*Read John Williams’ biography here
This was another movie directed by Steven Spielberg. Released in 2004 it stars Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Inspired by a true event, the movie is about an Eastern European man who becomes suck in a JFK airport terminal in New York because he is denied entry into the US. Because of a military coup in his native country he can’t return home.
There are two instruments which feature in this theme and I want to talk about both. The first mostly because it is so unusual to hear in something so professional…an accordion! I think it works really well hear, but I guess when you have a professional playing and someone as skilled composing it is no surprise it works.
The theme features a clarinet solo which I absolutely love. Emily Bernstein played the solo for the score and she does a brilliant job. As a clarinetist myself I admire the skill with which she plays. The piece covers nearly the full range of the clarinet, which is over 3 octaves for the musical amongst us. The lowest note in the piece is low F# and the highest is high G (not an easy note to play, let alone play it nicely). The clarinet has such a beautiful, mellow sound and is used in the movie as the theme for Tom Hank’s character.
Interestingly, Steven Spielberg (who was a clarinetist himself) insisted that Emily Bernstein’s name appear in the end credits. This is very unusual because usually individual musicians performing in studio orchestras remain anonymous
What do you think of the piece? And do you love the sound of the clarinet as much as I do?