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The Terminal (Score) Soundtrack

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, June 15, 2004
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Product Description

SOUNDTRACK THE TERMINAL

Amazon.com

Those who thought the three-decade collaboration between director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams couldn't possibly yield any more musical surprises will find themselves warmly rebuffed here. Based on the true story of an exiled man-without-a-country who made Paris' Orly airport his home, director Steven Spielberg's storytelling liberties have transformed it into an unlikely comic romance between Tom Hanks' mythical Krakhozian refugee Viktor and Catherine Zeta-Jones' Amelia. Williams' captures the wistful tone with an airy, oft-impressionistic score that recalls a winning marriage of Michel Legrand's elegant piano-jazz conceits and Rachel Portman's delicate, introspective pastoralism. Too often underutilized in recent years, Williams' own rich jazz background frequently serves him well here, informing Amelia's love theme with emotional grace and serving as perfect counterpoint to the ethnic inventions carried by Emily Bernstein's soulful clarinet (Williams even gets to concoct a lovably pompous anthem for Viktor's fictional Krakhozia) and the bracing jolts of bright, post-modernist influenced orchestral music that holds it together. -- Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Composer: John Williams, John Williams
  • Audio CD (June 15, 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Decca
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • ASIN: B00029RSSQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,183 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Man, is this a good CD. I'll be more specific. Here are a few of the album's standouts:
Track 1: The Tale of Viktor Navorski -- A sprightly theme played primarily by a clarinetist. It's vaguely European, whimsical, and just hefty enough to immediately become one of Williams's best-ever main themes. Viktor's theme is very prominent across the entire CD, but it never gets old or tiresome.
Track 2: Dinner with Amelia -- This is a long track that begins with some lovely Sabrina-esque accordion music, and then goes into more traditionally symphonic areas before returning to the accordion themes again. This is certainly one of the most romantic pieces Williams has ever written, and is as good as Viktor's theme.
Track 7: Jazz Autographs -- As the title implies, this is a jazzy number, in the mode of cool (i.e., slow) jazz, with some excellent work by a pianist and a bass player.
Track 9: Krakhozia National Anthem and Homesickness -- Williams actually composed a national anthem for the invented European nation Viktor hails from, and it's totally believable, sounding at the same time like every other national anthem you've ever heard AND different enough to have its own identity. A masterful piece of composition.
Those are just the high points. The CD is around an hour long, and it's all very listenable. If the movie is as good, then we are in for a treat.
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By A Customer on June 15, 2004
Format: Audio CD
In the liner notes of the album, Spielberg describes this score as the perfect "feel good" John Williams album and he is absolutely right. A terrific mixture of fun comedic music and romantic jazz. Fans of the clarinet will not be dissapointed with Victor's theme. It always amazes me how John Williams can write the most sophisticated themes and make them memorable. Somehow he has managed to combine two worlds together, the music of Victor's country with a classic American jazz twist. This album blows "Catch Me If You Can" out of the water and I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie now after hearing this score. John Williams fans, you are in for a treat...
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By A Customer on June 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
John Williams is in the prime of his compositional life. His scores are more richly melodic, more sophisticated and more resourceful than they've ever been. He's writing with such maturity and such a clean, seemingly effortless understanding of both the text and the sub-text of a scene. THE TERMINAL score is another fine example. Grandly romantic while intimate, evocative of the Mancini scores of the 60s, Williams' music for THE TERMINAL is sensitive, sophisticated, and warm. "Buckbeak's Flight" in the 'Azkaban' score is rightly restrained, somehow denying Harry the triumph he should otherwise be entitled to. And what a brilliant choice -- acknowledging Harry's tragic inner life at a moment that should be uncluttered and fun. Maybe it's easy for some to say that we've seen the best of John Williams. I think they're wrong. We're in a new golden age.
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Format: Audio CD
I think that the score for this movie once again just goes to prove the great diversity of music which John Williams can write. There really is no dark music in this album. The Viktor Navorski theme is wonderfully eastern European, and the "love" theme is a very heartfelt theme. Some jazz influences are evident as well in the scoring. In addition, this is an album, unlike some, that can be listened to and enjoyed independently of the movie. Fits in great with the movie, but also a great album on its own. OK, so it's not one of John Williams's big brassy exciting adventure scores, but it is still very good music all the same. I really enjoyed it.
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Format: Audio CD
Known for movie scores that are often big, bold, and exciting, John Williams can also be quirky in his compositions as well. So it goes with his score for Spielberg's most recent film THE TERMINAL, a movie that puts a native (Tom Hanks) of the fictional East European nation of Krakozhia at the mercy of Homeland Security bureaucracy at JFK Airport in New York when his country undergoes a coup, and also gives him cause to warm up to a loopy flight attendant (Catherine Zeta Jones).

Using a quirky Bohemian main theme, Williams gives us a glimpse at Hanks' character Viktor Navorski as he becomes a stranger in a strange land. He then switches to a jazz-influenced romantic motif for the scenes of the relationship that develops between Hanks and Zeta-Jones in the uncompleted terminal area of JFK that Hanks has set up for himself. The humorous aspects of the rest of the score underline the elements of social miscues and culture shock that Hanks undergoes.

All in all, this ranks as possibly the quirkiest score in the Williams film music oeuvure, and well worth getting.
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Format: Audio CD
John Williams has done lots of scores, but has mostly got a name with his bombastic or majestic sounding, huge orchestra scores. While those are very good, I find that his precision towards this type of comedy loses no effort. The first track introduces the character of Viktor Navorsky, which has his own theme, a very good one in fact. It is played by solo clarinet and sounds precise, somehow, to the entire movie. Throughout the score we hear accordians, jazz instruments, piano, instruments usually shadowned often throughout his other works. I also find that Track 12, Finding Coins and Learning To Read is a refreshing break from Williams' sterotype, it's a gentle and feel-good track played by harps and piano with the main theme drizzling through. I never knew Williams had it in him.
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