Music both old and new, but all of it inspired by the timeless modal harmony of medieval and Mediterranean cultures: this is the subject of John Williams's brilliant guitar disc for Sony, which also features his debut as a composer. The main work is his own "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, based on both original and 14th-century tunes (one of which, the "Saltarello," appeared on early-music pioneer David Munrow's disc called Instruments of the Middle Ages). The suite is a lovely piece of writing, deftly composed, and neither tacky nor pretentious. It's paired with an inspired assortment of spiritually related but diverse arrangements and original pieces by Satie, Theodorakis, Domeniconi, and an emotionally intense four-movement work called "Stélé," by Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Naturally, Williams performs each piece expertly, but most important, he makes his instrument sing, and that's just what the music demands. Simply super.
Over the 90-year history of sound film, there have been a handful of instances where a director and a composer have formed a longtime partnership that resulted in a series of classical scores, creating music that stands the test of time. None, however, have been as long or as fruitful as the 43-year collaboration of Steven Spielberg and John Williams. None have encompassed such a wide range of subject matter or, more significantly, have had such an enormous impact on worldwide popular culture. From the ominous shark signature of Jaws to the five-note alien greeting of Close Encounters of the Third Kind; from the heroic march of Raiders of the Lost Ark to the moving themes for Schindler’s List – the music Williams has written for more than two dozen Spielberg projects has not only served them brilliantly but entered the wider public consciousness.
Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams have forged a remarkable partnership over the past 20 years, one that's evolved in recent years into a very practical balance of art and commerce. The Spielberg/Williams team followed the blockbuster Jurassic Park with the risk-taking Schindler's List, the bloated Jurassic sequel The Lost World with the moralistic Amistad. Williams admirably rises to the challenge again, underplaying the volatile emotions involved and utilizing African rhythmic and modal influences with surprising subtlety. The choral touches of the title and wordless aria of "Cinque's Theme" bring to mind similar stylistic flourishes by Morricone–and that's high praise.
La-La Land Records, WEA and Warner Bros. proudly present the remastered and expanded, limited edition 2-CD set of John Williams’ Academy Award Nominated original score to the 1987 feature film EMPIRE OF THE SUN, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Christian Bale, John Malkovich and Miranda Richardson. Heralded as one of the acclaimed composer’s finest works, Mr. Williams’ masterful orchestral score seeks no less than the openness of the human heart, mind and soul – the perfect compliment to this powerful and indelible film about a young English boy’s emotional and physical struggle to survive the Japanese occupation of China during WWII. This deluxe re-issue was produced, assembled and mastered by Mike Matessino in cooperation with John Williams, Steven Spielberg and the film’s co-producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.
La-La Land Records, Sony Pictures and Sony Music presents the world premiere release of the first official remastered and expanded edition of renowned composer John Williams's (JAWS, STAR WARS, SCHINDLER'S LIST) original score to the 1991 Tri-Star Pictures' adventure/fantasy epic HOOK, directed by Steven Spielberg. Long considered one of the maestro's best scores in collaboration with Mr. Spielberg, this masterwork is finally presented here in a worthy 2-CD release that contains more than 140 mins of music, including bonus alternate and unused cues, greatly expanding the score's original 1991 album assembly with more than 65 minutes of music previously unreleased in any official format. Produced by Didier C. Deutsch and Mark G. Wilder, mastered by Mark G. Wilder and Maria Triana and supervised and approved by John Williams, this expanded reissue features amazing art design by Jim Titus and exclusive, in-depth liners from film music writer Daniel Schweiger. It's an amazing soundtrack experience that will have you never wanting to grow up!
La-La Land Records, in association with Sony Music and NBC Universal, presents the remastered and expanded 2-CD SET of AcademyAward-Winning composer John Williams' (JAWS, BLACK SUNDAY, STAR WARS, RAIDERSOF THE LOST ARK) amazing score to the 1979 Universal Pictures and ColumbiaPictures comedy spectacular 1941, starring Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi and Warren Oates, and directed by Steven Spielberg. Williams provides adelightful, full-on orchestra assault (featuring one of the most infectious marches ever written for film) to compliment this cult-classic's slap-stick tapestry of WWII-era paranoia exploding in Hollywood. Produced by Mike Matessino, Didier C. Deutsch and Mark G. Wilder, remixed and assembled by Mike Matessino and mastered by Mark G. Wilder, this special release is expanded by more than 70 minutes with never-before-released music, including alternates and source cues. The original 1979 album presentation is also presented on disc 2, remastered. 1941 Re-issue producer Mike Matessino provides exclusive, in-depthliner notes.
Because he's long been stereotyped by the rousing neo-romantic adventure scores for the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park franchises, it's easy to forget that composer John Williams is hardly idiomatically challenged. When Steven Spielberg gratifyingly used the clout of his enormous commercial success to produce and direct this brave Holocaust drama, his longtime musical collaborator used the opportunity to display both the depth and maturity of his musical gifts and training, producing a score with sad, evocative melodies frequently carried by the violin of the great Itzhak Perlman. Rich with ethnic nuance and showcasing the composer's masterful orchestral/choral subtlety, Williams's emotionally compelling score for Schindler's List also won the Academy Award for Best Dramatic Score.