The Classics at the Movies: War

by: Various Artists

Naxos' Classics at the Movies series is really only tangentially linked to the film music it presents, since the majority of each release is actually traditional classical pieces that happened to be used by certain films. For its War installment, the label has chosen music from Chopin, Mozart, and Strauss, from films like G.I. Jane, The Peacemaker, and The Devil's Own. While these films' weight in the entire history of war movies is debatable, the compositions included are performed with appropriate grace and professionalism by an assortment of symphony orchestras, soloists, and choirs. And while it's certainly one of the most recognizable classical pieces on its own, the inclusion of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" here is predictable, yet mandatory, since it's part of the defining image of Apocalypse Now, a war epic if there ever was one. (Or, it's at least more of a war epic than The Peacemaker.)

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