July 2000 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Mega Movies

Telarc CD-80535 [73:34]

It's been a short while since Erich Kunzel's last compilation, perhaps waiting for enough high profile titles to make one worthwhile. Musically this does recommend itself "The Big Picture", even if it does fall down in the same sort of places. Although the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra is eminently capable with the straight re-interpolations of suites, it's in the orchestration of a piece's unique electronics that the only disappointment can be levied. The standout case in point here being the limp version of "Threnody in X" from The X-Files movie. Without Mark Snow's personalised samples it doesn't occupy the same parallel universe at all.

That sort of carries over to both The Rock and Armageddon, but some might actually welcome hearing these pieces performed by all live instrumentation. It's interesting to see 3 apiece from Goldsmith and Horner: The Mummy, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, then The Mask of Zorro, Mighty Joe Young, and Titanic. Their styles have certainly translated well for the Pops and make for concert repertoire worthy choices.

Decidedly unusual suspects rounding out the playlist are: Contact, The Prince of Egypt, A Bug's Life, Elizabeth, Godzilla, and Shakespeare In Love. All take the ear nicely enough, but about the best surprise is a well thought out segue editing together the "Main Title" and "The Flag Parade" from Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.

The best fun to be had is testing out your speakers with Michael Bishop's new batch of sound effects. There's a swish of swords for Zorro, a helicopter pass-by for The Rock, Podrace zooms for Star Wars, a bee attack for Mulder on Scully, thudding footfalls in New York from Godzilla, and the teeth itching screech from ice on metal for the Titanic.


Paul Tonks


Paul Tonks

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