To say that John Williams is the dean of old school film scoring is no understatement. At 80 years old and primarily working with his now 40 year collaborator Steven Spielberg, he shows no sign of slowing down or losing his dramatic and considerable melodic gifts.
Recorded out of reverence to Lincoln’s home state, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the score supplies masterful and majestic accompaniment to the harsh realities surrounding the last four months of his life. While Williams has explored this Americana territory before with The Reivers, Saving Private Ryan, Amistad, and The Patriot, the effect here is more hymn-like and subtle. This restraint and certain stream lined sparseness and reliance on gentle simplicity does not, however, dilute the musical expression of the score but actually strengthens and focuses it. Williams says, perhaps, more emotionally with reduced forces than with a complete symphonic ensemble blowing full steam ahead with brass section blazing through every track.
– Submitted by Jim Fisher, Music Design