Stargate – music by David Arnold

Stargate soundtrackAs a part of the movie, I’m very happy with David Arnold’s score for Stargate. It reflects the film’s blend of historical epic, contemporary military action, and futuristic SF adventure. It’s appropriately rousing during the battle scenes and it sets the mood for quieter moments. There is a fanfare here or a moment there that makes me think of John Williams, but that say more about how much I’ve internalized that work than anything else. The main themes are certainly distinct and memorable enough to stand the test of time, as their continued use in Stargate SG-1 would indicate.

As an album in its own right, however, I’m not sure how well the soundtrack works. This isn’t a reorganized concert suite, but a collection of 30 music cues from throughout the movie. Many of them are very short, about a minute or so in length. They just don’t have the chance to build up much momentum of their own or stand out as distinct pieces, especially since Arnold continually goes back to variations of the main themes. The longer pieces that do exist, like “The Stargate Opens”, are rather good at telling the story musically; I rating: 3 out of 4particularly like the loud build-up to the actual opening and then the quiet choral voices that reflect the shimmering open gate. The longest cue, “Battle At The Pyramid”, also flows very well and suggests the urgency and chaos of combat. But for the most part, this album tends to fade into background music for me, albeit very good background music.

Order this CD

  1. Stargate Overture (3:01)
  2. Giza, 1928 (2:10)
  3. Unstable (2:07)
  4. The Coverstones (0:58)
  5. Orion (1:29)
  6. The Stargate Opens (3:58)
  7. You’re on the Team (1:55)
  8. Entering the Stargate (2:57)
  9. The Other Side (1:44)
  10. Mastadge Drag (0:56)
  11. The Mining Pit (1:34)
  12. King of the Slaves (1:15)
  13. Caravan to Nagada (2:16)
  14. Daniel and Shauri (1:53)
  15. Symbol Discovery (1:15)
  16. Sarcophagus Opens (0:55)
  17. Daniel’s Mastadge (0:49)
  18. Leaving Nagada (4:09)
  19. Ra – The Sun God (3:22)
  20. The Destruction of Nagada (2:08)
  21. Myth, Faith, Belief (2:18)
  22. Procession (1:43)
  23. Slave Rebellion (1:00)
  24. The Seventh Symbol (0:57)
  25. Quartz Shipment (1:27)
  26. Battle at the Pyramid (5:02)
  27. We Don’t Want to Die (1:57)
  28. The Surrender (1:44)
  29. Kasuf Returns (3:06)
  30. Going Home (3:09)

Released by: Milan/BMG
Release date: 1994
Total running time: 64:46