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Munich [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
     

Munich [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

5.0 5
 
For the score of Munich, which tells the true story of the Israeli athletes massacred at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists, Steven Spielberg tapped longtime collaborator John Williams. From the outset, Williams summons a forlorn mood, nesting the haunting, wordless vocals of Lisbeth Scott in a bed of moaning strings on the ominous opening

Overview

For the score of Munich, which tells the true story of the Israeli athletes massacred at the 1972 Munich Olympics by Palestinian terrorists, Steven Spielberg tapped longtime collaborator John Williams. From the outset, Williams summons a forlorn mood, nesting the haunting, wordless vocals of Lisbeth Scott in a bed of moaning strings on the ominous opening track, "Munich, 1972," and the equally atmospheric "Remembering Munich," reminiscent of a Kaddish (the Jewish prayer of mourning). At the heart of this thriller is the quest by a team of Israeli secret service agents, led by Avner (Eric Bana), to find and assassinate the terrorists. As such, Williams masterfully hits all the right notes -- subtle timpani and cello arrangements heighten the escalation of the pulse-racing "Letter Bombs," while a Hungarian zither intensifies the foreboding of "Stalking Carl." And even as the score is suffused with an appropriately heavy mood, Williams offers a glimmer of light via the melancholy string arrangements of "A Prayer for Peace" and the unbowed resolve underlying his strings-rich rendition of the Israeli national anthem, "Hatikvah" (The Hope). Williams's compassionate and character-driven score lies at the heart of this controversial film, another fine byproduct of his winning partnership with Spielberg.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
In his brief liner notes (really more of an appreciation), director Steven Spielberg points out that composer John Williams' score for Munich, Spielberg's film about Israeli attempts to track down and kill the Palestinians responsible for the massacre of Israel's 1972 Olympic team, is his fourth score of 2005, following Star Wars: Episode Three -- Revenge of the Sith, Spielberg's own War of the Worlds, and Memoirs of a Geisha. That's not a bad output for a man who also celebrated his 73rd birthday during the year. Pointing to the very different sorts of film the four titles represent, Spielberg calls Williams "a master of disguise," a composer able to serve the different needs of such varying subjects. Every film composer must have something of that versatility, though in fact Williams may have it less than most, as he is the closest thing to a traditional Hollywood composer still active. With Munich, he is put in an area that is very familiar to him, since the film is set in Europe, allowing him to draw upon his familiarity with and affection for European classical music. He employs a large orchestra, and for the most part he has written a conservative score for it to play. The one aspect of the project that is unusual is the film's darkness, beginning with the massacre and then following the increasingly problematic actions of those assigned to exact revenge. This does not allow for the kind of stirring, swashbuckling themes of a Star Wars movie. Rather, it involves minor keys, lots of low tones (no less than eight basses are used), and plenty of slow tempos. To make this tolerable, onscreen and on disc, Williams alternates the passages of dread with more romantic (but still sad) ones. Thus, the throbbing, percussive "Letter Bombs" is followed by "A Prayer for Peace," and other lyrical cues such as "Avner and Daphna" and "Avner's Theme" (the latter a solo for classical guitar) are interspersed with more jarring titles like "The Tarmac at Munich" and "Stalking Carl." But this remains a very dark score to accompany a dark film.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/27/2005
Label:
Decca
UPC:
0602498791424
catalogNumber:
000609302

