Legendary French Horn player talks his distinguished career as studio musician in Hollywood and his many collaborations with John Williams as Principal Horn since 1989, including such film scores as Always, JFK, Jurassic Park, Sleepers, and The Patriot

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Among the many studio musicians who performed in John Williams’s scores, French Horn legend James Thatcher certainly occupies a very special place. The esteemed hornist has performed in many scores composed by the Maestro and has been his first-choice principal horn from 1989 until 2013. James Thatcher performed in many scores by John Williams, including such popular films as Jurassic Park and Home Alone, but also as featured soloist in Always, JFK, Sleepers, Amistad, Rosewood and The Patriot.

James Thatcher is one of the most prolific and revered studio musicians who ever worked for the film recording industry, but also an accomplished and respected classical player, certainly one of the world’s premier French horn players. He had the distinguished honour to have been one of the longest first-chair musicians serving for John Williams and performed in virtually all of his scores recorded in L.A. until 2013.

Jim has also been James Horner's first-choice principal horn for thirty years, playing in such film scores as Field of Dreams, Glory, The Rocketeer, Titanic, Deep Impact and many others.

Jim Thatcher has also worked with an extraordinary list of composers that include Jerry Goldsmith, James Newton Howard, Alan Menken, Randy Newman, John Barry, Maurice Jarre and Alan Silvestri. Jim’s performances can be heard on such films as Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, The Fugitive, Pretty Woman, Back to the Future, Frozen, Total Recall, Glory, Independence Day, Monsters, Inc., Beauty and the Beast, Ice Age, The Polar Express, Toy Story, Cars, Forrest Gump, Night at the Museum, King Kong, and the list goes on and on. He has the impressive record of performing in more than 3,500 film and television scores during his career. In addition to film and television scores, Jim played in many studio recordings and his solo horn work also includes Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Dave Grusin, Harry Connick Jr. and Mel Torme.

In this long, engaging conversation, Jim talks about his life and career as studio musician in Hollywood, his friendship with the great Vince DeRosa, and his many projects with John Williams, including his solo work in films like Always, JFK, Jurassic Park and The Patriot. Jim talks extensively about the challenges and the thrills of being the principal horn for John Williams for many years, but also offers his insightful thoughts about the music itself, the history of the instrument in film, offering memories from his collaborations with James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith. He also talks about his work as a classical musician and his life as a teacher.

 

Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com/2020/10/23/james-thatcher-podcast for more information and to listen to a special tribute montage dedicated to Jim Thatcher

Exclusive video podcast with soundtrack record producer Mike Matessino discussing his restoration work on John Williams's thrilling score for the sci-fi classic directed by Steven Spielberg in 2005

Hosted by Maurizio Caschetto and Tim Burden

Steven Spielberg's big-budget adaptation of the sci-fi classic novel by H.G. Wells War of the Worlds marked the 22nd collaboration between the esteemed director and composer John Williams. The film turned out to be a very unique and perhaps even personal project for the director, who took the opportunity to craft a grim moral tale disguised as an action-packed sci-fi drama.

The movie presented a unique challenge for composer John Williams. The music accompanies the drama with his usual skillfull dramatic sensibility, giving the film's action sequences its necessary propulsive energy, but at the same time avoiding any kind of leeway to conventional scoring. Instead the music enhances the dark, grim tone of the film through violent Herrmann-esque orchestral colors (12 horns, 2 tubas, 5 trombones, 2 sets of timpani playing antiphonally), unstable harmonic language and an overall tone of fragilty and uncertainty. 

The new remastered edition released by soundtrack specialty label Intrada Records has been meticolously restored and produced by Mike Matessino, who worked from the original audio elements to rebuild from scratch the mixes and all the performance edits. The new release is spreaded on two CDs--Disc 1 presents the complete 80-minutes film score with all the cues in chronological order as they appear in the film (including unreleased and extended material), while Disc 2 offers the remastered original soundtrack album, plus a slew of alternate cues that reveal Williams' meticolous creative process for the film.

In this conversation with The Legacy of John Williams, Mike Matessino offers his deep thoughts about how this new release of War of the Worlds came about, how the perception on the film and some of its most controversial aspects changed throughout the years and became even more relevant in today's world, the role of the music within the film and how the new edition was meticolously assembled and produced.

Special Thanks to Mike Matessino and Tim Burden, and to Douglass Fake and Roger Feigelson at Intrada Records

War of the Worlds - Expanded and Remastered 2-CD Edition available for purchase at http://store.intrada.com/s.nl?it=A&id=12263

Visit https://thelegacyofjohnwilliams.com for more information

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