Ten Tracks Today – 9th December 2011

01 – “Rambo Theme” – RamboBrian Tyler

I think that Tyler does a sensitive job with Jerry Goldsmith’s original theme(s) here. Personally, I think what Tyler added himself fits really well with the more emotional side of the original. When the score goes all action-oriented it is a Tyler score, but then a John Rambo film needs Goldsmith’s themes to make it a “proper” Rambo film.

02 – “Path of Tears” – World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich KingMatt Uelmen

The music for the World of Warcraft world is a monumental effort and has many of the properties of film and TV music (there is a blurring of both genres in terms of the quality of the music). This long track has (in places) a bit of an oriental feel to it with its emphasis on Eastern-style flute playing as well as the rhythmic bells. The track moves between various segments but there’s never really a dull moment.

03 – “Becoming Jerome” – GATTACAMichael Nyman

There’s a vibrancy to this cue that makes it so appealing. And it’s nice for Nyman to forego the use of saxophones for such a cue, relying instead on strings. A nice change from the emotional – and stunning – remainder of the score.

04 – “4M2” – The Golden ChildJohn Barry

I couldn’t believe how disappointed with this score from John Barry once I had managed to hear it all. This particular track has many Barry-isms – and does remind me of his James Bond scores. And that’s why I particularly enjoy this short track.

05 – “Optic Nerves” – InnerSpaceJerry Goldsmith

There’s a quality to Goldsmith’s work that usually forgives some of his excesses. And this score – and this track in particular – where his use of electronics is bordering on annoying, tests my determination to stick with it for some excellent orchestral drama from Goldsmith. Much of the electronic effects here reminds me of what he did in Poltergeist II: The Other Side.

06 – “Main Title” – Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanJames Horner

For me, THIS is James Horner. At his best. Bold, brassy, sweeping. I remember when I first heard I was disappointed with what I heard (can’t remember if it was LP first then film or visa versa), but I played it often enough at the time that it certainly grew on me.

07 – “Suite” – Ward 13Christopher Gordon

I think that this may be the whole score for this animated short film. It’s a very accomplished piece of music starting off with much suspense – Gordon is very adept at using the strings of his orchestra to the full in this portion. The track really springs into life with the chase sequence: an exhausting orchestral tour de force. Twelve minutes of excellent music.

08 – “Emeline (2ème Version)” – La Rivière EspéranceBruno Coulais

A jaunty piece for strings and woodwind this. Quite classical in style and very European? From the artwork it looks like this could be a TV show (from the mid-90s). A nice little track that jumps out at me from Coulais’ work every so often.

09 – “First Night” – MirrorsJavier Navarrete

A short suspenseful track for strings, there’s not much more to say about it. Quite a simple piece of music but it is effective at putting one on edge, even when listening to it in the middle of other, completely unrelated pieces of music.

10 – “What Is Doomsday Machine / The Planet Killer” – Star Trek: The Doomsday MachineSol Kaplan

What I love about this track is the echo-y rising piano scale that just arrives completely out of the blue in amongst some suspenseful music. The latter half of the cue (featuring some subtle references to the main theme) does get a bit over-the-top with the brass fanfares of the device.

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