william tell overture

William Tell Overture (1829)

Gioachino Rossini, 1792-1868
 

     Rossini's William Tell Overture is an enormously popular piece of classical music that has found itself in numerous different movies, including The Lone Ranger, The Princess Diaries, and A Clockwork Orange. Its iconic melodies are so well-known that they're frequently heard in American TV commercials.

     The trumpet fanfare that kicks off the overture's finale first gained popularity in media through the 1950s TV series, The Lone Ranger. An abridged version of the finale was composed as the series's theme song. The Lone Ranger received a silver screen reboot featuring Johnny Depp in 2013, in which composer Hans Zimmer reimagined the finale of William Tell Overture as an exciting film score. Its most prominent use in the 2013 adaptation comes at the end of the movie, where the finale is heard nearly in full. 

     While The Lone Ranger is certainly the most celebrated use of the overture in film, both The Princess Diaries and A Clockwork Orange similarly utilize the finale to convey a sense of excitement, heroism, and drama.