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John Williams by John Williams

John Williams by John Williams

Album Review

Although the selections on Varese Sarabande’s Great Composers may not be pulled from the original soundtrack recordings, that’s not the biggest problem with the disc. The major problem is that it’s skewed toward a general audience — the kind that wants to have John Williams’ “greatest hits” and best-known themes on one disc — but overlooks such major moments as the soundtracks to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Born on the Fourth of July, among others. That will undoubtedly frustrate some listeners, but if they get past that initial frustration, they’ll find that Great Composers is actually a fairly entertaining listen. Yes, it may have a few too many of his lesser-known works (Midway, Presumed Innocent, Family Plot, Stanley & Iris, The Cowboys), but these are still very good and sit well with Superman, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, and Star Wars. So, while it may not be perfect, it is entertaining and it does confirm the variety and depth inherent in John Williams’ music.

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