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Williams [composer]   Conductor
Sue Raney   Bass
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Richard Todd   Horn
Richard Altenbach   Violin
William Booth   Trombone
Gloria Cheng   Piano
Brian Dembow   Viola
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Alan Estes   Percussion
Pedro Eustache   Woodwind
Mike Fisher   Percussion
Steve Gordon   Viola
Endre Granat   Violin
Alan Grunfeld   Violin
Clayton Haslop   Violin
Roland Kato   Viola
Randy Kerber   Piano
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
Janet Lakatos   Viola
Dimitrie Leivici   Violin
Rene Mandel   Violin
Edward Meares   Bass
Bruce Morgenthaler   Bass
Helen Nightengale   Violin
Simon Oswell   Viola
Dean Parks   Guitar
Katia Popov   Violin
Anatoly Rosinsky   Violin
Chet Swiatkowski   Piano
George Thatcher   Trombone
Doug Tornquist   Tuba
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Miwako Watanabe   Violin
Roger Wilkie   Violin,Concert Master
Ken Yerke   Violin
Andrew Shulman   Cello
John Walz   Cello
Donald Williams   Timpani
Drew Dembowski   Bass
Susan Ranney   Bass
Lisa Sutton   Violin
Jeanne Evans   Violin
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach   Trombone
Gary Bovyer   Clarinet
Christian Kollgaard   Bass
Timothy Landauer   Cello
Rafael Rishik   Violin
Lisbeth Scott   Vocals
Bing Wang   Violin
Nico Abondolo   Bass
Shawn Mann   Viola
Darrin McCann   Viola
Antony Cooke   Cello
David Parmeter   Bass
Keith Greene   Viola
Robert Berg   Viola
Irina Voloshina   Violin
Eun Mee Ahn   Violin
Roberto Cani   Violin
Adam del Monte   Guitar
Oscar Hidalgo   Bass
Sarah Thornblade   Violin
Ralph Williams   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Jerry Williams   Percussion
John Williams & the Tick Tocks   Conductor
John MacArthur Ellis   Oboe
Eric J. Hosler   Violin
Gregory Goodall   Percussion
Ana Landauer   Violin
Andrew Malloy   Trombone
Joshua Ranz   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Steve L. Roberts   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Radu Pieptea   Violin
Armen Ksajikian   Cello
Thomas Diener   Viola
Kenneth Yerke   Violin
Mike Fisher   Percussion
Michael Nowak   Viola
David Duke   Horn
Steve Roberts   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Tomas Raney   Percussion
James Thatcher   Horn
Phillip Levy   Violin
Marlow Fisher   Viola
Paul Cohen   Cello
Chris Ermacoff   Cello
John Ellis   Oboe
Steven Becknell   Horn
Tamara Hatwan   Violin
Jo Ann Turovsky   Harp
David H. Speltz   Cello
Sarah Parkins   Violin
Kevin Connolly   Violin

Technical Credits

John Williams [composer]   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Shawn Murphy   Engineering
Steven Spielberg   Liner Notes
John Williams & the Tick Tocks   Producer
Sheryl Gold   Music Business Affairs
Philip Cohen   Music Business Affairs
Chris Roberts   Contributor

Customer Reviews

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This Rocks! Avner Rocks, Munich ROCKS!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In a very storied career, 2005 may be his finest. Star wars, geisha, war of the worlds and munich. Anyone would be happy to have one on their resume. JW is in my humble opinion the greatest film composer ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Munich" features some of the best film music of the year.The score is powerful, intense,and quite haunting.It is brilliantly performed by the LA Recording Arts Orchestra under the master's superb baton.This is his best work since "Saving Private Ryan".
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Williams has done it again. He combines Schindler's List, Amistad and Saving Private Ryan. It is also a wonderful movie, too. Please enjoy Lisabeth Scott for her wonderful vocals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic piece of music! I really enjoy hearing Lisbeth Scott's vocals and the other soloists such as Steve Erdody on cello. And I look forward to hearing the Boston Pops String Sections play "Hatikvah" or "A Prayer for Peace" at Tanglewood this summer. This score is very emotional because of its intensity in the slow, somber pieces of music. The scherzo's in 7/8 time or the dissonant sounds also have intensity/build up, but really only fill in the mood of certain scenes in the film, as Williams does perfectly always! It must have been a great experience for the LA Recording Arts Orchestra to play this music for a great composer.