So here are some thoughts on the bonus tracks:
Princess Leia's Theme
Simply a gorgeous rendition of one of John William's most beautiful melodies. It really is different hearing it played by violin rather than horn, the new texture evokes a different feeling, perhaps elevating it to heights it never reached before - and that's saying something.
The Chairman's Waltz
The soundtrack to Memoirs Of A Geisha was never a top 10 score for me, and I've been struggling over the years trying to find the magic in the score, but never quite succeeding. Until now that is! Mutter's playing is passionate and melodic, the orchestra's playing is sublime.
John Williams's concert work can be difficult to get into, as it differs quite a bit from how he composes a soundtrack. This recording of Markings, however, changes that. Some of the string arrangements remind me of Empire Strikes Back, and Mutter's playing is haunting, dark, and mournful. There is a lot of longing in the piece and the way she plays it. It's beautiful.
A Prayer For Peace
I was really glad Mutter played this as an encore in the concert last week. It was quite something to hear Mutter and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra play this beautiful piece from the movie Munich live in Munich, while the audience sat in awe of Mutter's playing under the setting sun. It's such a somber, well developed melody. This new arrangement is sublime, we'd be hard pressed to find a more beautiful version of it.
If we were to consider a selection of hidden gems of John Williams' themes, Remembrances would be up there with the best of them. At first glance, it doesn't present the listener with anything shockingly new compared to what we already know and love, but the longer we listen, John Williams and Anne-Sophie takes the listener into unknown territories of new arrangements. The Theme from Shindler's List makes and appearance towards the end, which is beautiful. It is clear that Anne-Sophie loves this piece, and her playing is shows she is a true virtuoso. An amazing performance.
In summary, I can say that these bonus tracks won't disappoint anyone. They are more than just "bonus material" thrown together to justify an extra cash grab. They showcase some of the best writing of John Williams and some of the best playing of Anne-Sophie Mutter. From the interviews on the DVD, it is clear that Anne-Sophie has a lot of love for Princess Leia's Theme and Remebrances, so it's a bit strange to see them relegated to bonus tracks, At the very least, these two - together with The Chairman's Waltz - could have easily been on the standard edition without anyone batting an eye. In fact, I think it's a bit sad they aren't. Probably a lot of "casual" listeners will miss these gorgeous arrangements and melodies.