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Which Star Wars Trilogy album do you prefer?  

29 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Star Wars Trilogy album do you prefer?

    • John Williams / The Skywalker Symphony
    • Varujan Kojian / The Utah Symphony Orchestra


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I prefer Williams. Mainly for the same reason I prefer Karajan's Ring der Nibelungen over (the bits I've heard of) the famed Solti recording: A measured interpretation that allows musical arcs to steadily build to a climax, vs (Kojian/Solti) going for constantly exciting punches at the expense of the impact of the actual climaxes.

 

Don't get me wrong, Kojian's album is a fine one. But between Gerhardt's recordings and the Skywalker Symphony album, I haven't yet found a SW compilation that can compete. For me, anything on Gerhardt's first SW album is the gold standard. For ROTJ, Gerhardt and Williams both have their strengths. And while I'm not a fan of Gerhardt's ESB, the Skywalker Symphony recording has the best Imperial March and Asteroid Field.

 

Williams also has the better engineered recording with a quite natural sound.

 

Kojian's Korngold albums are stronger contenders in their niche of the market for me, second only in quality perhaps to Gerhardt.

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15 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

I'm not a fan of Gerhardt's ESB

 

:eek2:

15 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

I prefer Williams. Mainly for the same reason I prefer Karajan's Ring der Nibelungen over (the bits I've heard of) the famed Solti recording: A measured interpretation that allows musical arcs to steadily build to a climax, vs (Kojian/Solti) going for constantly exciting punches at the expense of the impact of the actual climaxes.

 

Don't get me wrong, Kojian's album is a fine one. But between Gerhardt's recordings and the Skywalker Symphony album, I haven't yet found a SW compilation that can compete. For me, anything on Gerhardt's first SW album is the gold standard. For ROTJ, Gerhardt and Williams both have their strengths. And while I'm not a fan of Gerhardt's ESB, the Skywalker Symphony recording has the best Imperial March and Asteroid Field.

 

Williams also has the better engineered recording with a quite natural sound.

 

Kojian's Korngold albums are stronger contenders in their niche of the market for me, second only in quality perhaps to Gerhardt.

 

Interesting analysis! I've always been fond of Gerhardt's Empire, and I'd say the performance on his Jedi album is a step down in quality.

 

You're forgetting that the playing is better on the Kojian album compared to Williams'. :)

 

Too bad Gerhardt recorded only one album dedicated to one Korngold score.

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I’m ok with the SW Gerhardt’s. Definitely not a fan of the other 2. JW and the LSO have those 2 covered by a large margin in my opinion. 

 

I definitely find the playing of the Utah symphony far superior than Skywalker symphony, which is basically a freelance orchestra. Although some tempi are too fast on some cues. Imperial march for one.

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I'll add a vote for the Skywalker Symphony album.  I'll freely admit that the performance isn't quite as perfect as the Utah SO's, but the recording ambience is far superior, and I feel the flow of the album is better, with the tracks from the three films mixed, rather than simply SW-TESB-ROTJ.  In addition, the Skywalker album has the full concert version of Throne Room and Finale, which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite Williams compositions.  (I don't think I'll ever get used to hearing the Finale without any lead-in...I have the same issue with the Lights, Camera, Music album...I'm all for an extended The Jedi Steps, I just wish it still segued directly into the finale/end credits music).

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Both great, with different values, but ultimately prefer the Kojian. The sound effects on the Skywalker are kinda annoying, but what tremendous sound!

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10 hours ago, Thor said:

The sound effects on the Skywalker are kinda annoying, but what tremendous sound!

 

Sound effects? You mean those in Cantina Band? They're odd insofar as I don't know why they're there, but I don't mind them - and I like the arrangement.

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I happen to own both of these.

 

I much prefer Koijan's recording with the Utah Symphony. A great selection, covering the highlights from each of the films a bit differently than the Skywalker Symphony. I got the Koijan's album years ago for Christmas-it was one of my first CDs. Naturally. I tend to listen to it more. It's also not a bad recording. 

 

With the Skywalker Symphony, it just doesn't feel right to have the Cantina Band in there. Sorry to say, but I never like its inclusion on the album.

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24 minutes ago, Ghostbusters II said:

Which has the more bootlegish looking cover?

 

The Kojian album.  The Skywalker Symphony album has still photos from the movies. 

22 hours ago, Eplicon said:

One of the comments I read when the album was released was that it didn't seem to have the kind of performance from an established orchestra.

 

Indeed, I can’t help but wonder how much better it would have been if Williams had recorded it in Boston with the Pops.

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33 minutes ago, Matt S. said:

 

The Kojian album.  The Skywalker Symphony album has still photos from the movies. 

 

Indeed, I can’t help but wonder how much better it would have been if Williams had recorded it in Boston with the Pops.

There's no doubt in my mind that it would have been much better. To me the Skywalker symphony recording just sounds like a quickly put together project, with not much attention to details. There's a terrible Tuba "cack" in Forest Battle which is inexcusable. Happens at around 0:57, there's no way it should have stayed there.

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Oh for performance flubs look no further than the opening fanfare of the main title. Some of the brass is really struggling there.

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