John Williams’s War Horse Premiere

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Movies on the Radio presents the exclusive broadcast premiere of John Williams's score for the forthcoming Steven Spielberg film “War Horse." The film, which will open on Christmas Day, tells the inspiring story of a brave young man and his bond with an extraordinary horse, set during—and on the frontlines of—World War I. The film is based on the same book that inspired the current Broadway show "War Horse."

The ongoing collaboration of Steven Spielberg and John Williams is one of the most prestigious and successful director-composer collaborations in cinema. Their movies include "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial," the "Indiana Jones" series, "Jurassic Park," "Schindler’s List" and many other classics. John Williams has won five Academy Awards, and has been nominated 41 times. His music has been wowing movie audiences since the 1960s.

In addition to the premiere of “War Horse,” host David Garland presents highlights from the other new Spielberg/Williams film, “The Adventures of Tintin” (which opens in Europe on Oct. 22, and in the US on Dec. 21), plus familiar music from previous Spielberg/Williams collaborations.


John Williams - Raiders Of The Lost Ark - The German Sub/To The Nazi Hideout - DCC

John Williams - The Adventures of Tintin - The Adventures of Tintin, Introducing the Thompsons and Snowy's Chase - Sony Classical

John Williams - Sugarland Express - Theme - Sony Classical

John Williams - Jaws - Main Title & First Victim - Decca

John Williams - War Horse - Seeding, and Horse Vs. Car; No Man's Land - Sony Classical

John Williams - E.T. the Extraterrestrial - The Magic Of Halloween - MCA

John Williams - War Horse - The Homecoming - Sony Classical

John Williams - Close Encounters Of The Third Kind - Wild Signals - Arista

John Williams - 1941 - Service Tunes - La-la Land

Listen to this five-minute preview:

Comments [25]

Guillermo Gaete Morales from Valparaiso port, CHILE

El espiritu del sonido de esta musica, hace integrarse a ella, disfrutarla, vivirla, sentir la aventura an la piel.

Gracias Sr. John Williams por compartir conmigo sus mas profundos sentimientos, y por mostrarle al mundo su talento.

Este marinero chileno agradecido por esta excitate experiencia....Salute from Chile to WQXR

Oct. 24 2011 11:41 PM

What is the track from 1941 played at the end called?

Oct. 23 2011 03:02 PM

James Clarke from England - glad you are liking it. Don't forget to join. Public Radio is public; but it is not free.

Oct. 23 2011 02:43 PM
Richard Clark from New Windsor, New York

.........Thank You!...........

.........Thank You!...........

.........Thank You!...........

Oct. 23 2011 12:28 PM
Kev from UK

Thank you so much for such a great show.

I am a huge Spielberg/Williams fan. Williams new music for Warhorse definately evokes Vaughan Williams in style. Rich, English and symphonic..

Just as a note. I write music also and being as i am a fan of John Williams, i helped put together along with a few other musicians, a tribute of sorts to the soundtrack of Close Encounters of the Third Kind..
Entitled 'Electronic Encounters'

It can be downloaded for free here >

Oct. 23 2011 12:00 PM

The film takes place in England and Ireland. John has been around for a very long time, and has a long affiliation with the London Symphony. It's obvious he would not infuse celtic music if this film only took place in England. England and Ireland are the locations we travel through in what I believe will become a classic film.

Oct. 23 2011 11:00 AM
Phil Harper from Plymouth, England

Thanks for this preview of some of the War Horse music. I can see what you mean about JW channelling Ralph Vaughan Williams in the first track (and in the brief previews of other tracks available online elsewhere - the site forum has links to where to find them). Absolutely spot-on and so brilliant at evoking the beautiful pastoral English countryside. There are hints of RVW in the last track, The Homecoming, as well. What then jars is that JW has been so brilliant at setting the English pastoral scene, and then he blows it by chucking in a load of Celtic (Scottish and Irish diddly di-doh) themes into The Homecoming. The first notes on the flute are a case in point. I know Americans can be geographically challenged, but the English folk tradition bears very little relation to the fiddle/flute heavy 'Celtic' music of Scotland and Ireland. So I was surprised and a little disappointed to see JW had used it. It just jars when the film's homecoming is set in Devon: it doesn't fit, at all. It's like using flamenco music in a film set in Italy. JW knows his music, so I am at a loss to know why he did this.

Oct. 23 2011 07:05 AM
David from London


David, thank you for giving us the chance to "hear into the future". John, thank you for your talent and for yet another set of perfectly constructed cues. I can't wait to hear these in context.

