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The Six Star Wars Films: New Recordings of the Classic Scores

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Album Review

Silva Screen Records specializes in new recordings of music from film scores, not the original soundtrack recordings, a fact not always clear from the titles and covers of its albums. When this album was first released two years ago, it was called Star Wars: Music from the Six Films, which might have confused some consumers. Now, it has a new title that is confusing for a different reason. Calling it The Six Star Wars Films: New Recordings of the Classic Scores certainly gets the point across that these are not the original soundtrack recordings. But this title makes it sound like the album should be a six-disc set; in fact, there's only one CD, and it runs about an hour. By whatever name, the album sums up John Williams' six scores in recordings performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The music is sequenced for the most part in the order in which the films were released, starting with 1977's Star Wars (later known as Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope), and running through Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith, rounding back to "The Throne Room/Finale" from Star Wars at the end. The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace get the most selections, four each. In addition to the heroic march themes, there are also lovely, pastoral passages such as "Princess Leia" from Star Wars. "The Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back of course heralds the onscreen appearance of Darth Vader and is echoed less threateningly in "Anakin's Theme" from Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace. Star Wars and soundtrack fans won't want to throw away their six albums of the original soundtrack recordings for this re-recorded "best-of," but it is competently performed and gives a good sense of the scores' highlights.

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