Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

John WILLIAMS STAR WARS TRILOGY The Original Soundtrack Anthology Special 4-CD Set  20th CENTURY FOX (ARISTA) 07822-11012-2



Yes, it's back in the shops again to catch the renewed interest in the original Star Wars trilogy on the tails of the hype surrounding The Phantom Menace. This set was originally on the Arista label (the label used for marketing 20th Century Fox film scores). Of the four albums, one is devoted to each film: Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and the fourth disc comprises material that was previously unreleased. All four CDs come in an attractive box with the CDs packed in inlaid trays. A substantial colour booklet comes with the set containing full track analyses by Lukas Kendall, an essay on John Williams's music by Nicholas Meyer who likens its inspiration to Wagner's Ring, and notes on John Williams by John Burlingame. There are numerous illustrations of the music recordings sessions and stills from the films.

I will not bore readers with any unnecessary comment about the music. To those old enough to remember these sweeping scores that reinstated and revitalised the symphonic score for the cinema after years of pop-based or sub-standard film music, any comment is superfluous. To those who are too young to have experienced them, here is an admirable opportunity to hear John Williams's whole Star Wars concept unfold rather like Wagner's music drama. These scores have passed into film music legend.


Ian Lace

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