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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2000 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
John Williams' first film score to capture the imagination of the public, and the first hit movie score of the 1970s not to involve a love theme (à la Love Story), Jaws has been on CD for more than a decade, but this is the first release that really does it justice. The centerpiece of the music is the bump-bump-bump-bump theme associated with the movements (usually unseen) of the shark, which became so well known that it was used as an essential part of various comedy sketches in a multitude of media at the time (Williams himself quoted it comically in his scoring for Steven Spielberg's 1941). It does reappear in numerous forms (many of them veiled) throughout the score, along with a handful of additional memorable musical phrases associated with Williams' score, many involving the hunt for the shark. The anniversary edition of the score not only features the familiar portions of the original album, which didn't amount to 40 minutes of music, but 15 minutes or more of Williams' score from the actual film, and also music that was written and recorded for the movie but dropped from it. Little is totally unfamiliar, but the 24-bit remastering off of the original tapes adds fresh luster to the recording and the music. It's doubly interesting, hearing the music uncut and remastered, to realize anew just how many of the effects that turn up at key points in this score Williams reused in his music for Close Encounters of the Third Kind and other scores of his. This was not only where Williams' career as a superstar soundtrack composer began but also where he first started using the musical attributes that would identify that phase of his career. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released October 29, 2001 | Sony Music Media

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Film Soundtracks - Released October 27, 2014 | Rhino - Warner Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Film Soundtracks - Released October 30, 2001 | Atlantic Records

As a fan of J.K. Rowling's massively popular Harry Potter books and the composer of some of the best fantasy/sci-fi film scores, John Williams was a natural choice to write the music for Chris Columbus' film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. His score captures the childhood mischief, magic, and adventure of the film and the books, mixing winding, soaring melodies with instrumentation that spans the delicately spooky to the darkly majestic. However, his work here won't necessarily dispel Williams' reputation as an occasionally light-fingered composer: one of the score's main motifs, a light-as-a-cobweb celesta melody most clearly stated in "The Arrival of Baby Harry" and "Hedwig's Theme," recalls the work of both Danny Elfman and Tchaikovsky, while some of the other melodies sound like they're just a few notes away from themes in his own Hook and Star Wars scores. Harry Potter's score also tends to repeat these main themes a little too often; fortunately they're reinterpreted fairly creatively from piece to piece. "Harry's Wondrous World" and "Visit to the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts" are sweeping and lighthearted, while "In the Devil's Snare and the Flying Keys," "The Chess Game," and "The Face of Voldemort" close the score with a trio of menacing, climactic musical cues. In between are pretty, delicate moments like "Fluffy's Harp" and whimsical pieces like "Christmas at Hogwarts," which manages to combine the festive, carol-esque melody with the atmosphere of a school for witches and wizards. The pomp and circumstance of "The Quidditch Match" is probably the score's most typically Williams composition; a thrilling mix of his heroic style and the rest of the music's spooky, supernatural feel. Not surprisingly, considering that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone runs nearly three hours long, Williams' score is on the long side, making it somewhat difficult to take in outside of the film's context. While it may not be one of his most inspired works, it's never less than perfectly appropriate and does include some brilliant moments. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released December 18, 2019 | Walt Disney Records

