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I was just listening to the sicilienne from Faure's Pelleas et Melisande and it is basically the exact same theme of the Harry Potter films(Hedwig's Theme). Not just a vague resemblance, but pretty much the SAME. Anyone else recognize this or know if he did this on purpose as some sort of tribute?

And all these years I've thought so highly of that particular theme and praised John Williams for it.
I hesitate to write this and provoke a firestorm, but I consider John Williams more an excellent composer of popular music than a classical music composer. The difference being, popular music aims to appeal to the broadest possible audience right away, and therefore capture the zeitgeist of the moment, while classical music aims to convey broader, deeper and more universal concepts and remain relevant well past its own era, even if its audience is smaller in the short term. Movie scores are mostly (not entirely, I admit) a popular music genre, since most movies are created to score an immediate and lucrative success, that industry being what it is.
Williams has had great success mining themes from the classical music canon in a creative way that is far from mere plagiarism. This phenomenon often can be found in the best popular music. Paul McCartney's Beatles hit Blackbird and Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water both draw from Bach. Sting has used Prokofiev.
 

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I think special definitions are not good. Like single out an aspect. Definitions should be as basic as possible. The sound generation of John Williams music is classical, I think that should count the most. Movies are no classical medium, but I think that is rather a secondary aspect. Also the tendency to reuse themes of others is maybe bigger in film music than in symphonies for example, but that is also secondary. John Wiliams is a pretty good classical composer, classical because it is for classical orchestra.

But it makes sense to make a differentiation in between classical music between serious music and lighter music like film music, dances, operetta etc.
I agree that Williams composes for the traditional "classical" orchestra. But he is an old feller, probably one of the last from a tradition of golden age Hollywood music that peaked from the 1930s to the 1960s. Back in those days, and reaching even further back to the late 19th century, the traditional acoustic orchestra was a staple for all sorts of popular music entirely apart from symphony, opera and ballet. But things gradually changed in the 20th century, first with electrical amplification, then the electric guitar, then keyboard synthesizers, and finally digital equipment. As late as the early 1960s, popular singers still were routinely backed by a traditional acoustic orchestra. As late as the early 1980s, most Broadway musicals still featured a full acoustic orchestra in the pit. But no longer. So I think it more accurate to say that John Williams comes from an old popular music tradition, which he represents quite ably.
 
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