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