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Music Review

Book Cover

Cinema Symphony


Composer: Andrew Pearce
Moviescore Media
RRP: £13.99
Available 09 December 2008

Andrew Pearce's Cinema Symphony is created out of passion for cinematic music, this large orchestral work pays tribute to the great film scores of Hollywood and while it certainly sounds like an epic soundtrack in the tradition of Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams, it is beautifully constructed as a symphony in four movements...

Andrew Pearce is a British composer who has been involved in some of Moviescore Media's previous albums as an orchestrator on Guy Farley's scores. Cinema Symphony is performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Grammy Award-winning conductor José Serebrier.

Drawing on inspiration from some of the most well known film composers of all time, this work is not only a loving homage to classic film scores, but it also works well as a standalone classical music album.

The first track, 'Pastorale - Fanfare - Scherzo', has elements of John Williams - including the closing music from E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial and segments from The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jurassic Park. There are also hints of Alan Silvestri's score for Back to the Future.

'Lento Misterioso - Dreams' opens with a nod to the 'End Titles' from Jaws mixed with a little of Bernard Herrmann's score for Marnie and Vertigo.

Track three, '(Quasi film score) Allegro - Cantabile - Presto', seems to be mainly inspired by Jerry Goldsmith's work. There are elements of Total Recall as well as Ilia's Theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

'Allegro Con Fuoco - Lento Sostenuto' again has elements of John Williams's score for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial as well as Saving Private Ryan and the same Jaws inspired theme used in 'Lento Misterioso - Dreams' is also interwoven.

'Elegy for Violin and Orchestra' includes music not dissimilar to that in John Williams's Shindler's List. The second half has a hint of Miklós Rózsa score for Alfred Hitchcock's Spellbound and David Shire's music for Return to Oz.

And finally we have 'Celtic Warrior - Prelude for Orchestra' which harks back to the heyday of Hollywood - to a time of epic movies with giant sets and thousands of extras.

The main inspiration, it would seem, for this album is the music of John Williams - someone whose work I've grown up admiring. A lot of critics say that his music is always very similar, but I totally disagree. Michael Nyman repeats his themes; James Horner reuses the same music over and over again; and even John Barry just plays a bar, repeats it, plays another bar and repeats that - but Williams's music, I've always found to be varied and never dull (apart from his rather flat score for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). That's why I'm assuming his work is the main inspiration for this collection of beautiful and original themes.

This is a beautiful album that will stir something in even the coldest of hearts.


Darren Rea