Oct. 23 2011 07:01 AM
James Clarke from England

It's been great to listen to the programme this morning, living here in the UK...where, I am happy to say, I have that English countryside right across the road from our home.
The premiere of selections from War Horse were just terrific. As so many are noting the music has really put the spirit of RVW into the idiom of movie music. Of course, RVW himself composed his share of movie music also.
Wonderful stuff, thanks so much again. I'll be sure to listen to other shows.
With best wishes

Oct. 23 2011 05:00 AM
Jack from America

Awesome show, David

Those Warhorse tracks are truly moving. "Homecoming" and "No Man's Land" were really indescribable. I wonder if we could get some Marco Beltrami tunes week after next? He, Patrick Doyle, and Alexandre Desplat are having a stellar year.

Oct. 22 2011 10:36 PM
Christine from New Orleans

I've been waiting all week for the premiere of War Horse. It did not disappoint. Strong, intense, emotional and moving.

Oct. 22 2011 10:26 PM

Thank you for the special worldpremiere of this wonderful, wonderful score

Oct. 22 2011 10:17 PM
Kalaisan from Toronto

That was an amazing show David. Loved it! And I must say I was rather moved by War Horse. Truly emotional and powerful stuff there. And that flute is just so magical. 80 years old and still going strong.

- KK

Oct. 22 2011 10:13 PM
Susan from New York City

What a thrill it is to hear music from films every week as chosen and described by David Garland!
I am amazed and so gratified to have a specialized show about the art of film scoring hosted by such a knowledgeable and generous commentator. I suspect there are a lot of us for whom cinema would mean very little without the powerful (or subtle) emotional depth of a soundtrack.

Oct. 22 2011 10:09 PM
Pierce H from Ottawa, Ontario

First two tracks of War Horse felt would need to grow on me; but the latter two were astounding! Thank you for the show!

Oct. 22 2011 10:08 PM

First time listening. Thanks for a great premiere, David. Love the tracks from both Tintin and Warhorse. Can't wait for the CDs.

Oct. 22 2011 10:00 PM
David Garland

@Roy Durso, Yes that's Toots on harmonica on the theme from "The Sugarland Express." Good ears! (Hey, my wife grew up in Rockledge, Fla.; I'm glad you're listening down there!)

Oct. 22 2011 09:47 PM

Really hope we hear some amazing music from "1941". The score to that movie was magnificent and absolutely hot-blooded and enthusiastic. Star Wars and Indiana Jones are fine, but let's expose the listeners to some awesome All-American cowboy of the skies music with "1941"!

Oct. 22 2011 09:39 PM
Roy Durso from Cocoa, FL

It sure sounds like Toots Thielemans on harmonica. Am I right?

Roy Durso

Oct. 22 2011 09:24 PM

I didn't find the few random snippets particularly exciting, though I expect they'll improve upon hearing the full pieces in context.

But I really enjoyed the commentary! Thanks for letting us listen in with you.

Oct. 22 2011 11:16 AM
Thom Taylor from New York, NY

Thank you for a lovely preview. It has been a very unexciting year for film scores, but we can always count on John Williams to add some excitement and beauty to a soundtrack. This one certainly promises to add grace, excitement and humanity to the listening experience. The last part of the preview, "Reunion" reminds me a little bit of John Williams' scoring for Goodbye, Mr. Chips back in 1969. It's the flute solo at the end which is quite touching. I am also quite excited to hear a little bit of The Adventures of Tin-Tin tomorrow as well.

Oct. 21 2011 10:58 PM
James Klosty from Millbrook

War Horse is a magical stage production, the magic residing precisely in the the fact that before our eyes through lighting, impeccable stage direction, a moving and evocative score, and, above all, remarkable scenic design, construction and execution, clearly artificial constructs (horses) assume a reality far greater than the humans who surround them. They become real emotion filled creatures and they there on stage before our eyes. Making this into a film inevitably will reduce the magic and render it common. The snippets of the John Williams score you played tonight only reinforce this foreboding. Don't get me wrong I adore John Williams.

Oct. 21 2011 09:58 PM
George from Manhattan

Saw it at Lincoln Center with my sons after burgers at PJ's.An exceptional production.The trailer on Youtube presages something very special.Peace

Oct. 21 2011 11:12 AM
Eileen from New York, NY

I have seen the play and it was awesome - just can't imagine what the cinematography will be in this movie - and the music? Hey, it's John Williams, need I say more?

Oct. 21 2011 09:48 AM

Can't wait!!

Oct. 20 2011 02:53 PM

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