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Close Encounters: The Essential John Williams Collection
Album Cover Art
Conducted by:
Paul Bateman
Nic Raine

Performed by:
The City of Prague Philharmonic

Chorus Performed by:
The Crouch End Festival Chorus

Produced by:
James Fitzpatrick
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Silva Screen Records
(June 22nd, 1999)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you seek a competent and well-performed 2-CD collection of crisply re-recorded themes spanning John Williams' outstanding career.

Avoid it... if you own several other Silva Screen compilations that contain a significant portion of the contents also included on this set.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,012
WRITTEN 7/17/99, REVISED 10/21/07
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Close Encounters: The Essential John Williams Film Music Collection: (Compilation) The Silva Screen label debuted the first of their 2-CD "essential" sets in 1998, encompassing the careers of James Horner and Jerry Goldsmith, and continued the series with a John Williams entry in the summer of 1999. All three follow the same mold, combining older performances by the City of Prague Philharmonic (that have appeared on previous albums) with a few bright new additions. For the Horner album, the new block of material represented Titanic; for the Goldsmith album, it was Under Fire. And now, with so much of Williams' material already re-recorded, the new material is 18 previously unreleased minutes from the early Western The Rare Breed. The album was released to coincide with the mania surrounding Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, but ironically there isn't any material from the new Star Wars score included on this release. The performances on "The Essential John Williams Film Music Collection" range greatly from stunningly superb to occasionally shabby. The best performances are, as per usual, those that include the City of Prague Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus together. Although beginning with a rather flat and uninspiring version of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the fresh recording of Saving Private Ryan is a delight, capturing much of the solace of the original score. The two Hook tracks are adequate, though the concert suite arrangement of themes from that score has never been satisfactory. Williams essentially broke the epic and grand prologue from the score into three pieces and inserted lengthier portions of each theme in between; in so doing, the majesty of that prologue music is completely lost. The brass section has a few noticeable flubs at the start of that suite's performance here.

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VIEWER RATINGS
247 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.06 Stars
***** 44 5 Stars
**** 56 4 Stars
*** 59 3 Stars
** 48 2 Stars
* 40 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS
Total Time: 150:32
CD 1: (73:04)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom:
• 1. End Credits (6:31)

Saving Private Ryan:
• 2. Hymn to the Fallen (6:03)

Hook (Suite):
• 3. Main Themes (4:07)
• 4. When You're Alone (3:00)

The Cowboys:
• 5. Overture (9:41)

Born on the Fourth of July:
• 6. End Credits (5:44)

Family Plot:
• 7. End Titles (3:53)

JFK:
• 8. Arlington (7:25)
• 9. End Titles (2:41)

Empire of the Sun:
• 10. Exsultate Justi (5:00)

The Rare Breed (Suite):
• 11. Universal Emblem/Hilary's Phlight/Double Crossed/Tallow Ho (5:30)
• 12. Scottish Romeo/The Hunt (2:41)
• 13. On His Own (5:59)
• 14. The Cross-Breed/End Credits (4:23)


CD 2: (77:28)

The Towering Inferno:
• 1. Main Theme (5:07)

Amistad:
• 2. Dry Your Tears Africa (3:39)

Superman:
• 3. Love Theme (6:11)
• 4. Main Theme (4:11)

The River:
• 5. Main Theme/Love Theme (5:03)

Black Sunday:
• 6. Suite: Fugue, Scherzo & Finale (10:31)

Jaws:
• 7. Main Theme (2:16)

Star Wars:
• 8. Main Title (5:24)

The Empire Strikes Back (Suite):
• 9. Han Solo and the Princess (4:09)
• 10. Imperial March (3:12)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind:
• 11. The Conversation Begins/Main Title/Resolution and Finale (8:16)

Presumed Innocent:
• 12. End Titles (4:15)

Schindler's List:
• 13. Theme (4:01)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade:
• 14. End Credits (10:48)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains extensive notes about each of the tracks, as well as thorough credits.
Copyright © 1999-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Close Encounters: The Essential John Williams Collection are Copyright © 1999, Silva Screen Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/17/99 and last updated 10/21/07.
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