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Phantom of the Opera does have an effect on modern society and culture. The rest of his well-known musicals though are more prone to ridicule, I think. Particurally Cats and Joseph.


Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:39 pm
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Post ALW Musicals: Masterpieces and General Criticism
On Masterpieces:

diva! wrote:
I'm not a fan (of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals)... APART FROM obviously the masterpiece which is The Phantom of the Opera.

Anyone else find it odd that a non-fan finds The Phantom of the Opera, of all shows, to be a masterpiece? A wildly popular success, perhaps, but a masterpiece requires its characters to be a little more developed than what we get even in some of the principal characters of the show - unless the definition of a masterpiece has changed from being 'a consummate example of skill or excellence'.

Even if we consider other definitions of the word, things don't add up. Yes, there is some 'masterly skill' visible in The Phantom of the Opera, but is it consistently evident in every element of the musical? As jcstar mentioned in response to the original post:

jcstar wrote:
The Phantom of the Opera has its flaws. I really wish he could have worked on it a bit more.

Off the top of my head, the failure of "Music of the Night" to function as compelling drama for its entire length and details like the inconsistency of the scansion of the word 'opera' could begin a fairly convincing argument against that point of view.

A third definition states that an masterpiece is 'a person's greatest piece of work'. Is this true of The Phantom of the Opera? Does the show feature his most satisfying score? Does it feature the most coherent book? Those two questions consider Lloyd Webber's contribution to the show and I think that the answer to the first question is ultimately negative, while the second might skate through on the technicality that Lloyd Webber's turns as a librettist aren't particularly prolific or refined.

Generalised Criticism:

diva! wrote:
I think Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals have an element of immaturity and simplicity to them which I don't enjoy. (The) songs are predictable and (a) lack of harmonies makes them dull...

I guess the days when I could have asked for a more coherent argument around this point are long gone. Mainly I would have liked to see examples illustrating these points, but perhaps they will be seen later in the thread. Starlight Express and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat could both be accused of "immaturity and simplicity", but I don't think that this accusation can be used as a derogation of both shows. The former really can be criticised, I think, for its artless simplicity, but the latter is charming because of its apparent simplicity, which really is a face for a fair deal of relatively complex post-modern dramatical play.

I'm not sure how to approach the idea that all of Lloyd Webber's songs are predictable, although some certainly are. Furthermore, I'm not sure whether this criticism around harmony is refers to vocal harmonies (perhaps most likely, given the context of the post on the whole) or to the harmonics Lloyd Webber's composition. However, I'm certain that neither perspective can be applied to the full body of Lloyd Webber's work as it was in this post.

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Last edited by RainbowJude on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:36 am, edited 4 times in total.



Wed May 26, 2010 9:36 pm
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Eponine93 wrote:
I think ALW has written some really beautiful music at some parts, but I don't think he really lets all of his music come natrually. Listen to Joseph for example.... doesn't some of that sound totally forced? I think he should spend his time and concentrate on writing really good show instead of a bunch of mediocre, one-good-song, long-running shows people are going to see and think highly of because its Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Phantom of the Opera does have an effect on modern society and culture. The rest of his well-known musicals though are more prone to ridicule, I think. Particurally Cats and Joseph.


I feel it's the other way. Webber's music appeals to people because it feels more natural. It sounds like something that the characters would sing on the spur of the moment. It is work like Sondheim's that sounds far too thought through to be true to character.


Thu May 27, 2010 1:49 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
RainbowJude wrote:
Anyone else find it odd that a non-fan finds The Phantom of the Opera, of all shows, to be a masterpiece? A wildly popular success, perhaps, but a masterpiece requires its characters to be a little more developed than what we get even in some of the principal characters of the show - unless the definition of a masterpiece has changed from being 'a consummate example of skill or excellence'.


David, which ALW show is, in you opinion, his masterpiece?

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
I feel it's the other way. Webber's music appeals to people because it feels more natural. It sounds like something that the characters would sing on the spur of the moment. It is work like Sondheim's that sounds far too thought through to be true to character.


