THE MUSIC OF BATMAN (Compilation)
Music composed by Danny Elfman, Elliot Goldenthal, James Newton Howard, Hans Zimmer, Shirley Walker, Christopher Drake, Nelson Riddle, and Neal Hefti.
15 Tracks (Playing Time = 44:17)
Album produced by James Fitzpatrick and Rick Clark. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Nic Raine, and James Fitzpatrick. Also features the London Music Works conducted by Evan Jolly. Orchestrations by Steve Bartek (BATMAN), Dominic Nunns (BATMAN RETURNS, BATMAN FOREVER, BATMAN AND ROBIN), Adam Saunders (BATMAN BEGINS), Evan Jolly (THE DARK KNIGHT, BATMAN—THE MOVIE, BATMAN-TV SHOW) and Matt Hohensee (BATMAN—MASK OF THE PHANTASM, BATMAN— GOTHAM KNIGHT). Recorded at Barrandov Studios – Smecky Music Studio, Prague; Phoenix Sound, Pinewood, England; and Porcupine Studios, Mottingham, England. Engineered by Jan Holzner, John Timperley, Dave Moore, and Nick Taylor. Artwork and design by Damien Doherty.
Silva Screen Records 1276
The latest series of compilation discs coming from Silva continues an impressive string of releases from the label. Though quite short, even by the label’s standards, this collection of music from various BATMAN-themed music for TV, film, and animated outings is a tremendous overview of great music.
Some of the music on this release has appeared before and features Nic Raine conducting the City of Prague orchestra through music by Danny Elfman for BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS. The music from BATMAN appears to be a version of an earlier suite on a Silva compilation re-tracked for individual cues. The possibility of it being a recent recording of the music is slightly likely, but if these are older recordings they appear to include some corrected intonation and rhythmic issues which cropped before.
James Fitzpatrick appears on to conduct the newer and second portion of the disc in some quite enticing selections. The “Batterdamerung & Mouth to Mouth Nocturne” make up a brief selection from BATMAN FOREVER. It is quite well-played as is the following “Main Titles & Fanfare” from BATMAN AND ROBIN (which is music that also appeared in BATMAN FOREVER with some alteration). These two Goldenthal selections make you wish the composer was more active, and even that his music might find its way onto a fuller overview on the present label.
Of additional interest will be the music from Shirley Walker’s wonderful score to BATMAN—MASK OF THE PHANTASM presented here as a all too brief collection of three cues. If you have not heard Christopher Drake’s score for the more recent BATMAN—GOTHAM KNIGHT (released on La-La Land Records) you will be in for a treat as the composer’s samples and synths are translated into their full orchestral and choral components proving just what a great score he created for the direct-to-DVD animated film.
Finally, the disc concludes with two tracks devoted to the “original” Adam West TV show whose theme provides a fitting conclusion to the disc, but not before a performance of Nelson Riddle’s “Main Titles” for BATMAN—THE MOVIE. These are both performed by the London Music Works which here appears to be a live ensemble under the direction of arranger Evan Jolly. The performance of the TV theme is a definite improvement over Silva’s previous orchestral release on an old Cult Favorites compilation.
Easily recommended for fans of the BATMAN films.
--Steven A. Kennedy, 20 April 2009
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