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Marches Madness: Spielberg's Symphonist

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's Marches Madness! Throughout this month, we're posting some of our favorite marches — from the concert hall, opera stage and parade ground. Got one we should hear? Played any yourself? Let us know in the comments section.

Hitchcock and Herrmann, Eisenstein and Prokofiev, Lynch and Badalamenti. Some of the finest filmmakers owe as much (or more) to their composing partners as they do to screenwriters.

Such is the case with the most productive director/musician team of the last half-century. Steven Spielberg couldn't have captured the popular imagination the way he has without the former Johnny Williams, whose swingin' theme opened the mid-'60s TV show Lost in Space.

Williams' scores for Star Wars, Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark, among others, have the sweep and glamour of old Hollywood but rarely feel reactionary. It's as if he helped filmgoers weaned on TV to understand what their parents accepted as fact, that movies — whether set on a Death Star or a fishing boat — are supposed to be bigger than life.

In the clip here, Spielberg himself introduces a favorite Williams march during a tribute to the composer, who was then celebrating a decade as music director of the Boston Pops. The year? 1990. The music? From 1941.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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