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Saving Private Ryan Soundtrack


Price: CDN$ 15.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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26 new from CDN$ 5.63 7 used from CDN$ 4.93

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 21 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • Run Time: 169 minutes
  • ASIN: B000009DUY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,209 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Hymn To The Fallen
2. Revisiting Normandy
3. Omaha Beach
4. Finding Private Ryan
5. Approaching The Enemy
6. Defense Preparations
7. Wade's Death
8. High School Teacher
9. The Last Battle
10. Hymn To The Fallen (Reprise)


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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By Lawrance M. Bernabo HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 6 2004
Format: Audio CD
John Williams' score for "Saving Private Ryan" has less of an ability to stand on its own than any other collaboration of the celebrated composer and director Steven Spielberg. This is primarily because the Spielberg movie, with its devastating opening scenes of the assault on Omaha Beach on D-Day (sixty years ago today), does not use musical underscoring for the action sequence: as the picture changes from the eyes of the old James Patrick Ryan "Revisiting Normandy" to the young Captain Miller about to hit the beach, the music ends and does not pick up again until Miller's eyes take in the view of "Omaha Beach." This is totally appropriate for making the film effective because it is the memorable images and the sounds of battle that are compelling, not the music. However, this means that as a listening experience the soundtrack for "Saving Private Ryan" is somewhat devoid of the emotional resonance that makes the film unforgettable. The music is not really associated with what we remember from the film and which we experience every time we watch it (I know I am not the only one who spent today watching the film).
The exception that proves the rule, of course, is the opening track, "Hymn to the Fallen," which is the musical highpoint of the album and gets reprised at the end of the album. Between those two tracks this is a somber musical score and it will take you a while to be able to recognize the individual tracks between the two hymns as being distinct pieces of music. Again, this is not to say that this approach is inappropriate, just that the music enhances the images and without the images the music is lacking.
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Format: Audio CD
John Williams' score for Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg's searing World War II drama about eight U.S. soldiers ordered to rescue a paratrooper whose three brothers lost their lives in combat, follows the simple-is-better-than-operatic format that made his music for 1993's Schindler's List powerful and effective.
Considering that most of Williams' film scores tend to be very bombastic and energetic (his Star Wars and Indiana Jones music tends to follow the Wagner/Korngold tradition of big orchestras and action-oriented cues), it's refreshing to hear this very prolific (and much-imitated) composer use orchestral restraint where he might have been tempted to utilize strident and Sousa-like marches, as is common in most war movies, especially movies about World War II.
But starting with the reverent-yet-mournful "Hymn to the Fallen" (a piece that is not heard till the End Credits, but is nevertheless an apt start to this album), Williams utilizes musical motifs to highlight the different aspects of the Normandy invasion as experienced by Capt. John Miller (Tom Hanks) and the seven GIs who have been assigned to retrieve Pvt. James Ryan (Matt Damon) from the small airhead held by the 101 Airborne Division on the Cotentin Peninsula in the days following the D-Day landings. This beautiful yet haunting piece sets the proper tone for this album, and is reprised at the end. (Careful listeners will note that this arrangement is not used in the film, however. Williams and Spielberg use a longer version of this music that also incorporates the "Omaha Beach Theme.
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Format: Audio CD
In writing this review, I thought back on an apparently tin-eared movie critic who criticized John Williams' "gung ho" scoring for "Saving Private Ryan." Maybe the critic had "SPR" confused with another Spielberg/Williams movie about World War II, the slapstick comedy "1941." Or maybe he was listening to the soundtrack of "The Guns of Navarone" on a Discman while watching "SPR." The music here is somber, restrained, dignified--the tense and foreboding "Defense Preparations" is about as upbeat as it ever gets. Whether this restraint was due to Williams' response to the movie or Spielberg's request that he keep it low-key, I don't know--but it serves the picture well. Yes, the score is less a riot of orchestral color than, say, the "Indiana Jones" or "Star Wars" scores, but vivid orchestration isn't the point here.
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Format: Audio CD
I admit it. I read all the extremely positive reviews, and was duped into thinking that this album was somehow set apart from all other movie soundtracks. So, I ran out, and purchased it. However, after listening to it, I was truly disappointed. There is nothing striking or significant about this piece. The movie is outstanding, and the music within the movie context is fitting. However, extract the music from the movie, and what you have are 10 tracks that all sound about the same. To sum it up in one word...boring. Now, if your interested in powerful, moving music that stands apart, might I suggest the Schindler's List Soundtrack...the violin solos by Itzhak Perlman are truly outstanding.
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