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The London Symphony Orchestra/John Williams

Superman: The Movie

Format: CD   Release Date: 03/14/1989
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John Williams was the man of the moment in soundtrack music from 1977 onward, and Superman: The Movie was very much the culmination of his first wave of international renown. Casting aside his over-reliance on the works of Holst, Ravel, and Korngold, he delivered up a score that still -- 30-plus years later -- is lively, playful, mysterious, and, most of all, stylistically original and filled with unexpected touches that still surprise when heard as pure music. Williams and the London Symphony Orchestra by this time played like he was joined telepathically to the musicians, and also recognized just how closely and widely their work would be heard in the wake of the huge sales on the soundtracks from Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Thus, the playing here is impeccable, from the finely nuanced, brooding passages depicting the planet Krypton to the heroic theme associated with the title character. And they are a delight to hear, though much more so in the remastered and expanded double-CD edition from Rhino/Warner Archive, which improves the sound dramatically. There's still a lot that one will recognize from established composers, and that Williams even "steals" from himself, but he's got it all finely developed here in a more mature style that makes it worthwhile hearing more than once. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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