Music from Star Wars, Kubrick, Scorsese & Tim Burton Films Played by the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra: Stream Full Albums

Movies and music go way back — back, even, to the era of silent films, when music, pro­vid­ed by any per­for­mance out­fit, from a full orches­tra to a hum­ble upright piano play­er, con­sti­tut­ed the only accom­pa­ny­ing sound of any kind. Often, kids who begin choos­ing music for them­selves (at least this held for the kids of my gen­er­a­tion) start with movie sound­tracks, since they’ll usu­al­ly have done at least a lit­tle film­go­ing before they come to life as con­sumers of record­ed sound. And mod­ern sound­tracks, so often com­posed in whole or in part of orches­tral pieces, also offer a non-intim­i­dat­ing entrée into the wide world of clas­si­cal music.

Movies and the City of Prague Orches­tra also go way back. Found­ed in the 1940s as the Film Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra, in-house orches­tra of Bar­ran­dov Film Stu­dios, it even­tu­al­ly went its own way as the Czech Sym­pho­ny Orches­tra, and it has worked, post-Vel­vet Rev­o­lu­tion, under the name we know it by today. We know that name because of the sheer amount of music the City of Prague Orches­tra plays, doing 250 record­ing ses­sions every year for not just clas­si­cal albums but a vari­ety of oth­er media as well, includ­ing tele­vi­sion shows, video games, ring­tones, and espe­cial­ly movies. Today we’ve round­ed up a vari­ety of albums on Spo­ti­fy (whose free soft­ware you can down­load here) that col­lect the City of Prague Orches­tra’s work with movie music, which spans scores they first laid down them­selves to their inter­pre­ta­tions of clas­sic favorites.

First, in cel­e­bra­tion of the recent con­tin­u­a­tion of the Star Wars saga with its new sev­enth film, the City of Prague Orches­tra plays the music from the first six. But if you pre­fer a dif­fer­ent sort of space odyssey, have a lis­ten to the playlist just above fea­tur­ing, the music from the films of Stan­ley Kubrick, who said that he did­n’t need to com­mis­sion new music for his pic­tures, since he could hard­ly do bet­ter than sim­ply using the finest clas­si­cal pieces already in exis­tence — which, as any­one who’s seen 2001 knows, he could use suit­ably indeed. Below, you can hear the Orches­tra take on selec­tions from the work of Tim Bur­ton and Mar­tin Scors­ese, auteurs well known for their visu­al inven­tive­ness.

If you enjoy all of those, much more awaits your ears on Spo­ti­fy from the City of Prague Orches­tra’s cin­e­mat­ic cat­a­logue, includ­ing playlists of music from the films of Steven Spiel­berg, whose big Hol­ly­wood visions depend on their scores for a good deal of their impact; of music from pic­tures star­ring icon­ic actors like John Wayne, Paul New­man, and John­ny Depp; of the pieces that have giv­en the James Bond series their sig­na­ture (some­times so-uncool-it’s-cool) cool; and even of orches­tral work from a swath of Ital­ian film, includ­ing movies like La Dolce Vita8 1/2, and of course, Cin­e­ma Par­adiso. If we find the cin­e­ma a par­adise, after all, that owes as much to the music we’ve heard there as the visions we’ve seen there.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Clas­si­cal Music in Stan­ley Kubrick’s Films: Lis­ten to a Free, 4 Hour Playlist

A Playlist of 172 Songs from Wes Ander­son Sound­tracks: From Bot­tle Rock­et to The Grand Budapest Hotel

Jim Jar­musch: The Art of the Music in His Films

Quentin Taran­ti­no Explains The Art of the Music in His Films

Hear 2.5‑Hours of Great Jazz Songs Fea­tured in Woody Allen Films: Sid­ney Bechet in Mid­night in Paris, Louis Arm­strong in Star­dust Mem­o­ries & More

A 56-Song Playlist of Music in Haru­ki Murakami’s Nov­els: Ray Charles, Glenn Gould, the Beach Boys & More

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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