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Soundtrack Review

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Music from the Star Wars Saga Performed by the City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra


Composer: John Williams
Performed by: The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Silva Screen Records
SILCD1479 (CD), SILED1479 (download)
Release Date: 04 May 2015

This compilation brings together selections from all six Star Wars films featuring John William's towering and epic scores performed by the renowned City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Highlights include 'The Imperial March', 'Forest Battle', 'Duel Of The Fates' and 'The Throne Room/Finale', the latter the masterful ending to the original 1977 Star Wars and the Oscar winner for best score...

Other than being released on 04 May (May the fourth be with you, geddit?) I was at a loss as to fathom why this compilation album of Star Wars themes was being released now? Was it in anticipation of the new (Episode VII) movie? Probably. If you already own Silva Screen Records's 2005 Music From the Star Wars Saga, then there's nothing much for you here (other than a couple of extra tracks: 'Cantina Band' and 'Battle Of The Heroes').

The thing with this sort of album is that it's not one that anyone would buy themselves. This is more a last minute present for someone that you know little about (other than they are a Star Wars fan). If you're a soundtrack collector you'll already own the original recordings.

This 15 track (1 hr, 03 min, 53 sec) album chooses some of the most memorable tracks from John Williams's original scores. However, whether you think these are the best moments from each film is subjective.

As I already own (and know note for note) the original scores, I could tell immediately that these weren't the original recordings, although on the whole they are as near to identical as is possible. For me, what I love about these faithful reproductions is that the mix on occasion brings to the front a section of the orchestra that wasn't as loud in the original versions. And this can give the track a whole new feel to it. There's also a segment in the original score for Star Wars where an instrument is slightly out of tune during one segment (in fact there are a few instances of this in the original) and it's great to hear this reproduction minus the distraction.

However, there are also tracks here ('Forest Battle' being the one stand out example) where the instruments don't appear to be in tune with one another for long segments, and where the playing isn't as polished as the original, and tracks like this take you out of the moment. To be fair, though, unless you know the original recordings inside out you probably won't notice this.

Personally, as this is Silva Screen and you know that they go that extra mile to record everything as faithfully to the original as is possible, even though I own the original scores (as well as the extended edition albums, and countless compilations albums) I would still recommend picking this collection up.

As I said before, the recordings are interesting because of the occasional slightly different mix. In fact 'Han Solo And The Princess' is actually a sweeter and slower track than the original.

Track listing:

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
01. Star Wars: A New Hope 05:24
02. Cantina Band 03:00
03. Princess Leia 04:46
04. The Throne Room / Finale 07:35

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
05. The Imperial March 03:13
06. Han Solo and The Princess 04:11
07. The Asteroid Field 04:25
08. Yoda's Theme 03:52

Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi
09. Forest Battle 03:52

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
10. Anakin's Theme 02:51
11.The Flag Parade 03:18
12. The Adventures Of Jar Jar 03:26
13. Duel Of The Fates 04:11

Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
14. Across The Stars 05:41

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
15. Battle Of The Heroes 04:20


Darren Rea

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