Soundtrack Information

Great Composers: John Williams

Great Composers: John Williams

Varese Sarabande (VSD-6047)

Release Date: 1999

Conducted by Varujan Kojian / Joel McNeely / John Williams / John Debney

Performed by
Utah Symphony Orchestra / Seattle Symphony Orchestra / Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Format: CD

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Track Listing

1. Star Wars - Main Title 5:17
2. The Empire Strikes Back - The Imperial March 2:56
3. Return of the Jedi - Parade of the Ewoks 3:34
4. Jurassic Park - Theme 6:18
5. Amazing Stories - Main Title 1:11
6. Superman: The Movie - Main Title 4:23
7. Midway - Midway March 2:28
8. Schindler's List - Theme 3:47
9. Presumed Innocent - End Credits 4:05
10. Sabrina - End Credits 5:44
11. Family Plot - End Credits 3:55
12. Stanley & Iris - End Credits 3:10
13. The Poseidon Adventure - Main Title 2:09
14. The Cowboys - Main Title 2:21
15. Earthquakes - Main Title 2:59
16. The Towering Inferno - Main Title 5:04
  Total Album Time: 59:21

Review

by Dan Goldwasser
on June 21st, 2004
[2.5 / 5]

In the "Great Composers" series of compilation albums, Varese Sarabande sets out to provide a wide range of examples from a particular composers work. One of the first albums of this series focuses on Academy Award winning composer John Williams.

How would one start a John Williams compilation album? Why, with the Star Wars Trilogy, of course! With the "Main Title" from Star Wars, the "Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back and "Parade of the Ewoks" from Return of the Jedi, the first ten minutes of this album are pure sci-fi fantasy. Steven Spielberg is a long-time Williams collaborator, and so the inclusion of Jurassic Park, Amazing Stories, and Schindler's List are welcome additions to this compilation.

Other cues include more of Williams' dramas - Presumed Innocent, Family Plot, Stanley & Iris and Midway, to name a few. Of course, the Irwin Allen disaster films are there as well: The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, and The Towering Inferno. I don't understand why there aren't any cues from the Indiana Jones Trilogy, as it would be perfect to include on such a compilation. From romantic piano strains in Sabrina> to the excitement of The Cowboys, many of Williams' styles and nuances are presented on this single album.

While a few of the cues are from the original soundtracks, most of them are re-recordings that appeared in other Varese compilations. There is a horn "flub" in Jurassic Park that made me cringe, but beyond that the recordings are rather well done. Varujan Kojian does a rather exceptional job "mimicking" Williams' conducting for the Star Wars Trilogy cues, and John Debney and Joel McNeely do a good job with their respective cues.

There isn't anything on this album that hasn't been done before, and while it makes a nice Williams compilation, there are plenty of other compilations out there that are a bit more robust (there are two that run over 2 hours as opposed to the 59 minutes on this one) and might be more worth looking in to.


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