Thursday, July 5, 2012

Faster, Higher, Stronger: Music at the Olympics

Recent Olympic Games seem to have a nice connection with film composers.  The opening and closing ceremonies seem to feature a lot of music by film composers, most notably the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.    

The most popular and most used themes for Olympic broadcasts seem to be Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams and the theme from Chariots of Fire by Vangelis.  Since Chariots of Fire is a film about the 1924 Olympics, the music naturally fits in. 

Most frequently used is Bugler’s Dream by Leo Arnaud, which has been in most broadcasts since the 1968 Winter Olympics in Grenoble. 

Even recent American broadcasts have included music by Randy Edelman, Steve Jablonsky and Trevor Rabin.  Howard Shore and Burkhard Dullwitz are a few of the composers used in international broadcasts. 
So many of the ceremonies have used music by various film composers, I wanted to list their work by year. 


1968 Winter Olympics GRENOBLE
Bugler’s Dream (Leo Arnaud) originally written 1958

1981 International Olympic Congress
Olympic Hymn (Leonard Bernstein)

1984 Summer Olympics LOS ANGELES
Olympic Fanfare and Theme (John Williams)
Reach Out (Track Theme) (Giorgio Moroder)
Grace (Gymnastics Theme) (Quincy Jones)
Power (Power Sports Theme) (Bill Conti)
The Olympian-Lighting of the Torch (Philip Glass)

1988 Summer Olympics SEOUL
The Olympic Spirit (John Williams)

1992 Summer Olympics BARCELONA
Ode to Zeus (Mikis Theodorakis)
Tha Semanoun oi Kampanes (Mikis Theodorakis)
Hellenism (Greek Hymn for the opening ceremony) (Mikis Theodorakis)
El Mar Mediterrani (Ryuichi Sakamoto)
XXV Olympiad - XXV Anniversary Theme (Angelo Badalamenti)
The Flaming Arrow (Angelo Badalamenti)
Olympic Torch Theme (Angelo Badalamenti)

1996 Summer Olympics ATLANTA
Summon The Heroes (John Williams)
The Tradition of the Games (Basil Poledouris)
On Wings of Victory (Michael Kamen)
Sacred Truce (Michael Kamen)
Faster, Higher, Stronger (Mark Watters)
Athens to Atlanta: The Run Through Time (Mark Watters)
Dignitaries Walk-On (Mark Watters)

2000 Summer Olympics SYDNEY
Man from Snowy River – Olympic Version (Bruce Rowland)
Eternity (David Hirschfelder)
 
Athens 2004 Segment (Vangelis)
Olympics Theme Seven Network (Burkhard Dallwitz)

2002 Winter Olympics SALT LAKE CITY
Call of the Champions (John Williams)
 The Fire Within (Michael Kamen)
American West Suite (Mark Watters)
Salt Lake City Olympic Theme Seven Network (Burkhard Dallwitz)

2004 Summer Olympics ATHENS
Opening Ceremony (Vangelis)
Zorba the Greek (Mikis Theodorakis)
Athens Olympic Theme Seven Network (Burkhard Dallwitz)

2006 Winter Olympics TURIN
Torino Winter Olympics Theme Seven Network (Burkhard Dallwitz)
Amarcord (Nino Rota)

2008 Summer Olympics BEIJING
Award Ceremony Music (Tan Dun)
Closing Ceremony (Klaus Badelt)
Songs of the Sea: The Regatta Suite (Jeff Rona)


2010 Winter Olympics VANCOUVER
Peaks of Endeavour, The Olympic Flame (Gavin Greenaway)
Believe – CTV Promo (Howard Shore)

2012 Summer Olympics LONDON
Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield)
Chariots of Fire (Vangelis)

Nimma Nimma (AR Rahman) 
Parade of the Athletes (David Arnold)

Medal Ceremony (David Arnold)
Extinguishing the Flame (David Arnold)
Spirit of the Flame (David Arnold)



After the jump, some videos of the various pieces from the Olympics. 
Olympic Fanfare and Theme by John Williams

Power by Bill Conti
Tradition of the Games by Basil Poledouris

The Fire Within by Michael Kamen

Summon the Heroes by John Williams

Peaks of Endeavor by Gavin Greenaway

Call of the Champions by John Williams

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