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Star Wars

John Williams discusses his celebrated music for the Star Wars film series - from Episodes IV to VI - plus the famous Main Title from the Jaws soundtrack.

Star Wars: the greatest movie score of all time (according to the American Film Institute) - exclusively introduced by the composer himself on BBC Radio 3.

John Williams talks to Donald Macleod about the most famous film score in history. He discusses the moment George Lucas proposed his "space opera", and explains why he chose the 'old-fashioned', lush Romantic style of Tchaikovsky and Korngold to accompany this futuristic tale of aliens and spaceships.

We'll hear some of the most memorable musical moments from the first three films to be made (Episodes IV-VI), including the iconic Main Title, the Imperial March, and Luke and Leia's Theme. Donald Macleod also introduces perhaps the finest extended musical sequence in the series: Williams's mesmerising score to the battle on the ice planet of Hoth.

The programme ends with a deeply personal work in Williams's career - his Violin Concerto, written by the grieving composer after the tragic death of his first wife, Barbara Ruick Williams; a tragedy that overshadowed the huge success his music enjoyed in the mid 1970s.

1 hour

Music Played

  • John Williams

    Theme From Jaws

    • DECCA: 4670452.
    • 1.
  • John Williams

    Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: S2K92950.
  • John Williams

    Princess Leia's Theme

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: S2K92950.
  • John Williams

    The Millennium Falcon/Imperial Cruiser Pursuit

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: S2K92950.
  • John Williams

    The Battle of Hoth

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: S2K92951.
  • John Williams

    The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: S2K92951.
  • John Williams

    Violin Concerto

    Performer: Gil Shaham. Orchestra: Boston Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON: 4713262.
  • John Williams

    Luke and Leia

    Performer: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.

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