In John Williams week of #Johnuary we are now at 1993. This was a big year for Williams as he scored both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. He won an oscar for the latter and so Jurassic Park often gets a little forgotten about by some people as more critical focus was put on Schindler’s List. Despite this, Jurassic Park is considered one of William’s best and most complete scores. It contains examples of pretty much all of his musical styles used up until that point and also brings in some new treatments including some synth work and some interesting instruments such as a shakuhachi and a piccolo oboe.
The soundtrack has three main themes. The main Jurassic Park theme, the island theme and a ‘panic theme’ used mostly for dinosaur attacks.
The main theme is widely regarded as one of Williams’ best scores. It’s a beautiful piece of music focussing mostly on strings. I absolutely love this track. The main bit kicks in at 0:49 in the track below.
The ‘park theme’ is superb as well and is possibly the one that more people will recognise. This is the brass filled fanfare when they arrive in the park. This can be heard at 1:25 of ‘Journey to the Island’ as well in the end credits and several other places. In fact it can also be heard after the main theme in Welcome to Jurassic Park. The first line of this theme is exactly what you’d expect from a triumphant fanfare like this, but then the notes in the second line kind of catch you off guard slightly, and I really like that. Gives it more depth. I seem to remember that this is the theme you hear most on the Jurassic Park ride at Disney.
To be honest I get a bit confused about which track is which because several tracks have both the main theme and also the park theme.The ‘End Credits’ starts with the park theme right away so is perhaps better for lovers of that theme who want to hear it right away.
‘Journey to the Island’ begins with the park theme and then finishes with the main theme (and is perhaps the fuller track from the main film soundtrack with the best versions of both themes).
And then ‘Welcome to Jurassic Park’ has them in the opposite order.
Here’s an example of the main theme in action in the film.
This is a fantastic film with a superb score that deserves to be held in very high regard.