Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The combination of John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra is a winner!
Released to mark the 80th birthday of this much-lauded American composer, conductor and pianist who celebrates his 80th birthday on 8 February 2012.
This 2-CD compilation presents almost 2 and a 1/2 hours of memorable tunes in magnificent arrangements performed with tremendous verve and panache by this incomparable combination. Derived from the many albums recorded for Philips the first CD is devoted chiefly to music from famous films and includes several numbers by Williams himself - and what is more arresting and has achieved greater global fame than the main theme from Star Wars which opens the disc? CD 2 is devoted mainly to overtures and popular numbers from shows and opens with one of the most effervescent overtures ever written - the overture to Bernstein's Candide.
Even if you may think you don't know a piece by its title every track in this program is instantly recognizable so sit back and enjoy!
Liner Note Author: Warwick Thompson.
Celebration, John Williams' 2012 release on Decca, is a double-disc sampler of his recordings from the 1980s with the Boston Pops Orchestra that also serves as a kind of snapshot album of the conductor and composer. The first disc is entirely devoted to film music, and Williams' popular scores are well-represented by excerpts from Star Wars, E.T., Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Williams shares the limelight with other prolific film composers, notably Max Steiner and Henry Mancini, and the longest track, Pops Salutes the Oscars, is an evocative medley of familiar movie themes, including When You Wish Upon a Star, Moon River, The Way We Were, and The Shadow of Your Smile. For the second CD, Williams turns to the orchestra's repertoire of Broadway hits that have enlivened pops concerts for years. Overtures from Candide and A Chorus Line frame a series of arrangements of songs from musicals and the swing era, such as "Send in the Clowns," "Memory," and "There's No Business Like Show Business," while the closing America Medley by Leonard Bernstein draws on the musicals On the Town and West Side Story. Fans of Williams and the Boston Pops will already know their exuberant playing and entertaining programming, and newcomers will find this package to be a fun introduction. ~ Blair Sanderson