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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Cult Cuts - Music from the Modern Cinema
Silva Screen Records SILCD1270 (UK)
18 Tracks

This, the first of two recent compilations from Silva Screen, features a wide variety of themes, both original and reused for films, some of which I would hardly call modern (Dirty Harry, Bullitt, Chinatown, The Last Emperor), though the majority are more contemporary offerings like Kill Bill, The Bourne Supremacy, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Departed, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, American Beauty, Road to Perdition, The Hours, True Romance, Solaris and 300.
Die-hard film music fans will more than likely have the original versions of most of what is on offer here, perhaps with the exception of the Tarantino films, which of course mostly lack original scoring; but this is a nice sampler for newcomers to the art, most capably performed by the label's orchestra of choice, The City of Prague Philharmonic, together with London Music Works, though its hard to completely satisfactorily re-create classics like Battle Without Honour or Humanity, used in Kill Bill, Bullitt and Chinatown.
At the end of the day, this collection, if nothing else, vividly illustrates how far the art has come since the early days of big orchestral scoring, with small and unusual ensembles nowadays often creating memorable music in its own right that may not have the legs of classic themes like those written for the likes of Gone with the Wind or Doctor Zhivago, but then just might.
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