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Film Music Review (Volumes 1-7)

 
   

 

 

 


  Special Merit 

THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY: A CENTURY OF FLIGHT (2005)

Suite from THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY (Dimitri Tiomkin, 1954) [6:46]
Suite from THOS MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (Ron Goodwin, 1965)[4:58]
"Prelude and Fugue" from SPITFIRE (Sir William Walton, 1942)[8:42]
"Flying" from E.T.: The EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (John Williams, 1982)[4:01]
"Ireland" from THE SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS (Franz Waxman, 1957)[4:20]
"March" from THE GREAT WALDO PEPPER (Henry Mancini, 1975)[2:24]
"Flying Over Africa" from OUT OF AFRICA (John Barry, 1985)[6:20]
"Main Title" from 633 SQUADRON (Ron Goodwin, 1964)[3:05]
"Main Title" from THE LAST STARFIGHTER (Craig Safan, 1984)[3:16]
Suite from THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN (Lee Holdridge, 1995)[5:18]
"End Title" from STAR TREK--THE MOTION PICTURE (Jerry Goldsmith, 1979)[3;56]
A CENTURY OF FLIGHT (Brian Shyer, 2004)[5:24]

London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Kaufman. Recorded at Abbey Road Studio One.

Produced by Paul Stilwell. Executive Producer: Robert Townson. Recorded and Mixed by Jim Schleffler. Liner Notes by Jim Brown. CD Cover and Inlay Paintings by Matthew Joseph Peak.

Varese Sarbande 302 066 704 2

Rating: ****

This CD compilation is chock full of great themes and suites. It's such a wonderful collection that little needs to be said about each of the selections except that they all celebrate flight through film scores from the 1940s to the 1990s.

Some listeners may not like to hear just a theme or a short suite but I don't agree when it's enjoyable as this CD. Even though they are excerpts, there are many memorable themes.

It begins with one of the best -- Dimitri Tiomkin's superb music from THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY. There are also other Oscar-winning scores, such as the overused "Flying" theme from E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, and John Barry's "Flyring Over Africa" from OUT OF AFRICA.

Other listeners might also like Ron Goodwin's delightful THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES (ending with that catchy song theme), Sir William Walton's classic "Prelude" and "Fugue" from SPITFIRE., or Franz Waxman's lovely "Ireland" theme from THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS. Also, there's the thrilling space themes by Craig Safan and Jerry Goldsmith. I think you get the picture. (excuse the pun!).

There is also a fine new piece, "A Century of Flight," by Brian Shyer. As might expected, the London Symphony is in top form and Richard Kaufman's highly assured conducting keeps the music moving along at an appropriate pace. Sound quality is brilliant and Jim Brown's CD notes are well done. Matthew Joseph Peak's cover painting used on the CD cover is beautiful to behold.

Like the flight it celebrates, this CD really soars!

Highly recommended.

--Roger Hall, 10 January 2006


 

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