Pick Of The Week

[Pick Of The Week - Saving Private Ryan - by John Williams]
SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is the story about an American soldier in World War II whose brothers had all been killed. To prevent the family line from ending, the Army decides to send in a platoon, headed by Tom Hanks, to get him out. Rumored to be one of the most graphically violent films Spielberg ever made, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN plans on showing us that war is not always like John Wayne dodging bullets and saving the day - death and destruction is part of it, no matter how shocking or horrific.

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)