Four of the best John Williams recordings

We recommend a handful of the greatest examples of the film composer’s work on disc


Star Wars


London Symphony Orchestra/John Williams
Sony S2K92950 (2 discs)

Williams leads the LSO in the best-selling film score album ever, in classic ‘Golden Age of Hollywood’ style.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Arista 07822 19004-2

One of Williams’s favourites, as well as the famous five-note motif, there are Ligeti-esque clouds of sound.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Itzhak Perlman (violin) et al/John Williams
Sony 82876 77857 2

An understated character study featuring a range of Japanese instruments.

Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams

Sony SK 89670


One of Williams’s closest collaborators in non-film works ranging from richly melodic to impressionistic.