by Dan Goldwasser
Spielberg and Williams agreed to leave the battle scenes unscored so that the audience would truly feel like they were in the battle - no music, only the screams of the men and the deafening explosions of the assault would be presented.
As such, the score had to fill in the emotional scenes. Williams wrote a piece, "Hymn to the Fallen", which is one of the most beautiful - and hauntingly tragic - pieces I've heard him written in recent years. Primarily a string piece, Williams slowly builds the feelings with the orchestra, and towards the end brings in a full choir to top the crescendo.
There is a very subtle theme to the music - a lot of it provides emotion for the scenes which they were composed for. But it was not a theme one could leave the theater humming, nor was it ever played to call attentionto itself. Yet it still left a lasting impression - one of great sadness and hope. It is difficult to review a score - especially one like this - without having seen the movie for which it was written. As such, I would recommend this score - but can only imagine how powerful it truly must be when accompanied by the images for which it was written.
1. Hymn To The Fallen (6:10)
2. Revisiting Normandy (4:06)
3. Omaha Beach (9:15)
4. Finding Private Ryan (4:37)
5. Approaching The Enemy (4:31)
6. Defense Preparations (5:54)
7. Wade's Death (4:30)
8. High School Teacher (11:03)
9. The Last Battle (7:57)
10. Hymn To The Fallen [reprise] (6:10)