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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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>Williams, John : War Horse, film score
  • Performers: Aimee Kreston (Violin); Ana Landauer (Violin); Alan Grunfeld (Violin); Jeanne Skrocki (Violin); Henry Gronnier (Violin); Helen Nightengale (Violin); Stuart Clark (Clarinet); Steven Schaeffer (Percussion); Alex Iles (Trombone); Nina Evtuhov (Violin); Dean Parks (Guitar); Thomas Diener (Viola); Kenneth Munday (Bassoon); Matthew Funes (Viola); Timothy Morrison (Trumpet); Louise Di Tullio (Flute); Heather Clark (Flute); William Lane (Horn); Gregory Goodall (Percussion); 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); 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); 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); Brian Dembow (Viola); 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); 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); Dimitrie Leivici (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); Alan Estes (Percussion); Eun Ahn (Violin); Miwako Watanabe (Violin); Alyssa Park (Violin); William Reichenbach (Trombone); Robert Berg (Viola); Barbara Northcutt (Oboe); Andrew Duckles (Viola); Malcolm McNab (Trumpet); Serena McKinney (Violin); Anatoly Rosinsky (Violin); Katia Popov (Violin); Shawn Mann (Viola); Alma Fernandez (Viola); Darrin McCann (Viola); Rafael Rishik (Violin); Irina Voloshina (Violin); Daniel Kelley (Horn); Donald Williams (Percussion); Justin Hageman (Horn); Tereza Stanislav (Violin); Kenneth Yerke (Violin); Victoria Miskolczy (Viola); Michael Nowak (Viola); James Thatcher (Horn); Phillip Levy (Violin); Michael O'Donovan (Bassoon); Sara Parkins (Violin)
  • Conductor: John Williams
  • Running Time: 3 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 2011