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