Soundtrack Review: LINCOLN (John Williams)

lincolnCDMusic composed by John Williams
Label: Sony Classical
Catalog: SK544685
Release Date: November 6, 2012
Rating: ****

As usual John Williams asks you to close your head eyes, open your mind eyes and join him in the journey whilst he paves and paints the way with majestical colours. Taking a look at Daniel Day-Lewis pictures as President Lincoln is quite touching and is somewhat as if one were looking at the man himself, since Day-Lewis is prone to immersing completely into the characters, going as far as becoming them.

What the John Williams fans are going to find on Abraham Lincoln OST is a very gloomy and misty atmosphere mixed with moments of sunny and western pace, such as the Bonanza-alike “The Race to the House” or as if there was a hovering alien spacecraft, like on the last portion of “The Southern Delegation and the Dream”. “Appomattox – April 9, 1865” is an allusion to Lincoln’s death, the whole piece is full of ghostly imagery that would easily fit a Jack the Ripper or Edgar Allan Poe tale-based film.

Perhaps some more political oriented songs were missed from the whole bulk, since the main shift paradigm is sadness and frantic war-chants but, at the same time, knowing John Williams is coming to terms that he goes to the core of emotions and expanding them to make the most elaborate dramatic pieces à la baroque.

If there is one thing John Williams know far more than the other living film composers is how to use strings. His strings always go strikingly straight to the most compelling emotion and electrify it or numbs it away, so it fades in order to show that something is vanishing right in front of you, but you might be missing because you are not paying enough attention.

One of the oddest moments was making the connection between the leitmotif and “Father & Son” by Peter Gabriel, clearly heard at the last seconds of “Appomattox – April 9, 1865”. Williams probably never intended to make it sound like the former Genesis singer song, but it sounds pretty much like it and that is odd enough.

The conclusion is that after listening to the score a few times it actually grows in you and it is quite easy to set the landscape and imagine Day-Lewis’ Lincoln strolling around or sadly gazing down..

Track Listing:

  1. The People’s House
  2. The Purpose Of The Amendment
  3. Getting Out The Vote
  4. The American Process
  5. The Blue And Grey
  6. “With Malice Toward None”
  7. Call To Muster And Battle Cry Of Freedom
  8. The Southern Delegation And The Dream
  9. Father And Son
  10. The Race To The House
  11. Equality Under The Law
  12. Freedom’s Call
  13. Elegy
  14. Remembering Willie
  15. Appomattox – April 9, 1865
  16. The Peterson House And Finale
  17. “With Malice Toward None” (Piano Solo)

Total Time: 58:53

Atila Almeida

2 thoughts on “Soundtrack Review: LINCOLN (John Williams)



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