Symphonic Selections: Making the List

Symphonic Selections

With so much going on in the US, with all political chaos, I can’t help but see the correlation of our present to the time of Hitler and the Nazi. Thinking about the similarities made me think about World War II, and that led me to think about Schindler’s List. That was when I had the urge to re-watch the film last night. But before that, I had to think of a song for this month’s Symphonic Selections, and I’d decided on a piece from the film prior to watching it. I almost went for its well-known main theme — all composed by John Williams — but I chose a different piece, one that was featured in what I considered the most powerful moment in the film.

The piece opens in a foreboding manner, mirroring the most dangerous and courageous Oskar Schindler’s about to do — to further defy the German regime and save 1100+ Jewish who are being oppressed on the basis of their religion. Here’s a man who is ready to risk everything, including his fortune, to save the Jewish folks from being massacred. He and his assistant, Stern, compile together a list of names, and the music matches its franticness as they push on towards their goal. When they finish, the music slows down to play the main theme of the film. Its poignancy shows the friendship between Schindler and Stern, how the two of them come together to resist the Nazis. The full realisation of what they’re doing — that they’re saving lives — culminates the composition. This scene and piece isn’t flashy like some scenes, but for me this captures the true strength and goodness in people.

Are you familiar with this piece? What do you think of this song? Have you seen the film? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Ugh, it’s only been a week since that orange oaf became president and it’s already chaos…smh. I’ve never seen this movie, but I really like the transition in the music. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. When I was in high school I had to hold a presentation on Schindler’s List (I’m from Germany so we used to talk about this period A LOT in school) and I remember watching this movie and crying my eyes out. After watching it I downloaded this exact piece because I liked it so much.

    I changed your URL on my “Blogs I enjoy reading”-List, thank you for letting me know! :)

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  3. I’m definitely not familiar with this piece. Thanks for sharing. I’ve seen the movie, but I don’t remember the music.

    A few months before the election, I read The Book Thief which is about a young German girl living in Nazi Germany and death is the narrator. (Brilliant story-telling style.) I feel like you’ve read this already, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend it. The morning after the election, I definitely felt like I’ve entered that world.

  4. I haven’t actually seen this movie before even though I have heard about it. So this is actually my first time listening to this piece! I have read novels about survivors of the holocaust and they’re really heart wrenching to read about and like… wow I can’t believe people can be so cruel and heartless and that people actually had to go through something like that.

    I forget which Twitter account but it basically tweeted pictures of people who were turned away at the US border and died from Auschwitz. Seeing actual pictures like that and realizing what they died from made me really sad :/ Especially since in all the pictures were of them smiling (and not realizing what they were going to go through)…

    But now I’m getting a little side-tracked – the piece you posted sounds really haunting. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I’ve seen Schindler’s List but to be honest I never really thought about the music while I was watching. Perhaps I should watch it again and pay more attention. It’s a very powerful piece.

  6. Ugh, everything going on in the US is so frustrating right now :( I’ve seen Schindler’s List, but it’s been a long time. I only remember bits and pieces and have been thinking I should watch it again some time. I remember liking it though! This song is beautiful. I especially love the last couple minutes – such a lovely end to the song.

  7. I’ve not seen Schindler’s List, but it’s on my list of movies to watch! I know it’s one of those movies I should have seen already but just haven’t gotten to yet, and I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews of it. Your description of it makes me think I would like it, too. I’ve been reading a lot of WWII books recently so I’m going to have to watch it sooner rather than later!

    What a beautiful piece. You’re right that it’s not real flashy, but you can feel the emotion behind it, and it’s powerful. It always amazes me what people can do and the atrocities that they can overcome to help other people.

  8. I have not watched Schindler’s List, but have heard about it and have been meaning to watch it for years. I’ve read and went on to watch the adaptations of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and The Book Thief. There’s something about that period in time that always draws me in. It’s such a dark period of humanity, and really, the only thing that could have stopped it was a little bit more humanness.

    To be frank, I’m scared of where President CheetoPuff decides to take us.

  9. Schindler’s List brings me back to 10th grade when we were going over the history during the Holocaust. That movie strike me in particular where it proves that just because a group of people are completely hateful and try to enforce their perspectives doesn’t mean everyone else is the same way. I hope we don’t have to go through the same thing today. I don’t remember most pieces from films (only songs I remember are the last 2 openers to James Bond XD). Though, I can connect the piece to the mood of the film!

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