Film Music: ‘Schindler’s List’

In the dark times
Will there also be singing?
Yes, there will also be singing:
About the dark times.

~ Bertolt Brecht, motto to Svendborg Poems, 1939

Theme from Schindler’s List, Steven Spielberg’s 1993 film of the same name, is one of the most recognized contemporary film scores, particularly the violin solo. The soundtrack won the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music, and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. It also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score. John William’s heart-rending composition followed hot on the heels of Steven Spielberg and Williams’ collaboration on Jurassic Park – but it could not be more different. Following Spielberg’s suggestion, Williams hired the great violinist Itzhak Perlman for the soundtrack. The film’s main theme, played with huge emotional intensity by Perlman, is simple and touching. For Schindler’s List, Williams won his fifth Oscar.

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