Although I wouldn't dare to suggest anything like that in fear of accusations of being arrogant, I think perhaps you have one key to the by now legendary and symbolic feud between the two directions. (It has been quite a while since we had a Sondheim vs Lloyd Webber battle here, isn't it? I sort of miss it.)

Personally I feel Sondheim catches humaity better exactly because his characters appear to be thinging so much. But you may sort of be right. It's difficult to count the times I myself have been told that I think "too much". I have had trouble understanding what this means, it's like being told you breathe too much or your hair grows too much. Lately I have become aware that maybe the amounts of thinking one does is individual, so maybe some people think more or less than others. It could partly explain the differences in how one percieves respectively SJS and ALE shows.

Does this make sense?

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Thu May 27, 2010 3:57 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
Hans wrote:
Personally I feel Sondheim catches humaity better exactly because his characters appear to be thinging so much. But you may sort of be right. It's difficult to count the times I myself have been told that I think "too much". I have had trouble understanding what this means, it's like being told you breathe too much or your hair grows too much. Lately I have become aware that maybe the amounts of thinking one does is individual, so maybe some people think more or less than others. It could partly explain the differences in how one percieves respectively SJS and ALE shows.

Does this make sense?


Actually it does not. Because comparing Andrew Lloyd Webber as a composer to Stephen Sondheim as a lyricist makes little sense.

This refers more to what Mungojerrie_RT wrote. Comparing the thoughts of the Andrew Lloyd Webber characters to the thought of Sondheim characters is ridiculous and invalid as an argument for why you think better of Webber.


Thu May 27, 2010 4:26 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
High-baritonne wrote:
Actually it does not. Because comparing Andrew Lloyd Webber as a composer to Stephen Sondheim as a lyricist makes little sense.

This refers more to what Mungojerrie_RT wrote. Comparing the thoughts of the Andrew Lloyd Webber characters to the thought of Sondheim characters is ridiculous and invalid as an argument for why you think better of Webber.


Maybe I misunderstood Mungojerrie's post? I thought he meant that the music of both composers reflect the cerebral state of the characters.

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Thu May 27, 2010 4:36 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
High-baritonne wrote:
Hans wrote:
Personally I feel Sondheim catches humaity better exactly because his characters appear to be thinging so much. But you may sort of be right. It's difficult to count the times I myself have been told that I think "too much". I have had trouble understanding what this means, it's like being told you breathe too much or your hair grows too much. Lately I have become aware that maybe the amounts of thinking one does is individual, so maybe some people think more or less than others. It could partly explain the differences in how one percieves respectively SJS and ALE shows.

Does this make sense?


Actually it does not. Because comparing Andrew Lloyd Webber as a composer to Stephen Sondheim as a lyricist makes little sense.

This refers more to what Mungojerrie_RT wrote. Comparing the thoughts of the Andrew Lloyd Webber characters to the thought of Sondheim characters is ridiculous and invalid as an argument for why you think better of Webber.


I referred nothing to the lyrics, nor am I trying to say one is better than the other. They are totally different in style, and not really comparable, other than that they are both composers.

I meant that Webber's music is more the raw emotion for the lyrics to sit on. In a musical, the characters cannot hear the music, so I feel it should reflect the raw emotion of the character singing, behind the outward shell they project consciously with the things they say (the lyrics).

So, I find Webber's music to be often simple in melody when need be, of a basal passion beyond conscious thought. Indeed, I have seen interviews with him where he basically say he doesn't know how he writes the music, it just comes to him in a way that seems to fit.

His music is very natural, and his shows are best when the other elements are layered on top to round create all elements of the character, both the simple and complex, because real people are.

You may disagree, but it's what I appeals to me in his music.


Thu May 27, 2010 4:41 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
High-baritonne wrote:
Hans wrote:
Personally I feel Sondheim catches humaity better exactly because his characters appear to be thinging so much. But you may sort of be right. It's difficult to count the times I myself have been told that I think "too much". I have had trouble understanding what this means, it's like being told you breathe too much or your hair grows too much. Lately I have become aware that maybe the amounts of thinking one does is individual, so maybe some people think more or less than others. It could partly explain the differences in how one percieves respectively SJS and ALE shows.

