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Empire of the Sun Soundtrack

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Warner Bros
  • Run Time: 153 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002LDC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,158 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. Suo Gan
2. Cadillac Of The Skies
3. Jim's New Life
4. Lost In The Crowd
5. Imaginary Air Battle
6. The Return To the City
7. Liberation: Exsultate Justi
8. The British Grenadiers
9. "Toy Planes, Home and Hearth"
10. The Streets Of Shanghai
11. The Pheasant Hunt
12. No Road Home/ Seeing The Bomb
13. Exsultate Justi

Product Description


Grand spécialiste de B.O.F orchestrales majeures (La Guerre des étoiles), John Williams retrouve avec Empire Of The Sun son fidèle complice Steven Spielberg sur ce film poignant et émouvant narrant les mésaventures d'un jeune garçon durant l'occupation de Shanghaï par les japonais lors de la guerre dans le Pacifique. D'inspiration classique - Benjamin Britten, Alban Berg... John Williams confère à sa partition un lyrisme soutenu et permanent dont le meilleur exemple fut "Cadillac Of The Sky", qui avec ses choeurs élégiaques transforme les mélodies en recueillement. Ultime gratification, le disque se clôture par le somptueux morceau de résonance liturgique, "Exsultate Justi", lequel nous transporte quelques siècles en arrière. Au total, 54 minutes d'harmonie où la poésie de son auteur se manifeste à chaque instant. Didier Leprêtre

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The musical score for Empire Of The Sun, marked yet another fine collaboration, between composer John Williams and director Steven Spielberg. The film was the first time that the director took on a serious subject. The only "fantasy" element of the film, comes when young Jim imagines that he is free from his Japanese prison, and reunited with his long lost parents. Williams proved that he was up to the dramatic challenges the film presented to him.
The score covers a wide range of emotions. For reasons that I am unable to fully explain, the track that has always stood out for me here is the song "Suo Gan", featuring a heartfelt solo by James Rainbird. I have always been moved by this song .
Williams never lets the music overtake the film. At times the music is dark, ("Lost In The Crowd"), while at other times, its uplifting and triumphant ("Jim's New Life" and "Liberation Exsultate Jusi"), it matches the emotional journey of the main character to a tee. Williams sort of breaks with his own way of doing things by not really repeating himself, thematically at least, except on rare occasions. That is to say, you wont find theme for any character here, repeated. Williams lets the emotions of the film dictate where he goes. The CD can stand on its own and be enjoyed. I think this score is one that is misunderstood and very underated (as is the film by the way). If you like Williams--this different score is for you. The CD has 13 tracks with a running time of 54 minutes and 34 seconds
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Format: Audio CD
Emipre of the Sun is certainly one of the lesser known scores by John Williams, but don't let that fool you -- it very much has the high quality his music is known for.

The score starts off with a wonderful choral arrangement of the Welsh folk tune, 'Suo Gan'. This melody is a favortie of mine, this this is probably my favortie version. The other non-Williams music, the patriotic British march 'The British Grenadiers', is another favortie in yet another wonderful arrangement.

Williams's own music is quite a mixed grabbag. 'Jim's New Life' is a happy "bustling town" town type piece, while 'The Streets of Shanghai' is a rousing action piece. There are two more choral tracks as well, 'Liberation: Exsultate Justi', and 'Exsultate Justi'. Both are basically the same, but are extrememly wonderful, and prove that Williams is as much a master of choral writing as he is of fanfares and sweet themes. This theme is easily one of the great ones.

!But no review of this soundtrack could exist without mention of 'Toy Planes, Home And Hearth'. This piece is, quite simply, one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. It's simple and elegent, yet masterful, and worth the price of the album alone.

Overall, I feel this is a must have for all score fans. It's easily on the same level as Williams's other masterworks. Just get it.
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Format: Audio CD
The soundtrack or the story, which is more memorable? Actually there is no separating the two. It is a perfect union.
I love Toy Planes, Hearth and Home. I play it in my home by my hearth. I think of Jim and how perfectly the music conveys the warmth of the hearth and home and the love and security of his parents that he missed so dearly. Suo Gan is haunting and innocent. It is has a simple purity and sweetness. It is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. I have always loved the British Grenadeirs. I suppose it does not seem to match the other songs, but when you know the story it works perfectly. And then there is Exulate Justi. This is one of those songs where you imagine yourself meeting the composer and in gratitude and admiration, saying "Thank you for the magic."
I don't care for some of the darker music...those times when Jim was in danger. But the album is well worth getting just for Suo Gan and Exulate Justi. Still there are at least 3 or 4 other additional songs that are great too.
I think anyone who hears this CD will enjory it and listen to it often. It is especially good music to curl up to on a cold winter's night.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm sorry to speak out against such an apparently well liked soundtrack, but after reading the rave reviews, and getting this score, I was disapointed. Coming from Williams, it was not as good as I would have expected, and makes me wary of buying everything with his label on it that's tabbed as "pretty" by others. All this being said, it's not a "bad" score, just compared to the 60-some odd other soundtracks I have, it pales.
"Suo Gan" and "Exsultate Justi" are nice enough, although not as pretty as Williams' "Somewhere in my Memory" for the "Home Alone" scores. But they don't make the soundtrack in my opinion. I look for the songs to complement the musical score, not be the main high point. "Cadillac of the Skies" starts out very pretty, with typical Williams flourish, but then fades into a rather dull, monotonous theme. The rest of the score is decent, with the exception of track #4, which by the end is a very obnoxious, stressful, tense action cue. Some people may like that stuff, but it drives me nuts! I liken it to the dark "Gorky Park" score by James Horner, and was not expecting this from a master like Williams. It seemed a bit "below him". That track in particualr took a lot of the liking out of this soundtrack for me. However, I must say that the redeeming factor is track #9, which is the prettiest music on the CD in my opinion. The only thing with that though, is that it is at least partially taken off of the Chopin Mazurka Opus 17 No. 9, and not pure Williams. But it's very pretty nonetheless.
If you're going for anything Williams, than you may like this, and probably will. But all I can say is that as a big Williams fan myself, I was disappointed.
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