Film music composer Jerry Goldsmith flexed his muscles on this release, featuring three of his original compositions flawlessly played by the London Symphony Orchestra. The first track, "Music for Orchestra," written in 1970, attempts to express Goldsmith's pain while enduring a rough period in his life. Musically, the piece shares some textures with Goldsmith's groundbreaking score for Planet of the Apes, while striking out on its own as an intense and ultimately cathartic work (composed using the "modernistic" 12-tone system). 1969's "Christus Apollo" continues in 12-tone mode, fitting orchestral and choral settings around a narrated text written by Ray Bradbury. Anthony Hopkins provides a mellifluous reading of the text, a celebratory incantation reflecting on space travel and Christianity, while solo mezzo-soprano Eirian James and the London Voices revel in their stirring choral passages. The percussion section also gets a great workout during this piece. "Fireworks," a "celebration of Los Angeles" written in 1999, closes the album on a spectacular (and more traditional) note. While casual Goldsmith fans will immediately enjoy "Fireworks," the other two admittedly more difficult works contain ample rewards for the patient listener.
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AllMusic Review by Neil Shurley
|Christus Apollo, cantata for narrator, mezzo-soprano, chorus & orchestra|