The Music of John Williams: 40 Years of Film Music

Silva Screen Records (0738572081027)
Movie | Released: 2003 | Format: CD, Download

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# Track   Duration
1.1974: The Sugarland Express – Main Theme3:44
2.1975: Jaws – Main Theme2:17
3.1977: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind – Suite8:14
4.1981: Raiders Of The Lost Ark – March5:26
5.1981: Raiders Of The Lost Ark – The Map Room: Dawn4:08
6.1982: E.T. – Adventures On Earth10:57
7.1984: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom – Mine Car Chase5:33
8.1984: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom – End Credits6:29
9.1987: Empire Of The Sun – Exsultate Justi5:03
10.1989: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade – Indy’s First Adventure8:37
# Track   Duration
1.1989: Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade – End Credits11:22
2.1989: Always – Follow Me/dorinda Solo Flight3:43
3.1991: Hook – Main Themes4:10
4.1993: Jurassic Park – Main Themes5:58
5.1993: Schindler’s List – Main Theme4:03
6.1997: Amistad – Dry Your Tears Afrika3:40
7.1998: Saving Private Ryan – Hymn To The Fallen6:03
8.2001: Ai – Where Dreams Are Made3:46
9.2002: Minority Report3:52
10.2003: Catch Me If You Can3:10
# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.1966: The Rare Breed – Suite8:35
2.1970: Jane Eyre – Suite The Jane Eyre Theme3:11
3.1970: Jane Eyre – Suite To Thornfield1:59
4.1970: Jane Eyre – Suite Restoration3:39
5.1972: The Cowboys – Overture9:46
6.1972: The Poseidon AdventurePrelude2:53
7.1974: The Towering Inferno – Main Titles5:06
8.1976: Family Plot – End Titles3:55
9.1978: The Fury – Main Titles2:55
10.1978: Superman – Main Theme4:11
11.1979: DraculaMain Titles and Storm4:53
12.1984: The River – Main Theme and Love Theme5:03
13.1987: The Witches Of EastwickDance Of The Witches4:37
# Track Artist/Composer Duration
1.1989: Born On The Fourth Of July – End Credits5:49
2.1990: Presumed Innocent – End Titles4:19
3.1991: Jfk – Arlington/end Titles10:05
4.2001: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s StoneHedwig’s Theme4:51
5.2002: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of SecretsFawkes The Phoenix3:39
6.1977: Star Wars – Main Themes5:24
7.1980: The Empire Strikes – Han Solo and The Princess4:08
8.1980: The Empire Strikes Back – The Imperial March3:11
9.1999: Star Wars: Phantom Menace – Anakin’s Theme2:52
10.1999: Star Wars: Phantom Menace – The Flag Parade3:19
11.2002: Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones – Across The Stars5:41
12.1999: Star Wars: Phantom Menace – Duel Of The Fates4:16
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The Music of John Williams: 40 Years of Film Music - 06/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
Silva Screen seem to be attempting to provide the world with every ultimate film music collection that is possible and in the pantheon of John Williams collections, there are none that have the scope of this 4CD set. While their John Barry collection - celebrating his 40 years in film music - was a chronological collection, this one lumps the music into rough categories. The first are from the films of Steven Spielberg, the third and beginning of the fourth, everything else except for that which appears in the second half of disc four, that being music from Star Wars and sequels/prequels. Despite such a vast scope, this is a much more uneven collection than the Barry set. As I've noted before, within the rather tight time limits for rehearsal and recording Silva Screen compilations, The City of Prague Philharmonic simply don't have the technical proficiency to get a great performance for music as complex that written by Williams. John Barry is just that much easier to perform, plus Nic Raine's close association with the composer mean those performances are invariably better and closer to the originals.

There is, in fairness, little that the average John Williams fan won't have either on compilations or original soundtracks. Indeed, I think I have every officially released score featured and most of the others on previous Silva albums and/or elsewhere. Still, if you're brand new to film music, this isn't a bad place to start as the survey is extremely extensive from the more obvious Spielberg and Lucas items, but the third disc is likely to be of most interest to those who are already discovering his music. The disc starts with a suite from The Rare Breed, a less exuberant version of The Cowboys (also featured in Williams' terrific concert suite) which hasn't been released at all. Other less well known entries include the delightfully graceful and subtle Jane Eyre, the brooding (if uneventful) Poseidon Adventure and the more lively Towering Inferno main title. Williams' darker phase during his 1977 to 1983 blockbuster run is represented by the haunting Dracula and his Herrmann-esque The Fury, but a little wit and acerbic humour is injected into his later entry, Dance of the Witches from the hard to find The Witches of Eastwick.

Williams' work with Oliver Stone and Chris Columbus is represented with selections from Born on the Fourth of July, JFK and a couple of Harry Potter tracks. It seems a shame that nothing was included from either of the Home Alone scores. There are a few disappointing omissions elsewhere, notably the otherwise unreleased Black Sunday, which I would cite as one of Williams' best unreleased scores. Another eligible contender for that title would be Monsignor, a track from which would have been a nice little incentive to the hardened Williams fan unable to find the LP. Even if the budget didn't extend to many new recordings - there appear to be only a handful of tracks that are newly recorded - not including Black Sunday, which has appeared on other Silva collections, for example, seems a little daft. Still, any purportedly 'complete' collection is going to miss off a few things, although to be honest, Williams is the kind of composer where a CD of 'Obscure, Out of Print and Unreleased' music would seem more worthwhile. Still, a good starting point for novices, but the occasionally inadequate performances and generally mainstream choices make it a collection unlikely to appeal to collectors.

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