This album is with the Boston Pops conducted by John Williams, performing a bunch of famous space-based film cues arranged for full symphonic orchestra. I grew up with Star Wars so that music has a special place with me, so I’m obviously biased in my tastes regarding this album. I dig it a whole lot.
The nature of this album is a compilation, which I normally don’t really go for. But, these particular pieces are not specifically film cues, but are based on film cues, re-sorted out to be a bit more musically coherent than a film cue in the middle of a film normally would be. In effect, they comprise a set of symphonic suites based on film scores. And the choices of music reflect a top-list of all-time great film cues, regarless of genre even though these are space-themed: Yoda’s Theme, The Asteroid Field (one of my favorite film cues of all time from The Empire Strikes Back), and suites from E.T. and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, which are themselves fantastic.
The album does offer a couple of non-Williams pieces, and I’m not sure why. Don’t misunderstand me – it’s all great, but something like the Star Trek Motion Picture title music by Jerry Goldsmith really deserves it’s own album, or to be represented in equal measure to Williams’ music; but the overall proportion of music on this album heavily favors Williams. It should be either more balanced in representation of composers and films, or it should be more focused: all Williams/all Star Trek/etc. But, that’s a minor nit-pick in the selection of music.
This album was released in 1995, so it falls in a slightly odd time compared to the musical selections in popular consciousness, being a decade after the most recent piece selected, and before the release of Phantom Menace a few years later – and I’m quite happy it got released at all.
I likes me some Williams, especially Williams arranged by Williams for orchestral suites and stand-along symphonic presentations outside film.