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America: Williams

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Product Details

  • Performer: Various
  • Composer: Williams John
  • Audio CD (June 8 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B003JH0LGE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Air and Simple Gifts
2. American Journey; I. Immigration and Building (Instrumental)
3. American Journey; II. The Country at War (Instrumental)
4. American Journey; III. Popular Entertainment (Instrumental)
5. American Journey; IV. Arts and Sports (Instrumental)
6. American Journey; V. Civil Rights and the Women's Movement (Instrumental)
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Summon the Heroes (for Tim Morrison) (Instrumental)
2. Hymn to New England
3. The Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra); I. Eó Mugna (Instrumental)
4. The Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra); II. Tortan (Instrumental)
5. The Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra); III. Eó Rossa (Instrumental)
6. The Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra); IV. Craeb Uisnig (Instrumental)
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Main Title from Star Wars (Instrumental)
2. Theme from Jaws (Instrumental)
3. Theme from Sugarland Express (Instrumental)
4. Flying Theme from E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Instrumental)
5. Suite from Born on the Fourth of July; I. Theme from Born on the Fourth of July (Instrumental)
6. Suite from Born on the Fourth of July; II. Cua Viet River, Vietnam 1968 (Instrumental)
See all 13 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Jaws, Star Wars, Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark it's the film music most of us think of when we see the name John Williams. This collection has those themes, but also raises the curtain on his beautiful pieces for the concert hall: Hymn to New England ; the CD debut of Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha for Cello and Orchestra (written for and recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra); Air and Simple Gifts (written for President Obama's inauguration); Elegy for Cello and Orchestra , and more!

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By Pierre Aubin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Jan. 18 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a 3 CD set which features works written and conducted by John Williams. There are several renditions of his movie music, but also some great orchestral works for the Olympics, and others like the American Adventure suite, which I liked on the first audition.

another great addition to any good music library
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Best Williams Collection! June 16 2010
By R. Hawn - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a HUGE Williams fan, and as soon as this was released I had it. The best thing about this collection is that they are actually conducted by the man himself and performed by the great orchestras of the world, instead of those other so called "Fly by night" collections that have less than adequate orchestras playing horrible renditions of his works. Also another great thing is that this set has some of the best and rarely heard concert works, such as "American Journey and Five Sacred Trees Bassoon Concerto" also the amazing recording the The great Chicago Symphony and Yo-Yo Ma playing the suite from "Memoirs Of A Geisha" Those works alone are worth the price of this album, not to mention the amazing movie scores included. I believe this set really sums up this great mans career quite nicely, and if your a big fan of John Williams than I whole Wholeheartedly recommend this CD collection!
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A good overview of Williams' concert work Aug. 31 2010
By Nathan - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This 3-disc set is a good intro to Williams' more popular, recent concert work. The music is generally very enjoyable and accessible; the liner notes, on the other hand, are extremely basic and definitely leave something to be desired.

Disc 1 opens with "Air and Simple Gifts" (2009), the piece commissioned for President Obama's inauguration. This is followed by the six-movement American Journey (1999), which runs about 25 minutes and is a characteristically optimistic, bright bit of Americana that sounds like a film score. Next up is six-movement Suite from Memoirs of a Geisha for Cello and Orchestra (2008), written for Yo-Yo Ma based on themes from the 2005 film's score, which runs about 29 minutes. Rounding out Disc 1 is "Song for World Peace" (1994), a rather lovely piece. Overall this disc is very good; my only complaint is that neither American Journey nor "Song for World Peace" is so much as mentioned in the liner notes -- it would have been nice to have had some more context as to the origins of this music.

Disc 2 starts with "Summon the Heroes" (1996), written in commemoration of the Centennial of the Modern Olympic Games, which has been one of my favorite pieces of Williams' music ever since it was originally released. Next is "Hymn to New England" (1987), about which the liner notes have nothing to say. The centerpiece of Disc 2 is The Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra) (1995), which runs about 26 minutes and is probably the most interesting piece in the set, occasionally sounding not too far distant from CE3K. "Inspired by Celtic lore," it "evokes the secrets of the forest, with a solo part that runs the gamut from the mysterious to the majestic." Next up are "Sound the Bells!" (1993) and "Elegy for Cello and Orchestra" (2002), neither of which is mentioned in the liner notes. The latter is based on a theme from Seven Years in Tibet and was first released here. Following this is "The Mission Theme" from NBC Nightly News (1985), the "March" from 1941 and "The Olympic Spirit" (1988), commissioned by NBC sports for that year's Summer Olympics. The decision to use a piece commissioned during an Olympics taking place in Seoul and omit "Call of the Champions" commissioned for the 2002 games in Utah seems bizarre given the "music of America" theme.

Disc 3 is the least interesting disc, devoted entirely to film works -- and the usual suspects, at that, mostly familiar from Sony's John Williams Greatest Hits 1969-1999 and any number of other compilations. Star Wars Main Title and Finale, Jaws Theme, Sugarland Express, E.T., Schindler's List, Jurassic Park, Empire of the Sun, Raiders, CE3K, plus a three-track suite from Born on the Fourth of July, in keeping, I suppose with the music of America theme. Surely a little more effort could have yielded a disc's worth of John Williams film music Americana instead of all the stuff that John Williams fans will already have, probably several times over. But it doesn't really matter, because the meat of this release is on the first two discs, which do provide an admirable array of Williams' concert work including what I believe is the premier release of the Memoirs Suite.

So if you already have most of Williams' released concert music, this set may not be for you, but if you're only familiar with him through his film music, this may be the best place to start exploring his concert music as well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Must Have for John Williams Fans but "Different" July 15 2013
By Larry B. - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a 3 disc set. The third disc is the usual Star Wars type stuff that is found on many John Williams' sets. The first disc, however, is excellent light classical and some fun pieces - still easy but "semi-serious" stuff. The 2nd disc, especially the cello piece and about half the disc is ultra modern classical, almost depressing stuff and hard to listen to - not in keeping at all with Williams' usual style. Best piece on the 2nd disc is the Olympic piece, last piece on the disc - it makes the whole 2nd disc worthwhile and is truly inspirational.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Works Sept. 20 2011
By Ronald C. Johnson - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I love the excitement found in John Williams work. In my opinion, he's one of the best! I highly recommend his work to anyone.
John Williams is a brilliant composer and conductor Dec 22 2014
By John Carpenter - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
John Williams is a brilliant composer and conductor. He has written the scores for many feature films which have been gone on to be classics. This 3 disc series combines a good mix of movie scores and other orchestral pieces. It is a good collection for either those well aware of Williams' work or those who just want to be introduced to this American composer.

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