The Music Of Batman/Compilation of Film Composers

April 17, 2009

Silva to many of us is known as the label offering compilation albums on a potpourri of subjects ranging from composers, topics, actors, and types of films just to name some of the scenarios they’ve tackled over the years. The Music Of Batman spans over 40 years of television, animation, and movies the fanatical fan base has demanded. From the chart breaking TV theme with a single word batman for the lyrics repeated over and over, to the latest blockbuster Dark Knight, 9 different productions are included with music by Elfman, Goldenthal, Walker, Howard, Zimmer, Drake, Riddle, and Hefti, an impressive lineup of composers who’ve contributed to the never ending stories of the comic book hero.Danny Elfman who created in my opinion the best of the Batman themes is featured on the first 6 tracks to the 1989 Tim Burton film starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. This is the theme that goes through my head when I think of Batman and keep in mind I watched the television series when they weren’t reruns! On the very first play I got the goose bumps as they played the classic dark Herrmann influenced main title filled with eeriness, mystery, and excitement. The second thing that I really liked about the Elfman score were the references he made to other works such as ‘Mars’ from Planets by Gustav Holst. Listen to the beginning of “The Final Confrontation” and you’ll hear just a few notes from it. To me this is a nice touch! Listen to the “Finale” track and you’ll hear a little from the crescendo from Also Sprach Zarathustra from Richard Strauss. “Up the Cathedral” reveals a bar or two from the Waxman score to Bride of Frankenstein, along with the echoing horns from Aliens used by James Horner effectively. These and others are perfectly blended into the score with his own original material. Also included on the CD is the Wagner parody “Batterdamerung” from Goldenthal in Batman Forever, “Eptesicus,” a melding of Zimmer and Howard from Batman Begins, an excellent well played track from Fitzpatrick and the City of Prague Philharmonic, an orchestra that has certainly made some great strides in the last few years. In fact give an ‘A’ to the Prague ensemble for the tracks that they performed on. This is not the case as far as the London Music Works ensemble that performed the retro Batman material by Riddle and Hefti. There is a way to play the big band style of both Riddle and Hefti and what I heard wasn’t even close. As a reviewer I had to cringe and it was difficult to get through the last two tracks. Perhaps with practice they will learn to get the feel of the material. Having said that do not let that deter you from your purchase of this album.

As with all compilation material one could easily complain about how it is performed, arranged etc. This is not for the Batman fanatic. This is not for the individual who collects OST material. This is for the person who would enjoy listening to 45 minutes of Batman material, which has already been compiled and arranged in a very nice fashion excepting the retro material. I can honestly say that I look forward to hearing material from the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra as they have improved over time that much. Recommended.

Maintitles rating is ***½

CD# is SILCD1276

Produced by Rick Clark and James Fitzpatrick

Orchestrations by Steve Bartek, Dominic Nunns, Adam Saunders, Evan Jolly, and Matt Hohensee

Nic Raine and James Fitzpatrick conducted the Prague with Evan Jolly conducting the London Music Works.

Track listing:

1. Batman (02:56)*

2. Batman – Flowers & Love Theme (02:33)*

3. Batman – The Joker’s Poem & Clown Attack (01:30)*

4. Batman – Up the Cathedral (02:42)*

5. Batman – Waltz to the Death (00:59)*

6. Batman – The Final Confrontation & Finale (02:00)*

7. Batman Returns – End Titles (04:49)*

8. Batman Forever – Batterdamerung / Mouth to Mouth Nocturne (03:08)

9. Batman and Robin – Main Titles & Fanfare (01:50)

10. Batman Begins – Eptesicus (04:51)

11. The Dark Knight – Aggressive Expansion (04:35)

12. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm – The Birth of Batman / Main Title / The Promise (03:59)

13. Batman: Gotham Knight – End Credits (03:20)

14. Batman: The Movie – Main Title Theme (02:37)

15. Batman – TV Theme (02:20)

* Previously released on SILCD 1261

Total Duration: 00:44:09


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