The Music of America: John Williams
All Music Guide - James Manheim Each release in Sony's budget Music of America series offers three discs, devoted to the music of a single composer, accompanied by a brief booklet essay and some vintage photos. Most of the releases seem designed to provide one more go-round for the classics of the Columbia catalog from the 1950s and 1960s, by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the like. This selection of music by John Williams is a little different, and it's interesting purely in terms of how sharply Williams' reputation has risen since 1990, the year of the earliest recordings on the set. These come from the Boston Pops and, in the case of the music from Star Wars, the so-called Skywalker Symphony...
- Release Date: 6/8/2010
- Label: Masterworks
- UPC: 886977063626
- Catalog Number: 770636
- Sales rank: 17,580
5.0 / 5.0
While this compliation contains previously released pieces, it is a definitive overview of Williams's career. Moreover, it contains some pieces that are not available economically elsewhere, particularly the Memoirs of a Geisha Suite for Cello and Orchestra featuring Yo Yo Ma. This suite alone is worth the purchase price. It combines the best of Williams's approaches to composing concert works and film scores. The result is a veritable cello concerto that ranks, in my opinion, among the top twenty extended pieces ever composed for the cello. The inclusion of Five Sacred Trees lends additional gravitas to the collection and the selection of film and ceremonial works is very well done.