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John Williams

It’s nearly impossible to talk about the impact of the Star Wars franchise without mentioning John Williams. Over the years, I reviewed a couple of his soundtrack efforts (as if they even needed reviewing!). Here’s a quick look back…

John Williams

The Force Awakens (Disney)

http://www.starwars.com

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend a performance of John Williams conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing to hear the power of a live orchestra, playing the familiar strains of “Star Wars”,”Indiana Jones”,”Jurassic Park,” and “Harry Potter,” just to name a few.

Unlike a lot of contemporary creators of film scores, Williams has the ability to write orchestral hooks, instead of merely providing disposable background music. Is there anyone who doesn’t recognize “Darth Vader’s Theme”?  For The Force Awakens, Williams has written “Rey’s Theme,” for the film’s heroine, which sits nicely among other more well-known themes and transition pieces. The entire score was a pleasant listen that I look forward to revisiting.

John Williams

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Disney)

http://www.johnwilliams.org

Will a lot of film scores fail to make much of an impression, those of John Williams are instantly recognizable, even if you don’t particularly care for orchestration. Is there anyone among us who couldn’t identify “Star Wars’ Main Theme”? Williams doesn’t just score films, his compositions stick in your head like a hit song.

Familiar melodies weave with new, as Williams sets you firmly in a galaxy far, far, away. The music is lushly recorded and will have your thoughts drifting to scenes in the movie, which I really enjoy. I played “The Last Jedi” through three times, and will probably have another listen tomorrow. Highly recommended.

D.P.

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