War Horse (John Williams)

Final Musings: John Williams has outdone himself with a powerful musical journey that harkens back to the melodious glory of Far and Away. With gorgeous themes and amazing thematic integrity, the maestro impresses on both a technical and emotional level. Although the lack of a dominant theme (despite the score’s strong memorability) may be a deterring factor to some fans, the diversity of the score is just far too great to take that into consideration. The score may not be without flaws, but all thoughts of them are gone by the end of this magical experience. Yet another impressive feat by the great maestro.

Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel, War Horse has reached extraordinary heights in terms of popularity in recent years. After the hit play adaption in 2007, Spielberg immediately took the opportunity to make a cinematic experience out of the narrative. The novel is written in the perspective of a horse by the name of Joey. The story follows the tale of the horse that undergoes the traumatic experiences of World War I to return to his owner.  In terms of narrative structure, the novel offers obstacles for a traditional presentation. But the stage production’s adaptation seems to have confirmed Spielberg’s success with his film.

Accompanying the legendary director on this venture is his long time collaborator, the maestro John Williams. It’s interesting to note how this is actually the 25th collaboration between these two titans of the film industry. Time and time again, Williams has provided the world with scores of exceptional quality. Often abundant in themes, glowing with memorability and enticing in their musical styles, Williams has rarely failed to attest to his status as the best of the film score industry. Unfortunately, with Williams slowly progressing into his semi-retirement phase, fans have been receiving fewer projects from the legend. Especially in the last 6 years in which he only scored Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skulls. However, about a month ago, the man broke the drought with one of his best scores in years for The Adventures of Tintin. The work clearly showed how the maestro continues to provide scores of enormous intellectual depth and exciting action in a world where mundane derivative stylings seems to be the trend. This same spirit crosses over to his score for Spielberg’s latest drama, although with arguably different results. Read the rest of this entry »


The Adventures of Tintin (John Williams)

Final Musings: A classic Williams adventure score with great intellectual depth. It may not have the concert arrangements we expect of the maestro, but this is one of the legend’s best scores in recent years. Williams is clearly still at the top of his game and he once again shows his competition how film scoring is really done.

When I got the CD, I thought to myself “Its finally here”! It’s been a while since we’ve seen the maestro be an active player in the industry. Having only composed a single score in the last 5 years, the film score world suffered from a drought. Being an ardent devotee of John Williams, you can imagine the terrible agony I had endured during those dark times. Although we did have Indiana Jones 4 to satisfy our thirst for some time, 3 years went by without the maestro in the film score world. So the question is…was it worth the wait? YES! And no doubt about it!

I’ve been looking forward to the film for quite a long time as well. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson being amongst my favourite directors, I was quite excited to see what they would come up with. But let me say it here and now that I know almost next to nothing about Belgian comics by Herge. I’ve heard about them and even once skimmed over the one about Congo in French, but I honestly don’t know much about the comics, so forgive any inaccuracies in my analysis in accordance with context. Read the rest of this entry »