Given that John Williams has his pick of much of the $80-million, thrill-packed boilerplate that comes clanging out of Hollywood every summer and fall, it's especially noteworthy (and often gratifying) when he doesn't exercise his option. In scoring Alan Parker's adaptation of Frank McCourt's Pulitzer-winning memoirs of his dire Irish upbringing in the 1930s and '40s, Williams has produced a graceful, autumnal work of compelling, though decidedly delicate, emotional power. Using spare piano and solo woodwind melodies filled with longing eloquence, Williams effectively punctuates a sweeping, largely string and wind ensemble. As he did to great effect in The Phantom Menace, the veteran leans heavily on his classical moonlighting duties for inspiration. Interspersed throughout (and also effectively underscored by his music) are concise, telling excerpts of the film's narration read by Alan Bennett.
The film, an adaptation of Frank McCourt's best-selling memoir, tells the tragic yet hopeful story of a boy growing up poor in Limerick, Ireland.
The music on this recital was specifically written or arranged for duo violinists Angela and Jennifer Chun. It highlights the personal and professional connections between Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, a longtime colleague and admirer of Glass's work. Glass's miniaturist works, Mad Rush and In the Summer House, create a maximum effect when paired with Muhly's minimalist Four Studies and Honest Music.
Spreading from the Ashes is a compilation album by the Los Angeles psychedelic rock band, The Peanut Butter Conspiracy (PBC). In total, there are 26 tracks composed of early work when the band was known as The Ashes, and their beginnings as The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.
Formed in Santa Monica as The Young Swingers, bassist Alan Brackett, singer/guitarist Jim Cherniss, drummer Spencer Dryden, singer/guitarist John Merrill and singer Barbara Robinson began playing local clubs and released two, now obscure, singles in 1965. By 1966 the band had opted on a name change to the Ashes, along with a change in personnel – original bassist Cherniss dropping out, while drummer Dryden quit in order to join The Jefferson Airplane. The band continued on, signing a contract with Vault Records that saw them release two unsuccessful 45s and within a couple of months Brackett and Merrill had abandoned the project, instead forming The Peanut Butter Conspiracy…
Up from the Ashes is a 1990 hard rock album by Don Dokken, best known as the lead singer of Dokken. The sound of the album was similar to Dokken's work with his former band. The album did not reach the commercial success achieved by Dokken, but it did reach the Top 50 on the Billboard 200 album chart in the US.