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The Music of John Williams: 40 Years of Film Music (Box Set)

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Customer Reviews

His genius is so underestimated...

John Williams is a National treasure. He has become as important to this country as the Smithsonian, certainly more important the new wave of film composers that have the orchestra playing unison lines with some programmed drums... (sigh) William's scores remind us what is great about his country - hope, triumph, facing adversity, gratitude and mostly magic - the magic of living! He transports the listener far away to world that the director has painted - and beyond. The complexity, the tension, the energy - the simplicity, the tenderness and the innocence. He has no peers in this day and age, only those that have come before him. With all due respect to Howard, Zimmer, Elfman, Newman and the rest, this is the man that sets the bar - and it is wonderfully high. Thank you John for your contribution to popular culture and to mankind!

Not the Originals, but OK

Most of these songs are pretty well played, but they can just not compare to the originals. Check out the "GREATEST HITS OF JOHN WILLIAMS: 1969-1999" for actual excerpts from John Williams. You will not be disappointed.

Great Concept, Poor Execution.

This album is a great concept which is executed poorly. Creating a compilation of select works written by John Williams makes it easier for people to get a single-set collection of his works instead of shopping around for multiple albums. As others have noted, these performances are not the originals, but rather recordings by other orchestras. One result of this is that the tracks no longer have the same character as the original soundtrack versions. That character is the direct result of both the conductor and the performing orchestra. It rapidly becomes evident in the different emphasis on dynamics, articulation, tempo and the musical balance between the instruments. Another drawback of this album which is a direct result of consisting of non-original recordings is that the overall recording quality is not the same. In this case, it lacks the quality of the originals. In most of the tracks, there is far more reverbebration in the tracks. It is if no sound dampening was used. While the quality of the recordings may not be on par with the originals, one must keep in mind the fact that the track selections serve as an excellent introduction to his works. On a personal note, I am rather dissapointed in the "Schindler's List" recording. It can not be compared to the recording with Itzhak Perlman. The instrument does have the warmth that Perlman's does nor does the violinst play with the same heartfelt, yet subtle style. If you need a quick compilation of select works by Williams, then this set will do. I suggest, though, that it be used as a starting point to help people familiarize themselves with his works or expand their collection.


Born: February 8, 1932 in Flushing, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most popular film composer of the modern era, John Williams created music for some of the most successful motion pictures in Hollywood history — Star Wars, E.T. the Extra Terrestrial, and Jurassic Park are just three of the credits in his extensive oeuvre. Born February 8, 1932, in Long Island, NY, he was himself the son of a movie studio musician, and he followed in his father's footsteps by studying music at UCLA and Juilliard; initially, he pursued a career as a jazz pianist, later working...
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The Music of John Williams: 40 Years of Film Music (Box Set), John Williams
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  • $39.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: Oct 07, 2003

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