John Williams

" Save me, John fair, you're the only one who can. "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Sabrina of 1995 was a remake of one of the great romantic comedies of its time (starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden), and sadly the remake of Sydney Pollack didn't conjure up the same response as its 1954 partner did. Even more, it was one of Harrison Ford's few financial flops. Luckily the movie did receive several Golden Globe nominations + 2 Academy Award nominations, naturally for its musical score by John Williams and its lead song Moonlight by Sting. I say naturally because almost every John Williams score did receive some kind of acclaim back then, it was almost a given there had to be a spot reserved for John Williams. Because don't forget, Williams' other 1995 score Nixon was equally nominated for best original score.

Now, romantic is one thing, John Williams is another. Williams will not make it as sweet and amorous as any other composer would do it. No, Williams will rather delicately present it, delivered by the typical detailed finesse and the heart struck sophistication. Or how else could you describe the almost slightly dramatic feelings in the "Theme from Sabrina", performed elegantly but also slightly sad by the piano and later astonishingly by the orchestra. It becomes something extra as well when Williams paints it in a scenic picture ("Growing Up in Paris") or in a familiar setting ("Sabrina Comes Home"). The encore is for the expanded concert performance in "Theme from Sabrina".

The songs that are scattered throughout Williams' score are perfect companions too. The nominated song (written by John Williams himself and performed by Sting) has the lounge back jazzy feeling that equals the mood of Williams' sound for the picture, not the least when Williams delivers his own orchestral take on it in "Linus's New Life", immediately pulling away the jazzy approach and inserting an orchestral ravishing feeling instead. The routs of Johnny's jazz period return after that in the long but lovely repertoire "The Party Sequence" and the other song "How Can I remember?" is perhaps even more enchanting, simply for the endearing charm it emits.

In the end Sabrina is one that John Williams fans will appreciate easily, if they just hear how the theme unfolds from a sole piano solo to the real orchestral deal. However, apart from that theme and its many variations and inclusions, there's something missing that the non John Williams fans might not find enough. And in a way, it's true. Sabrina is once again magical and masterful when John Williams unleashes his theme upon us, but besides that it feels and listens like a background score the one will appreciate easier than the other.

Favorite Moment - Theme from Sabrina (1.40 - 2.06)
There's a dramatic yet simply alluring feeling living inside Sabrina's theme and John brings it to life

Track Listing

1. Theme from Sabrina (4.30) Excellent track
2. Moonlight: Sting (5.20)
3. Linus's New Life (2.45)
4. Growing Up in Paris (3.02)
5. (In The) Moonlight * (2.59)
6. Sabrina Remembers / La Vie en Rose (1.42)
7. Sabrina Comes Home (4.14)
8. Nantucket Visit (2.31)
9. The Party Sequence (10.53)
When Joanna Loved Me / The Shadow Of Your Smile / Call Me Irresponsible / Stella By Starlight
10. Sabrina and Linus Date (2.40)
11. How Can I Remember?: Michael Dees (2.50)
12. Sabrina's Return to Paris (2.22)
13. Theme from Sabrina (5.23) Excellent track

* Instrumental version of Moonlight

Total Length: 51.11
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 14 votes - average 4.36/5)

Released by

A&M Records 540456-2 (regular release 1995)

Conducted by

John Williams

Orchestrations by

John Neufeld