1) He writes with power by nature and it ends up being what the director wants.
2) He really does know how to write the subdued stuff and also pieces with immense power in beauty rather than fanfare. Listening to these pieces individually, I would have to say that John Williams has a better gift for a tear-jerking tune than a fanfare tune (although he has a great gift in the later), but the mixers like to mute this music. One in perticular that I couldn't believe was the beautiful theme in Jurassic Park that he composed for the scene with the sick Triceratops. One of the most beautiful tunes that I'd ever heard, but it was muted so much in the movie, I didn't even know to listen for it until I heard an orchestra play it at a summer concert (of course, it was a medley of themes from the movie.)
Hope this helps,
> Great example of the way that a subdued theme can be used in a soundtrack.
> Of course the masters of subdued themes are James Horner and Hans Zimmer
> (just listen to Glory, Braveheart, or Pearl Harbor if you don't know what
> I mean). Why doesn't Williams write more scores like this instead of
> always resorting to power to get his point across!?!?