Various Artists

Simply the Best Movie Themes

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

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 04:38 Amazon
Gladiator, film score
2 04:16 Amazon
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone, film score
3 05:17 Amazon
4 05:18 Amazon
Symphony No. 8 in B minor ("Unfinished"), D. 759
5 04:54 Amazon
Shakespeare In Love, film score
6 10:37 Amazon
Out of Africa, film score
7 03:27 Amazon
Requiem for soloists, chorus, and orchestra, K. 626
8 02:21 Amazon
9 02:06 Amazon
Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068
10 05:36 Amazon
11 04:35 Amazon
Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550
12 03:58 Amazon
13 07:40 Amazon
Titanic, film score
14 07:01 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, film score
1 05:28 Amazon
Chicago: A Musical Vaudeville, musical play
2 04:28 Amazon
Quintet for piano, violin, viola, cello & double bass in A major ("Trout"), D. 667 (Op. posth. 114)
3 04:48 Amazon
4 05:50 Amazon
5 03:13 Amazon
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, film score
6 03:59 Amazon
Schindler's List, film score
7 03:59 Amazon
Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), tone poem for orchestra, Op. 30 (TrV 176)
8 01:35 Amazon
Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 ("Symphony of Sorrowful Songs")
9 08:32 Amazon
Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), opera, WWV 86b
10 05:19 Amazon
Goldberg Variations, for keyboard (Clavier-Übung IV), BWV 988 (BC L9)
11 04:18 Amazon
License to Kill, film score
12 03:15 Amazon
Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ("Pathétique"), Op. 13
13 05:43 Amazon
Die Another Day, film score
14 03:48 Amazon
Symphony No. 9 in D minor ("Choral"), Op. 125
15 07:45 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick