The short version:
Varèse Sarabande: A 25th Anniversary Celebration: 5/10
Jerry Goldsmith—Star Trek: The Final Frontier: 6/10
Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu—Mozart Violin Sonatas: 6/10
I've been listening to a lot of instrumental music recently. The largest bunch of it has been A 25th Anniversary Celebration, a four-disc collection of movie music. The set includes a variety of tracks, not just theme songs. Unfortunately, I'm not that thrilled with it. I like movie music, but for intrumental music to be interesting to me, it needs to tell a coherent musical story, and this is just a collection of random tracks that are generally fine on their own, but don't work as an album.
There's still good stuff in here, and at four discs it comes at a killer price. But, I still don't know if it's worth buying. Tracks worth checking out if you have the chance:
Bob Cobert—The Winds of War, theme
Danny Elfman—Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Breakfast Machine
John Williams—The Empire Strikes Back, The Imperial March
Basil Poledouris—Starship Troopers, Klendathu Drop
Don Davis—The Matrix, Main Title / Trinity Infinity
John Powell—The Bourne Identity, Drum and Bass Remix
Randy Edelman—XXX, Prague Arrival
I also got, specifically, the soundtrack to Star Trek: The Final Frontier by Jerry Goldsmith. As I already knew, it's a pretty good sci-fi movie sountrack. Nothing exceptional. The best track is probably An Angry God. It ends with a bizarre 80s pop ballad, The Moon's a Window to Heaven, which must have played in the last half of the credits or something. That track is pretty hilariously bad.
Finally, I listened to a disc of Mozart sonatas performed by Hilary Hahn and Natalie Zhu. The performance is excellent... but I'm rarely in the mood for listening to just a violin and a piano, especially for an hour.
So, I wasn't too excited about those CDs. They were good, but still of somewhat limited appeal. I now have the lowest number of yet-unlistened CDs that I've had in about two and a half years: five. But, it's fine; I've been listening to a lot of the stuff from the past few years recently, and I'm more than entertained with that.