10 Tracks (Playing Time = 45:48)
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducted by Nic Raine, David Temple and Paul Bateman. Album Produced by James Fitzpatrick. Mastered by Rick Clark. Release co-ordination by David Stoner and Peter Compton. Artwork and Design by Damien Doherty.
Silva Screen SILCD 2010
This is another in the ongoing budget line of Silva Screen re-releases, or is it re-re-releases? So far the series has featured film music by John Barry, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, James Horner, Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, Alan Silvestri, and John Williams.
The Maurice Jarre CD sampler is is one of the better ones in this "Film Music Masterworks" series.
Most of the tracks were taken from the previously released 2 CD Silva Screen set, The Essential Maurice Jarre Film Music Collection (26 tracks), This set is still available and is recommended.
For the budget single CD sampler it includes the suites from three well known Sir David Lean films, all of them Oscar winners: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962), DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965), and A PASSAGE TO INDIA (1984). There is the Main Title from the 1960s film, IS PARIS BURNING? (1966). Then there are three scores from the 1970s: RYAN'S DAUGHTER (1970), THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING (1975), and JESUS OF NAZARETH (1977). Also from the 1980s and 1990s there are: MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME (1985), WITNESS (1985), GHOST (1990).
Of these themes and suites, I preferred the Overture (4:26) to LAWRENCE, the swirling carousel-like music from the Main Title (3:53) for IS PARIS BURNING? Also, the End Credits (4:28) for GHOST and the Suite (8:59) from RYAN'S DAUGHTER. Even the popular "Buidling the Barn" theme (4:40) from WITNESS sounds quite good, I think better than the somewhat hokey electronics used on the original soundtrack.
The playing by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is highly accomplished, under a variety of conductors.
As with all Silva Screen releases, the sound quality is spacious and full.
The CD notes by Michael Beek are very brief but satisfactory.
Even the minimal artwork for this release works, depicting a robed Lawrence alone in the desert.
This is a very appealing souvenir CD of Maurice Jarre's 55 year career in films.
--Roger L. Hall, 10 October 2007
Comments regarding this review can be sent to: Film Music Review