I have to say, I quite enjoy a lot of John Williams’ soundtracks. When the initial Harry Potter films and the Star Wars prequels came out, I rather poo-pooed his music, as it didn’t seem to really contribute much to the films and what was going on–it was more background noise than anything (However, if you think about the movies that said music was for, then perhaps it is excusable to have written background-noise music for background-noise movies).
At any rate, I’ve been listening to his music again recently, and have enjoyed a fair amount of it. It was rather interesting to listen to the Harry Potter soundtracks in order. In the first one only the main theme is listenable, the second one has a little more music that is good (Phawkes’ theme), and the third has a fair amount of music that I enjoy.
Here are some of my favorites from John Williams:
- Star Wars – Throne Room, Empire March, Asteroid field, Yoda’s Death, Luke and Vader fight
- Hook – Main theme, “You are the Pan”
- Harry Potter – Phawkes’ theme, Hedwig’s theme, Buckbeak’s flight, A Window to the Past
- Empire of the Sun – Cadillac of the Skies
- The Patriot – Preparing for Battle
- Indiana Jones – Main theme, Grail theme, and “Scherzo for Motorcycle & Orchestra” (mostly because of the title)
- Jurassic Park – Main theme, Dinosaur theme
Some of my other favorite classical soundtracks/composers are:
- Basil Poledouris (Hunt for Red October, Les Miserables, Quigley Down Under)
- James Horner (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, Legends of the Fall, Glory, and… dare I say it? …Titanic)
- Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Da Vinci Code, Batman Begins)
- Jerry Goldsmith (Rudy, The Shadow)
- Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings)
- Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Carribean, Time Machine)
- Patrick Doyle (Henry V, Harry Potter 4)
- Trevor Pinnock (Last of the Mohicans)
- James Newton Howard (Lady in the Water, Signs, The Village, Atlantis)
- Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
- Danny Elfman (Spiderman, Corpse Bride)
Any good ones I’ve missed?