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Reel Chill: Cinematic Chillout Album 

Reel Chill: Cinematic Chillout Album

Composer : Various Artists

Performed by : City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Crouch End Festival Chorus

Label / No. : Silva Screen FILMXCD 373

Year of release : 2004

CD release: 2004

Total duration : 74:15+74:43


Reviewed by: Andrew Keech

Time for relaxation seems to be increasingly at a premium in this frenetic world, so what could be better than a “chill-out” album (or two in this case) of soothing film themes for those quiet private moments. Silva Screen have rifled through their back catalogue of recordings, including those by their “in house” orchestra, The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. The two CD set is packed with evocative, calming themes from recent and classic films.

Starting with Handel’s dramatic ‘Sarabande’, used in Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick, the first CD moves on to the wonderful John Barry theme from Midnight Cowboy and Vladimir Cosma’s beautiful piano music from Diva. Enya’s ‘May It Be’ from The Fellowship Of The Ring maintains the laidback atmosphere along with ‘Women Of Ireland’ also from Barry Lyndon, while the selection also includes Albioni’s adagio used in Gallipoli, Nino Rota’s famous theme from Romeo and Juliet as well as Craig Armstrong’s ‘Balcony Scene’. Vangelis’ popular theme from Chariots of Fire ups the tempo somewhat, but Bilitis from Francis Lai and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s theme from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence soon returns everything to a relaxed mood. The first album concludes with a selection of Ennio Morricone’s cool themes, including music from Cinema Paradiso, Once Upon A Time In The West, Once Upon A Time In America and The Mission.

The second album returns to composer John Barry for a suite from his wonderfully evocative music from You Only Live Twice. The composer’s music is also represented later in the album by fantastic themes from Somewhere In Time, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the Oscar-winning Out Of Africa. The album also has classical cues that include Samuel Barber’s ‘Agnus Dei’ used in Platoon, part of Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony from Death In Venice and Pietro Mascagni’s music used in Raging Bull. Other modern film score composers contribute cues from films like The Piano (Michael Nyman), American Beauty (Thomas Newman), A.I. (John Williams), Patriot Games (James Horner), Gladiator (Hans Zimmer/Lisa Gerrard), The Deerhunter (‘Cavatina’ by Stanley Myers) and Howard Shore’s ‘Into The West’ from The Return Of The King.

For those quiet, restful moments these albums are bound to appeal to many. However, for many soundtrack enthusiasts the selection is likely to evoke discussion. The absence of cues from the likes of Georges Delerue or Rachel Portman might raise an eyebrow, but such enthusiasts are likely to have their own favourites. This selection will appeal to the less informed members of the public and should be applauded if it draws more people to explore the world of film scores.

Other reviews by Andrew Keech:

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