John Williams' iconic movie themes get Dolby Atmos treatment

Movie music with added Atmos

by Andy Bassett
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John Williams' iconic movie themes get Dolby Atmos treatment

Legendary film composer John Williams has his recent Live in Vienna concert released in Dolby Atmos.

Dolby Labs and classical music record label Deutsche Grammophon have collaborated on a special Dolby Atmos release of the John Williams Live in Vienna concert recording.

Available in a number of formats, including CD and vinyl, the special Dolby Atmos versions of William’s iconic movie cues are accessible via the Blu-ray release of the concert and also by using an Amazon Music HD music streaming service subscription and Amazon Echo Studio speaker.

Recorded and mixed in Dolby Atmos by Bernhard Güttler, the surround sound format sees each instrument (or group of instruments) treated as separate objects which can be placed precisely in a 360° sound field. In this way the extra depth and detail in the recording can be exposed and the orchestral experience authentically recreated. 

The concert was performed by the Wiener Philharmoniker and took place on the 18th and 19th of January 2020 at the world-renowned Vienna Musikverein. It saw Williams conducting on European soil for the first time and he was also joined on stage by globally renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter for performances of classic Williams’ themes that had been specially adapted for her. 

John Williams commented: “Performing at such a prestigious venue as the Musikverein with the magnificent Wiener Philharmoniker and the incomparable Anne-Sophie Mutter was a very great privilege indeed.  I’m delighted that listeners will be able to share that experience through the special technology of Dolby Atmos.”

© Terry Linke / Deutsche Grammophon

John Williams is of course arguably without peer when it comes to writing music for film and his accompaniments have added emotional heft to some of cinema’s biggest blockbusters as well as smaller scale more intimate movies such as Angela’s Ashes and The Book Thief.

In a composing career that started in the late 50s he has won many awards including five Oscars, five Emmys, four Golden Globes and twenty-five Grammys.

The Tracklist for the Blu-ray is as follows:

  1. Flight to Neverland from Hook
  2. Excerpts from Close Encounters of The Third Kind
  3. Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  4. Theme from Sabrina (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  5. Donnybrook Fair from Far and Away (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  6. Devil’s Dance from The Witches of Eastwick (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  7. Adventures on Earth from E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  8. Theme from Jurassic Park
  9. Dartmoor, 1912 from War Horse
  10. Out to Sea and the Shark Cage Fugue from Jaws
  11. Marion’s Theme from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark
  12. The Rebellion is Reborn from Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  13. Luke & Leia from “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  14. Main Title from Star Wars: A new Hope”
  15. Nice to be Around from “Cinderella Liberty (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  16. The Duel from The Adventures of Tintin (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  17. Remembrances from Schindler’s List (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  18. The Raiders March from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark (with Anne-Sophie Mutter)
  19. The Imperial March from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back”
  20. [BONUS] John Williams and Anne-Sophie Mutter in conversation

Following on from Hans Zimmer’s Live In Prague concert set which was also given the Dolby Atmos treatment, it seems that orchestral based music is a genre where producers and creators feel the 3D surround sound format can really be used to create a thoroughly immersive listening experience. If you’ve managed to listen to John Williams Live in Vienna through your home cinema setup using the Blu-ray or via the Amazon Studio Echo speaker, why not let everyone know what you thought of the experience in the discussion thread?

Source: Press release

Image Source: © Terry Linke / Deutsche Grammophon

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