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We all know married couples who have been together for decades that stand the test of time and remain the perfect match. Well, John Williams and Star Wars have been together for 42 years! Out of the twelve films of the series, only 2 were soundtracked by people other than Steven Spielberg’s favourite composer (he was replaced by Kevin Kiner for The Clone Wars in 2008 and by Michael Giacchino for 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). This rare sort of intimate relationship between a composer and their subject matter allows for a thorough use of leitmotif, a technique especially used in Star Wars. After so many years spent working with them, certain melodic phrases that characterise a particular person or decor eventually gain varying degrees of complexity and subtlety. This is the case with Rey’s Theme, which aficionados may or may not recognise in certain scenes of The Rise of Skywalker. For John Williams’ “ultimate contribution” to the Star Wars franchise, he has cleverly and covertly brought together all the themes associated with the main characters of the saga onto this soundtrack, from Leia to Yoda via Darth Vader. In some scenes, Williams’ attitude appears to be that of an old friend who is rejoicing at the prospect of going back to characters that you may have lost track of over the years. Case in point: Lando Calrissian (played by Billy Dee Williams and who appeared for the first time in Episode V in 1980) makes his return, to the sound of a particularly joyous melody. This kind of friendly nod to fans lends the film a certain kind of humanity, where many would have considered it the product of pure consumerism. Of course, the majestic (Destiny of a Jedi), epic (Battle of the Resistance) and lyrical (The Force is With You) atmosphere reigns supreme and defines the essential dynamic of this music so iconic in today’s pop culture. This ninth film of the saga is a finale of sorts for John Williams, but The Rise of Skywalker also presented him with an unexpected debut: at 87 years old, he appears for the first time in one of the films with a cameo as Oma Tres, the bartender on planet Kijimi! © Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1977 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1980 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released December 18, 2015 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released October 23, 2015 | Masterworks

The soundtrack to director Chris Columbus' 1990 monster hit Home Alone features the composing work of the legendary John Williams and continues the Christmas theme of the film with numerous yuletide carols. Williams' main title theme, known as "Somewhere in My Memory," is a typically sweeping affair that incorporates the childlike qualities of the film while suggesting Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy." Elsewhere, a children's choir performs "O Holy Night," and the Drifters turn in a heartwarming version of "White Christmas." © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 2002 | Geffen

The bulk of the soundtrack album to the caper film Catch Me If You Can is comprised of the score by John Williams, a frequent collaborator with the movie's director, Steven Spielberg. Though Spielberg writes in his brief sleeve note that Williams has "composed a score in the idiom of progressive jazz prevalent in the '50s and '60s," you're not going to confuse this with Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, or Dave Brubeck. No one has such unreasonable expectations, of course. But the fact is that this is pretty standard whimsical suspense movie soundtrack music, with some sax solos providing jazzy colors. Breaking up the instrumental score are a handful of quality mid-20th century easy listening pop tunes (in their original versions): Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me," Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto's "The Girl from Ipanema," Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song," Judy Garland's "Embraceable You," and Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love." © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released May 4, 1999 | Walt Disney Records

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Classical - Released July 10, 2012 | Sony Classical

John Williams skillfully utilizes the formidable talents of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and equally beloved violinist Itzhak Perlman to flesh out director Rob Marshall's celluloid rendering of the bestselling novel by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha. Elegant and predictable, Williams sticks to the source, building grand Western themes off of traditional Japanese melodies with a heady mix of regional instrumentation (shakuhachi and koto) and cinematic know-how. This is the composer at his most refined and nuanced, providing a textbook example of professional composition that revels in its subject matter without ever intruding. © TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released November 1, 1999 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1983 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released May 3, 2005 | Walt Disney Records

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Soundtracks - Released March 17, 2017 | Sony Classical

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1981 | Walt Disney Records

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Film Soundtracks - Released April 23, 2002 | Walt Disney Records

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Classical - Released March 29, 2005 | Sony Classical

This double-disc compilation of John Williams' guitar favorites must appear, even to the uninitiated, as a commercial attempt by Sony to milk his catalog to the last possible sale. Without denigrating the guitarist's consummate skills or his usually satisfying achievements, his recordings for Columbia and Sony are repeatedly recycled in different packaging every few years, and likely will be reissued many more times. The Ultimate Guitar Collection could be changed to "penultimate," but even that is too definite a prediction of when this process will stop. That said, the album contains virtually every greatest hit that matters to guitar lovers, and is more than representative of Williams' wide-ranging work, from Baroque to Spanish classics and beyond. The selections are taken from his early, undated sessions for the LP, Echoes of London, and many other dated albums, from 1975's The Four Lute Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, on through 2003's El Diablo Suelto. Most of the music is relaxing and pleasant, though some of the film themes from John Williams Plays the Movies disrupt the flow of fine solo playing, and are jarring for their bombastic orchestration and emotional insipidity. The sound quality varies substantially between the analog and digital recordings, and is sometimes too loud, even at a middle volume setting. © TiVo

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John Williams in the magazine