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