Sunday 16 August 2020

John Williams’ classic film scores in Dolby Atmos

Hollywood composer John Williams, who celebrated his 88th birthday in February, is known to generations of film fans for his Oscar-winning soundtracks from Jaws to Star Wars. I can't listen to Adventures on Earth (From E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) without breaking down in tears such are the bittersweet memories it evokes - amplified by my late mum's birthday being in the month of August.

Fans (myself included) can enjoy a brand new recording of the maestro's work, performed with gusto by Wiener Philharmoniker and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and conducted by the composer himself, in Dolby Atmos on Amazon Music HD or Blu-ray. Incidentally, Dolby has a storied history with the Star Wars franchise for which Williams' music is synonymous.

3D audio is no stranger to the company, says Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon. “As the label that was founded by the inventor of the Gramophone, Deutsche Grammophon has always embraced technological innovation. Building on the long tradition of our engineers, who produced multi-track and quadraphonic recordings in the 1970s and 1980s, Deutsche Grammophon was the first label to create Dolby Atmos mixes of entire symphony cycles starting in 2017. There are so many wonderful details and spatial effects in classical music that are lost in the standard stereo mix, but which are brought to life through the Dolby Atmos technology, adding another dimension to the listening experience. The ‘John Williams in Vienna’ album is a perfect showcase for that: the world’s most renowned film music composer with one of the top orchestras in the fabled acoustics of Musikverein.”

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was released in cinemas 40 years ago and the Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme) received top treatment. “It was honestly one of the best presentations of that March I’ve ever heard,” Williams said of the performance. “They played it as though they owned it.”

“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,” recalls Williams. “I’m delighted that listeners will be able to share that experience through the special technology of Dolby Atmos.”

John Couling, Senior Vice President, Commercial Partnerships, Dolby Laboratories added: “John Williams is undoubtedly one of the greatest film composers of all time and for him to have performed with the world-renowned Wiener Philharmoniker at what many consider the home of classical music is an unmissable spectacle. We’re thrilled to present this once-in-a-lifetime concert in Dolby Atmos for fans around the world, ensuring they can enjoy it as though they are sitting in the best seat in the house, any time they like.”

You can subscribe to Amazon Music HD (affiliate link) or buy the Blu-ray (affiliate link).

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