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Cinema Century 2000

Tracksounds Rating = 6/10

Buy Cinema Century 2000  from Amazon.com

Conducted by Nic Raine, Paul Bateman, Kenneth Alwyn,
and  Nicholoas Dodd
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic,
 The Westminster Philharmonic, Crouch End Festival Chorus
Released by Silva Treasury October 1999

Track Title Time Rating ...To Our Posterity?
by Christopher Coleman

As 20th century draws to a close, we see “The Best of the Century” lists for everything one could possibly think of:  cars, athletes, actors, movies, food, companies, individuals, teams, the list goes on and on.  The Silva Treasury brings their best-list to CD in their release entitled Cinema Century 2000.  This is quite a compilation.  Here we have four CDs packed with some of the most memorable tunes of this century -from The Mark to the Mask of Zorro.  Each CD represents a particular era. The first represents the Golden Age of Hollywood.  The second represents the decade of the sixties.  Third, we have the seventies and eighties remembered.  The nineties are finally found on CD number four.  The idea for such a CD is admirable and not an easy one to produce, one would imagine.  As great as it is to have such a large compilation of such varied themes, it is hard not to be confused by some of the representative scores for particular eras.  There are a few omissions that will, at least, make one scratch their head or get down right mad.

The Golden Age of Hollywood produced unrivaled films even to this day.  Likewise many of their scores go unrivaled and from time to time have a musical hat tipped to them by our modern day masters of silver screen scores.  The initial CD is full of the greats:  Steiner (King Kong, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Cain Mutiny), Korngold (Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk), Newman (Wuthering Heights, The Mark of Zorro), Waxman (Prince Valiant), and Rozsa (The Thief of Bagdad) among others.  The accomplishments of these men have been hailed for years and conductors Nic Raine, Paul Bateman and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra continue to honor their achievements with bright, solid performances.  Of note is track 3, Alexander Nevsky, Entry into Pskov, a wonderful choral piece, track 4, Wuthering Heights, a stellar performance of Cathy’s Theme, and Miklos Rozsa’s The Thief of Bagdad, The Love of the Princess, one of my favorite Rozsa’s themes!  This is the best of the quad-CD package.  The Golden Era provided so many great themes to pick from.  A tough job for sure, yet Silva did an admirable job in their selections here.

Disc number two has a few good selections as well, but overall dips in the quality of song selection.  The Guns of Navarone, The Legend of Navarone is an interesting choice.  Tiomkin’s theme is bright and peppy yet still heroic.  Of course, one can never have enough of Rozsa and he is represented in the sixties by, among others, El Cid.  Here we have a good performance of the Love Theme.  The Sixties saw the birth of a screen legend that continues all the way into the end of the century, James Bond.  Monty Norman’s recognizable theme for Dr. No and for the special agent is played with a real funky little swing to it.  The unforgettable Nino Rota theme for Romeo and Juliet is given a fair shake midway through the CD through a concise suite.  This might be the most diverse regarding content.  There are a number of themes that became standards from Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel, and Michel Legrand, but are not overly thrilling in the midst of the afford mentioned works.

Moving into the monumental decade, as far as film scores go, the seventies showcased some of the greatest film scores ever and the eighties built on the established momentum.  Unfortunately, for the film score fan, many such scores go unrepresented.  The Godfather receives two theme entries and while both are truly classic, one representative would have sufficed, if only to make room for at least one theme from John Williams.  Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture gave new life to Trekdom and is one of his best works.  From Goldsmith’s bag also comes the beautifully sad Main Theme from Papillon.  Stanley Myers wonderful theme for the Deer Hunter, Cavatina, is simply one of the most gorgeous themes one can listen to and is welcome addition.  The travesty here is that John Williams is not represented at all in the seventies.  Maybe due to the various John Williams tributes that have come out or are in the process of coming out, they elected to not include much from the most prolific film composer of the latter twentieth century.  Still, this is a true shame.

If Williams’ exclusion from the seventies was strange, some of the entries for the eighties are even stranger. While Body Heat, The Right Stuff, and even Batman, have their merits, do they musically symbolize cinema for the eighties?  Again Williams is bypassed.  No Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi?  Horner doesn’t even get a hoot in the eighties, but is; however, is given his due on the last CD.  Is Michael Kamen’s work for Lethal Weapon more representative of film music in the eighties than these?

For the nineties, a host of Oscar winners fill the CD and it is likely that most of these selections will go on to help define film music in the nineties.  The mystical Goldsmith theme from Basic Instinct is as mesmerizing as ever.  This is an interesting, but acceptable piece for this compilation.  The Body Guard is certainly known more for Whitney Houston’s hit pop song than Silvestri’s score and while I’m glad to hear just about anything from Silvestri, this piece certainly doesn’t qualify for to represent the twentieth century.  Both Il Postino and The English Patient are two of the most overrated scores of the decade, but their inclusion is no surprise.  On this CD, James Horner certainly gets well represented and no wonder since the nineties have been his most productive and arguably his best.  Braveheart, Apollo 13, Titanic and The Mask of Zorro are all included.  Unfortunately, the certain elements of the performances in all four tracks cannot but make one wince.  Finally, some Williams- Saving Private Ryan or rather Hymn to the Fallen will certainly go down as a classic piece forever marking Williams as a master composerand this is a very good performance of the hymn, but will that be his legacy for this century?

Silva’s task here was immense.  It is my assumption that they desired to pick the best representatives of film music for the century for this CD.  Aside from disc one, they have brought together a very puzzling compilation.   Sadly, the liner notes do not shed any light on why they picked the selections they did, which might help the listener to buy into their choices a little more. With there being so many good to great composers that have been active in the last 50 years, it would be impossible to sample them all; however, there are no pieces from composers who truly represent their times such as: Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein and Hans Zimmer.  The concept of Cinema Century 2000 is great, but the selections and sometimes the performances are just not those one would want posterity to judge film music by.

