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Composed, Co-Conducted, and Produced by:

Co-Conducted by:
Duain Wolfe

Performed by:
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
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Sony Classical
(November 6th, 2012)
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Regular U.S. release.
Nominated for a Golden Globe, a Grammy Award, and an Academy Award.
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Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if the nostalgia factor of hearing John Williams craft yet another masterful Americana score is worth every moment of this highly restrained, respectful expression of instrumental finesse.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear, outside of a few traditional arrangements, any strikingly new material that does not resemble the melodies and orchestrations of several prior Williams' works for this genre.
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WRITTEN 11/10/12
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Lincoln: (John Williams) When director Steven Spielberg learned in 1999 that historian Doris Kearns Goodwin was planning to write a biography entitled "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln," he immediately sought to purchase the filming rights to the concept through DreamWorks. In the subsequent decade, the script for Spielberg's Lincoln underwent a tremendous number of rearrangements by several writers; the life the great American president was so expansive in scope that the writers had extreme difficulty narrowing its focus to Spielberg's liking. In its final form, Lincoln concentrates on only the President's final months, and specifically those that dealt with his preoccupation with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution abolishing slavery. While the 2012 film has all the makings of one of Spielberg's standard biographical pictures, Lincoln has, in its abundance of critical praise, been described more as a political thriller than a typical "biopic." Compensating for a lack of overt Spielberg cinematic flair is a plethora of tense interpersonal interactions depicting Lincoln's struggles with other powerful political players of the era. A tender secondary line of action dedicated to the man's family is closer to the focus of the director's previous works, though there are undoubtedly comparisons to Amistad that will be made by hardcore movie enthusiasts. Although the studio was initially hesitant about affording Spielberg the money to simply reprise a fiscal dud of the likes of Amistad, the politically poignant concentration of the Lincoln story, as well as Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field's performances, promised an upside that includes possibly significant awards consideration for the project. Among the aspects of the film sure to gain a few nominations is John Williams' score. The maestro came out of several years of retirement for Spielberg's trio of 2011 and 2012 films, proving in these three assignments his continued ability to unquestionably outclass his younger peers in the industry even as he enters his 80's.

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Average: 3.48 Stars
***** 163 5 Stars
**** 151 4 Stars
*** 113 3 Stars
** 73 2 Stars
* 65 1 Stars
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A tribute to Copland
Chris Marhcetti - November 17, 2013, at 11:05 a.m.
1 comment  (528 views)
That opening tune
RW - January 31, 2013, at 4:51 p.m.
1 comment  (946 views)
Alternative review at
Southall - December 9, 2012, at 11:43 a.m.
1 comment  (705 views)
Where are the rhythms and beats?   Expand >>
bubbabgone - November 25, 2012, at 5:08 p.m.
10 comments  (1949 views)
Newest: March 4, 2013, at 8:23 Dawson A
Roman.-) - November 12, 2012, at 6:33 a.m.
1 comment  (808 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 58:46
• 1. The People's House (3:41)
• 2. The Purpose of the Amendment (3:06)
• 3. Getting Out the Vote (2:48)
• 4. The American Process (3:56)
• 5. The Blue and Grey (2:59)
• 6. "With Malice Toward None" (1:50)
• 7. Call to Muster and Battle Cry of Freedom (2:17)
• 8. The Southern Delegation and the Dream (4:43)
• 9. Father and Son (1:42)
• 10. The Race to the House (traditional) (2:41)
• 11. Equality Under the Law (3:11)
• 12. Freedom's Call (6:06)
• 13. Elegy (2:34)
• 14. Remembering Willie (1:51)
• 15. Appomattox, April 9, 1865 (2:36)
• 16. The Peterson House and Finale (11:00)
• 17. "With Malice Toward None" (Piano Solo) (1:31)

Notes Icon
The insert includes a list of performers and the following note from Spielberg about the score and film:

    "Lincoln is a milestone for John and me. This is our 40th anniversary making movies and music and we are celebrating by way of a subject that has fascinated both of us separately for most of our lives. Trying to acquit a story of our greatest President at the bloody crossroads of abolishing slavery and reunification of a nation torn in two by four years of Civil War caused both of us to proceed with the utmost restraint.

    My lens and John's orchestrations linger in quiet support of a man, who articulated more powerfully than any other American President and as beautifully as any of our greatest writers what America is, what it means, why it had to go through the crucible of the war. He guided our country through its worst crisis and, more than any other single person, helped the United States survive. In doing so, he helped the idea of democracy as a viable political system survive. He combined vision and practicality more succesfully than any other political leader we know of and kept these in a kind of near-perfect balance. He had faith in the people and in the democratic process and he helped prove that faith well founded.

    John and I were here to guide and support this story, but not to make our own voices heard above his. I am so honored not only to have been able to tell a story of Abraham Lincoln but to have had this story coincide with a landmark anniversary of the best creative collaboration of my whole career."

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The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Lincoln are Copyright © 2012, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/10/12 (and not updated significantly since).
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