notes on film scores

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Amistad and Hot Shots: Part Deux have arrived. Also, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea from FSM.

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

Wyatt Earp and The Chamber arrived today. I'm concerned that Amistad has not arrived from Django's.

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Just ordered:
  • Eiger Sanction

  • Far and Away

Monday, July 23, 2001

I'm in the middle of the first listen to Prometheus' Rio Lobo. Jesus, it's hissy! I've been spoiled by the miracles wrought at FSM, I guess. The tracks are in order depending on the tape-source, which might make sense from some point of view, but the musical effect is questionable. The notes, perfectly readable, are movie-centric. Not much discussion of the music.

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Just received FSM's Between Heaven and Hell and Soldier of Fortune by Hugo Friedhofer. I haven't listened all the way through yet, but it's less Golden Agey than I would have thought. I have to confess that when I was a little kid I thought Hugo Friedhofer was a funny name. Kids are so ignorant.
Quick takes:

Saving Private Ryan - it's affecting and beautiful. But it is a bit dull. Deserves some more listens.

Sleepers- OK, I guess. I'll give it another shot.

Telarc's Music of Jerry Goldsmith - Except for the grandiose version of Room 222, there is nothing here at all. I really do not care for the concert arrangements. I'll probably sell this.

Friday, July 20, 2001

Sneakers and Jurassic Park III have arrived.
Re-ordered The Chamber (received July 25). Ordered Hot Shots, Part Deux (received July 28). Both from I think it was JJH on the FSM board who pointed me at Damn that day.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

Saving Private Ryan, The Man in the Moon, The Fugitive, The Battle of Britain and Telarc's The Music of Jerry Goldsmith arrived in today's mail. The Chamber, alas, will not be coming anytime soon because the seller "found a problem" with it. To be fair they refunded my money (in cash!) and sent me a copy of, er, A League of Their Own. They also promised to send me a copy of The Chamber if they find one. I won't hold my breath for that one. We'll see.

I had ordered the Telarc ages ago and I thought the order had been cancelled ... oh well.

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Already received Cop Land and Sleepers.

Sunday, July 15, 2001

Looking for Richard - Howard Shore

General Album Info - Liked the movie. Liked the music in the movie. Was not unreminded of Doyle's Henry V.

Very First Impression - Good.

Tiny Little Nutshell - Too much singin' Choral arrangements are a tad monolithic.

Track by Track

1. Richard, Duke of York 4:09
General Effect - Generally sad with bits of anger and desperation.
Highlight - The low horn fanfare.
Notes - A series of broad chords, evocative of an overture quickly usher in a full chorus singing a very Shore-like tune. Tympani strikes presage a Poseidon-like fanfare in low horns. The chorus reacts unemotionally to interruptions. A muscular rocking figure underpins a section where the men's voices predominate. A "Jesus" chord occurs near the end.

2. Queen Margaret 3:13
General Effect -
Highlight -
Notes - A sea-like figure in the cellos prepares the ground for chilly violins playing long sustained chords. Distant, occasional drum strikes impart a dawn battlefield aspect. Deeper strings come in on different lines, creating a denser sound. An organ chord concludes the cut.

3. Lady Anne Neville 10:29
General Effect - episodic
Highlight - march-like section
Notes - Starts off with a string figure and choral treatment right out of Henry V. As wind accents and layers are added, the Shore orchestrations predominate for a bit. The middle strings + oboe line really evokes Doyle. The chorus is in a less declamatory mood than before. Solo tenors a la Gregorian chant are introduced as part of a contemplative section. This is interrupted by a war-like, halting march. Trombones and tympani exchange lurches for a bit. A bit of seeming whimsy is performed by the bassoon for a brief stretch before giving over to high strings and clarinet. This transition leads to a section of women's chorus, who have picked up the staggering broken rhythm. The men respond in kind. A cappella women introduce an elegiac section only lightly supported by the orchestra. Tremolo violins and very high sopranos exchange a few notes with a high clarinet. The Doyle-like music is re-introduced with the addition of isolated triangle strikes. The general effect toward the end is that of a funeral cortege.

4. George, Duke of Clarence 11:42
General Effect - Still more dire happenings
Highlight - Big crescendo
Notes - The introduction is rhythmically cluttered, but clearly martial. The chorus is a tad more agitated, but still in a cold, unemotional state. Silences punctuate much of the material. The briefest glimpses of a calm resignation peep through a cloud of dire pronouncement. An insistent rhythmic figure (which somehow reminds me of High Noon) introduces a stretch of brass mutterings. This gives way to a calmish bit with the full orchestra,sitting on top of some Mahlerian brass voicing. The subtle organ has slipped in again, as well. Near the middle of the cue, a trumpet calls out. A solo soprano sings "Deus testificeteur." A quick, massive crescendo featuring strenuously sawing strings soon gives over to a canon-like construct in the strings. Soon the strings are much in parallel in an aria-like motif. Low men's voices along with low orchestral voices, somewhat subdued approach a liturgical mood. This mood is immediately amplified by an organ-accompanied paean which concludes the cue.

5. William, Lord Hastings 5:22
General Effect - Post-battle recriminations.
Highlight - Fanfares. Ostinato.
Notes - Trumpet fanfares. Alternate with introspective lines from low winds and strings. An ostinato under distant men's voices. Timpani crescendo. Brass accents. Louder ostinato. Dramatic finale.

