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FilmManiac79

Suggest me some JW!

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OK, over the past several months I've gone on a binge of JW soundtracks. I have every score from 1975 to the present, including all of the expanded editions. Pre 1975 i have "The Reivers" and "Jane Eyre". Also I have "Summon the Heroes" and the 2002 Winter Olympics, as well as the Spielberg/Williams collaboration.

Now aside from the scores I do not own, what other essential Williams works would JWfans recommend?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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I agree with the above. I would add the horn and tuba concertos (quite frankly, you should listen to all the concertos). My highest recommendation goes to the Memoirs of a Geisha Suite for Cello and Orchestra, which can be found in Sony's "Music of America" series. It draws from the themes of the soundtrack but develops them into a very satisfying standalone piece.

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Just so ya know FilmManiac, many of the suggested concert works are not as accessible as his film scores. Here's how I would divide the concert works, with the most accessible in group one (these are basically as easy to get into as JW's most flashy film scores) and the least accessible in group 5.

GROUP 1:

- all the Olympic stuff

- the fanfares (Fanfare for Fenway, For the President's Own, Celebration Fanfare, Fanafre for Michael Dukakis, Liberty Fanfare, etc)

- American Journey (the whole album)

- Air and Simple Gifts

- Elegy for Cello and Orchestra

- Soundings

- America, the Dream Goes On

GROUP 2:

- Tuba Concerto

- Trumpet Concerto

- Bassoon Concerto

- Horn Concerto

- Rounds for Solo Guitar

- Prelude and Fugue

- Sinfonietta for Wind Ensemble

GROUP 3:

- Cello Concerto

- Oboe Concerto

- Harp Concerto

- Essay for Strings

- Heartwood

- 3 Pieces for Solo Cello

- Quartet La Jolla

GROUP 4:

- violin concerto (both)

- clarinet concerto

GROUP 5:

- flute concerto

- viola/violin duo concertante

I may be forgetting a few!

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The Cello Concerto is a must.

As are most of his concert works... but that's just me.

As for splitting them into more or less accessible groups, I think it all comes down to taste... Images is lesser accessible that most of his concert works if one tries to follow such a logic.

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The Cello Concerto is a must.

As are most of his concert works... but that's just me.

As for splitting them into more or less accessible groups, I think it all comes down to taste... Images is lesser accessible that most of his concert works if one tries to follow such a logic.

Yes his concert works are definitely worth delving into and have been listed in the above posts quite well.

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Without going on the side of concert works, I'll suggest these various soundtrack collections :

1990-Star Wars Trilogy (Skywalker S)

1995-Williams on Williams (BPO)

1996-Cinema Serenade (PSO) (w Itzhak Perlman)

1999-Cinema Serenade 2 (BPO) (w Itzhak Perlman)

2006-Memoirs of a Geisha - Live Sessions EP (iTunes)

2010-The Music Of America (compilation)

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Too many people mark 1975 as the start of Williams' "Golden Age" of scores. But (with a hat tip to Joey), I've always felt it began in '74 with Towering Inferno. Any "best of" JW collection missing that one is definitely incomplete.

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I have no idea where the OP's taste lie in terms of concert music, but I'm a huge fan of most of Williams' concerti. Violin, cello and bassoon are required listening.

For film scores, most definitely Towering Inferno

I am still waiting for an affordable re-release of Towering Inferno. It is one of the scores where Williams has actually had the chance to compose actual elevator muzak.

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I'll definitely look into these.

Didn't mention, but I have bootlegs of Earthquake, Poseidon Adventure. The Cowboys, and Images. Currently they are just a little too pricy to get official releases. And Towering Inferno and Eiger Sanction are at the top of my wish list.

But again, thank you!

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Yea Images kinda quietly went out of print not too long ago. I need all the others you mentioned on real CDs as well, except Poseidon Adventure which I got when LLL reissued it. Hoping the specialty labels can get them all.

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1) Williams on Williams - The Classic Spielberg Scores (has JW's own arrangements of Hook, Raiders and more)

2) Cinema Serenade (the first album; the second is less interesting)

3) The Star Wars Triilogy (BPO album, Philips, great sound quality)

4) By Request - The Best of Joh Williams and the Boston Pops (it has the great Cowboys Ouverture, and a different rendition of Midway March, with one of the best JW endings ever)

5) I Love a Parade (has the great Pops on the March, only album as far as I know)

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