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Reviews: Great Film Fantasies - Kunzel

Reviews: 6

Review by thepilot May 4, 2006 (9 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
If only all of the Telarc/Kunzel discs sounded like this Mch marvel. This is a splendid multichannel recording, a marvellous Hi-Fi spectacular,with a sound quality so realistic that it makes even the better previous DSD recordings by this source (Cincinatti Pops) sound pale by comparison. Orchesta and maestro are also in top form in performances that astonish even the most dedicated listener and lover of these wonderful movie soundtracks. The balance is judged perfectly and the choir is recorded with a rare precision and bloom, you can reach and touch the individual voices (a ribbon mic was used for the chorus and it makes all the difference in the world). The new DSD console used may also make an improvement, because the sound is wonderfully vivid and velvety but also airy, incredibly detailed and transparent. A reference SACD that will also prove to be an invaluable demonstration disc for reviewers. Run out and buy ASAP.

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Review by sledge19 May 20, 2007 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
This SACD has a perfect start: the Star Wars main theme in multi-channel! Probably the best recording of the “Main Theme” available. Some of the latest Kunzel performances may have left much to be desired – this is definitely not the case here. Like in the good old “Star Tracks” days, Star Wars, Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops go hand in hand. Maybe aside from the Cantina Band (track #3), excellent performances throughout the Star Wars programm of this disc. At least par with the original performance. Another best is the “Imperial March” – quite an experience in multi-channel. If you like the music of the newer Star Wars movies, “Duel of the Fates” and “Battle of the Heros” may also impress you. However, questionable is the selection of titles. “The Asteriod Field” or the “Love Theme” from “Empire Strikes Back” are greatly missed. Interestingly, track #9 “Across the Stars” is released again (also track #9 on “Epics”). It is a new recording and while the performance is comparable, the sound is better: crisper, closer & clearer. Amazing, how the already good sound of “Epics” has been improved.

Track # 11-13 take the listener into the world of Harry Potter. The selection of music may not be representative, but I guess one has to be greatful for any soundtrack on SACD. “Harry’s Woundrous World” and the “Chamber of Secrets” are great, but who knows why “Aunt Marge’s Waltz” was picked and other music was not? This secret is probably locked up in Azkaban…

Finally, there is a small selection from “Lord of the Rings”. Track 14 “May it be & Themes” is another new recording of an “Epics” title. This time spinet and fairlight are more prominent. I think it sounded more dynamic on “Epics” and the sound improvement is less noticable than between the two takes of “Across the Stars”. “The Hornburg” and “The Ride of the Rohirrim” are well played and not as edgy as the uneven patchwork of “May it be & Themes” .

This SACD may not have every title you are looking for, but what it has is worth the money. We can only hope that there will be more…

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Review by RWetmore September 27, 2009 (1 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Overall I think this is a very enjoyable disc. It would have been nice if they added a few more pieces as the disc is only a little over 60 minutes. The sound is very good...vivid without being harsh or overbearing. Recommended.

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Review by analogue December 21, 2010 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Don't know how many of us out there in music land are film soundtrack lovers but I sure am.

Although these are all recent re-recordings of the original music I must say that both the performances and the dsd recording are simply spectacualar. If you like the original Star Wars theme it is performed wonderfully here on this disc as is many other songs from the entire 6 film series.
There is also Harry Potter and Lord of the rings music.

Some fans of film music do not like other conmposers who re-record the original music but it is done rather faithfully here.. Kunzel and friends have done a great job performance wise and the recording is both warm, wide and passionate. I wont quibble about a darn thing here. This is a fabulous disc. I was very impressed and happy I bought it.

I dont know that I should go on and on. Simply put if you like film score music.....if you love great sound and very good performances......I highly recommend this sacd disc.

There is no compression on the disc so turn it up loud.

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Review by DJ Curlee Fry January 15, 2011 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
I cannot honestly recommend this one. The orchestra's performance just cannot match John Williams' original. I never thought I was say this, but I'd recommend the original CD, and just wait until they release the original recording on SACD. I say this being a fan of the originals. But if you're not familiar with the originals, this recording is not bad on sonics.

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Review by Luukas May 20, 2014 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
Here it comes: John Williams' and Howard Shore's Greatest Film Scores on multi-channel SACD! I heard Williams' own recording of his music to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Sony Classics) and I was amazed: orchestra's tone was superb and Sony label's engineers were made very good work! But when I heard this, I can say that it beats Williams' own recording.
When "Hedwig Theme" begins, I was surprised: Telarc label's recording is excellent (as always) and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's rich and deep sound is stunning. Celesta's quiet, simply solo sounds gentle and Erich Kunzel really knows this score. These pieces are recorded in Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra's own Concert Hall in Ohio, and music surrounds listener: Telarc label's recording captured concert hall's magical acoustic. The other pieces are also excellent. "Aunt Marge's Walz" and "Harry's Wondrous World" sounds magnificent, much better than Williams' or Carl Davis' (Naxos) recordings!
"Star Wars" theme is here breathtaking. The begins fanfares are loudly, and the main victoriously theme sounds very good. Brass' deep voices are captured very well. The several pieces from "Lord of the Rings" are also outstanding. If you like film music, this SACD is for you. Bravo!

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