Does this make sense?


Actually it does not. Because comparing Andrew Lloyd Webber as a composer to Stephen Sondheim as a lyricist makes little sense.

This refers more to what Mungojerrie_RT wrote. Comparing the thoughts of the Andrew Lloyd Webber characters to the thought of Sondheim characters is ridiculous and invalid as an argument for why you think better of Webber.


I referred nothing to the lyrics, nor am I trying to say one is better than the other. They are totally different in style, and not really comparable, other than that they are both composers.

I meant that Webber's music is more the raw emotion for the lyrics to sit on. In a musical, the characters cannot hear the music, so I feel it should reflect the raw emotion of the character singing, behind the outward shell they project consciously with the things they say (the lyrics).

So, I find Webber's music to be often simple in melody when need be, of a basal passion beyond conscious thought. Indeed, I have seen interviews with him where he basically say he doesn't know how he writes the music, it just comes to him in a way that seems to fit.

His music is very natural, and his shows are best when the other elements are layered on top to round create all elements of the character, both the simple and complex, because real people are.

You may disagree, but it's what I appeals to me in his music.


I see, I misinterpreted your initial post. My apologies.


Thu May 27, 2010 4:43 am
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Post Re: Not a Fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Musicals
Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
I meant that Webber's music is more the raw emotion for the lyrics to sit on. In a musical, the characters cannot hear the music, so I feel it should reflect the raw emotion of the character singing, behind the outward shell they project consciously with the things they say (the lyrics).

So, I find Webber's music to be often simple in melody when need be, of a basal passion beyond conscious thought. Indeed, I have seen interviews with him where he basically say he doesn't know how he writes the music, it just comes to him in a way that seems to fit.

His music is very natural, and his shows are best when the other elements are layered on top to round create all elements of the character, both the simple and complex, because real people are.

You may disagree, but it's what I appeals to me in his music.


I think I understand what you are saying, and I don't even disagree.

But you seem to claim that "raw emotion" as opposed to contemplation, reflection and the emotions that follow reflection and comtemplation somehow is a stronger and more authentic human experience.

This is what I disagree with.

It may be true to you, but it's not necessarily an universal truth.

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
Webber's music appeals to people because it feels more natural. It sounds like something that the characters would sing on the spur of the moment. It is work like Sondheim's that sounds far too thought through to be true to character.


I'm interrested in hearing examples of Sondheim songs you find unnatural and why you think they sound to thought through to be true to character.

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Thu May 27, 2010 5:13 am
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Post ALW Musicals: General Criticism and THE WOMAN IN WHITE
On Generalised Criticism:

rockyrocks666 wrote:
Lloyd Webber does write some good shows, but the simplicity is somewhat boring.

Once again this is general criticism that makes little sense because there is no qualification and no example. It's not a valid criticism if applied to his work in general. Is this simplicity in the book? In the score? In which shows?

rockyrocks666 wrote:
He's not happy with all his 'hits'. He's still trying to do more.... He's got the hit. He should leave it at that.... He got a lucky break on a couple of shows and made it big but now he just puts on shows because he can.

Believe it or not, creating hits is really not the sole objective of theatremakers. I'm even convinced this is true of Lloyd Webber in regard to the majority of his work in the theatre as a composer, projects like Love Never Dies notwithstanding. Nor do I think he just creates shows "because he can". There is a huge difference between creating a show and producing it and I think, as a theatremaker, Lloyd Webber probably chooses his writing projects that interest him in more ways than only how much money they could possibly make.

On The Woman in White:

rockyrocks666 wrote:
Like The Woman in White: what a feeble attempt at a smash hit. There isn't one note in that show that wasn't taken from one of his others...

