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