- Call of the Champions
- Immigration and Building
- The Country At War
- Popular Entertainment
- Arts and Sports
- Civil Rights and the Women's Movement
- Flight and Technology
- Song for World Peace
- Jubilee 350
- The Mission Theme (Theme for NBC News)
- For New York (Variations on Themes of Leonard Bernstein)
- Sound the Bells!
- Hymn to New England
- Celebrate Discovery
- Summon the Heroes (for Tim Morrison)
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.