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Willow (Expanded)



Added on Monday, June 27, 2022   Posted by Philippe Mouchon

Willow (Expanded)

Following quickly on the heels of Intrada's release of James Horner's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Intrada presents one of the most sought-after soundtrack expansions – Horner's epic fantasy score to the 1988 film Willow. With the cooperation of Disney and Lucasfilm, Intrada has prepared a 2-CD set featuring a greatly expanded program of Horner's score.

Following quickly on the heels of Intrada's release of James Horner's Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Intrada presents one of the most sought-after soundtrack expansions – Horner's epic fantasy score to the 1988 film Willow. With the cooperation of Disney and Lucasfilm, Intrada has prepared a 2-CD set featuring a greatly expanded program of Horner's score.
Up to that point, it was probably Horner's most complex work. The score features at least five themes, including a noble theme for Willow, a heroic theme filled with adventure and triumph, a beautiful love theme, a simple theme for the baby Elora and a serpentine motif for the evil Queen.
It's a score that runs over 100 minutes, making it one of his longest works, featuring some of the longest and most cohesive cues of his career. It's no wonder such a massive, colorful and passionate work has been in demand for so long.

While the original album featured a generous 73-minute program, Horner had chosen a larger selection of cues to possibly include, including significant and lengthy cues such as 'The Enchanted Forest' and 'The Sled Ride.' This release is mastered from the original stereo sessions mixes made by Shawn Murphy and recorded at Abbey Road and Air Studios.

Willow is a traditional fairy tale quest that blends elements from many sources, including J.R.R. Tolkien, the Brothers Grimm—and even the Bible. The eponymous character is Willow Ufgood, an aspiring sorcerer (Warwick Davis).
Willow is a Nelwyn, a race of small folk that farms and mines peacefully in a land surrounded by Daikinis, “tall folk” engaged in a bitter war against the evil sorceress Bavmorda (Jean Marsh) and her daughter, Sorsha (Joanne Whalley). An infant princess who is destined to overpower Bavmorda and restore peace to the world is entrusted to Willow, who must deliver her safely to her faraway kingdom.
To do that, he must conquer daunting terrain, fight terrifying trolls, ruthless warriors, a two-headed dragon and all the magical powers Bavmorda can summon against him.

Intrada Special Collection Vol. 476

At last! Magnum opus fantasy score by James Horner receives expanded 2-CD set! A LucasFilm Production, Ron Howard directs, scripted by Bob Dolman, story by George Lucas who also executive produces with Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis sharing majority of the screen time with Joanne Whalley, Billy Barty, Jean Marsh all nearby.

Evil sorceress Bavmorda imprisons all pregnant women in her domain to prevent birth of a baby prophesied to bring about the end of her reign.
Said baby is born and cast adrift, with Bavmorda, her vicious Nockmaar Hounds and her army in pursuit. Enter Willow Ufgood and the Nelwyns, who find the infant.
A perilous adventure ensues that involves the Brownies, a fairy queen, an aging enchantress… and flamboyant rogue and expert swordsman Madmartigan. James Horner took inspiration from rousing action and swordplay as well as fantastic special effects made by ILM, including landmark early use of digital morphing technology, a CGI breakthrough.

Film unfolds with generous amount of dazzle dazzle and derring-do but also offers darker side to fantastic tale, especially in latter battle and climactic duel sequence.
Horner showcases his energetic youthful big-orchestra vernacular on one hand while balancing with his newly-maturing severe, intense musical vocabulary, resulting in incredibly wide-ranging score. Richly drawn main theme anchors, makes key appearances, shares time with exhilarating theme for Madmartigan, takes back seat to ferocious sequences, then ultimately brings score home.

Besides colorful array of material, score is also notable for several lengthy cues, amongst the longest of the composer’s career. Massive pieces often play as movements of a symphony, developing ideas with cohesion, complexity, generating considerable tension, then relief - no easy feat: “Canyon Of Mazes” (7 minutes), “Tir Asleen” (10 minutes), “Bavmorda’s Spell Is Cast” (18 minutes), “Willow The Sorcerer” (12 minutes) are massive, masterful works for large symphony orchestra.

Generous original 1988 album featured over 70 minutes of music but film’s wall-to-wall scoring included over 100 minutes of music! Finally, on this Intrada 2-CD presentation, some 107 minutes of music by Horner appears, with a wealth of previously unavailable cues, including aggressive, fierce “Death Dogs”, colorful and fantastic “Enchanted Forest”, and riveting and florid “Sled Ride”, all courtesy LucasFilm and Disney, mastered from original digital stereo mixes made by Shawn Murphy at the scoring sessions and beautifully preserved by engineer Simon Rhodes.

Front cover art by John Alvin, package design by Kay Marshall, booklet notes by Frank DeWald. Score recorded in January & February 1988 at Abbey Road Studios. Greig McRitchie orchestrates, James Horner composes, conducts.
Intrada Special Collection 2-CD available while quantities and interest remain!

( - Intrada Records - )


Willow soundtrack page

More info at: Official Web Site Intrada Records

More info at: James Horner Film Music (French/English)