Jerry Goldsmith: 40 Years of Film Music
This 57-track, four-CD set running nearly four-and-three-quarters hours and containing re-recordings of music composed by Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004) for film and television scores over a period of more than 40 years was compiled from previously released Silva Screen collections, notably the 1989 album Goldsmith Conducts Goldsmith by the Philharmonia Orchestra (originally on Decca but reissued by Silva Screen in 2002) and the 1998 two-CD set The Omen: The Essential Jerry Goldsmith Film Music Collection by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. As such, it is not the ideal Goldsmith album, despite its length, because there are odd repetitions and omissions. For example, Goldsmith's music for the TV series The Waltons is part of a medley of "Television Themes" performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, but it also gets its own separate track performed by the Daniel Caine Orchestra. Similarly, musical excerpts from the Oscar-nominated films The Wind and the Lion, Poltergeist, and Papillon are part of a medley of "Motion Pictures" performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, but there are also separate tracks for each score performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Goldsmith was nominated for 18 Academy Awards (he won only for The Omen), and it's a shame his nominated scores are not better represented: The Boys from Brazil, Star Trek®: The Motion Picture, Under Fire, Basic Instinct, and L.A. Confidential all get tracks of their own; but A Patch of Blue, The Sand Pebbles, Patton, and Chinatown are represented only in medleys; and Freud, Planet of the Apes, Hoosiers, and Mulan are not heard at all. (For those keeping count, his 18th nomination was for the song "Ave Satani" from The Omen.) But even if there is too much of some scores and none of others, this album does give a good sense of Goldsmith as a composer. Running in roughly chronological order, it shows his versatility (sometimes derided as facelessness), which allowed him to adapt to changing musical trends from the early 1960s to the early 2001s. Goldsmith could hold his own against the classically influenced writers who preceded him, but he also kept pace with the pop-influenced, synthesizer-savvy young composers coming up behind him, and that is made clear in this sprawling compilation.