Various Artists

Simply the Best Movie Themes

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

This wide-ranging collection of favorite themes from popular movies has at least one virtue -- one is sure to find in it a golden nugget or two. Whether that might be the dramatic opening track of Lalo Schifrin's Mission Impossible, Howard Shore's haunting theme from The Lord of the Rings, or John Kander's effervescent "All That Jazz," something here will attract the interest of casual listeners. However, serious film buffs and classical fans will find this double-disc unsatisfying for their needs. The collection is diffuse and Rhino seems unsure of its audience. Original film music and classical excerpts used in movies, from Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, Mozart's Symphony No. 40, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and so on, uncomfortably sit together and make this disc a cross between a soundtrack collection and a beginner's sampler of classical hits. Furthermore, any album that purports to be the best collection of film music must have a broader scope. Classics from the past have been neglected in favor of movies from the 1990s, and much of the famous film music of Hollywood's heyday is missing. The arrangements performed by Nick Ingman and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are professionally executed, and the classical selections led by Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Ton Koopman, and Sir Andrew Davis, among others, are fine, but often truncated.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Mission Impossible, music for the television series
1 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 04:38 Amazon
Gladiator, film score
2 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 04:16 Amazon
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone, film score
3 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 05:17 Amazon
4 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 05:18 Amazon
Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759
5 Nikolaus Harnoncourt / Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 04:54 Amazon
Shakespeare In Love, film score
6 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 10:37 Amazon
Out of Africa, film score
7 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:27 Amazon
Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626
8 Gulbenkian Orchestra & Choir / Michel Corboz 02:21 Amazon
9 Nikolai Lugansky 02:06 Amazon
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
10 Ton Koopman / Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra 05:36 Amazon
11 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 04:35 Amazon
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
12 Theodor Guschlbauer / Bamberger Symphoniker 03:58 Amazon
13 Andrew Davis / Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra 07:40 Amazon
Titanic, film score
14 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 07:01 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, film score
1 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 05:28 Amazon
Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville, musical play
2 Mary Carewe / Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 04:28 Amazon
Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major ("Trout"), D. 667 (Op. posth. 114)
3 Trio Fontenay / Nobuko Imai / Chi-Chi Nwanoku 04:48 Amazon
4 Nikolai Lugansky 05:50 Amazon
5 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:13 Amazon
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, film score
6 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:59 Amazon
Schindler's List, film score
7 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:59 Amazon
Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)
8 Alain Lombard / Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg 01:35 Amazon
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
9 Ernest Bour / Stefania Woytowicz 08:32 Amazon
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b
10 Donald Runnicles 05:19 Amazon
Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
11 Jill Crossland 04:18 Amazon
License to Kill, film score
12 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:15 Amazon
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13
13 Rudolf Buchbinder 05:43 Amazon
Die Another Day, film score
14 Nick Ingman / Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 03:48 Amazon
Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125
15 Chamber Orchestra of Europe / Nikolaus Harnoncourt 07:45 Amazon
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