A to Z Challenge: T (John Williams’ film scores)

*Read John Williams’ biography here

The Terminal
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?

14 comments on “A to Z Challenge: T (John Williams’ film scores)

  1. Giggling Fattie

    April 23, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Ooo wow another one I had no idea! Let’s be honest, I never know the composers for any movies or tv shows haha!

  2. I LOVE that movie! So many cool scenes!

    Tom Hanks collecting baggage carts in order to make money so he could buy a Whopper because he got tired of eating free crackers with ketchup.
    His friends with whom he played “lost and found poker” and enjoyed first class airplane food.

    Generally speaking, Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors.

    The music reminds me of the “catch me if you can” theme. Also a fun movie!


    • I like Tom Hanks as well, and am not sure why I haven’t seen this movie? Will have to see if it is on Netflix…just checked and, nope it’s not =(

  3. An interesting theme. I remember hearing about the movie, but never saw it.

    • It is an interesting theme. It certainly showcases the clarinet and what it can do. But combining with an accordion is unusual!

      And I’ve just realised the reference to the accordion is missing. My website had a “white screen of death” about 12 hours ago and I suspect the backup restore as prt of the fix has lost some things. Hmmm I’ll have to check the rest of the future posts!

      Will go and fix this post now.

  4. I do love the sound and the theme, charming. Tom Hanks is a wonderful actor and Spielberg is just beyond words.

    • With Tom Hanks acting, Steven Spielberg directing and John Williams composing it’s no wonder the film did so well at the box office. A trifecta hit!

  5. Clarinet is okay, but I prefer the oboe 🙂

  6. I have never heard of this movie either. I like the clarinet but not a fan of the tune. Jackie’s Bookbytes Letter T

    • I think I appreciate the tune only because I play myself and know how tricky the piece is! Yay you like the sound of the clarinet =)

  7. Just talking about The Terminal on another blog! Although it’s more contemporary than I usually like, the music is stellar. I personally love the theme of jazz and the role language plays in this film. – Dragons & Spaceships

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