imperial march

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Kunzel) – ‘Great Film Fantasies’  An SACD review by Mark Jordan

Cincinnati Pops Orchestra (Kunzel) – ‘Great Film Fantasies’ An SACD review by Mark Jordan

In recent years, John Williams has written some concert pieces not connected with his extensive film scoring career. But if he wants concert immortality, then he need look no further than his music from George Lucas’ ‘Star Wars’ series. If he would arrange these into an effective concert suite (as opposed to the general selections now available), then we would have a wonderful concert suite (or two) on our hands. We have parts of one or more such suites on this new hybrid multichannel Super Audio CD from Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops on Telarc, but not everything passes the final cut. The music Williams seems to have been born to write is the opening title for the original ‘Star Wars’ (as it will always be to those of us old enough to have had our minds blown by seeing it when it first came out; it is now known by the catchy title ‘Episode IV: A New Hope’). Indeed, the first four tracks on this disc make a nice quasi-symphony. The music for the main titles of ‘A New Hope’ serves as an expansive, inspiring opening, the tender portrait of ‘Princess Leia’ is a fine slow movement, the rollicking ‘Cantina Band’ makes a joyous scherzo, and the ‘Imperial March’ stands as a pulse-pounding finale, albeit a rather dour one. read more…

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