The latest issue of FSM Online features a ‘vintage’ radio interview with John Williams recorded in early 1978 amidst the success of his original Star Wars score.
The 50-minute program, which had not been heard since its original airing on London’s Capital Radio in early 1978, was conducted while the Maestro was in the UK to perform a newly devised suite with the LSO.
Topics of the interview include the premiere performance of Symphony No. 1, Fiddler on the Roof, Earthquake, Cinderella Liberty, The Towering Inferno, Jaws, Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Williams also comments on starting work on Jaws 2 and Superman – The Movie.
You can listen to the interview by subscribing to FSM Online.
Below you can listen to a sample of the program, courtesy of Tim Burden.
On January 10, pianist Gloria Cheng will perform the Est Coast premiere of John Williams’ concert piece Conversations, in a program that will include all six composers featured on Cheng’s album Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano. The documentary film produced on the occasion of the recording will also be premiered.
Montage – Documentary film screening (East Coast Premiere)
Selections from ‘Montage: Great Film Composers and the Piano’, performed by Gloria Cheng:
John Williams: Conversations (2013)
Alexander Desplat: L’Étreinte, from the 3 Études (2012)
Bruce Broughton: Five Pieces for Piano (2010)
Don Davis: Surface Tension (2013)
Michael Giacchino: Composition 430 (2013)
Randy Newman: Family Album: Homage to Alfred, Emil and Lionel Newman (2013)
UPDATE: You can read the full, unedited version of the interview here.
“Working with J.J. was certainly invigorating. I felt that he had made [the film] consistently and organically related to George Lucas’ incredibly original vision. At the same time, I felt a renewed energy, and a vitality, and a freshness that did not estrange any of the characters or material from the texture and fabric of Lucas’ creation — but revivified it.” – Full interview at the Los Angeles Times
StarWars.com has announced that the original soundtrack albums for the first six Star Wars films will be reissued by Sony Classical in three new editions: vinyl, CD and high-definition downloads, on January 8, 2016.
A promotional (‘For Your Consideration’) 68-minute album with over 13 minutes of music not included on the original soundtrack of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released on Disney’s Awards website. The music is available in free streaming through the website, but can also be downloaded in MP3 format from individual track links (see below) – Visit this page in our forums for a complete cue list of the score, with details on the unreleased cues, chronological order of the OST, and how to create an expanded edition combining the OST and the FYC.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Original Motion Picture Soundtrack From Oscar®-Winning Composer John Williams Debuts At No. 5 On The Billboard 200 Chart
BURBANK, Calif., Dec. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The original motion picture soundtrack for the record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens, featuring new score conducted and composed by five-time Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams, has entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 5, scanning over 100,000 equivalent album units in its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The last and only all-score soundtrack to debut in the Top 5 was Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999.
“Life is so quixotic. I never would’ve imagined that I’d have the opportunities I’ve had. And young people can’t possibly imagine how far and how high their efforts can reach. All they can do is continue to work as hard as they can, learn as much as they can and not stop working. The process is the process. The joy of it is doing the thing itself.” – Full interview at BMI.com
John Williams in a galaxy quite close to us had an unenviable task of composing the score for the newest installment in the franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Expectations and anticipation could not have been higher for both J.J. Abrams’s film and its music, with film music and Star Wars fandom waiting with abated breath and hoping for something great, even a masterpiece, to come out of this seventh entry to the saga. The film is set 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi and, once again, the peaceful Republic is teetering on the brink of war as a new threat. A military power known as The First Order under the leadership of mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke has emerged, and is fighting the opposing Resistance over the control of the galaxy. And just like the film, the new score contains many elements of what has come before but here was also a chance to begin again, to make a fresh start. And how does this new beginning sound? Well, it is not a return to the 1970s or ’80s sounds as Williams has changed significantly as a composer in the intervening decades, so it would be a tad unrealistic to expect this to be an entirely throwback time capsule. Instead, it could be said to be a combination of Williams’s modern post-2000 stylistic tendencies featured in the Prequels and his subsequent scores, and his older style exemplified by the feel of extrovert energy and adventure that is closer to Star Wars than Revenge of the Sith. And this is complimented by the lovely lyricism that harkens back to the original 1980s scores, although expressed through the kaleidoscope of modern John Williams sound.
The original soundtrack album for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been released worldwide today, December 18. You can order your digital copy, CD or Vinyl* on Amazon.com
*The vinyl album will be released in early 2016.
According to the album credits, the recording was conducted by John Williams and William Ross, with special guest conductor Gustavo Dudamel in the “Main Title” and “Finale”, as well as the tracks “The Starkiller” and “March of the Resistance”.