This collection of the work of Elmer Bernstein, one of the greatest, most prodigious movie composers of the last 45 years, is a long overdue and much awaited release. Spanning the scope of his entire career, this collection is a [largely] well chosen mix of Bernstein's most famous and iconic works [ the main titles and themes from The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and To Kill A Mocking Bird], his most skillful, subtle and sublime pieces [the delicate and poignant Moon from Frankie Starlight, the heartrending Love Spoken from My Left Foot and the neo noir-esque overtones of The City from The Grifters] and some cues from some of his lesser known scores [The main theme from the Michael Curtiz/John Wayne western The Comancheros and the finale from the 1985 Disney release The Black Cauldron]. The orchestrations by [principally] the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Utah Symphony Orchestra are very good, capturing the unique texture and lucid flow, as well as the often dynamic and, on some of the western themes in particular, complex interaction of instruments and instrument groups with consumate applomb. Some of the cues are not that great as film compositions. His suite for De-Mille's The Ten Commandments feels slightly forced and, though certainly a professional piece, a little as though he had soaked up the best of North and Tiomkin but couldn't really add much of his own. And, of course, there are some of his scores that i would have liked to have heard covered here which are'nt [His vibrant and evocative score for Preminger's The Man With The Golden Arm, one of his earliest works and more low key than many of his western scores - his work on Anthony Mann's The Tin Star and his recent, old fashioned, Miklos Rosza style score for Robert Benton's Twilight] but, hey, thats always going to be some kind of a problem for almost everyone with a compilation release. This is as essential a purchase for film and film music lovers as anything currently available. And serves just as well as a summation [for Bernstein fans] or as an introduction [for the uninitiated]. Highly recommended.