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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: Steven Ecknell (Horn); Serena McKinney (Violin); Malcolm McNab (Trumpet); Alex Iles (Trombone); Judith Farmer (Bassoon); Kenneth Yerke (Violin); Victoria Miskolczy (Viola); Michael Nowak (Viola); James Thatcher (Horn); Phillip Levy (Violin); Kenneth Munday (Bassoon); William Lane (Horn); Keith Greene (Viola); Jennie Hansen (Viola); Clayton Haslop (Violin); Roland Kato (Viola); Randy Kerber (Piano); Natalie Leggett (Violin); Sara Parkins (Violin); Jim Self (Tuba); George Thatcher (Trombone); Sarah Thornblade (Violin); Dave Walther (Viola); Gregory Goodall (Percussion); David Washburn (Trumpet); David Weiss (Oboe); Roger Wilkie (Violin); John Goux (Guitar); Peter Limonick (Percussion); Armen Anassian (Violin); Dimitrie Leivici (Violin); Jerry Williams (Percussion); Donald Foster (Clarinet); Julia Gigante (Violin); 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); Timothy Morrison (Trumpet); Miwako Watanabe (Violin); William Reichenbach (Trombone); Alma Fernandez (Viola); Darrin McCann (Viola); 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); Brian Dembow (Viola); Marcia Dickstein (Harp); Bruce Dukov (Violin); Louise Di Tullio (Flute); Heather Clark (Flute); Michael O'Donovan (Bassoon); Robert Frear (Trumpet); Jenny Kim (Horn); Joshua Ranz (Clarinet); Ralph Williams (Clarinet); Andrew Malloy (Trombone); Eric Hosler (Violin); Barry Perkins (Trumpet); Gary Bovyer (Clarinet); Sarah Weisz (Flute); Nina Eutuhov (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); Dean Parks (Guitar); Thomas Diener (Viola); Steven Schaeffer (Percussion); Rafael Rishik (Violin); Donald Williams (Percussion); Tereza Stanislav (Violin); Andrew Duckles (Viola); Robert Berg (Viola); Barbara Northcutt (Oboe); Judy Chilnick (Percussion); Jay Rosen (Violin); Kevin Connolly (Violin); Phillip Keen (Trombone); Dylan Hart (Horn); Jessica Pearlman (Oboe); Pedro Ustache (Flute); Louise Dillon (Flute); Lisa Sutton (Violin); Mark Adams (Horn); Alan Estes (Percussion); Eun Ahn (Violin); Alyssa Park (Violin); Geraldine Rotella (Flute); Daniel Kelley (Horn); Justin Hageman (Horn); Irina Voloshina (Violin); Anatoly Rosinsky (Violin)
  • Conductor: John Williams
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 2011