Oscar Nominees 2014, Best Original Score (Part 1 of 6): John Williams’ The Book Thief — 4 Comments

  1. This is excellent food for the brain!! I didn’t know the “Angela’s Ashes” music before and its major-minor tonalities provides a better melody, IMO, than “The Book Thief” from the excerpts you’ve posted here.

    Your first musical example: I was intrigued by the 6/8 time signature. Presumably the opening motif is in G Major and then it shifts to G# Minor? That is a remote relationship and I was intrigued by the ‘false relations’ in bars 10 and 14!! Interesting composing. Obviously a substantial composer, but I doubt the Academy or international press corps would be discerning like yourself!! In the first excerpt from “The Book Thief” I could also hear the influence of Michel Legrand (Thomas Crown Affair)!! That rippling piano ostinato!! And, in the orchestral support, some hints of Philip Glass. (I speak here of “Angela’s Ashes”.) In short, a much more interesting piece. I’ll listen to the rest when my internet speed is adequate, then return with comments.

  2. absolutely gorgeous score by John Williams. Pray tell, who is the amazingly wonderful oboe player on the main theme? Being an oboe player myself, it is hard work it sound this beautiful on such a monster of an instrument! Thanks for the info!

    • According to the liner notes, the principal oboe is played by Jessica Pearlman, so she would be the one on the solos. (The 2nd oboe is played by Lara Wickes.)

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