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Sandor

The Songs Of John Williams: which are essential?

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On 1/11/2019 at 4:59 PM, Thor said:

In terms of other 'star' singers, it's also worth mentioning soprano Kathleen Battle's version of his SEVEN FOR LUCK song cycle. Three of the songs are available in that old interview video (or its bootleg audio rips), but I can't find it on Youtube at the moment.

 

Kathleen Battle never performed Seven for Luck, even though it was written for her. She found the music too difficult and the 1997 premiere was cancelled (it was supposed to have been premiered with Battle accompanied by the National Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting.)

Williams himself premiered the cycle with Cynthia Haymon and the Boston Symphony. The first performance took place at Tanglewood in the summer of 1998 and Williams expressed desire in recording it. The three songs you mention were performed at a Boston Pops concert ahead of the Tanglewood premiere. They were recorded for a PBS special that also included a conversation between Williams and poet Rita Dove. 

From what I understand, the cycle, on it's piano reduction is often used at Tanglewood with the vocal fellows.

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14 hours ago, Miguel Andrade said:

 

While I couldn't find the PBS video on-line, I did found a recital featuring six of the seven songs that make up "7 for Luck":

 

Oooh, fantastic. I've only ever owned the three songs from the PBS video. Any tech savvy people here who can make an audio rip of that and send me?

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Two songs deserve to be on this list, for completion's sake:

 

"None But the Brave" and "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!" are the first two songs written from themes composed by John Williams. In the case of "None But the Brave," it was not in the finished film but made the album release as a filler. Not sure if JW had input in the song's creation.

 

As for "John Goldfarb," it is the first official song written by John Williams to be featured in a theatrical film. It's catchy, and kitschy, as sung by Shirley MacLaine.

 

I will be discussing the songs and scores of both films in upcoming episodes of my podcast "The Baton: A John Williams Musical Journey" this month.

Link to podcast website

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13 minutes ago, Trumpeteer said:

"None But the Brave" and "John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!" are the first two songs written from themes composed by John Williams. In the case of "None But the Brave," it was not in the finished film but made the album release as a filler. Not sure if JW had input in the song's creation.

 

Album? There was no album of NONE BUT THE BRAVE at the time, only a single. Or are you talking about the FSM release?

 

Also, Williams had songs prior to those you mention, if you count TV material.

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10 minutes ago, Thor said:

 

Album? There was no album of NONE BUT THE BRAVE at the time, only a single. Or are you talking about the FSM release?

 

Also, Williams had songs prior to those you mention, if you count TV material.

I mentioned only theatrical films. I knew there were some songs written for TV but I couldn't find recordings of a lot of them, or note the shows for which they were written.

 

You might be right about that album release. I recall stumbling upon a website listing of the album that had different track names and had the date as 1963 for the album. I can't find that website now.

 

Thanks for the clarification. 

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The NONE BUT THE BRAVE title song was released on a '45, but no album was released untill the FSM.

 

Earlier songs (for media) by Williams include the two WAGON TRAIN songs "Golden West" and "Tomorrow", with lyrics by Frederick Herbert. You'll find them both in "The Jenny Tannen Story", at 1:20 and 29:00 here:

 

 

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