The Ultimate Movie Music Collection
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & Erich Kunzel
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This is a Telarc recording
Not to put fuel on the fire... This is a Telarc recording, and Telarc has a reputation for technically flawless recordings of exactly what's there. This was probably recorded with a high quality stereo pair of mics in the concert hall with no close micing on the instruments. What you hear is what you'd hear if you went to a concert in Cincinatti. If you like the sound of an orchestra in a concert hall, this probably sounds fine to you. If you're used to studio recordings of soundtracks where there are individual mics for nearly every instrument, you probably don't. I listened to the samples from this and other Cincinatti Pops recorings on a decent stereo system connected to my computer, and they all sound about the same. It's the sound of their performance hall. It was a choice probably by Erich Kunzel, and he went with a live orchestral sound rather than a studio sound. I'm not going to pass judgement on it--it is what it is.
A Solid Collection
Pops orchestras can often be an acquired taste, and it is always tender ground when you are attempting to recreate a movie experience with different instrumentation, such as Mission Impossible. Overall, conductor Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra have done a good job in artistically capturing these works with few exceptions. Of course, with a selection this large you are bound to find songs you don’t care for – or are even familiar with. My bet is if you enjoy half of the movies featured, you will definitely be satisfied with this collection. As for this audio thing, I have no idea what the sound quality complaint is and I would find it odd to be different with every computer. I highly suggest listening to the free thirty second clips before downloading anything. Maybe some people need new speakers.
Good Collection, even though not originals
If you don't care about having all of the themes played by the original orchestras (which I do), this album would be great. Being a big John Williams fan, it makes me happy that both the first and last tracks are John Williams. This album also has a wide range of recordings, from love themes, to main themes, to war themes, to even a recording of the Apollo 13 mission radio. Now I must touch on the negatives. I must note for anyone looking to buy this that these are NOT original recordings for the movies, nor did Erich Kunzel write them. Original recordings, or at least recordings by the original orchestra are almost always better, and if you can find them for $1 on iTunes, buy those. I can understand people's complaints about the sound quality. Erich Kunzel uses stereo recording devices that are placed in front of the orchestra to simulate a concert hall feel. The sound quality problems in some of the tracks, especially in Theme from A Summer Place, is due to Kunzel's apparent stuborness or possibly ignorance in the spacial arrangement of his orchestra. If he would've just moved the main instruments closer, it would've been much better. I don't hear the "muffled" sound, unless you're referring to the echo on some of the tracks. In that case it is very annoying. In regards to the music, some of the tracks are played to slowly or sound sloppy, like the first track, so watch out for those. All in all, this is a well done compilation with tracks of hit-and-miss quality.
Formed: 1977 in Cincinnati, OH
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s