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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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Works Details

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