The new box contains no fewer than three different Williams recordings of that most popular of all guitar works, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez – from 1964 with the Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1974 with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orchestra, and from 1983 with Frémaux and the Philharmonia Orchestra – plus a performance of its much-loved Adagio in Williams’s celebrated 1993 “Seville Concert”.
During his career John Williams has not only explored the basic classical literature for guitar, he has also expanded it by inspiring, commissioning and arranging music from different cultures and in different styles, thereby transform the instrument's repertoire. To celebrate this outstanding and ongoing recording career Sony Classical has released a 2 CD retrospective entitled John Williams: The Ultimate Guitar Collection.
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning almost six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Home Alone and the first three Harry Potter films…
Great balls of fire! The Towering Inferno (1974) was the biggest success of the Master of Disaster, Irwin Allen, and his last collaboration with the world's most famous film composer, John Williams. Williams had written TV themes and scores for Lost in Space, The Time Tunnel and Land of the Giants, as well as the score for The Poseidon Adventure (1972). The Towering Inferno was both the summa of his work for Allen and a large-scale lead-in for his legendary run on 1970s and early '80s blockbusters for Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. Williams has always had a talent for opening themes and The Towering Inferno features one of his best: the bustling, five-minute "Main Title" accompanies a helicopter flight over San Francisco in soaring, heroic fashion. From there the score encompasses distinct romantic themes—presented symphonically as well as in the "light pop" style of the period—and a wide variety of suspense, chaos and action music as the characters struggle valiantly to stay alive.
Music both old and new, but all of it inspired by the timeless modal harmony of medieval and Mediterranean cultures: this is the subject of John Williams's brilliant guitar disc for Sony, which also features his debut as a composer. The main work is his own "Aeolian Suite" for guitar and chamber orchestra, based on both original and 14th-century tunes (one of which, the "Saltarello," appeared on early-music pioneer David Munrow's disc called Instruments of the Middle Ages). The suite is a lovely piece of writing, deftly composed, and neither tacky nor pretentious. It's paired with an inspired assortment of spiritually related but diverse arrangements and original pieces by Satie, Theodorakis, Domeniconi, and an emotionally intense four-movement work called "Stélé," by Australian composer Phillip Houghton. Naturally, Williams performs each piece expertly, but most important, he makes his instrument sing, and that's just what the music demands. Simply super.