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Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier Soundtrack from Silva

To Infinity and Beyond?
Review by Christopher Coleman

Conducted by Paul Bateman and Nic Raine
Choir Master: David Temple
Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Released by Silva Screen Records- July 25, 2000

Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier Soundtrack from Silva

Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier

Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier Soundtrack from Silva

Category

Score
Originality n/a
Music Selection 6
Composition n/a
CD Length 9
Track Order 5
Performance 5
Final Score 6/10

With two previous double-CD releases containing some of Hollywood's best known science fiction scores, one might think that Silva America might have reached the final frontier of such compilations...at least for a little while.  Two years after Silva's release of Alien Invasion, Paul Bateman, Nic Raine, and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra united once again to bring us into the heavens. There are many familiar themes reprised throughout this compilation- many of which are performed adequately, but rarely approach the brightness or sharpness of the original soundtrack performances.  

Silva Screen Records usually excels at picking a solid variety that represents many composers', both famous and not-so-famous, work.  For Space 3 they thankfully include some of the less glorified works of Basil Poledouris, Alan Silvestri, John Debney, or Laurence Rosenthal.  Such inclusions alone make this release a project worth investigating.

Disc One

Delivered to us once again are a handful of themes that most film music fans have heard countless times on the original soundtracks or on other compilations.  Aliens (disk 1:1),  Back to the Future (disc 1: 8) just need not re-performed or recorded again.  However, if one is able to put these aside, there are a few other tracks that are certainly worth inclusion in such a compilation.

Where this compilation truly excels is in bringing to the forefront themes and suites that have not been performed, rearranged, recompiled, remixed and re-released to death.  Of note are tracks such as Filbey's Theme by Russell Garcia from The Time Machine (Disc 1: 7).  Here, we have a beautiful piece that George Delerue would have been proud of.  Another is John Debney's The Cape (9), where the composer continues to show off his flare for flamboyancy a la Cutthroat Island.  Disc one concludes with a barrage of music from the Star Trek world.  By far the most compelling is Ron Jones opening music for the video game, Star Fleet Academy.

Disc two 

The second disc suffers less regarding themes that have been previously released, but Deep Impact (disc 2: 10) may qualify as one of the most over-compiled piece in the last ten years.  With this exception, disc two can enjoyed much more thoroughly than disc one.

One thing that the Bateman, Raine, and the City of Prague Philharmonic seem to be able to do a bit better than the Cincinnati Pops is perform pieces from Hans Zimmer or Trevor Rabin as evidenced by the suite from Armageddon (5:08).  Despite a slightly over zealous choral section, this track is much more acceptable than the performance on Mega Movies.

Disc two concludes with a suite from Star Wars:  The Phantom Menace.  The performance here fall a bit short of The Cincinnati Pops' performance of the same selections found on Mega Movies, but are on par with Varese Sarabande's early attempt, The Phantom Menace and Other Film Scores.  These two equally fall short of the tightness, crispness and vitality of the original recording of the scores most memorable theme,  Duel of the Fates. The most disappointing thing about this concluding suite is that the producers have little choice but to choose the same pieces to perform as those compilations which preceded it.

The City of Prague Philharmonic's performance has proven consistent in its inconsistency.  It usually draws the most negative attention to itself when performing themes that most film music fans know note-for-note.  Unlike the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which under the watchful baton of Erich Kunzel, may take a bit of creative license with themes of similar popularity yet still provide an evocative listen, the City of Prague Orchestra falls a bit short.  Even composer Don Davis' feelings about their performance of The Matrix cue is double-edged.  He states, "I didn't know that The City of Prague Philharmonic was capable of such high quality music recording."

Still, Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier, offers a new choice for those looking for another sci-fi film music sampler.  Despite those themes which have been abused in their overuse on compilation CDs, this double-CD project provides a handful of tracks that most everyone will find entertaining enough to include in their collection.

Track Listing and Ratings

Disc 1

 Track  Title  Time

  Rating

1 Aliens -Prelude/ Ripley's Rescue (Horner) 5:54  ***
2 Ghostbusters -Main Theme
 (E. Bernstein)
3:12  **
3 It Came from Outer Space
The Thing Strikes/ Desert Rendezvous (Mancini)
4:17  **
4 Strange Invaders - Suite 
(John Addison)
8:27  **
5 Judge Dredd - Suite (Silvestri) 4:50  ****
6 Robocop - Suite (Poledouris) 9:31  ***
7 The Time Machine - London 1900/ Filbey's Theme (R. Garcia) 2:28  *****
8 Back to the Future - Main Theme (Silvestri) 3:25  ***
9 The Cape - Main Theme (Debney) 3:11  *****
10 Star Trek: The Menagerie Suite (Courage) 8:27  **
11 Star Fleet Academy - Opening 
(R. Jones)
4:02  ****
12 Star Trek: Insurrection - End Title Suite (Goldsmith) 5:06  ***
 

Total Running Time

63:06  
     

Disc 2

 Track  Title  Time

  Rating

1 The Last Starfighter - Main Theme (C. Safan) 3:08  ****
2 Silent Running - The Space Fleet (P. Schickele) 4:09  ***
3 Journey to the Far Side of the Sun - Suite (B. Gray) 5:57  ****
4 Lost in Space - End Titles (Broughton) 3:26  ***
5 Galaxy Quest - Suite (D. Newman) 7:11  ***
6 Things to Come - The Children's Ballet (A. Bliss) 3:46  ****
7 Things to Come - March (A. Bliss) 3:59  ***
8 The Matrix - Anything is Possible (D. Davis) 8:08  ***
9 Meteor - End Titles Suite
 (L. Rosenthal)
5:03  ****
10 Deep Impact - The Wedding 4:18  ***
11 Armageddon - Suite (T. Rabin) 5:08  ***
12 Star Wars:  The Phantom Menace 
-The Flag Parade
(Williams)
3:18  ***
13 -Anakin's Theme (Williams) 2:51  ***
14 -The Adventures of Jar Jar (Williams) 3:26  ***
15 -Duel of the Fates (Williams) 4:10  ***
 

Total Running Time

68:17  
 
 



Referenced Reviews:  
Mega Movies | The Matrix | The Phantom Menace and Other Film Scores

 

Quick Quotes

Throughout, the performance is good; at times, it lacks the potency of the original soundtrack material, but I doubt that the science fiction fans this album is aimed at will notice. Some of the material is first-rate, and some of it is scraping the barrel - I doubt that there are many pieces that the average film music fan doesn't already own, but then I equally doubt that it's towards that particular demographic that Silva Screen are aiming.

James Southal - Movie Wave!


Conducted by 
Paul Bateman and Nic Raine

 

 

 



Space 3:  Beyond the Final Frontier Soundtrack from Silva

 
 

 

 

 

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