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