Have you ever listened to a piece of classical music and thought to yourself, “This sounds awfully familiar?” Plenty of people have dissected the main Star Wars theme to discover its classical roots, for example. But I recently found something a bit more obscure.
A Familiar Tune
I like to listen to a local radio station that plays nothing but classical music. About a week ago, I happened to hear a piece I had never heard before. Yet I had heard it before. It was a strange feeling of déjà vu.
Thankfully, I have a radio receiver that displays information on songs, including their names and composers/singers. So I memorized the words “Robert Schumann Rhenish Symphony No. 3.”
That was close enough to find the right piece of music on YouTube. The video I found is entitled “Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major ‘Rhenish,’ op. 97 (1850).”
Listen to the first 30 seconds of this, and tell me if it sounds familiar.
James Horner’s Inspiration?
Keep in mind that this musical work debuted in 1850. As it turns out, 138 years later a composer named James Horner used it as the inspiration for his main theme for the titular character of Willow. At least that’s my theory.
It’s crazy the similarities between the two. If Schumann didn’t inspire Horner, I don’t know what did. Seriously, listen to the beginning of this track from Willow entitled “Willow’s Theme,” and tell me it’s not directly lifted from “Rhenish.” They’re nearly carbon copies.
Borrowing for Willow
Of course, I’m not saying that Horner is a total plagiarist or anything like that. He’s a musical genius who wrote many incredible film scores over his decades-long career. And composers often reference themselves and others as they find their voices. There are plenty of great melodies in Willow that didn’t come from the minds of others.
I’m just saying that I think it’s clear as day that “Rhenish” inspired “Willow’s Theme.” They’re both beautiful pieces of music, and I enjoy listening to them. Hopefully you just found another great composer to listen to if you already enjoy the Willow soundtrack.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
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If you’d like to support the Deja Reviewer, please consider donating a few dollars to keep this site going strong. I’ll even send you an original joke if you do! Try it, and prepare to enjoy a good chuckle.