Yeah, those 12 notes have an awfully annoying habit of popping up over and over again. :wink:

Was The Woman in White really only an attempt to create a smash hit? If that was the only motivation behind Lloyd Webber's creation of it, then it's an odd choice for a project. If creating smash hits is the be all and end all of Lloyd Webber's work, then I'm certain that Lloyd Webber would pack up writing altogether in favour of producing jukebox musicals or revivals or something else that takes less effort and relies primarily on the reputation of the original material's reputation to become a hit. This is perhaps what he is doing with The Wizard of Oz and what he has done with shows like The Sound of Music and the recent revival of his own Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but I don't think it can be applied as an observation of the creation of The Women in White.

The more I listen to The Women in White, the more I am starting to think that perhaps I have underestimated what it has to offer and what Lloyd Webber is trying to do in his musico-dramatic retelling of the story. To articulate that, however, would take more time than I have at present. Perhaps I will save it all for an in-depth special feature on my blog or something.


Last edited by RainbowJude on Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat May 29, 2010 10:23 pm
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Post ALW Musicals: Forum Debates
On Forum Debates:

griddlebone_girl wrote:
Why have you come into a Cats forum full of Cats fans and told us you think Cats is "immature" "simple" "predictable" "lacking in harmony" and "dull"? ... You're entitled to your own opinion but this isn't the place for this kind of post. It sounds to me like you're trying to get an argument.

Pounce wrote:
It is very unwise to say negative things about CATS here! :evil:

Mungostoffelees wrote:
Why? The odd disagreement is what makes discussing Cats interesting too.... This forum doesn't have to be exclusive to just people who adore the show.... I personally find it refreshing to read something like this a little different, sometimes! I don't get why some people get so defensive about it anyway. Sure, its a good show and you can love it loads... and will obviously want to point out its best bits... (but) I can't imagine why this thread or any other like it should produce any gigantic argument amongst forum members...

Even though the original post was not aimed squarely at Cats at all, so what if it was? Although this was a thread that was originally posted in the wrong place and that error has since been rectified, I can't think of a better place to post about Cats than in the Cats forum if that was what the original poster's intentions had been. If the show is really all that its fans believe it to be, surely an intelligent response to such criticisms would be to disprove them using examples from the show instead of merely flaming the person who posted them? This kind of response is far more argumentative in tone that the original post was and a level-headed attitude like that of Mungostoffelees is to be commended in a situation such as this one.

Moongewl wrote:
Apart from the über-fangirls/boys, most of us are able to reasonably discuss differing opinions (and aspects of) this musical.

Now isn't this just a case of passing the buck? I'm assuming that you're excluding yourself from this group of über-fans, but I can't see how you could consider your responses in this thread - even after someone admitted their mistake in posting it in the wrong place by accident - as rational. I would hardly say that supporting Soloque's idea that someone should be drop-kicked for their opinions falls within the bounds of rational behaviour and I'm rather displeased that those comments remain untouched by the moderators of this forum to this day, being dismissed as being only "borderline"!

The point is that all of the initial responses to this thread - excluding those of the rational Mungostoffelees, of course - must be those of über-fans who can't take the time to counter a perceived slight against their show. That would surely be the sensible thing to do.

Pounce wrote:
I mentioned other ideas... and met with similar vehement rejection but I have no hard feelings because I love the show and often defend it outside of this forum against any detractors.

And you deserve recognition for that. It's just a pity that your ideas weren't taken seriously, especially as they come from the mouth of a fan of the show! If the fans of the show don't even have the time to fully discuss each other's ideas, what hope does someone from the other side of the fence have?

Mungostoffelees wrote:
(The reaction to Pounce's posts) could have just come from a select couple of forum members who did feel strongly about it...

Cassandra wrote:
Pounce, I think you might be generalizing a bit too much.... For the most part we're all able to discuss our love of the show in a calm and sensible manner. I agree that there will be, as Moongewl stated so perfectly, "über-fangirls/boys" who will scream and jump down the throat of anyone who claims to dislike Cats, but most of us enjoy discussing our different opinions about the show.

It would be great to believe that sentiment, but the line between what separates an über-fan from a rational one seems to be very blurred going by the tone of some of the responses on this thread and it seems that certain people are quite able to think they are being rational when they actually are behaving like the worst über-fans around.


Last edited by RainbowJude on Wed Jun 02, 2010 9:04 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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