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Thursday, July 06, 2006

CD REVIEWS - Film Music Masterworks

Film Music Masterworks - James Horner
Silva Screen SILCD2004 (U.K.)
10 Tracks 56:18 mins

The first of two discs due for release in the U.K. on 24th July, which provide a very good introduction to the work of the spotlighted composer, and at an affordable price.
The ten tracks here feature the love theme from Titanic; "Remember" from Troy; the End Titles from Braveheart; the title track from Legends of the Fall; the End Titles from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; the title music from Cocoon, Apollo 13 and The Mask of Zorro; "The Wedding" from Deep Impact; and the theme from Willow; providing a good overview of Horner's music from the early years when he attracted criticism for seeming to rip off composers, to more recent years when is often accused of repeating himself. Whatever, it's all good music and the largely quite lengthy tracks give the music plenty of chance for development.

Film Music Masterworks - John Williams
Silva Screen SILCD2005 (U.K.)
13 Tracks 57:42 mins

This second release celebrates the work of the incomparable John Williams, with 13 tracks featuring "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone; "Sayuri's Theme & End Credits" from Memoirs of a Geisha; the Main Credits from Star Wars: A New Hope; "Battle of the Heroes" from Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith;" the themes from Jaws, Schindler's List and E.T.; a suite from War of the Worlds; "Where Dreams Are Born" from A.I.; the march from Raiders of the Lost Ark; "Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; the Superman theme; and "Prayer for Peace" from Munich.
The album is perhaps weighted a little towards the recent stuff, but there are a few old favourites, and with such a huge volume of excellent music to choose from, it can't have been easy to decide on the final programme.

Both albums are simply packaged in white, with the music performed by the label's usual resources, the City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus.


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