John Williams at the Movies

John Williams at the Movies

John Williams’ film scores have brilliant parts for brass and wind instruments, so it’s not surprising that this album of selected pieces arranged for wind band makes a stunning impact. Part of the excitement comes from Reference Recordings’ spectacular engineering, which captures the blaze of fanfares and the boom of deep percussion with startling accuracy. The music itself is, of course, irresistible. The Star Wars theme soars regally, while its “Imperial March” is full of rumbling menace. The excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind are another highlight, the music’s flirtations with atonality etched with particular clarity in Stephen Bulla’s expert transcription. Tracks from JFK, Lincoln, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, and Superman are also included, and the playing of Dallas Winds under conductor Jerry Junkin is consistently exhilarating.

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