Reel Love: The Cinematic Romance Album
Music composed by
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted by Nic Raine, Paul Bateman, Kenneth Alwyn and James Fitzpatrick
Available on Silva Screen (SILCD1177)
Running Time: 118:52 (Total)
(Disc 1): 58:37
(Disc 2): 60:15
Gone With The Wind, El Cid, A Summer Place, Doctor Zivago, Its a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, Ryan's Daughter, Somewhere in Time, The Young and the Restless, Play Misty for Me, Casablanca, Love Story, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Summer of 42, Un Homme Et Une Femme, Il Postino, Jean de Florette, Emmanuelle, Last Tango in Paris, Cinema Paradiso, Romeo and Juliet, Cinema Paradiso, Braveheart, Titanic, Ghost, Edward Scissorhands, The English Patient, Indecent Proposaland Finding Neverland.
From the treasury of Silva Screen Records comes yet another foray of obligatory 2CD film music compilation, devoted this time to love themes and romantic interludes. Interestingly the album is well programmed and the selections well thought out. (Thankfully there is no Love theme from Superman or Basic Instinct) The sound quality and the performances have great presence and are top notch. The labels image has vastly improved with the City of Prague Philharmonic under the baton(s) of such veterans as Paul Bateman, Nick Raine, Kenneth Alwyn and (album producer) James Fitzpatrick!
This 2CD set is grandly divided into 5 chapters. 'The Golden Age of Hollywood Romance” starts with such hits as Gone With The Wind, El Cid, Doctor Zhivago, A Summer Place, Vertigo, Ryans Daughter etc.) This is actually a nice way to index the themes as the music styles are very much within their chronological time frame.
"Piano Love Themes" which include perennial favorites as Somewhere in Time, Love Story, Casablancafeatures a rather passionate performances of the "As Time Goes By" song by Herman Hupfeld. These aren’t just piano renditions but a blend of both piano and full orchestra. Interesting we have new comers like "Play Misty For Me and "The Young and The Restless".
The third and the last chapter on disc one is devoted "The Jane Austen Romances" covering the grandeur and romanticism of the English moors with such films as Emma, Sense & Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice.
Disc Two opens with the colorful art house epics of the "European Romantic Cinema". A varied selection includes A Man and A Woman, Il Postino, Jean De Florette, Summer of 42, Last Tango in Paris, Cinema Paradiso, Emmanuelle (with vocals by Keith Ferrera) and Romeo and Juliet. The performances are wonderful and memorable.
Coming to mainstream "Contemporary Hollywood Romances" which includes fantastic performances of Indecent Proposal (John Barry for whom Nic Raine the conductor has orchestrated a number of times) The English Patient, Alex North's Unchained Melody from Ghost, and Edward ScissorHands ( Ice Dance cue). Perhaps the newest entry is from the latest Academy Award winner- Jan A. P Kaczmarek's Finding Neverland (Impossible Opening) which is performed with great zest.
For the film music aficionado, this album will be enjoyed and it will warrant repeated listenings. There are a few noticeable blunders here there but they are minor.(Both Titanic and Braveheart suffer in the Uillean pipes' solos) Romantic music usually encompasses strings and piano based melodies so there aren't any brass ostinato's going the wrong way. However, this album has been rather lovingly assembled and packaged simply (albeit with a card board slip case)
To conclude, this album is indeed unabashedly lush and romantic. No doubt a wonderful compilation for the uninitiated and despite the fact that one may have heard the themes in their original renditions, the album is a wonderful tribute to love. So buy this album for some one you dearly love (even though he/she may not be an avid film music buff).