STAR WARS: SHADOWS OF THE EMPIRE is an Enhanced CD, containing a full audio program as well as CD-ROM files.
This is the orchestral "soundtrack" to the novel of the same name. Along with musical accompaniment to the novel's story, the disc contains excerpts from an epic poem read in an alien language designed by Lucasfilm's Ben Burtt.
Personnel: Joel McNeely (conductor); Royal Scottish National Orchestra And Chorus.
Recorded at City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland on February 24-25, 1996. Includes liner notes by Robert Townson and Joel McNeely.
Recording information: City Halls, Glasgow, Scotland (02/24/1996/02/25/1996).
Photographer: Matthew Peak.
The score for the video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire represents the first authorized music from George Lucas' interstellar franchise written by a composer other than John Williams. Joel McNeely, who succeeded Williams for the television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, was the logical choice here as well. Employing signature themes and motifs from Williams' original Star Wars score -- arguably the most beloved and influential movie music of the late 20th century -- McNeely vividly captures the power and majesty one expects from the series, thanks in large part to the epic performance of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. To McNeely's credit, he also deviates sharply from Williams' template, contributing dissonant, intensely rhythmic passages (most notably "Xizor's Theme") without precedent in the Star Wars canon. Purists may blanch, but more adventurous listeners will appreciate the divergences from formula. ~ Jason Ankeny