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