On Air Now
The Full Works Concert with Jane Jones 8pm - 10pm
Steven Spielberg's latest historical drama stars Daniel Day-Lewis as United States President Abraham Lincoln and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Explore John Williams' latest Academy Award nominated score with our track by track guide.
Swelling strings and a beautiful clarinet tune set the scene at the beginning of this original soundtrack, at the dawn of the new year in 1865. Lincoln will try to obtain passage for the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in the House of Representatives.
Sparse jarring woodwind textures give way to John Williams' trademark lush strings, until the peaceful atmosphere is broken by a solitary trumpet solo. Lincoln's Thirteenth Amendment, if passed, would formally abolish slavery in the USA.
Yeehaaw! John Williams pulls out the all-American stops in this storming barn dance, calling to mind the 'Hoedown' by Aaron Copland. Expect twanging violins and a great toe-tapping tune.
The woodwind come to the fore once more in this sedate track, with a patriotic horn chorus and a delicate piano interlude combining the American spirit from the previous hoedown with the film's reflective atmosphere.
A heavy tune from the piano gives us a clue that all may not be well in Congress. The cheery barn dance atmosphere has all but disappeared as an orchestra of plodding strings takes over the tune.
A passionate piece for strings, capturing Lincoln's optimistic spirit. He is adamant about having the Amendment in place before the end of the Civil War.
Military drums, piccolos and a healthy dose of oom-pa-pa from the brass, as a choir shout the battle cry of freedom.
John Williams' atmospheric film music is famous the world over, and he's done it again with this brooding musical landscape. Clashing strings, distorted sounds, and a rumbling drumroll help create an uneasy atmosphere.
Lincoln must persuade the more conservative wing of Congress that abolishing slavery is a positive step.
The twang of the folk violins is back, coupled with the lively strumming of a banjo or two - an uplifting change from some of the darker music on the album.
Atmospheric and reflective, Williams proves once again he knows how to write a heart-wrenching tune. He uses the horns and clarinets to great effect, as the music grows from a single solo line into a beautiful chorale.
Will the Thirteenth Amendment pass before the end of the Civil War, and will the slaves be freed? The music captures both the optimism and uncertainty in the country at the time.
Sorrowful strings cry out their tune in one of the most dramatic pieces on the soundtrack.
If you've heard the Theme from Schindler's List, you'll know John Williams is master of heart-wrenching music. This track is no exception, with a reflective solo piano and cello making an appearance.
One of the few pieces on the soundtrack to use a choir, the heavenly voices create an other-worldly atmosphere as they sing over the top of the soundtrack's trademark solo clarinets and horns.
Where Williams' tunes are usually lush and hummable, this track starts with an angular oboe solo before giving way to an orchestra of lush strings, as though looking back on happier times.
Making the most of the meditative tune, Williams scores the music for a simple solo piano. The tune might be the same as earlier in the film, but the mood is quite different when it's heard on the piano.