Call of the Champions
|"Call of the Champions"|
|Single by John Williams ft. The Utah Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir|
|from the album American Journey|
|Recorded||The Great Salt Lake Tabernacle, Salt Lake City, US|
|John Williams singles chronology|
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Call of the Champions is a fanfare for orchestra and choir composed by John Williams for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Premiering at the Opening Ceremony on February 8, 2002, it began with the call by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of "Citius! Altius! Fortius!" (Faster, Higher, Stronger), which is the Olympic Motto chosen by the founder of the modern Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
The recording of this theme heard during the 2002 Winter Games was made November 27, 2001 in Maurice Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, with the composer conducting the Utah Symphony Orchestra and the 360-voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Because of differing opinions on the pronunciation of the Latin text, the Choir actually recorded several versions, leaving the final decision to be made by the producers. The issue was whether to use a Classical pronunciation of the Olympic Motto (kitty-us, alty-us, forty-us), a liturgical one (cheetsy-oos, ahltsy-oos, fortsy-oos), or a hybrid of the two (chitty-us, etc.).
In addition to the text variations, the Choir and Orchestra also recorded two versions of the theme for timing purposes. The full-length, five-minute version appears on the John Williams CD American Journey and in the Tabernacle Choir's own recording on Spirit of America (with the Orchestra at Temple Square) and is the one performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square in their concerts. A shorter version, about half the length of the original, was recorded for the Opening Ceremony of the Games. In addition, the theme was repeated throughout the games. A common occurrence was during medal ceremonies where the theme played during the presentation portion of the ceremony.
The work is Williams' fourth composition for the Olympics, after 1984's "Olympic Fanfare and Theme," 1988's "The Olympic Spirit," and 1996's "Summon the Heroes."
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