This is one of John Barry's masterworks - if not indeed his magnus opus - and we've waited much too long for a comprehensive reissue. Whatever you think of Kevin Costner's film (and I'd hate to base a friendship on whether or not someone loved "Dances with Wolves" as I did) it would be a far less exciting movie without Barry's magnificent score. Eschewing the more traditional Western sound pioneered by Jerome Moross and Elmer Bernstein, which eventually descended into rank imitation and self-parody, Barry went for a lush, poewerful symphonic rhapsody. While avoiding ethnic cliches in his music for the Native American characters, he found expression for the more violent aspects of tribal warfare through a stunning, resonant, absolutely plangent use of percussion that quickens the pulse and suggests menace without going into histrionic overdrive. Barry's melodic work is no less impressive: in his justly famous "John Dunbar Theme," for example, there is a weird, majestic inevitability to the notes - they seem to flow into one another in exactly the right way; you can't imagine a single cadence being any different. This new release restores much that was truncated on the original release of the score. "The Buffalo Hunt" - which accompanies one of the most original and exciting set-pieces in recent American movies - is given the full treatment here, and is therefore twice as satisfying. My only cavil: Barry wrote an hour and 40 minutes worth of music, so even this lovingly restored version is shorter than it might be in a perfect world. And I'm not sure why the producers added the film version of the Dunbar theme as a bonus track rather than reordering it to replace the album version within the score itself. Still, this disc is a major cause for celebration, an essential element for the shelves of any true lover of film music.