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Composed: 1991

Length: c. 5 minutes

Orchestration: 3 flutes (2nd & 3rd=piccolo), 2 oboes (3rd=English horn), 3 oboes (2nd=E-flat clarinet, 3rd=bass clarinet), 3 bassoons (3rd=contrabassoon), 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (suspended cymbals, crash cymbals, 2 glockenspiels, vibraphone, bass drum, chimes, snare drum, sizzle cymbal, bell tree, triangle), harp, piano/celesta, and strings

First Los Angeles Philharmonic performance: September 8, 1995, the composer conducting

About this Piece

Steven Spielberg’s first three films of the 1990s could not have been more diverse, further inspiring the composer. In 1991’s Hook, conceived initially as an elaborate song-and-dance movie musical (with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, only three of which survived the final cut), John Williams created a score to accompany the onscreen frolicking of another famous Williams, Robin, in the role of a grownup Peter Pan, fighting the nasty villain of his youth. The sheer joy of “The Flight to Neverland”with its atmospheric opening winds, harp, and strings yielding to a soaring figure for the brasssets the proper mood of anticipation as the three Darling children fly from their nursery window on a chilly London night. —Notes from the Philharmonic’s archive