Jerry Goldsmith / National Philharmonic Orchestra

The Secret of NIMH [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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With 1982's The Secret of NIMH, Jerry Goldsmith made his first foray into animated film -- he later admitted that the concept proved so foreign to his sensibilities that in the end he approached the project like a live-action feature, composing the same kinds of extended themes and employing the same sort of structural development that typifies so much of his early-'80s output. Listeners raised on a steady diet of post-Little Mermaid Disney soundtracks may have no idea what to make of The Secret of NIMH, but Goldsmith enthusiasts will discover much to savor here. Its sweeping melodies and vivid choral passages are well-matched to the fantasy genre, buoyed by Goldsmith's artful pacing and unerring flair for the dramatic. Most noteworthy is "Flying Dreams," written by Goldsmith but performed by underrated American pop maestro Paul Williams.

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