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Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, April 2008

If you like cinema you’re sure to enjoy this disc as it is full of memorable themes from some great movies that somehow invade your subconscious and which you are bound to recognise again as soon as you hear the opening notes. Of course these themes are only short extracts from what were undoubtedly longer scores but if you enjoyed the films then you’ll enjoy reliving them through the music here.

If, like me, you took your kids to see Harrison Ford’s films you’ll be taken straight back to the time with the first track on this disc and the same is bound to happen with the theme from The Lord of the Rings: Suite from The Two Towers. Several others will have the same effect but what is particularly interesting is how so many of Hollywood blockbusters owe their memorable themes to a handful of composers, as this disc of 14 tracks boasts no less than 7 tracks by just three: John Williams (3), John Barry (2) and Carl Davis (2). John Barry is particularly effective with the emotional sweep of music for the films Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. Nevertheless, some of the most immediately recognisable film music must surely be Monty Norman’s theme for the James Bond films that has been heard in films from 1962 until very recently which must make it universally known across the generations.

I’ve always been a great fan of film music and recognise that it has its own difficulties connected with time constraints, budgets and, often, interfering Directors. It deserves its own niche as much as any other genre but I do often feel that many themes deserve developing by their composers into something more substantial which would help the music find new audiences and keep it in the mainstream of musical repertoire for a lot longer than the transient period most of it will enjoy. The disc has many delights and finishes off with music which most children will immediately relate to – the music from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2007

‘Great Movie Themes’ gives you exactly that, with fourteen tracks that go no further - with two exceptions - than a statement of the main theme to many highly popular movies from recent years. The two exceptions, on the face of it, are the suites taken from The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone, though the latter runs for less than five minutes. Carl Davis is an old hand with this type of programme, persuading the Liverpool orchestra to forget their classical credentials and to go west to Hollywood, a task they do to the manner born. The big brassy opening to Raiders of the Lost Ark gets the disc off to a thrilling start, and when the music takes on a more intimate nature there is some excellent solos from the RLPO. The engineers have added a big open sound to Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall to give the disc the required impact.

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