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Williams Olympics Work. Which Is Your favourite?


Quintus
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I've recently got hold of all his Olympic stuff and I must say that of all his work in this area, I absolutely adore his "The Olympic Spirit" track. Its a superbly rousing piece which seems to sing everything that the Olympics is about. But then what did I expect from Williams - he always nails the emotive feeling of his inspiration. This particular track has been hammered to death by me recently and I still haven't tired of it. I just can't believe I've only just discovered it after all these years. What a hidden gem its turned out to be. its a shame its not more well known, but I guess you could say that about a lot of Williams less famous works.

So whats your favourite Williams Olympic track?

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I have to agree with Salacius, Summon the Heroes is one of Williams' best non-film works

It certainly has a great theme, but I prefered the concert version he played live at the opening. It trims out all the less thematic stuff and would work better on my Ipod. I have his performance at the Atlanta opening ceremony on vhs actually.

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I have to agree with Salacius, Summon the Heroes is one of Williams' best non-film works

It certainly has a great theme, but I prefered the concert version he played live at the opening. It trims out all the less thematic stuff and would work better on my Ipod. I have his performance at the Atlanta opening ceremony on vhs actually.

I agree with you, I got a CD with both versions and even though I like both of them I prefer the shorter version

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The Olympic Fanfare and Theme for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics is probably my first exposure to Williams' music that I can remember (I didn't watch the Star Wars movies until I was a bit older.) It's a perennial favorite of mine.

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Summon the Heroes slightly beats Olympic Fanfare and Theme, there's just so much to it.

Clearly behind is Call of the Champions. Great though the "Citius! Altius! Fortius!" bits are, the main theme is just so mediocre, and the choir is wasted except for the CAF bits. It doesn't help that the recording sucks, either.

Marian - who loves it for CAB, but considers it a missed opportunity.

:music: Starship Troopers (Basil Poledouris)

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I fluctuate between "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" and "Summon the Heroes." The former is a complete classic and absolutely sparkles, while the latter is amazingly driving and so seemingly complex. I love 'em both!

Ray Barnsbury

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Summon the Heroes.

They are all great but I think in Call of the Champions

Williams ran out of ideas. Great choir and everythink,slightly disappointed was I.

You talk like Yoda :music: but I have to partly agree on what you said about the Call of the Champions. It did not feel as emotionally charged as I would have liked to. And I am still little baffled how a 350 person choir can sound so small. I was expecting HUGE choir sound and it was mixed down so it loses much of its power. Still the piece is very good wintery Olympic theme though not Williams' best.

In my opinion Summon the Heroes is Williams' best Olympic theme. It is the first Williams Olympic theme I ever heard and none of the others is quite that good. He really achieves the feeling and spirit of Olympic festivities and the competition itself in his music. And the brass work in the Summon the Heroes is phenomenal as is Morrison's trumpet solo part. I have not listened to the Olympic music in a while so the Winter Olympics are a good excuse Smile I will go and listen to Williams' Olympic works right now!

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You talk like Yoda  :)  but I have to partly agree on what you said about the Call of the Champions. It did not feel as emotionally charged as I would have liked to. And I am still little baffled how a 350 person choir can sound so small.

:music: 350? Blimey , it sounds very narrow

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Btw, Summon of the heroes is great "feel good/cheer up"-piece.

That's why 'm going to listen to it next week, after Finland have won Gold in olympic hockey!!

Well of course we are going to win. That is obvious. I'll be blasting Summon the Heroes form my lound speakers all night when that happens :music:

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You talk like Yoda  :)  but I have to partly agree on what you said about the Call of the Champions. It did not feel as emotionally charged as I would have liked to. And I am still little baffled how a 350 person choir can sound so small.

:music: 350? Blimey , it sounds very narrow

That's because the recording sucks.There's a Boston Pops performance that's much better .

K.M.

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1987 - "We're Lookin' Good!"

Composed in 1987 for the Special Olympics, with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Premiered by Williams and the Boston pops o­n May 5th of that year. The version with lyrics was performed in August of the same year during the games cerimonies, with the 550 athlets singing Available o­n bootleg recordings

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i like call of the champion for the beginning bit. the middle is lame. williams was clearly like 'oh shit, i have to finish this piece. lemme rush it.' olympic spirit sucked as well. the melody is good, but not appropriate. the backgrounds to the theme are also overly simplistic. howver, in fanfare and summon, he was in top notch.

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You talk like Yoda  :D  but I have to partly agree on what you said about the Call of the Champions. It did not feel as emotionally charged as I would have liked to. And I am still little baffled how a 350 person choir can sound so small.

:| 350? Blimey , it sounds very narrow

That's because the recording sucks.There's a Boston Pops performance that's much better .

K.M.

Thanks, I'll look it up

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A question for the Williams Olympic experts: does "Olympic Spirit" have any back-story or named sections like "Summon the Heroes" does? I'm conducting a concert this week which includes Olympic Spirit (my trumpets aren't quite up to the task of Summon the Heroes :P ) and I would like to tell the audience a bit more about the piece than, "Duhhhh...it sounds heroic because it's for the Olympics!" :| Does anyone have any interviews Williams may have given during the Korean Olympics?

Oh, and for the record, Olympic Spirit is indeed my favorite Olympic theme....easily one of JW's greatest heroic themes ever written.

-Brendan (the crazy David Arnold fanatic from the Filmtracks ScoreBoard)

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Does anyone know the music at the end of NBC's coverage last night. It was played with the highlights and showing the credits. IS this John williams? IF so what song is it? If not, does anyone know who composed it?

thanks

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I'm going to have to say my favorite theme is The Olympic Spirit, just because that one seems to move so much for at heart just being a huge fanfare. I love that song... Then again, I love all of the olympic themes.

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My favourite, by far is The Olympic Spirit. I always found it exhilarating, more than the others, and perfectly structured. The short version of "Summon the Heroes" is better than the long one, I think (although I regret that the trumpet solo is gone). I also agree that "Call of the Champions" was a disappointment, especially since it was composed in 2002, a year full of terrific stuff.

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I'm not sure that I agree with the majority of you about Call of the Champions. Despite the weak chior and slight lack of that WOW factor Willaims scores usually carry, CotC was not a dissapointing piece unto itself. When you think about it, it's mostly meant to be heard as background for news stuff on NBC... I think Williams did well with it, even if it wasn't up to his usual par.

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It's on the CD called The Sound Of Glory, a CD released for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

It contains several Olympic themes and some music that conjures up the Olympic feeling, like Parade Of The Charioteers by Rozsa or Conquest Of Paradise.

All performed by the Boston Pops under Williams.

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