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