Music From the Star Wars Saga

Composer: John Williams
Silva Screen
RRP £8.99
Available 25 April 2005

Music From the Star Wars Saga
is a condensed version of the music from the first five films, excluding Revenge of the Sith, usually taking the more memorable emblematic pieces such as the main title theme and the Imperial March and working them into complete pieces. The CD contains 13 tracks and pips the post at a little under 57 minutes of music.

The music is performed by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. The Crouch end festival chorus has been going for almost 20 years now, with a long and distinguished career behind them. They have worked with a diverse rang of artists from The Divine Comedy to Lesley Garret. They also have a large back catalogue of genre music and any film music buff is likely to have one of their recordings, even if they are unaware of it. The Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was first put together in 1994 and has since concentrated on mainly classic recordings as well as twentieth century music, who can forget their classic The Science Fiction Album - Vol.1, joking a side it's good to see such reputable artists taking science fiction and fantasy music seriously.

So what about the CD? My suggestion is that you rip it onto an mp3 player or just not look at the track listing. The first reason for this is that the music is not presented in the order in which the films were made, so don't even bother trying to figure out which film which piece came from. Secondly, it's more fun to listen to it without the prompts of Anakins/Yodas/Han Solo theme. I found a real enjoyment out of hearing a track and not knowing from which film it came from until you think: "Ah yes! That's The Asteroid Field music". In some of the lesser track like The Asteroid Field I even went back to the DVD to check that the music was actually from the film. Just goes to show how much of the music you don't really hear.

The tracks reflect the full range of John Williams repertoire from the grand marshal horns of the opening theme and the Imperial March to the over the top use of stings which is usually more reminiscent of the music from E.T., but that aside there are a few surprises along the way.

My biggest problem with the disc is not musical, in fact I thought that the rendition of Duel of the Fates was far better than the original recording, its just why would you want to buy it with the original soundtracks available? If you're a Star Wars nut who wants everything buy it. If you just want to hear the highlights from the films then by all means buy it. Lastly, if you don't remember just how good some of the music was from Star Wars then defiantly buy this disc you wont be disappointed.

Charles Packer

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