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