John Williams in Vienna - Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams

John Williams in Vienna

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams

  • Genre: Classical
  • Release Date: 2020-08-14
  • Explicitness: notExplicit
  • Country: USA
  • Track Count: 14
  • ℗ 2020 Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

John Williams in Vienna ◷ preview

Title Artist Time
The Flight to Neverland (From Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 5:13
Excerpts (From "Close Encounte Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 7:47
Devil's Dance (From "The Witch Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 5:50
Adventures on Earth (From "E.T Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 10:09
Theme (From "Jurassic Park") Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 6:02
Dartmoor, 1912 (From "War Hors Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 6:36
Suite (From "Jaws") Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 5:07
Marion's Theme (From "Indiana Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 4:01
Main Title (From "Star Wars: A Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 6:25
The Rebellion is Reborn (From Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 4:34
Luke & Leia (From "Star Wars: Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 4:05
Imperial March (From "Star War Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 3:20
Raider's March (From "Indiana Anne-Sophie Mutter, Vienna Philharmonic & John Williams 5:44


  • Themes of Our Time

    By SFreije
    To think the musical accompaniment to the creative whims of Spielberg’s movie about a shark or Lucas’ drama in a galaxy far away could shape our culture to eventually be performed by the world’s most prestigious orchestra is a real testament to the creative contributions of Williams and his collaborators. The sonority of the orchestra is perfectly suited to Williams’ music, which offers each section moments to shine. Their polish and grandeur elevates Williams’ music. It is encouraging to see his compositions increasingly performed by major orchestras. This music deserves to be programed in concert halls across the world alongside “serious” classical works, no different than if it were Beethoven, Stravinsky, Copland, or Strauss. Mutter adds to an already star-studded affair with a show stopping transcription from "The Witches of Eastwick”, one of the many highlights in this disc. The big memorable tunes are played as gloriously as one can hope but it is a piece reimagined like this that speaks to the appeal of his music and its ability to capture the imaginations of peerless world-class musicians. Hopefully her performance of Hedwig’s Theme is eventually offered as a bonus. This is THE BEST performance of the Main Theme from “Star Wars”. Their transparent sound allows for all the contrapuntal details to be clearly heard. Right from the opening, the burnished tone of the orchestra gives the music power in vivid detail. The entire ensemble is crisp and clean, the brass crackle and dazzle with all parts clearly articulated backed by razor sharp punches of percussion. This is emblematic of how the entire concert goes. The themes from “Hook”, “Jurassic Park”, and The Rebellion is Reborn have a nobility and tonal luster that allows these melodies to soar. I have never heard Marion’s theme played with such poignancy. Listen to the touches of portamenti the strings contribute and how these Viennese horns can cut through the orchestral texture. These same horns ring out in Dartmoor, 1912 from "War Horse”, proving Williams’ more recent scores have as much beauty as his more famous earlier work. The percussion details in “E.T.” have a richness I haven’t heard in other performances and the unique tart sounds of the Viennese woodwinds stand out with their pungent character. “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, Williams’ tribute to the atonal sounds of the 2nd Viennese school are given a sheen and edge that only the Vienna Philharmonic can provide. This orchestra can play a march in their sleep but are totally committed with reference recordings for the march from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and The Imperial March. The latter was a piece specifically requested by the orchestra. Williams thought he had already thrown enough challenging material their way yet they wanted more and delivered. The brass have a field day and build to truly terrifying climaxes, fully embracing the drama and legacy Vader’s character has had on popular culture. Williams said it was the best he had ever heard it sound and it is easy to agree. It goes to show the unique global influence Williams’ themes have had on our collective conscious. He is a living legend. Perhaps no one since Beethoven has given us such instantly recognizable themes. It is a credit to the Vienna Philharmonic and Deutsche Grammophon to embrace this music. John Williams is one of the few composers to conduct his music with the Vienna Philharmonic. They sound like they are having a fun time exploring music outside their traditional repertoire. Any disappointment from this disc stems from there isn’t more of it. I could have listened to a whole other disc of themes from Williams’ impressive legacy. Rarely has such a significant musical collaboration brought me this much joy. From beginners to orchestral music to seasoned collectors who have heard multiple performances of these works, everyone will fall in love with these performances. This is an inspired recording and important tribute to one of the greatest composers of our time that will surely be one of the greatest releases this year.
  • A Treasure from a Contemporary Great

    By Butch Mingus
    My very first album was the Star Wars Origional Motion Picture Soundtrack (John Williams; London Symphony Orchestra; 1977). While that recording was all about power, this collection is all about beauty. I am so glad that Deutsche had the wisdom to release this project. These performaces take popular themes that many of us have heard countless times and gives them extra depth. The string arrangements are both reflective for the modern ear as well as respectful of the "nostalgia" that the themes evoke. Well beyond a "Pops" album, these selections - supported by a very high quality recording - are wonderful.
  • Superb

    By Thick as Thieves
    Mr. Williams has breathed new life into, for the most part, his familiar film themes. Bravo!
  • Truly 'Classical' genre for this one

    By DPinFL
    I've acquired a ridiculously foolish amount of JW movie music recordings, from the originals (on vinyl), remasters, and multiple orchestras/conductors, so although I knew this would be superb musicianship, I figured there was minimal needs to acquire even more. Wrong answer!! This is SO amazingly special and different. Yes, some of it has to do with much better recording technology, and a perfect venue, but (for me) it's about the overall approach and adjustments to these 'Classical' scores. Several of the tempos are slowed a bit, allowing for individual musicians to shine (attacks, phrasing, delayed vibrato), and some of the percussion mixing brings out things I've never heard before, and they may not have existed on earlier recordings. Marian's Theme, Luke & Leia, and Close Encounters are highlights of this. I envision sting bass and bass trombone doing high fives at end of CE session. A few of these can be visually watched on YouTube in a live setting, and you can tell by the face of JW that he is certainly pleased. Heck, who wouldn't be with Vienna Philharmonic taking charge. I highly recommend this collection.
  • Outstanding

    By Jozappa50
    So glorious to hear the amazing Weiner Philharmoniker playing John Williams’s timeless, immortal musical compositions. Having played these pieces dozens of times in many different orchestras, it’s refreshing to hear them again, played by one of the world’s finest orchestras in one of the international treasure music venues of the world, the Musikverein.