This celebrated compilation, recorded in 1987, marked Jerry Goldsmith’s first
concert (at London’s Barbican Centre) of his own film music. It is now reissued
remastered in Silva’s HDCD process and in Surround Sound. It sounds positively
stunning and the Philharmonia are inspired in this music - taken from some of
his most famous and best-loved scores. This generous compilation is expanded
from the original release to include a bonus track of music (‘Faerie Dance’
and ‘Re-united’) from Goldsmith’s magical quicksilver score for Legend
played by the National Philharmonic Orchestra also in top form.
The music embraces many styles beginning in Late Romantic classical style
with the thrillingly evocative aerial heroics of The Blue Max. A clutch
of nostalgic TV scores follows: The Man from U.N.C.L.E. in an exhilarating
upbeat jazz arrangement, then comes the arresting, noble Doctor Kildare
theme, the exotic ‘jungle-like’ Room 222 melody, the warm homely Waltons
rustic waltz and the more upbeat Barnaby Jones themes. The music for
the mini series Masada is a welcome addition with its memorable Hebraic
rhythms contrasted with its wistful secondary theme.
Placid middle-America evocations are followed by a devil’s kitchen-like scherzo
for pizzicato strings and strident woodwinds in the Gremlins (1984) score.
A melody of contrasting film themes begins with the powerful and oriental
music for The Sand Pebbles (1966) that also includes one of the loveliest
wistful romantic melodies that Goldsmith ever penned. Chinatown’s
(1974) bleak fragile melody with its disconsolate solo trumpet is followed by
the tender love music for A Patch of Blue (1965) tender lullaby-like
main theme with its haunting violin solo in dialogue with piano arpeggios, and
surging strings. Poltergeist (1982) is represented by another comfortable,
homely middle-American theme while Papillon (1973) has the dark frenzied
waltz that reminds the Devil’s Island’s prisoners of better times. The suite
ends in rip-roaring fashion with one of Goldsmith’s most majestic scores The
Wind and the Lion (1975) full of the heat and passion of the Moroccan desert
with exciting percussion rhythms and horn melody.
Stirring, strongly rhythmic marches come next: the swaggering MacArthur
(1977) March and the very distinctive echoing trumpet motif that distinguishes
the proud Patton (1970) March. The Lionheart music that follows
is in the same mould – another gutsy march this time for the 1987Medieval tale
set during the crusades. All starkly contrast with the gossamer light sparkling
textures of the fairy music for Legend (1985) that brings this marvellous
compilation to an end.
An excellent well-balanced compilation played the Philharmonia in top form.
Don’t hesitate buy it. This compilation will definitely figure in my 2002 list
Paul Tonks adds a note of warning:-
WARNING: This album has been released before. The only lure to make you want
it again is a "Bonus Track" from Legend.
WARNING: If you’ve ever seen or heard Goldsmith in concert, you know this
track listing already. The only thing missing is his tired anecdotes in between.
WARNING: As concert suites you can expect tempo, sequence, and orchestration
to be wildly different from the original incarnations.
That said, you can’t fault the pieces themselves. Goldsmith’s scores to
The Blue Max and Masada deserve the suites they’re given. In many
ways the "TV Themes Medley" is a worthy presentation of: The
Man from U.N.C.L.E., Dr. Kildare, Room 222, The Waltons and
Barnaby Jones. The cobbling together in his "Motion Picture
Themes Medley" is a less successful amalgam of material. The Sand
Pebbles, Chinatown, A Patch of Blue, Poltergeist, Papillon,
and The Wind and the Lion all hail from drastically different genres.
Individually they’re wonderful. Together they’re somewhat lost amongst one another.
FINAL WARNING: All these quality works from the Sixties to the Eighties
are only going to highlight what a load of tosh he’s been churning out since.