Error processing SSI file
Error processing SSI file

July 2001 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /July01/



The Film Music of Jerry GOLDSMITH  
  The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer
  TELARC CD-80433   [69:13]

Goldsmith film music

The Music:-

  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture;
  • Motion Picture Medley:-
    • The Sand Pebbles; Chinatown; Air Force One; A Patch of Blue; Poltergeist; Papillon Basic Instinct; The Wind and the Lion.
  • Theme from The Russia House
  • The Boys from Brazil
  • Theme from Sleeping With the Enemy
  • Medley of Television Themes:-
    • The Man from Uncle; Dr Kildare; Room 222; Star Trek: Voyager; The Waltons; Barnaby Jones.
  • Theme from Rudy
  • Twilight Zone: The Movie
  • Love Theme: Forever Young
  • The Generals: MacArthur and Patton

The opening bars of the first track, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, reach right out at you, such is the sonic impact of this well-engineered release. Yet, for the most part, bombast is held at arms’ length. The prevailing mood is of lyrical introspection and of romance, dreamy contemplation and elegant waltz measures rather than the noisy and the heroic. The album does end, however, with the extrovert and the patriot MacArthur and Patton scores (brilliantly segueing from the former to the latter using Patton’s memorable echoing trumpet chords). Those who insist on absolute faithfulness to original scores will be disappointed for these are arrangements for concert performance. Yet this album proves once again, as with Morricone’s brilliant concert arrangements of his film music, that the best arrangers are the original composers themselves. The result is that this compilation is a very pleasurable listening experience.

Although many of the films listed above have dark scenarios Goldsmith has chosen the quieter more idyllic moments from his scores. The Sand Pebbles has the poignancy of exotic romance in Far Eastern locales. It segues seamlessly into the music for Chinatown and the whole has a beautiful limpid opacity, a filigree of ascending descending swirling string figures against romantic horns. Air Force One momentarily disturbs the tranquillity restored by gently dripping piano figures and soothing pastoral statements that are A Patch of Blue and quiet child-like innocent stretches from Poltergeist. Even the original sexy sultriness of Goldsmith’s original Main Title music for Basic Instinct is sanitised and softened.

The romantic and the waltzes continue through The Russia House and The Boys from Brazil (with some contrasting menacing material for this disturbing melodrama that had Gregory Peck trying to clone little Hitlers). Sleeping With the Enemy another dark story of obsessive love has one of Goldsmith’s most haunting romantic themes.

The Television Themes Medley kicks off with a very jazzy Man from Uncle with quite startlingly different accentuation, but how vibrant it sounds. The Dr Kildare theme, on the other hand, is just as I recalled it. The Room 222 theme is recognisable even if the title is not – all very Latin and reminiscent of the Bosa Nova craze of the 1960s. Noble aspiring music enters with Star Trek: Voyager and cosy middle-American pastoral domesticity with The Waltons .

The whimsical and sentimental theme for Rudy (the undersized youth determined to be a successful football player) is sheer delight. The Twilight Zone music admirably mixes the lyrically romantic with measures heroic and weird. Forever Young (the one in which Mel Gibson is frozen in time to be reunited with his true love) has another winning warmly sentimental theme.

A glorious album for unashamed romantics and one that demonstrates Goldsmith’s versatile talents and inspired facility for weaving such richly harmonised and melodic scores

Ian Lace


Return to Index

Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers:


Error processing SSI file