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Soundtrack Review

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The Game of Thrones Symphony


Composer: Ramin Djawadi
Performed by: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Label: Silva Screen Records
RRP: £13.99
SILKD6056 (CD), SILKED6056 (download)
Release Date: 24 March 2017

Over six season the music of Ramin Djawadi has become one of the defining things which has set the tone for the series Game of Thrones, especially the main title which has a strident cello playing the theme tune over a growing riff on stings which subtly alter in both sequence and power as the theme progresses.

Given that the music was written with an orchestral arrangement in mind it is no surprise that eventually someone would cherry pick music from the show to create a symphony. The tracks have been arranged by Evan Jolly and the recording was produced by Rick Clark.

The Game of Thrones Symphony performed by the, eighty-five piece, City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (Total Length: 1:09:05) takes twenty-one pieces from the show and presents them as a whole. If you want to see them recording 'The Light of the Seven' for a bit of a taster you can find it at:

There is something to keep in mind when approaching something like this, while music can be a shared experience, its interpretation is usually down to a single individual. This is more prevalent with classical and jazz music and explains why collectors will usually hunt down particular recordings made at a specific time under a sought-after conductor.

The music from the show has already been released, a recording for each of the seasons, so why would you bother with another? We go back to interpretation. It is not unusual for a piece of music to be taken out of its original form and reinterpreted, Phillip Glass successfully took Bowie's Heroes and Low and recreated them in his own minimalist way.

For this new recording, you’ll find that in many of the tracks the musical emphasis has changed. The title track had the slowly building strings cut through by a rasping cello. There is a definite separation which only joins together at the crescendo. In this new recording, the different arrangements change the fundamental tone of the music, we have already covered the release of GOT 3, 5 & 6 and the opening theme song invokes a feeling of both power and dread, the new arrangement makes the theme song more celebratory in nature.

The recording seems to eschew a lot of the power of the original and not just with the main theme, on the other hand where there is a need for sweeping strings or choral power then the recording does justice to the original. There seems to have been a deliberate choice to try and make a more homogenise sound across the symphony, which mutes some of the more dramatic element while bring up the more delicate tracks.

The full track listing is:-

01 Main Title (Theme From "Game of Thrones") 1:53
02 Goodbye Brother 3:06
03 Season 1 Finale 2:36
04 Warrior of Light 2:58
05 Winterfell 2:42
06 Mother of Dragons 2:27
07 A Lannister Always Pays His Debts 2:44
08 Dracarys 3:00
09 Mhysa 4:00
10 Two Swords 1:47
11 You Are No Son of Mine 4:29
12 The Children 2:42
13 Blood of the Dragon 1:29
14 Dance of Dragons 3:05
15 Atonement 2:56
16 Son of the Harpy 5:12
17 Light of the Seven 9:52
18 Khaleesi 3:01
19 Winter Has Come 3:10
20 Hear Me Roar 2:28
21 The Winds of Winter 3:26

It took me a little time to get into the recording, some of the tracks are so seared onto the brain that any changes are immediately obvious, but if you can get through this then this is a well thought out symphony. Whether you’re going to enjoy it, well that’s open to personal interpretation.


Charles Packer

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