Perlman, whose dignified contribution to Schindler’s List (1993) added immeasurably to the emotive impact of that score, has joined forces with the composer once again, this time in a well-chosen selection of easy-listening film themes. The polished arrangements, most of them by Williams, allow plenty of scope for the violin to shine (it is worth remembering that Williams received his first Academy Award in 1971 for his work on the film version of Fiddler on the Roof – featuring violin solos from Isaac Stern). Typical is a lavish version of Quincy Jones’s The Color Purple (1985) – the only Spielberg film not scored by his regular collaborator – which here sounds uncannily like a Williams original.
Perlman’s contribution is characteristically full-bodied and the Pittsburgh orchestra respond warmly, helped by a suitably radiant recording from veteran film music engineer Shawn Murphy. But for all its undeniable beauties, the impression left by this disc is that of a throwback to the days when film music enthusiasts had to content themselves with collections of “Great film themes” performed by Stanley Black or the ubiquitous Geoff Love. In the year that a reconstruction of a complete film score (Bernard Herrmann’s Vertigo) won a
Gramophone Award, “Cinema Serenade” seems an oddly old-fashioned album. '