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A Tribute To John Williams - An 80th Birthday Celebration


Release Date: 02/28/2012 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 942532  
Composer:  John Williams
Performer:  Itzhak PerlmanYo-Yo Ma
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

First-time buyers of John Williams’s film music will find this attractively-priced album an essential bargain. Habitual Williams collectors should note the contents, as above, carefully for they will likely have a large proportion of these selections. The film music selections range from the Jaws and Star Wars music from the 1970s through to the 2012 scores for The Adventures of Tin Tin and War Horse. Enterprisingly, the Jaws selection eschews that celebrated snapping, sinister theme in favour of the bracing and jaunty ‘Out to Sea’ Read more music before darker colours of ‘The Shark Cage’ emerge. No change from the imposing and majestic Star Wars music but then it did raise the hairs on the backs of our necks all those years ago and it did really confirm the name of John Williams amongst the pantheon of first class composers of the genre. I have to admit I was not impressed enough by the Tin Tin music to rush out to buy the soundtrack recording even though its ‘chase music’ was vastly superior to so many similar efforts. Williams’s War Horse music impressed rather more even though the ‘Dartmoor 1912’ selection sounds to be a pastiche of turn-of-the-Century English classical music seasoned with some Gaelic utterances.
 
The two soloists feature strongly. Violinist Itzhak Perlman shone in one of Williams’s most touching and memorable scores, that for Spielberg’s Schindler’s List – that’s included. Perlman also featured as soloist in a 1997 album of film music conducted by John Williams – ‘Cinema Serenade’ which included Williams’s beautiful romantic music from the 1995 remake of Sabrina; it is here too but I have to say I much preferred the original soundtrack version which featured a piano solo. The cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, was the soloist in the Williams Seven Years in Tibet score. It marked the beginning of a collaboration between the composer and cellist; and included on this album is the exotic colourful yet also the cello-made-poignant Memoirs of a Geisha. Turning from film music, Yo-Yo Ma features as soloist in John Williams’s heartfelt Elegy for Cello and Orchestra.
 
Still with Williams’s concert pieces, the programme opens with his joyous, celebratory Sound the Bells. Equally imposing is the busy, thunderous ‘The Mission Theme’ created for NBC Nightly News which sounds as though it might have escaped from an Indiana Jones movie. The album closes with John Williams tongue-in-cheek Happy Birthday Variations (was he lampooning Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra?)
 
Happy Birthday John and thanks for so much wonderful music.
 
A nice nostalgic trip. But read the contents list carefully before purchasing.
 
-- Ian Lace, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Star Wars, Episode 4 - A New Hope: Throne Room and End Title by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1977; USA 
2. Sound the Bells! by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
3. Schindler's List: Main Theme by John Williams
Performer:  Itzhak Perlman (Violin)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1993; USA 
4. Sabrina: Main Theme by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1995; USA 
5. Mission Theme for NBC News by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
6. Memoirs of a Geisha: Going to School by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: by 2005 
7. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Harry's Wondrous World by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 2001; United States of Ame 
8. Elegy for Cello and Orchestra by John Williams
Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma (Cello)
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
9. E.T.: Adventures on Earth by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
10. 1941: March by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979; USA 
11. Jaws: Out to Sea / Shark Cage Fugue by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 20th Century 
12. War Horse: Dartmoor, 1912 by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
Period: 21st Century 
13. Happy Birthday Variations by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams
14. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: The Adventures of Mutt by John Williams
Conductor:  John T. Williams

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