Monday, May 30, 2011

Saving Private Ryan Soundtrack, John Williams Talks about Scoring Ryan, and “The Letter to Mrs. Bixby”

Saving Private Ryan Soundtrack composed by John Williams, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Somber music for a somber movie.

John Williams is God’s gift to the movies.

When Aaron Copland (1900-1990) composed music for a movie, he would not only write stunning music, but lots of it, so that a picture like The Red Pony might contain over a solid hour of music, very little of it repeat themes. He took twice as long writing a score as the typical composer, and he demanded and got a much higher fee—and he earned every bit of it. The opening theme alone to The Red Pony is so stunning that when I saw the picture for first time last summer with my then 10-year-old son, and the opening credits cited Copland, my son said, without prompting, “Thank you, Aaron.”

Although there is a fair amount of repetition in this score, it still blows me away how many great individual themes John Williams wrote for one picture, and how powerful they are, not just the requiem. We Stix men feel the same way about seeing John Williams’ name in the credits as we do about Aaron Copland.

With profound thanks to Jerry033, for his yeoman work.

“Hymn to the Fallen”

Thanks to generalkenji and Jonathan Maxfield.

“Revisiting Normandy”


“Omaha Beach”


“Finding Private Ryan”


“Approaching the Enemy”


“Defense Preparations”


“Wade's Death”


“High School Teacher”


Edith Piaf: “Tu Es Partou”


English Translation:

We loved each other tenderly,
Like we loved all lovers,
Then one day you left me,
Ever since I've been desperate,
I see you everywhere in the sky,
I see you everywhere on the earth,
You are my joy and my sun,
My nights, my days, my clear dawns.


You are everywhere, because you are in my heart,
You are everywhere, because you are my happiness,
Everything that is around me,
Even life does not represent you,
Sometimes I dream that I am in your arms,
And you speak softly in my ear,
You tell me things that make me close my eyes,
And I find that marvelous.

Maybe one day you will return,
I know that my heart waits for you,
You cannot forget,
The past days we spent together,
My eyes never stop searching for you,
Listen well, my heart calls you,
We can love each other again,
And you’ll see life would be beautiful.


“The Last Battle”


“Hymn to the Fallen” (Reprise)

Thanks to generalkenji and Jonathan Maxfield.

John Williams Talks about Scoring Saving Private Ryan

Thanks to farma2006.

“The Letter to Mrs. Bixby,” Featuring Harve Presnell

Long before the late Harve Presnell (1933-2009) was a big, bald, old character actor who played commanding SOBs in movies like Fargo and Saving Private Ryan, he was a blandly handsome, young musical performer with a full head of blonde hair, and a golden pair of pipes. Unfortunately for him, he hit Hollywood as the movie musical was in its death throes. But he was a trouper, and so he did every sort of musical work that was still available, as a replacement performer in Broadway shows, and in touring companies, and eventually worked his way back into pictures as a straight dramatic actor. He died of pancreatic cancer two years ago, at the age of 75.

Thanks to TopMovieScenes.

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