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Star Wars The Phantom Menace - 2CD Expanded Score - John Williams

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Whatever your opinion of Lucas' films' cash-hoovering marketing tactics, there's little doubt that this "Ultimate Edition" of John Wiliams' fourth foray into that galaxy far, far away will be of certain interest to both rapacious Star Wars fans and aficionados of Williams' exquisite styling. A formidable two-disc set, with 68 tracks in chronological order over two hours, this score, like the film itself, lacks the iconic freshness of A New Hope (the first Star Wars film) and is hindered by forgivable self-plagiarism. However, it's undoubtedly an accomplished, enjoyable work, with Williams showcasing his strengths with impressive ease, and therefore, easily worthy of the Star Wars brand. This is especially true with this meatier version, where Williams' new themes mingle comfortably and effectively with the first trilogy's classic motifs such as the Main Title fanfare and the Force theme. His renowned technique for leitmotif gets a wonderfully subtle example with the string-driven "Anakin's Theme" (End Credits) in which the sweepingly innocent chorus is given a forbidding coda with the briefest snatch of the "Imperial Theme" from The Empire Strikes Back. With its Wagnerian chorus, courtesy of a 180-strong choir chanting Sanskrit, "Duel of the Fates" remains the score's high-point, giving the film's climactic lightsabre duels the apocalyptic urgency they deserve. Elsewhere, Williams imbues "The Flag Parade" with some Ben Hur bombast, while "Escape From Naboo" is thrilling, adrenalised fare. Ending with a fun, dialogue version of "Duel of The Fates", this is an impressive and exhaustive collection, confirming that Williams' lush, vivid themes define Lucas' universe as much as the special effects. --Danny Graydon.
Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Fox Fanfare
2. Star Wars Main Title
3. Boarding the Federation Battleship
4. Death Warrant for Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan
5. Fighting the Destroyer Droids
6. Queen Amidala Warns the Federation
7. The Droid Invasion
8. Swimming to Otoh Gunga
9. Inside the Bubble City
10. Attack of the Giant Fish
11. Darth Sidious
12. The Giant Squid and the Attack on Theed
13. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Rescue the Queen
14. Fighting the Guards
15. Escape from Naboo
16. Enter Darth Maul
17. The Arrival at Tatooine
18. Street Band of Mos Espa
19. Padme Meets Anakin
20. Desert Winds
21. Jar Jar's Run In with Sebulba
22. Anakin's Home and the Introduction to Threepio
23. Darth Sidious and Darth Maul
24. Talk of PodRacing
25. Watto's Deal - Shmi and Qui-Gon Talk
26. Anakin, PodRacer Mechanic
27. The Racer Roars to Life - Anakin's Midi-Chlorian Count
28. Darth Maul and The Sith Spacecraft
29. Mos Espa Arena Band
30. Watto's Roll of the Die
31. The Flag Parade
32. Sebulba's Dirty Hand - Qui-Gon's Pep Talk
33. Anakin Defeats Sebulba
34. Hail to the Winner, Anakin Skywalker
35. The Street Singer


Disc: 2
1. Anakin is Free
2. Qui-Gon and Darth Maul Meet
3. Anakin and Group to Coruscant
4. The Queen and Palpatine
5. High Council Meeting
6. The Senate
7. Anakin's Test
8. Qui-Gon's Mission - Obi-Wan's Warning
9. Nute and Rune Confer with Darth Sidious
10. The Queen and Group Land at Naboo
11. Jar Jar Leads Group to the Gungans
12. War Plans
13. Darth Sidious Receives News of the Gungan's Army
14. The Gungan's March
15. The Queen and Her Group Sneak Back to the Palace
16. The Battle Begins
17. The Republic Pilots Take Off Into Space
18. Activate the Droids
19. The Gungans Fight Back
20. The Duel Begins
21. Anakin Takes Off In Spaceship
22. The Duel Continues
23. The Battle Rages On
24. Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan and Darth Maul Continue Battle
25. Qui-Gon, Darth Maul, and the Invisible Wall
26. The Gungan's Retreat and the Queen Surrenders
27. The Death of Qui-Gon and the Surrender of the Gungans
28. The Tide Turns - The Death of Darth Maul
29. The Queen Confronts Nute and Rune
30. The Funeral of Qui-gon
31. The Parade
32. End Credits - John Williams
33. Duel of the Fates (Dialogue Version)