Following the untimely demise of Jerry Goldsmith in 2004,
it's high time that somebody released a compilation album
of his works as a tribute to the talents of this solely missed
composer. Well done Silva Screen for doing just that...
four-disc collection reveals just how versatile Goldsmith
was. OK, so he may have repeated himself here and there (for
instance, recycling his Klingon theme whenever given half
a chance) but just consider his range. Can't get John Barry
to score your movie? No problem, Goldsmith can do John Barry
just as well as John Barry can - as he did in The Russia
House and Medicine Man (both on disc 3). Can't
get a hold of Danny Elfman? Worry not, Goldsmith was doing
Danny Elfman-style music before Danny Elfman even cornered
the market for it - see Gremlins (disc 3) and The
Twilight Zone: The Movie (discs 1 and 3). Goldsmith wasn't
a jack of all trades or a master of one. He was a master of
several different styles and sub-genres.
title of this album is a bit of a misnomer, since he composed
music for television as well as film, including the famous
themes for Dr Kildare, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
(both disc 1), The Waltons (discs 1 and 2) and Star
Trek: Voyager (disc 4).
What makes this an even more eclectic mixture is that, although
a large proportion of the music is performed by Silva Screen's
favoured orchestra, the City of Prague Philharmonic, and conducted
by Nic Raine or James Fitzpatrick, several tracks are conducted
by Goldsmith himself, working with the Philharmonia Orchestra
or the National Philharmonic.
However, this doesn't mean that the Goldsmith-conducted tracks
necessarily sound any more like the original screen renditions
than Raine or Fitzpatrick's efforts. Indeed, Goldsmith's orchestrated
version of the Man from U.N.C.L.E. theme, which forms
part of his television medley on disc 1, lacks the funky style
of the television version. Fortunately, his theme to Police
Story (disc 2) more than compensates in terms of groove.
presence of two medleys, one for television themes and one
for films, on disc 1 means that certain tunes - Papillon,
Poltergeist, The Waltons and The Wind and
the Lion - are repeated. This begs the question: why repeat
these themes, when movies such as Planet of the Apes,
Hollow Man and the fifth, eighth and ninth Star
Trek films are omitted? Fortunately, Goldsmith's classic
themes for The Omen, Capricorn One, Alien,
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (all on disc 2), Total
Recall (disc 3) and The Mummy (disc 4) are all
present and correct.
If you already own any of Silva Screen's previous compilations,
you may well already have some of the tracks on this one.
The Star Trek material (including the Voyager
title track, which is rather brutally murdered by some off-key
brass) previously appeared on The
Star Trek Album,
while the main theme to Poltergeist is also part of
the recent Music
from the Films of Steven Spielberg collection.
However, whichever way you look at it (or rather, listen to
it), with more than four hours of great music on offer, this
compilation is worth every penny.
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