From Vienna To Hollywood… and Back Again

A reflection on the historical and cultural significance of John Williams’s performances with the Wiener Philharmoniker in January 2020, now released internationally by the Deutsche Grammophon label

John Williams conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Musikverein in Vienna in January 2020 (Photo © Terry Linke / Deutsche Grammophon)
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John Williams’s Journey into the Concert Hall

A chronological overview of the Maestro’s early works for the concert hall in the 1960s and 1970s, including his almost-unknown Symphony No. 1

by Maurizio Caschetto

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A portrait of John Williams from the late 1960s

The term “film composer” might be useful when referring to the work and career of John Williams. But, in his case, it would be also extremely reductive. While it’s true that the Maestro dedicated much of his artistic life to work for the Hollywood film industry, he has always showed a great deal of versatility, typical of musicians who don’t limit themselves just to one single area. Pianist, jazzman, arranger and, in the end, composer of works for films and the concert stage, Williams diversified his artistic output since the early days of his professional career, exploring different sides of his musical personality. Looking at him this way, it can be said without being proven wrong that he perfectly embodies the creative breadth of the 20th century composer and musician.

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Super Orchestra: the LSO and the Music of Superman

A brief history of the special relationship between John Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra, followed by the full list of musicians who performed on the soundtrack of Superman: The Movie

by Maurizio Caschetto

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A rare picture taken during a break of the recording sessions of Superman: The Movie. From left to right: recording engineer Eric Tomlinson, second-unit director André De Toth, executive producer Ilya Salkind, actor Christopher Reeve, composer John Williams and director Richard Donner
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Musical Accompaniment vs. Musical Enhancement

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In 2017, John Williams and Steven Spielberg collaborated on their 28th feature film together, The Post. The film recounts the story of the great cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents which pushed the first female newspaper publisher (Kathleen Graham) and the chief editor of the Washington Post (Ben Bradlee) to publish classifed top-secret files (known as the “Pentagon Papers”) that documented the involvement of the government in the Vietnam War, with an unprecedented battle between the press and the government that ensued later.

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