Ono of the best things about there being another Star Wars movie coming, is that it means another score from John Williams. The Award winning American composer revitalized film music with Star Wars: A New Hope., then just known as Star Wars. He wrote bold themes and gave each character his own theme, the same leitmotif ploy that Richard Wagner used in writing his Ring cycle. One thing often overlooked, but that I have verified in talking wing younger generations than mine, is that the music for Star Wars became a bridge to classical music for many younger listeners. Of course Williams wrote many other fine scores, including Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and E. T.
Most of those will be found in the 17-track The Very Best Movie Soundtracks from John Williams on the Telos Music label, played by the Phiharmonisches Orchester des Staatstheaters Cottbus conducted by American maestro Evan Christ. I’m a little miffed that Close Encounters is missing as is my favorite non-space Williams score, The Reivers. Perhaps there’s already a volume 2 in the works. This one does present 15 of the best cuts from six films plus the Liberty Fanfare and the Olympic Fanfare all in the original scoring. Christ leads polished, lyrical, and energetic performances and his German orchestra plays with precision and gorgeous tone. The recording has a wide sound stage and is warm without sacrificing detail. At sixty-six minutes, this disc gives you a lot lot of bang for your buck. Look into it.