Ten Tracks Today – 17th November 2011

01 – “Punjabi’s Last Stand” – Jackboots On WhitehallGuy Michelmore

Starts off the cue with a lovely, uplifting passage but soon descends into a more comedic piece that is straight out of the “score for animation” drawer. But the cue is saved by some good dramatic string scoring to finish off with. Luckily the score as a whole has more drama than comedy.

02 – “Andy’s Return” – SwitchbackBasil Poledouris

This Poledouris title doesn’t get much of a mention usually, but what I like about this score – and it’s heard in the latter stages of this cue – is the sweeping (almost on the scale of a western score) theme played on strings and the percussive motif that brings the cue to a conclusion.

03 – “Spirit of Africa” – CongoJerry Goldsmith

With some Goldsmith 1990s synths that sails close to the wind in terms of sounding annoying, this is an excellent vocal track that’s full of – as the title states – the spirit of Africa. It then launches into a bold statement of the theme on orchestra. Some very Goldsmithian woodwinds bring the satisfying track to a close.

04 – “Verfolgungsjagd” – SchwabenkinderEnjott Schneider

Schneider’s scores contain quite effective and dramatic scoring and his scoring for strings in this cue is excellent. Full of tension and peril, the predominant use of low register strings augmented with subtle percussion makes for an interesting track.

05 – “Suite” – ChristineJohn Carpenter

Arranged and performed by John Beal, this suite of themes from Carpenter’s score is a good summary of the highlights of the score. I used to have the LP but am now holding off buying the CD of the original soundtrack in the hope of an expanded release of the score someday. Beal’s arrangement – though not an exact re-creation of the original does a reasonably good job at retaining Carpenter and Allan Howarth’s original feel.

06 – “Finale” – The Twilight Zone: The LonelyBernard Herrmann

An otherworldly, and very soothing (down to the harp ostinato) finale to this episode. Joel McNeely does a great job at re-creating Herrmann’s music for this TV show. The whole set is a great listen and a good partner to the original soundtrack releases of The Twilight Zone music.

07 – “Lévy et Goliath: Final” – Lévy et GoliathVladimir Cosma

A bit of a shock this coming immediately after Herrmann! Mid-1980s pop influences are rife in this track with it’s mix of orchestral strings and prominent pop drums. But it’s a catchy tune and worth a listen – every now and again.

08 – “Sacking Lawrence” – Ride With The DevilMychael Danna

This is an awesome cue from Danna. Starts out all mysterious and then builds to that wonderful statement of the theme on brass. It’s a theme that, for some reason, has stuck with me from when I first heard it. The track does tend to fizzle out though.

09 – “Ride” – The Journey of Natty GannElmer Bernstein

A short track this (about a minute) but it is still enough for me to decide that I prefer Bernstein’s rejected score over the one that was used (penned by James Horner). Typical Bernstein western music. What were the filmmakers thinking of when hiring Bernstein and then not being happy with the results? Hadn’t they heard any of his music before?

10 – “The Hundred Years War” – Bladestorm: The Hundred Years WarJamie Christopherson

A great track this – and a great theme. Bold orchestra and massed choir with a definite hint of something like a Spanish feel with those swirling strings. I had forgotten just how good this was!

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