Tracks of the week:

  • Jurassic Park, John Williams, arr. Alan Catherall (Movie Brass, Grimethorpe Colliery Band) Spotify
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, John Williams, arr. Ray Farr (Movie Brass, Grimethorpe Colliery Band) Spotify
  • Imperial March, John Williams, arr. Sandy Smith (Black Dyke Plays Greatest Movie Hits, vol. 2, Black Dyke Band) Spotify

Track of the Week is back feeling refreshed after a holiday on and around the Jurassic Coast in East Devon and Dorset. For readers unfamiliar with this region, it comprises a 96-mile stretch of beautiful countryside including two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - or ‘national parks’, if you will. So, accordingly, after the last issue’s homage to modernism in all of its ear-bleeding glory, here’s a trilogy of John Williams pieces.

Now, it can’t have escaped your notice that a lot of Mr. Williams’s compositions are quite well-known these days, and hence you could be forgiven for thinking that there’s not that much of anything interesting that could still be said about them. After all, according to Fedorenko’s 1st Law of Serious Music (™), if it’s popular, it must be rubbish - right? Well, possibly not, as it happens. After all, the composer himself was recently invited to conduct a concert of his own work in the Valhalla of European culture: the Musikverein in Vienna, at which, apparently, the VPO’s brass section specially requested he add the Imperial March on to the end of the programme, thereby demonstrating beyond doubt the kind of musical acumen you need to get into the world’s premier orchestra. In addition, interested parties may wish to consult a series of detailed analyses of why his music sounds so nice that TOTW has recently been enjoying online over at filmmusicnotes.com (e.g. what musical form works best to evoke dinosaurs - why a French overture of course). The stuff sounds good on the outside, but having a look at how it is put together only increases your admiration for it.

Incidentally, outside of his film music work, Williams has also written (among other things) a concerto for Tuba, which isn’t bad either. Brass band compositions one day? You never know...