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Stargate (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

Tracksounds Rating = 8/10

Stargate (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

Composed by David Arnold
Released by Varese Sarabande on May 4, 1999

Track Title Time Rating Out of Nowhere
by Christopher Coleman

Just like the movie, David Arnold seemingly appeared out of nowhere to provide one of the best scores of 1994 with his work for Stargate. Scoring this movie was Arnold’s entry into the "big leagues" and he was immediately hailed as one of the top film composers in the business.

I am a very late bloomer when it comes to David Arnold. My first exposure to his work was on Independence Day, which I found to be a bit corny, just like the movie, but it did have some very nice moments, NOT like the movie. I first heard the theme from Stargate on Erich Kunzel’s "The Big Picture" and thought that there were many similarities between Stargate and ID4 (also contained on The Big Picture), but I enjoyed the Stargate track much more. I finally took the plunge in purchasing the Stargate OST as I noticed it not being readily available at several of my favorite soundtrack pushers. Better late than never!

Stargate is a very powerful score. Performed magnifcently by the Sinfonia Orchestra of London and conducted by Nicholas Dodd, there is a massive, epic feel to the score. The score is also haunting at times with Arnold’s use of the choir. Most of the tracks are fairly short, two to three minutes, which accounts for the 30 tracks on the compact disc.  There are five tracks under one minute long.   Many of the ques are so similar in tone and content that they sound as though they are all one track.  It is nearly impossible to tell when you move from one track to the next, in several instances. 

David Arnold weaves in musical themes that  nail down the Egyptian ties in the movie.  It is done very effectively- cClearly represented but not overbearing.  The main theme to Stargate is very beautiful and memorable and this is a good thing because one hears it often, in various forms, throughout the CD.  Aside from the main theme, a strong militaristic theme can be heard entering and exiting a few of the tracks.

I have read, many times, the comparison of Arnold to John Williams. While I do hear an occasional bit of music that is Williamesque, I think Arnold has to get more quality scores under his belt before such a comparison can be made. Even within the liner notes of Stargate, this comparison is made. I have to admit that I did not think about Star Wars or any of William’s epic scores of the 70’s and 80’s when I listened to Stargate. Maybe Arnold will attain such status in the future, but, as they say, "the future is not yet." Being very disappointed with David Arnold’s score to Godzilla, the future may be a little farther off than we may realize. It might do Mr. Arnold well to break away from the Emmerich team for a bit, so he isn’t locked into too many corny plots that detract from his scores. How about a Star Trek feature film? That could showcase his talents greatly! Or if he really is the next Williams give him Jurassic Park 3. 

If you’re a late comer to David Arnold’s music, like me, I’d recommend, out of his current releases, that you pick up Stargate along with Last of the Dogmen. This score is easy to listen all the way through, although it can get just a smidge repetitive at times. 


Stargate Overture



Giza, 1928





4 The Coverstones 0:58 ***




The Stargate Opens



You're on the Team



Entering the Stargate



The Other Side



Mastadge Drag



The Mining Pit



King of the Slaves



Caravan to Nagada



Daniel and Shaun



Symbol Discovery


16 Sarcophagus Opens 0:55 *
17 Daniel's Mastadge 0:49 **
18 Leaving Nagada 4:09 **
19 Ra - The Sun God 3:22 **
20 The Destruction of Nagada 2:08 ***
21 Myth, Faith, Belief 2:18 *
22 Procession 1:43 ***
23 Slave Rebellion 1:00 **
24 The Seventh Symbol 0:57 ***
25 Quartz Shipment 1:27 *
26 Battle at the Pyramid 5:02 ***
27 We Don't Want to Die 1:57 ***
28 The Surrender 1:44 ***
29 Kasuf Returns 3:06 ***
30 Going Home 3:09 ****
  Total PlayingTime 39.46    



Film Continuity 9  
Originality 8  
CD Length 8  
Track Order 7  
Performance 8  
Final Score 8  

Other reviews:

Stargate was one of David Arnold's first big scores, and it is, in my opinion, also one of his best efforts to date. Fans of Arnold's music for Independence Day will definitely take this score to their hearts. Although, while ID 4 was almost disturbingly patriotic at times, Stargate is a more traditional adventure score. But, still the music has that genuine Arnold sound - big orchestra, with powerful brass, percussion, and full choir.*****

Andreas Lindahl - Score!

David Arnold
David Arnold

Stargate (Soundtrack) by David Arnold
Full symphony and choral sound is mixed with a full array of strange instruments to produce a stunning and surprising soundtrack. ****

Christian Clemmensen  - Filmtracks

Purchase this CD at

Stargate (Soundtrack) by David Arnold

All artwork from Stargate is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande (c) 1998.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.


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