John Williams

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of John Williams & The Bosto

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Is there a heart that does not beat faster during the theme music from Jaws, an imagination that does not soar higher in the main title music from Stars Wars, or an eye that does not tear up during the closing music from Close Encounters of the Third Kind? If there is, the person to whom those organs belong probably hasn't been attending movies since the early '70s, because that music, John Williams' music, was the soundtrack to some of the most popular movies of the time. For those who have been attending movies, Williams' music is as instantly recognizable and as instantly affecting as Max Steiner's music to Gone with the Wind and King Kong was to an earlier generation. Indeed, so popular is Williams' music that in the early days of digital he made a successful side career conducting the Boston Pops. For movie fans seeking a single-disc collection of his music, this disc,The Best of John Williams & the Boston Pops, issued as part of Philips' Twentieth Century Masters series, is a reasonable first choice. It has the best-known music, the music from the movies listed above, as well as excerpts from Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Superman, and 1941. It has enthusiastically exuberant performances by the Boston Pops Orchestra at the start of its relationship with Williams. It has brightly colorful early digital sound from Philips. While some might miss later Williams' scores like Schindler's List or Saving Private Ryan, and others might miss less well known Williams' scores like Empire of the Sun, no one could say that this disc didn't deliver what its title promises: the best of John Williams and the Boston Pops.

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