The Film Music Of Thomas Newman Performed By The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
Many of my fellow AVS members are already familiar with the musical compositions of Thomas Newman, if they have seen, among others, The Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, The Road To Perdition, or HBO's series, Six Feet Under.
But for those members unfamiliar with recordings of film music recreated by The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, I want you to know that, IMHO, no group of musicians does a more faithful job of presenting music from film scores that sounds so much like the original performances one is used to hearing in those films. Even John Williams and the Boston Pops, or Erich Kunzel leading the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, cannot outdo the accuracy at which the Prague players recreate the sound and feeling of familiar movie music.
One of the first collections of film music played by The City Of Prague musicians that I ever bought is The Alamo: Dimitri Tiomkin, Essential Film Music Collection. I have always liked Tiomkin's main theme for The Guns of Navarone, which is heard at the beginning of that film, right after the movie's opening minute or 2 of narration. I used to frequently haul out the DVD of that film so I could hear that theme at roof raising levels on my audio set-up. But when I first encountered The City Of Prague musicians recreating that theme on the 4 CD Alamo set, I simply couldn't believe how exact to the original the Prague musicians presented it. If not having known better, I would have really believed that, somehow, the original performance recorded for the film in 1961 had been the subject of some amazing sound reprocessing that had brought the original recording up to modern audio quality standards. What's great about that recording, as well as most City Of Prague performances that I've heard, is that not only are the original arrangements used in recreating film music, but all of the exact same musical instruments that were used for the original recording are played by these terrific Prague musicians. Another outstanding recreation of a film theme performed by City Of Prague, that comes to mind, is the beautiful, exacting, rendering of Hymn For The Fallen, which John Williams composed for Saving Private Ryan. That theme is included on a 2 CD set of City Of Prague performances entitled: "Critic's Choice:
Leonard Maltin's Best Movie Themes Of The 90s".
I, for one, have always hated being burned by getting a recording that is billed as being an "Original Film Music Score", rather than it being "The Original Film Soundtrack Recording", and discovering that the recording of that film score does not even include all of the same instruments that were heard on the actual movie's soundtrack. Back in the 1960s and 70s, I occasionally was suckered into buying LPs that would even have a film's movie poster as the cover for the record album, which made it seem very official, only to discover that the so called Original Film Score that the record contained, ended up sounding nothing like what I'd heard in the film.
Anyhow, for any fans of movie music, I'd sure recommend that you check out some of the many recordings of The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.