6. Ghosts 4:05
General Effect - very violent
Highlight - descending figures
Notes - Driving string figure underneath full orchestra. Voices are still emotionally distant, but there may be recriminations in there. Broad-shouldered, descending figures predominate. Tuba pedal points. Field drums pick up the tempo in a deliberate and violent way. Men's voices, much agitated pronounce "Solus."

7. Henry, Earl of Richmond 6:02
General Effect -
Highlight - Giant crescendo
Notes - Distant tattoo on field drums is underpinned by a string bass drone. The chorus appears. Pining strings build up textures during a long crescendo culminating in a brass explosion. This volume is maintained, Goldenthal-like, for a considerable period. Trombone declamations break through the volume. The chorus continues to declaim their Latin. A few chords of resolution are allowed in the generally downward-trending chords. Men and drums pronounce the last word, "Domine."
I was browsing Django's (aka Cellophane Square) and ordered Cop Land.

Saturday, July 14, 2001

On a recommendation from the FSM message board. I picked up an extra cheap copy of The Man in the Moon (received July 19) from While browsing, I came across a Carter Burwell score, The Chamber, (refunded July 19) for not very much. These will also be experiments.
Every so often I find myself thinking that I have not listened to enough James Newton Howard. That sort of thinking led me to buy Restoration, a perfectly fine but not overwhelming piece of music. I thought the same thing about Wyatt Earp, but I never did buy that.

Title                         Composer            Used$     Amazon$   Intrada$  ordered

Dave Howard 9.99 14.99 -
Devil's Advocate Howard 7.99 15.99 15.99
Diggstown Howard 16.99 16.99
Dinosaur Howard 16.99
Dying Young Howard 9.99 14.99 -
The Fugitive Howard 2.99* 9.97 9.99 received
Grand Canyon Howard 7.97 11.97 11.99
Guilty By Suspicion Howard 7.99 16.99 16.99
Junior Howard 4.99 16.99 16.99
Just Cause Howard 9.99 16.99 16.99
Mumford Howard 16.99
Outbreak Howard 6.89 16.99 16.99
A Perfect Murder Howard 14.99 -
The Postman Howard 10.99 14.99 16.99
Primal Fear Howard 6.89 14.99 -
The Prince of Tides Howard 6.89 14.99 -
The Saint Of Fort Washington Howard 16.99 16.99
The Sixth Sense Howard 14.99 15.99
Snow Falling On Cedars Howard 16.99
Space Jam Howard 4.99 15.99 16.99
Stir Of Echoes Howard 16.99
Unbreakable Howard 9.99 14.99 16.99
Vertical Limit Howard 14.99 16.99
Waterworld Howard - 9.97 16.99
Wyatt Earp Howard 7.99 - - received
I've used the pre-order function at Amazon to order these soundtracks. It'll be an interesting experiment.

The Eiger Sanction: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Expires: Jul 28, 2001 (canceled)
The River: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Expires: Jul 28, 2001
Angela's Ashes [IMPORT]
Expires: Aug 11, 2001
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993 Film)
Expires: Aug 11, 2001 (canceled)
Kelly's Heroes (1970 Film) / The Cincinnati Kid (1965 Film)
Expires: Aug 11, 2001
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Expires: Aug 11, 2001
Far and Away
Expires: Aug 11, 2001 (canceled)
So many titles by John Williams that I meant to get around to buying.

Title                         Composer            Used$     Amazon$   Intrada$  ordered

Amistad Williams 7.99* 11.97 11.99 received
Angela's Ashes (Decca) Williams - 29.49 26.99
The Eiger Sanction Williams - 16.99 16.99
Far and Away Williams - 11.97 11.99
The Missouri Breaks Williams 8.00 14.99 15.99
The Patriot Williams 8.99 14.99 16.99
Penelope Williams - 15.19 14.99
Presumed Innocent Williams - 11.97 11.99
The River Williams - 14.99 16.99
Sabrina Williams 4.99 11.97 11.99
Saving Private Ryan Williams 6.95* 11.97 11.99 received
Sleepers Williams 4.99* 15.99 15.99 received
Stanley and Iris Williams 4.99 14.99 16.99
Stepmom Williams 4.99 14.98 16.99

Friday, July 13, 2001

Well, this is more of a wish / shopping list

Title Composer Used$ Amazon$ Intrada$ ordered

A.I. Williams 13.99 17.99
Around the World in 80 Days Young - - -
Atlantis Howard - 13.99 16.99
Battle of Britain Walton 11.19* 13.99 15.99 received
Cinema Paradiso Morricone - 14.99 19.99
Come Seee the Paradise Edelman - 16.99 16.99
The Conversation Shire - - 19.99* received
Final Fantasy Goldenthal - 13.99 17.99
Frankie and Johnny Moross - 16.99 -
Jurassic Park III Davis 11.99* 14.99 16.99 received
Kelly's Heroes Schifrin - 15.19 14.99
The Matrix Davis - 14.99 15.99
Mists of Avalon Holdridge - 14.99 15.99
On the Beach Gordon - 15.99 15.99
Quiet Man Young - 14.99 15.99
Rio Grande Young - 13.99 15.99
Rio Lobo Goldsmith - - 19.99* received
The Score Shore - 15.99 15.99
Sneakers Horner 5.95* 11.97 11.99 received