John Williams is a game changer. Early in his career he crossed the lines between music that was “art” and music that was “commercial,” and never looked back. He is one of the best known, most awarded and most successful composers in US history, and his name is inextricably connected to outstanding music for films. He has written scores for over 100 films, and his massive list of awards includes 51 Academy Award nominations and five wins, as well as 24 GRAMMY® awards. A less-known fact is his fondness for writing, arranging and conducting wind band music. This collection of his film music includes favorites from Star Wars, Superman, JFK, ET and many more, arranged for concert performance by top-level wind ensemble.
Brilliant performances by the Dallas Winds, have been captured in spectacular audiophile sound by Reference Recordings’ own award-winning engineering team: Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin. John Williams At The Movies features soloist Christopher Martin, principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic. The recording was made in Dallas Texas, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, one of the world’s greatest concert halls, and the site of an annual Dallas Winds concert featuring the film music of John Williams.
John Williams At The Movies is our first wind band recording to be released as a hybrid SACD. The disc contains stereo SACD, 5.1 Surround SACD and a stereo compact disc layer encoded with HDCD, and is simultaneously being released as high resolution and standard resolution digital downloads and streams. A two-LP set will be released later in 2018. This is our 18th album with The Dallas Winds, and is a project of which we are extremely proud, that was years in the making.
“Scrolling through John Williams’s extensive worklist triggers an avalanche of movie memories… What better way to get start than with the fanfare and theme Williams wrote for the opening ceremony at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. There’s a broad, arresting sense of spectacle, so familiar from his epic movie scores, plus a dash of Copland. As with all composers of quality, Williams knows and draws on the music of his antecedents, yet still manages to find his own, unmistakable ‘voice’. The band respond with startling clarity and noble mien, and the wide, deep soundstage adds to the sense of occasion. The recording, like the performance, is focused on the music, and that’s precisely what I’ve come to expect from this source. … Now this is rep where performers and engineers might be tempted to overplay their hand; thankfully, good taste and good judgment are the watchwords here, so the music retains all its vaunting splendour without sounding overblown or overlong. Once more, natural balances and a preponderance of ear-pricking detail – so much a part of Wine Dark Sea – serve the music admirably. There’s plenty of thrust and weight when it’s needed, as in the strut and swagger of the Imperial March from The Empire Strikes Back. With the volume turned up, the percussion emerges with all the frisson one could wish for. It helps that Junkin is so proportionate in everything he does here. … Quietly sensational; a must for movie fans and audiophiles alike.”