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Star Wars Revisited

John Williams discusses the challenges of returning to the Star Wars series, nearly two decades on, and the hidden plot clues buried deep in his music.

John Williams talks exclusively to Donald Macleod for the final time this week, with Star Wars once more taking centre stage.

Williams discusses the challenges of returning to the Star Wars series, nearly two decades on, and the hidden plot clues buried deep in his music. We'll hear highlights from Williams's brand-new music for the three 'prequels' (Eps I-III), including Duel Of The Fates and the climactic Battle Of The Heroes.

The programme opens with two recent works that throw back to his background in big bands and concert halls - the effervescent, jazz-infused Main Title from Tintin - and a spiky, Stravinskyan Horn Concerto. We also showcase one of Williams's most haunting scores of the previous decade - his music to Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha.

Donald Macleod ends the week with thoughts on John Williams's career and position as "America's composer", a unique musical voice transcending popular and classical music, and arguably the inheritor of a mantle once held by Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein. The week plays out with Williams's music for the inauguration of Barack Obama as US President in 2008 - his Air and Simple Gifts.

1 hour

Last on

Fri 4 Oct 2013 18:30

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Music Played

  • John Williams

    The Adventures of Tintin Main Title

    Orchestra: Hollywood Studio Symphony. Conductor: John Williams.
  • John Williams

    The Adventures of Tintin - Snowy's Theme

    Orchestra: The Hollywood Studio Orchestra.
  • John Williams

    Memoirs Of A Geisha - Sayuri's Theme

    Ensemble: Ensemble Nipponia. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: 82876778572.
  • John Williams

    Memoirs Of A Geisha - Chiyo's Prayer

    Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Ensemble: Ensemble Nipponia. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: 82876778572.
  • John Williams

    Memoirs Of A Geisha - The Chairman's Waltz

    Conductor: John Williams. Ensemble: Ensemble Nipponia. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: 82876778572.
  • John Williams

    Memoirs Of A Geisha - Sayuri's Theme And End Credits

    Ensemble: Ensemble Nipponia. Orchestra: Studio Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: 82876778572.
  • John Williams

    Horn Concerto (2003)- Angelus:Far Far Away, Like Bells: At Evening Pealing

    Performer: Karl Pituch. Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
  • John Williams

    Horn Concerto (2003) - The Battle Of The Trees: Swift Oak: Stout Guardian Of The Door

    Performer: Karl Pituch. Orchestra: Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Leonard Slatkin.
  • John Williams

    Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace(1999) - Duel Of The Fates

    Choir: London Voices. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: SK61816.
  • John Williams

    Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace(1999)- Anakin's Theme

    Choir: London Voices. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: SK61816.
  • John Williams

    Star Wars: Episode 2 Attack Of The Clones(2002)Across The Stars

    Choir: London Voices. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: SK89932.
    • 2.
  • John Williams

    Star Wars: Episode 3 Revenge Of The Sith (2005) Battle Of The Heroes

    Choir: London Voices. Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • SONY CLASSICAL: SK94220.
    • 3.
  • John Williams

    Air and Simple Gifts (2008)

    Performer: Anthony McGill. Performer: Itzhak Perlman. Performer: Yo‐Yo Ma. Performer: Gabriela Montero.
    • SONY MASTERWORKS: 8869770636.
    • 1.

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