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Soundtrack Review

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The Music of Batman


Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
7 38572 12762 6
Available 16 March 2009

The flawed superhero with a dark edge that inspired quirky, sweeping orchestral scores with gothic undertones. Masterfully performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, this compilation features the music from the complete Batman silver screen franchise...

I know the soundtracks to the first two Batman movies (music by Danny Elfman) incredibly well, and the tracks here are pretty close to the originals. The main difference is in the mix, where different sections of the orchestra are given more of a focus than on Elfman's scores. Also, in order to incorporate the sections of music that are required for this compilation, the way the tracks flow into each other is vastly different to the original tracks - which were longer and never intended to be combined.

The other soundtracks I have more than a passing familiarity with, but don't know them well enough to be able to tell the difference between them and the versions as performed here - apart from the 'retro' Batman themes, which I know fairly well thanks to an old friend buying me the original soundtracks as a joke years ago.

Of those tracks that I did know, I noticed that there were a few instances of notes gone astray - most notably in the 'Flowers' segment of the first Batman movie score. But then this is balanced by the fact that I much preferred chunks of 'Up the Cathedral' over the original - again this is mainly down to the slightly different mix giving preference to a different instrument than the original. It's ever so slight, but if you know the score inside out, the difference is impressive.

Also the 'Batman TV Theme', while very close to original, is a lot more mellower and more polished than the original.

While I already own the original works of most of these tracks, it's still interesting to hear a slight variation on something I already know so well and, as for those albums I didn't already own... I'm now off to Amazon to purchase them.

While I'm usually not a huge fan of compilation albums (unless it's a compilation of one composers work or has, as in this case, a strong theme to follow) The Music of Batman is one album that I rather enjoyed.


Darren Rea

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