Various Artists

The Magnificent Westerns

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The Magnificent Westerns Review

by James Leonard

For what it is, it can't be beat. What is it? It's a four CD set with 56 themes from some of the greatest westerns ever made for the big or the little screen. Which westerns are those? Everything from The Alamo to Wyatt Earp including Stagecoach, Bonanza, Shane and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly along with dozens of others. True, these are not the original performances, and those looking for Tex Ritter singing the theme from High Noon or Frankie Lane singing the theme from Blazing Saddles will have to settle for the big-toned but less than wholly compelling Jason Howard. But in compensation, the sound here is high-octane digital with a booming bass, a knife sharp treble and a mid-range as big as all outdoors. And true, these performances by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus conducted by either Paul Stateman or Nic Raine lack the true grit of the original performances by Hollywood studio orchestras of the Golden Age or Italian studio orchestras of the Spaghetti Age. But in compensation, the Czech players have at least the same level of professionalism and the conductors have perhaps more energy and enthusiasm. While few will listen all the way through all 56 themes in a single session, a sampling of a half dozen or so will be enough to get even the most staid suburbanite to slap on their six shooters, saddle up their mustang and head out to the wild, wild west.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Alamo, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:07 Amazon
The Big Country, film score
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:53 Amazon
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:05
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 01:39
The Comancheros, film score
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
The Cowboys, film score
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 09:43
Dances with Wolves, film score
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:36 SpotifyAmazon
Duel in the Sun, film score
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 12:52 SpotifyAmazon
El Condor, film score
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:21
A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari), film score
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:27
Giù la testa (Duck, You Sucker), film score (aka "A Fistful of Dynamite")
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:09
For a Few Dollars More (Per qualche dollaro in più), film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:24
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo), film score
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:54
Gunfight At the O. K. Corral, film score
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 08:48 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Guns for San Sebastian, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:48 SpotifyAmazon
Hallelujah Trail, film score
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 06:14 SpotifyAmazon
Hang 'Em High, film score
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:42
Heaven's Gate, film score
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:08 SpotifyAmazon
High Noon, film score
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:33
The High Plains Drifter, film score
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:12
How the West Was Won, film score
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 07:10
High Chaparral, television theme
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 01:13
The Jaywalkers, film score
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 07:56
Overture to Guillaume Tell (William Tell)
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:29
Lonesome Dove, television score
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 09:48
The Magnificent Seven, film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:52
Monte Walsh, film score
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 11:12
Il Mio Nome è Nessuno (My Name Is Nobody), film score (aka Lonesome Gun)
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:12

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Nevada Smith, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:25
Night Passage, film score
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:08 SpotifyAmazon
Old Gringo, film score
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:05
Once Upon a Time in the West, film score
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 09:56 SpotifyAmazon
The Outlaw Josey Wales, film score
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:27 SpotifyAmazon
The Professionals, film score
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:25
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:18
The Rare Breed, film score
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 08:34
Red River, film score
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:28
Rio Bravo, film score
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:06 SpotifyAmazon
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:54
The Searchers, film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 07:21
Shane, film score
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:37 SpotifyAmazon
Silverado, film score
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:08

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
The Shootist, film score
1 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:23
The Sons of Katie Elder, film score
2 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:14
Stagecoach, film score
3 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 06:39
True Grit, film score
4 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:39 SpotifyAmazon
Two Mules For Sister Sara, film score
5 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:22
6 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 06:19
The Unforgiven, film score (1960)
7 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 05:36 SpotifyAmazon
Viva Zapata!, film score
8 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:29 SpotifyAmazon
9 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 01:33
Villa Rides!, film score
10 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:30
11 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 03:09
The Wild Bunch, film score
12 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 10:31 SpotifyAmazon
Wild Rovers, film score
13 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 02:09 SpotifyAmazon
Wyatt Earp, film score
14 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus 04:52
blue highlight denotes track pick