The creative collaborative partnership of film maker Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams has endured for many years, together they have worked on no less than 27 movies. This amazingly fruitful partnership began with THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS back in 1974 and has continued through the 70,s the 80,s and up to 2016 with the latest offering THE BFG which is soon to hit cinema screens in the UK. The Spielberg/Williams collaboration can be likened to other director and composer partnerships such as Attenborough and Fenton, Leone and Morricone,Howard and Horner and Hitchcock and Herrmann. The directors thoughts and ideas being transformed to images on screen and then given greater depth and atmosphere by the composers in question with their musical scores. THE BFG is no exception to any of the films that Williams and Spielberg have worked on together, as always the movie itself is excellent and it is aided greatly by John Williams musical prowess and inventiveness. I will say however that maybe the music for THE BFG is not that original as in you can tell right from the offset that this is going to be another wonderfully thematic listen from the pen of a master music-smith. The CD opens with THE OVERTURE which is a relatively short cue running for just under two minutes. Flyaway flutes are ushered in by delicate sounding harp which then give way to a lusciously rich sounding theme performed by the string section in a way that can only be written by Mr Williams. Track number two THE WITCHING HOUR, begins with a slightly more apprehensive atmosphere which is relayed by piano underlined and supported by strings and woodwind, it moves into a slower and solitary sounding piece that is scattered with little comedic nuances performed on oboe that is enhanced by woods and a light dusting of harp here and there, its like the theme is just waiting to erupt or turn into something grander at any moment, instead the composer gives us a subdued and rather lilting piano theme for a while and as this develops the strings and woods are in the background causing little stirs of activity, eventually the cu changes direction and becomes more and more threatening, gaining tempo with the composer adding percussion and brass to the proceedings that are themselves underlined by strings which begin to fly but soon are quelled as the cue reaches its conclusion. I may be mistaken but in the opening section of the track I am certain I heard a rather more down tempo and delicate arrangement of Williams theme from THE FURY and this is repeated within other cues as the score progress’s.
Track number four DREAM COUNTRY is a delight, Williams at his melodic best providing us with one of those low key but at the same time hauntingly beautiful themes that he does so well as in STAR WARS, SCHINDLERS LIST and MUNICH etc. It begins very slowly but soon develops with the strings being bolstered by woodwind, shimmering sounds from the percussion and eventually luxuriously rich strings that melt the emotions of any listener. There is similarities here between CLOSE ENCOUNTERS when Williams brings into the equation flyaway fast flutes that are underlined by jaunty strings. With track number five, SOPHIES NIGHTMARE the score returns to a more urgent and apprehensive mood, strings again but this time setting the pace for a highly charged piece that includes more from the woods and brass as they join with percussion to create a track that is filled with tension and fearfulness. This is as one might expect a soundtrack certainly worth having, maybe not a classic but indeed one that will be listened to and returned to many times. Recommended.