September 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Compilation:
The Fantasy Album  
  John WILLIAMS/Howard SHORE/Jerry GOLDSMITH/Alan SILVESTRI/Tan DUN/Basil POLEDOURIS/Randy EDELMAN/Bernard HERRMANN/Jerome MOROSS/Miklos ROZSA/Hans ZIMMER/James HORNER/Danny ELFMAN/Michael KAMEN/Brian MAY/Maurice JARRE/Carl ORFF
  SILVA SCREEN RECORDS FILMXCD 360 2 CD SET   [71:43, 73:48]

Fantasy Album

CD 1:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - 'Hedwig's Theme' - John Williams
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - 'The Fellowship' - Howard Shore
  • The Mummy - 'Sand Volcano/Love Theme' - Jerry Goldsmith
  • The Mummy Returns - 'Main Themes' - Alan Silvestri
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/The Eternal Vow' - Tan Dun
  • Conan the Barbarian - 'Suite: Prologue/Anvil of Crom/Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom' - Basil Poledouris
  • Dragonheart - 'Main Themes' - Randy Edelman
  • The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad - 'Overture' - Bernard Herrmann
  • Mysterious Island - 'Prelude/The Balloon' and 'Giant Bees/The Giant Crab' - Bernard Herrmann
  • Jason and the Argonautes - 'Prelude' - Bernard Herrmann
  • The Valley of the Gwangi - 'The Forbidden Valley/Pterodactyl Attack/Death of Gwangi' - Jerome Moross
  • The Three Worlds of Gulliver - 'Overture' - Bernard Herrmann
  • The Golden Voyage of Sinbad - 'Prelude/Sinbad Fights Kali/Finale' - Miklos Rozsa
  • The Witches of Eastwick - 'The Dance of the Witches' - John Williams

CD 2:

  • Gladiator - 'Suite' - Hans Zimmer
  • Flesh and Blood - 'End Titles' - Basil Poledouris
  • Willow - 'Willow's Theme' - James Horner
  • Beetlejuice - 'Main Theme' - Danny Elfman
  • Edward Scissorhands - 'Main Title/Ice Dance' - Danny Elfman
  • Batman 'Suite' - Danny Elfman
  • Highlander -'Training Montage' - Michael Kamen
  • Mad Max 1 & 2 - 'Suite' - Brian May
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome - 'Thunderdome Fanfare/I Ain't Captain Walker' - Maurice Jarre
  • Excalibur - 'O Fortuna from Carmina Burana' - Carl Orff
  • The Thief of Bagdad - 'Overture/The Market at Basra' - Miklos Rozsa
  • Legend - 'Faerie Dance/Re-united' - Jerry Goldsmith

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark - 'The Raiders March' - John Williams

An outstanding compilation of themes and suites from an extensive range of fantasy productions, spanning over sixty years of cinema.

Personally I find the notion of giving well established pieces of film music new and subtly different interpretations very attractive, but all too often what we are presented with is no more than inferior mimicry. Fortunately though here the selections are really first rate and generally speaking the versions are vibrant and entertaining.

Among many, many highlights there is 'The Fellowship' from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, a magnificent, moving piece and this rendering has enough induviduality to make it worthwhile in its own right. Then there is the sterling choral work by The City of Prague Philharmonic Choir on the rousing The Mummy Returns, along with several Bernard Herrmann pieces, including themes from Mysterious Island and anyone wondering what all the fuss is about when Herrmann's name is mentioned need only listen to this stunning work to understand his importance and brilliance. Also of note is an inventive suite from Gladiator that captures the emotion and power of Hans Zimmer and Lisa Gerrard's masterful score and of course the 'Suite: Prologue/Anvil of Crom/Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom' from Conan the Barbarian, which while it struggles a little with the metallic 'anvil' sound, otherwise gives a very difficult piece a superb rendition and in my opinion this is simply one of the greatest film scores ever written.

A splendid collection of wonderful musical triumphs that will delight all but the most jaded and hard to please. Recommended.

Mark Hockley

****(*)

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