September 25, 2006

John Williams and the "Hollywood Sound"

This is a YouTube-heavy post (five). What would this blog be without them? So, if YouTube is down, or you visit me from work, and your employer has chosen to filter out things such as YouTube (as does mine; it's as if they expect us to be working, as opposed to watching videos), you're going to see a lot of white space.

Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind , Superman: The Movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Born on the Fourth of July, Jurassic Park, and Schindler's List are among the many films for which John Williams has conducted, composed, and/or arranged the music.

Any film with a John Williams soundtrack would be completely different (not as good) if anyone else had done the music. Some of my favorite movies are favorites probably because of the John Williams soundtrack. I actually worried about him dying before the Star Wars prequels were completed. That's how important his contribution to those films are to me.

To coincide with the release of The Hollywood Sound, an album on which Williams conducted the London Symphony Orchestra through an assortment of classic movie soundtracks, the PBS program Evening at Pops featured interviews with Williams and showed him conducting the Boston Pops as they played choice selections from the CD.

Here Williams, being interviewed by Gene Shalit (I tried to edit him out as much as possible), discusses working with Steven Spielberg, and the music from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and E.T. the Extra-Testicle Terrestrial:
In this brief clip, Williams reveals that Christopher Reeve told him he knew how to play the "can you read my mind?" scene from Superman: The Motion Picture after hearing Williams' love theme:
Here John Williams sits and talks movie music, while at the piano:
The theme from Schindler's List is one of the most beautiful and moving pieces of music Williams has yet to write. Itzhak Perlman plays the lead violin part. Watch him play it live:
This last clip features a brief discussion between Shalit and Williams about the significance of the score Williams composed for Star Wars, and then you'll see Williams and the Boston Pop doing a medley of Star Wars music (some obvious and odd choices):


Reel Fanatic said...

Great stuff ... Williams is indeed a genius .. It gave me chills to hear his great Superman theme again over the opening credits to Singer's flick

Tracy said...

Okay there was just way to much for me to say to try to fit it all in your comments, so I'm going to blog about it.

Let me say here, though, that you ROCK.

Chris said...

I'd have made the clips longer if I had any idea people were going to like this enough to comment!!

I agree, reel fanatic. When I heard the original score would be used, I knew Singer was the right guy to do the "remake." Nice blog, by the way.

It's nice to hear that I still rock, tracy. I thought you might like this one!