Silva America (SSD 1135)
Year Released: 1989 / 2002
Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith
The Philharmonia Orchestra
|1.||The Blue Max Suite - Overture||2:22|
|2.||The Blue Max Suite - First Flight||3:01|
|3.||The Blue Max Suite - The Bridge||3:15|
|4.||The Blue Max Suite - The Attack||5:10|
|5.||The Blue Max Suite - Finale||2:38|
|6.||Television Themes - The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Doctor Kildare, Room 222, The Waltons, Barnaby Jones||9:47|
|7.||Masada - Main Themes||5:39|
|8.||Gremlins - Suite||7:44|
|9.||Motion Picture Themes - The Sand Pebbles, Chinatown, A Patch of Blue, Poltergeist, Papillon, The Wind and the Lion||14:23|
|10.||MacArthur / Patton - The Generals Suite||5:26|
|11.||Lionheart - Robert's Theme||4:07|
|12.||Legend - Faerie Dance / Re-united||7:12|
|Total Album Time:||70:44|
|by Dan Goldwasser
on March 26th, 2002
Back in 1989, an album was released called "Suites and Themes" containing the first studio recording of Jerry Goldsmith's concert works as performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra. It soon went out of print, and was fetching upwards of $150 at various auctions. Now, however, Silva Screen Records has come to the rescue to bring this great album to the rest of us, digitally remastered and in (ooh!) surround sound!
The album starts out with the heroic suite from The Blue Max. The first two tracks of the suite are soaring and epic, and when we get to "The Bridge" and "The Attack", we get some tense action music in the classic Goldsmith style, replete with military percussion and pounding brass and strings.
Probably the best television suite he's ever done (and somewhat replicated on the recent Telarc release, "The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith"), this medley is just killer. Starting out with the percussive hits and swirling strings from "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", the suite goes into "Doctor Kildare", a calm sweeping melody. "Room 222" is a rather nonchalant theme played on oboe, followed by the waltz-like theme from "The Waltons". The "Barnaby Jones" theme then bursts into it with a fast rhythmic underbelly, and exciting string melody.
One of my favorite Goldsmith scores gets the best concert arrangement I've ever heard on this disc. That film, Masada, holds a special place in my heart (having lived in Israel and watched the miniseries when it aired). I absolutely love the score, and this is just a great concert suite. It's followed by an orchestral rendition of music from that Joe Dante classic, Gremlins. The main theme (end title) played at the end feels a little hokey, because it's missing all the cool 80s synth that made the original version so much fun.
The "Motion Picture Themes - Medley" takes us through a few of Goldsmith's better film scores, including classics like Chinatown, Poltergeist, and The Wind and the Lion. Running a little over 14-minutes, this is the track to play for someone who (shockingly) asks, "What has Goldsmith done?" The "General's Suite" contains Goldsmith's themes from Patton and Macarthur - and if anyone is asking what Goldsmith has done of note after hearing that, you can banish them to their room.
"Robert's Theme" from Lionheart, is a triumphant heroic track, and was a great way to end the original album. But now there's a new bonus track of music from Ridley Scott's Legend. This isn't a concert suite recorded in 1989, however - it's from the original soundtrack recording from 1985. It sounds great, although it has a slightly different sonic fingerprint than the rest of the album. It might come across as a shameless plug for the upcoming special edition DVD, but since there was room on the disc, you can't go wrong with selections from Legend - especially considering how many people in the USA haven't heard it. (Shame on them!)
If you already have the original "Suites and Themes" (and even worse, if you paid a bundle for it) then you'll be disappointed to know that this album is just a better listen. The sound is noticeably improved and remastered, and the inclusion of the bonus tracks make this a no-brainer for any Goldsmith fan who missed out on the original release.
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