Disc 1  
1 1933 King King - Prelude (Steiner) 4:05 ***
2 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood - Love Theme (Korngold) 6:25 ***
3 Alexander Nevsky - Entry into Pskov (Prokofiev) 4:20 ****
4 Wuthering Heights - Cathy's Theme (A. Newman) 2:55 ****
5 The Sea Hawk - Suite (Korngold) 6:30 ***
6 The Thief of Bagdad - The Love of a Princess (Rozsa) 4:51 ****
7 The Mark of Zorro - Overture (Newman/ Friedhofer) 4:42 ***
8 Laura (Raskin) 6:20 ***
9 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Steiner) 3:26 ***
10 War of the Worlds - Main Title/ Prelude (Stevens) 4:57 **
11 Prince Valiant - Prelude (Waxman) 1:53 ***
12 The Caine Mutiny - March (Steiner) 2:29 ***
13 To Catch a Thief 5:53 ***
14 The Vikings 3:36 ****
Disc Time 62:49  
Disc 2  
1 Breakfast at Tiffany's - Moon River (Mancini) 3:09 ***
2 The Guns of Navarone - The Legend of Navarone (Tiomkin) 2:33 ***
3 El Cid - Love Theme (Rozsa) 4:16 ****
4 Dr. No - The James Bond Theme (M. Norman) 3:02 ***
5 How the West was Won - Prelude (A. Newman) 3:17 ***
6 Dr. Strangelove - The Bomb Run (L. Johnson) 2:13 **
7 The Longest Day - March (P. Anka) 4:43 ***
8 Hatari - Baby Elephant Walk (Mancini) 2:26 **
9 The Sandpiper - The Shadow of Your Smile (J. Mandel) 4:15 ***
10 The Thomas Crown Affair - The Windmills of Your Mind (M. Legrand) 3:28 ***
11 Romeo & Juliet - Suite (Rota) 7:42 ***
12 2001: A Space Odyssey - Sprach Zarathustra (R. Strauss) 1:50 ***
13 Once Upon a Time in the West - Man with the Harmonica (Morricone) 3:52 *
14 Ryan's Daughter - Suite (Jarre) 8:59 ***
Disc Time 56:11  
Disc 3  
1 Summer of '42 - The Summer Knows (M. Legrand) 3:37 ***
2 Last Tango in Paris (G. Barbieri) 3:28 **
3 The Godfather - The Godfather Waltz (Rota) 3:43 ***
4 The Godfather - Speak Softy Love/ Love Theme (Rota) 2:45 ***
5 The Way We Were (M. Hamlisch) 3:14 ***
6 Papillon - Out to Sea/ Main theme (Goldsmith) 3:55 ****
7 The Deer Hunter - Cavatina (Stanely Myers) 3:15 ****
8 Star Trek:  The Motion Picture - Finale (Goldsmith) 3:58 ****
9 Body Heat (John Barry) 4:34 **
10 Excalibur - Carmina Burana (Orff) 2:46 ****
11 The Right Stuff - Finale (Conti) 4:45 ***
12 The Cotton Club - Main Theme (Barry) 2:31 ****
13 Jean De Florette - Theme (Claude-Petit) 3:22 ***
14 Lethal Weapon - Meet Martin Riggs (Kamen) 3:17 *
15 Batman - Suite (Elfman) 13.02 ***
Disc Time 62:38  
Disc 4  
1 Ghost - Unchained Melody (A. North) 3:41 ***
2 Basic Instinct - Theme (Goldsmith) 2:32 ****
3 Prince of Tides - Main Title (J. N. Howard) 3:50 ***
4 Last of the Mohicans - Main Theme (T. Jones) 3:14 ***
5 The Bodyguard - Love Theme (Silvestri) 3:46 ***
6 Il Postino - Theme/ The Bicycle (Bacalov) 4:36 **
7 Braveheart - End Titles (Horner) 7:05 **
8 Apollo 13 - Main Title (Horner) 3:02 ***
9 Independence Day - Finale (Arnold) 9:02 **
10 The English Patient - As Far as Florence/ Rupert Bear (Yared) 4:06 **
11 Titanic - Take Her to Sea Mr. Murdoch 4:24 **
12 Saving Private Ryan - Hymn to the Fallen (J. Williams) 6:04 ****
13 The Mask of Zorro - Suite 6:15 *
Disc Time 61:53  
  Total Playing Time 243:41    

Category

Score

 

Music Selection

5  

CD Length

8  

Track Order

6  

Performance

6  

Final Score

6  
         

Other reviews:

...all in all, probably about half of these cues are worth having, and half are not - either on musical or performance grounds. And bear in mind that there is no music at all by Bernard Herrmann, and only one each for Alex North, Ennio Morricone and John Williams, and you begin to wonder what on earth is going on in a survey of 100 years of film music! But I doubt very much that the set was conceived for the film music market, but rather for a much wider public audience. To them, it should prove appealing.***

James Southall- Movie Wave

Cinema Century 2000
Many of the cues are old recordings, meaning that they have been included on several other compilations before. This is often the case with Silva Screen's compilations, but one has to keep in mind that they often are not aimed at "professional" film music fans, but rather at the general public. And as introductions to the amazing world of film music, Silva Screens' compilations are always perfect. And this extremely enjoyable little collection is no exception.****

Andreas Lindahl - Score!

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All artwork from The Avengers is exclusive property of Silva Treasury (c) 1999.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.