A forthcoming release from violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will feature iconic John Williams movie themes, arranged and conducted by the composer himself.
Across the stars, released by Deutsche Grammophon on August 30, is the culmination of the violinist’s admiration for the composer’s music, and the desire to to play it herself. She and the composer were introduced by Mutter’s former husband and friend of Williams the late André Previn nearly a decade ago - it was Previn who encouraged Williams to write for the violinist.
'There is only one John Williams,' said Mutter. 'What he writes is just extraordinary. Every time I go to one of his films and there is a violin or cello, I think, I would like to play that! And now I have his wonderful translations of all these iconic themes.
'These are melodies which touch us so deeply, they just stay with you,' added the violinist. 'That’s the wonderful thing about John’s music – even without the film it has a life of its own.'
The album was made in the Sony Pictures Scoring Stage - where soundtracks including those for The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Singin’ In The Rain, Lawrence of Arabia, E.T. and others were recorded - over five days, with a 70-piece orchestra drawing on many musicians Williams has worked with on past projects.
Themes that the composer has rearranged include motifs from Star Wars - 'Yoda’s Theme' from The Empire Strikes Back, 'Luke and Leia' from Return of the Jedi and the title track 'Across the Stars' from Attack of the Clones - as well as ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ from Harry Potter, the 'The Duel' from The Adventures of Tintin and 'Sayuri’s Theme' from Memoirs of a Geisha. Reflecting on his arrangements to many well-known themes, Williams believes that 'Presented on the violin, they become a different emotional experience'.