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Orchestration: 3 flutes (3rd = piccolo), 2 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets (3rd = bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd = contrabassoon), 4 horns, 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, vibraphone, harp, piano ( = celesta), strings, and solo cello
The novel Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt, a memoir of the author’s early years in Limerick, Ireland, won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize and has quickly become an international literary phenomenon. Williams’ choosing to score the 1999 film adaptation was, for director Alan Parker, “akin to winning the lottery,” so honored was he to be working with the composer. These two pieces featuring solo cello hearken back to Williams’ moving Schindler’s List score, as well as earlier, lesser known gems such as Stanley & Iris and The River.
— Christopher Anderson-Bazzoli is the L.A. Philharmonic Publications Assistant, an Emmy-nominated composer, and editor/music copyist of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s LA Variations, among other works.