Available as disc on demand 04/20/10

Or digital download

Continuing their tradition of offering a sampling of material from the previous year, Silva is releasing the Best of 2009 on April 20th of this year featuring some new exciting work from The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nic Raine and James Fitzpatrick. This is an ideal way for you to sample the score and decide if you want to explore the entire work or just be content with this 50+ minute compilation of 11 films from 200? Yes I know that some of them are really not from 2009 but I really see no need to talk about it in this review. One of the points of the review is to tell you how much the orchestra has improved over the years and a new recording from Prague/Fitzpatrick is something to look forward to as opposed to cringing and mumbling under your breath oh no not another one I’d like to have but the orchestra and recording are less than.

Listen for the wonderful balance between orchestra, percussion, and choir in the opening cue of “War” from Avatar by James Horner. All are prominent yet nothing overpowers anything else. This is an excellent example of how conducting, performance, and recording can all come together for excellence. “End Credits” from Revolutionary Road by Thomas Newman certainly produce his sound with piano, quirky percussion, and the blending of the strings. While I was disappointed in the film the soundtrack was a lot better and the Prague performance sounded just fine. The simple elegant Desplat is heard in “Postcards” from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a 6 note melody that immediately got my attention when it first came to the theater. This performance did nothing but enhance the material I enjoyed so much. The other Desplat offering is from Twilight and is a classical piano solo offering from the popular movie. The elegiac violin is certainly prevalent in “Exodus” from Defiance by James Newton Howard. The sorrow and sadness can be felt. The heavy, stoic, and Wagnerian like “They’ll Remember You” from Valkerie, telling the tragic failure of the Hitler assassination attempt in operatic fashion is a nice choral piece well recorded, performed, and sung. The weak link is the latest Star Trek offering which I found to be quite uninspiring in its performance. It just didn’t have the vibrancy I was anticipating.

Compilation albums if performed and arranged well can be a positive addition to your collection as well as allowing you to sample a highlight from a soundtrack. If you like what you hear it’s easy enough to purchase the whole score. However, many times the theme material is more than adequate for your collection if the performance/arrangement are good. With the exception of the Star Trek material this 50+ minute offering is a nice way to enjoy the music from the past year or two.

Track listing:

1. Avatar – War (07:38)

2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Prime / I Rise, You fall (04:59)

3. Let the Right One In – Eli’s Theme (02:41)

4. Drag Me to Hell – End Credits (Original Version) (07:13)

5. Valkyrie – They’ll Remember You (04:06)

6. Revolutionary Road – End Credits (04:53)

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Postcards / Daisy’s Ballet Career (04:48)

8. Defiance – The Exodus (04:50)

9. Slum dog Millionaire – Latika’s Theme (03:16)

10. The Twilight Saga: New Moon – The Meadow (04:09)

11. Star Trek – Hella Bar Talk / Enterprising Young Men (04:26)

Total Duration: 00:52:59