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Film Music Masterworks - Jerry Goldsmith

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Album Review

In 1998, Silva Screen Records, which specializes in non-soundtrack recordings of soundtrack music, issued a collection of excerpts from the extensive scoring work of Jerry Goldsmith called The Omen: The Essential Jerry Goldsmith Film Music Collection. It was a two-CD set containing 28 tracks with a running time over 137 minutes. (As usual with Silva Screen releases, the music was performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.) The All Music Guide reviewer commented, "It's truly impossible to cover all the facets of Jerry Goldsmith's career as a composer for film, even on a packed double-CD set such as this." Film Music by Jerry Goldsmith, an entry in Silva Screen's Film Music Masterworks series, is a single disc running 52 minutes and containing 12 tracks, some of them (the combined main themes of First Blood and Rambo: First Blood Part II, the main theme from Basic Instinct) repeated from the earlier collection. Of course, the previous assessment is even truer here — this is little more than a sampler of Goldsmith's music from the period 1968-1999. Peter Compton's liner notes inadvertently spotlight the omissions by mentioning some of the highlights of the composer's career, including his scores for Patton and Chinatown, neither of which is featured on the disc. So, this is not a comprehensive view of Goldsmith's music, nor is it any sort of "best of." But it does contain some excellent film music, mostly in the form of main themes, which is a good way to sample Goldsmith, who always liked to go for big, overarching themes in his scores. Listeners intrigued by what they hear here will be able to find much more where this came from on the actual soundtracks.

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