John Williams Forever

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Composer John Williams has been adding musical magic to movies since the 1950s, and his newest score is for "The Book Thief," now in theaters. Williams's long career includes well-known, landmark scores for "Star Wars," "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," "Jaws," "Superman" (1978), and "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

From early jazz and pop-influenced scores, to spearheading the return of the large symphonic score in the 1970s, Williams has had a powerful impact on his field, and is considered by many to be the preeminent living composer of film music.

David Garland celebrates Williams's continuing career with highlights from the favorites mentioned above, as well as music from less-familiar movies such as "The Missouri Breaks," "Stanley and Iris," "Empire of the Sun," "Images" and "The Book Thief."

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Comments [8]

Rick from Eastchester, NY

There are three less-well-known Williams scores worth mentioning, all of which make beautiful use of trumpet solos: "Stanley and Iris" (a gorgeous, chamber-like score), "Born on the Fourth of July" (grand and wrenching music) and "The River" (a Mel Gibson-Sissy Spacek movie with a terrific score featuring guitars). Those who think Williams is only the big splashy films are missing a whole side of his work that is intimate and emotional. Also, a shout-out to the incredible music to "The Terminal" -- not a very good movie but an effervescent film score that includes a marvelous jazz tune.

Dec. 03 2013 11:38 AM
Timothy Lowell Noe from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

I'm a decades-long David Garland listener, and over those same decades resentful of the John Williamsification of movie scores. Though I seem to be in the minority here, I'd like to hear as little as possible of (what is to my ears) his ubiquitous schlock. Otherwise, please keep up the great work, David: you're the best. PS I remember seeing you perform live nearly 30 years ago when I first moved to NYC!

Nov. 28 2013 07:44 AM
Richard Clark from New Windsor, New York

....I've always thought that the John Williams score for THE REIVERS has been neglected......

Nov. 20 2013 09:46 AM

I, too, enjoy being able to listen to these broadcasts later when I have the time. Or wherever I am travelling.
On many polls, it seems funny that the choices are so limited.
When John Williams has written SO MANY soundtracks, who made the decisions in limiting the options? Both films E.T. and Harry Potter were mentioned in the first paragraph of the introduction, yet not in the voting options? That seems wrong.

Also, might it be possible to include a playlist of just who is performing the pieces in the broadcast? The conductors and orchestras do matter. Was it John Williams conducting the original soundtrack (with London Symphony) or perhaps a later recording with the Boston Pops; Erich Kunzel conducting the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra; John Mauceri with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra; or The City Of Prague Philharmonic...

Thanks for all that you do!

Nov. 19 2013 09:35 AM
Thom from Manhattan

As always, I love this program and the fact that I can listen to it on-line usually a day or so after the broadcast. When I saw the poll on a favorite John Williams score and the choices to vote on, I decided to vote for LINCOLN, a score I have played again and again more than any film score since the 1980s. I love how the score brings to life Lincoln's gentle, loving spirit. My thinking was that not many people will vote for that one; it was up against STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, SUPERMAN, all giants in the Williams filmography. How delighted to find out that I am not alone, and that LINCOLN was in a five-way tie with the other scores!
Thank you again for this program.

Nov. 17 2013 12:02 PM
Stephanie J.Hughes from Manchester, NJ

Hi, David. Thank you for your wonderful shows. MY favorite Williams score is MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. I feel it went unnoticed, and don't understand that. It is a wonderful score, and should have won the Oscar. It has everything you want/expect from an excellent score. If you have listened lately, give it a try. It's really beautiful.
Again, thank you for your wonderful shows. I'm also an early music fan!

Nov. 16 2013 09:35 PM
Kim M from Manhattan

Thank you for choosing John Williams for the show tonight! Great memories of playing his music in high school and college symphonic band. His music is even more fun to play than to listen to! Love it.

Nov. 16 2013 09:25 PM
iky from NYC

My first time to post a comment on WQXR, this station is one of my favorites radio stations for many years.
I've always enjoyed your show and want to thank you for airing tonight's program, John Williams Forever, and as a side note but not the least, I appreciate The Month of Mozart!

Nov. 16 2013 09:22 PM

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