American Journey

American Journey

5.0 1
by John Williams [composer]
     
 

When it came time to select a composer for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the choice was clear -- John Williams. In addition to concert music and soundtracks for a whole host of hit movies, Williams composed music for the Games in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Atlanta. But moreover, no composer since John Philip Sousa has written…  See more details below

Overview

When it came time to select a composer for the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, the choice was clear -- John Williams. In addition to concert music and soundtracks for a whole host of hit movies, Williams composed music for the Games in Los Angeles, Seoul, and Atlanta. But moreover, no composer since John Philip Sousa has written such instantly accessible, optimistic, and essentially American music. American Journey brings together some of Williams's festive Olympics work, along with a collection of short orchestral pieces in celebration of America. "Call of the Champions," the 2002 Olympic theme, begins the album, and it's classic Williams. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir starts things off by declaiming the Olympic motto, "Citius, Altius, Fortius" (you'll hear a touch of Handel's Messiah here), closely followed by a can-do orchestral melody with interjecting trumpet fanfares. Building to a rousing conclusion, it sets just the right exalted, celebratory tone for the occasion. American Journey, a six-movement suite composed for the Washington, D. C., millennium celebration, follows. Here Williams gives thematic titles to his movements -- such as "Popular Entertainment," the Copland-esque Movement III -- creating a musical picture portrait of 20th-century America. A series of short, stand-alone works rounds out the program, from "Song for World Peace," composed for the Japanese Royal Couple's American visit, to "The Mission Theme" from NBC News (yes, he wrote that, too) to "For New York" (with a heavy debt to Leonard Bernstein). "Summon the Heroes," a bonus track of music written for the 1996 Atlanta Games, is a fitting finale. All in all, American Journey delivers a program of patriotic and stirring works from America's best-known composer. And that's a trip worth taking.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Neil Shurley
If there's anyone who is close to being the United States' "national composer," it's got to be John Williams. He's the man who led the Boston Pops (U.S. national orchestra) for years and created the music for Star Wars, Superman, Jaws, Harry Potter, and pretty much every Steven Spielberg film ever made. So who do you call upon to create new Olympic fanfares? That's right, John Williams. His first foray into Olympiana came with a theme created for the 1984 Los Angeles games. Williams also created a soaring fanfare (which appears as a bonus track on this CD) called "Summon the Heroes" for the 1996 Atlanta games and has written a rousing piece that premiered as the official theme of the 2002 Winter Olympics. "Call of the Champions" opens the album on a gloriously rich and rewarding note. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir erupts with the call of "Citius, Altius, Fortius," only to be followed by full-blown orchestral fireworks. All the pieces on this CD feature blasts of trumpets, bombastic horns, and stirring string passages. These works go a long way in explaining why Williams appeals to both film score enthusiasts and the classical music crowd -- he can hit your gut and your intellect within the same composition. Along with the two Olympic pieces, another highlight is the premiere recording of the title work, "American Journey," a six-movement suite composed to accompany Steven Spielberg's turn-of-the-millennium tribute film. Divorced from the images and words it was written to accompany, the music still captures the power and depth of feeling evident in the American century. Rounded out with premier recordings of several shorter pieces, this album makes for a joyous celebration of the American spirit -- and a quintessentially American composer.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/15/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998936423
catalogNumber:
89364

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American Journey 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The beautifully composed music from the 2002 Olympics is breathe taking. Don't let some of the titles you fool you. Each song brings you deeper into the Olympics. For those who can't cross thousands of miles to watch their country win at every sport and to hear the Star-Spangled Banner play. This will do for every American spectator. Anyone who has the love for music will cherish this CD.