Celebrating one of the most definitive and beloved partnerships in the history of motion pictures, John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection delivers an essential sampling of Williams’s musical scores for Spielberg’s films – a critically acclaimed, award-winning, chart-topping collaboration now in its fifth decade. Comprised of a three-CD set and bonus DVD, John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection is available from Sony Classical on March 17, 2017.
This collection brings together Williams’s two previous discs of his music for Spielberg films, which he recorded with the Boston Pops Orchestra for Sony Classical: The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration (1991) and Williams on Williams: The Classic Spielberg Scores (1995). Those discs include music from Sugarland Express (1974) through Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List (1993).
Bringing the collection up to date is an all-new third disc, recorded in 2016 with Williams conducting the Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles, and with Spielberg as executive producer. It features the first release of brand new recordings of music from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Amistad, The BFG, Lincoln, The Adventures of Tintin, Minority Report, Catch Me If You Can, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse, The Terminal, Munich and Spielberg’s 1999 documentary The Unfinished Journey.
The bonus DVD that accompanies this new three-CD collection presents Steven Spielberg & John Williams: The Adventure Continues, a new documentary by filmmaker and film historian Laurent Bouzereau, who has been documenting Spielberg’s work for more than twenty years.
“I was very happy with the fact that when I was music director of Boston Pops, we were able to record a lot of the music that I’d written for Steven’s films,” Williams said about the first two discs in the collection. “So I said to him, ‘Steven, wouldn’t it be great if we could complete the Sony collection and put in all the things that we didn’t have when the last disc was recorded, this time with our great orchestra here in Los Angeles?’ To which Steven responded, ‘This is a great idea. Let’s do it!'”
When Steven Spielberg made his first theatrical feature The Sugarland Express (1974), he sought John Williams to compose the score. With two exceptions, all of Spielberg’s films have featured a Williams score. In its continuity and its infinite range of style and expression, their partnership is unique, even in light of other such legendary collaborations in film history, including Bernard Herrmann with Alfred Hitchcock, Nino Rota with Federico Fellini, and Ennio Morricone with Sergio Leone.
“Oh, this has been a great adventure,” Spielberg tells Williams at the end of Bouzereau’s film. “This has been a greater adventure than all the Indiana Jones movies put together for me … It’s been an honor for me to work all these years with John and to have his friendship, his partnership, his brotherhood. When we made Sugarland Express, we didn’t realize we’d set our paths to be partners and friends for the rest of our lives.”
In his ongoing career, now in its sixth decade, Williams has won five Academy Awards (three for Spielberg films), seven BAFTA (British Film Academy) awards, four Golden Globes, and twenty-two Grammy Awards for his film scores. His fifty Academy Award nominations, as of 2017, are a record among composers, and he is second only to Walt Disney in holding the most Academy Award nominations by an individual artist. Fifteen of those nominations are for scores from Spielberg films.