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War Horse [Original Score]

Audio Samples

>Williams, John : War Horse, film score

Album Summary

>Williams, John : War Horse, film score
Performers Conductor Ensemble
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Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, CA.

The plot points in director Steven Spielberg's 2011 film adaptation of the children's novel War Horse (which is separate from the stage adaptation that won the 2011 Tony Award for best play) are traced in the background score composed, as usual for a Spielberg project, by veteran John Williams. Williams' early cues, starting with "Dartmoor, 1912," have a warm Celtic feel, the full symphony orchestra playing a theme that recalls folk tunes like "Danny Boy" and "Greensleeves." The warmth continues with "Bringing Joey Home, and Bonding," the second part of which employs a playful bassoon theme. But the bucolic mood gradually darkens in this story of a boy and his horse that takes a turn in a track called "Ruined Crop, and Going to War." After Joey, the horse, is sent off to World War I, Williams' music naturally takes on tension-filled and action-defining sections, particularly in "The Charge and Capture." After something of a respite in "Joey's New Friends," the height of violence seems to be reached in "No Man's Land," a thrilling performance. Thereafter, Williams slowly returns to the Celtic tones from the outset, finally restoring the main theme for the closer, "The Homecoming." This is certainly not one of Williams' light adventure scores à la Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, nor horror music such as Jaws. Rather, it contains both homey and disturbing parts, within the overall context of an old-fashioned orchestral movie soundtrack. ~ William Ruhlmann


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Works Details

>Williams, John : War Horse, film score
  • Performers: Serena McKinney (Violin); Alan Estes (Percussion); Alyssa Park (Violin); Anatoly Rosinsky (Violin); Daniel Kelley (Horn); Justin Hageman (Horn); Irina Voloshina (Violin); Nina Eutuhov (Violin); Shawn Mann (Viola); Aimee Kreston (Violin); Ana Landauer (Violin); Alan Grunfeld (Violin); Jeanne Skrocki (Violin); Eun Ahn (Violin); Katia Popov (Violin); Robert Brophy (Viola); Henry Gronnier (Violin); Brian Dembow (Viola); Kenneth McGrath (Percussion); Timothy Morrison (Trumpet); Barry Perkins (Trumpet); Malcolm McNab (Trumpet); Andrew Malloy (Trombone); Dave Everson (Horn); Joshua Ranz (Clarinet); Andrew Duckles (Viola); Eric Hosler (Violin); Louise Di Tullio (Flute); Heather Clark (Flute); Robert Frear (Trumpet); Tereza Stanislav (Violin); Tamara Hatwan (Violin); Michael O'Donovan (Bassoon); Gary Bovyer (Clarinet); Jenny Kim (Horn); Barbara Northcutt (Oboe); Amy Hershberger (Violin); Robert Berg (Viola); Marc Sazer (Violin); Julia Gigante (Violin); Marlow Fisher (Viola); Steve Gordon (Viola); Jacqueline Brand (Violin); William Booth (Trombone); Richard Altenbach (Violin); Lisa Sutton (Violin); Mark Adams (Horn); Steven Ecknell (Horn); Kevin Connolly (Violin); Judy Chilnick (Percussion); Allen Savedoff (Bassoon); Phillip Keen (Trombone); Dylan Hart (Horn); Louise Dillon (Flute); Pedro Ustache (Flute); Jessica Pearlman (Oboe); Jay Rosen (Violin); Ralph Williams (Clarinet); Phillip Levy (Violin); Gregory Goodall (Percussion); Kenneth Munday (Bassoon); William Lane (Horn); Matthew Funes (Viola); Donald Williams (Percussion); Darrin McCann (Viola); Jo Turovsky (Harp); Sarah Weisz (Flute); James Thatcher (Horn); Donald Foster (Clarinet); Helen Nightengale (Violin); Stuart Clark (Clarinet); Dean Parks (Guitar); Steven Schaeffer (Percussion); Kenneth Yerke (Violin); Victoria Miskolczy (Viola); Michael Nowak (Viola); Thomas Diener (Viola); Jerry Williams (Percussion); Sara Parkins (Violin); Bruce Dukov (Violin); Judith Farmer (Bassoon); Keith Greene (Viola); Jennie Hansen (Viola); Clayton Haslop (Violin); Dimitrie Leivici (Violin); Miwako Watanabe (Violin); Roland Kato (Viola); David Washburn (Trumpet); Natalie Leggett (Violin); David Weiss (Oboe); Alma Fernandez (Viola); Dave Walther (Viola); Sarah Thornblade (Violin); George Thatcher (Trombone); Jim Self (Tuba); Geri Rotella (Flute); Peter Limonick (Percussion); Rafael Rishik (Violin); Alex Iles (Trombone); Randy Kerber (Piano); John Goux (Guitar); Roger Wilkie (Violin); Armen Anassian (Violin); Marcia Dickstein (Harp); William Reichenbach (Trombone); Luke Maurer (Viola); Gloria Cheng (Piano); Roberto Cani (Violin); Rose Corrigan (Bassoon)
  • Conductor: John Williams
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 2011