July 17, 1999
The Deep End of the Ocean
Bernstein returns to a style that I have
missed since To Kill a Mockingbird. Very soft, innocent, mysterious
themes wrapped in the wonder of childhood- this is what makes To Kill a
Mockingbird my favorite Bernstein score and what makes The Deep End of the
Ocean a similarly enjoyable score. Interestingly, there are moments that
are very similar to John Williams' guitar centered score for Stepmom and
George Fenton's Dangerous Beauty. Not bad of scores to sound
The liner notes are forgettable except they do include some brief comments
by Bernstein on his score for the film.
Twister by Mark Mancina
FIR - 7/10
Ok. So I'm really late on this
one! Having several compilations CDs with excerpts from Mancina's
score, I just never got around to getting the original score CD. To
my delight having the score in its CD release- entirety is certainly worth
it. There are heart pounding, action sequences very much in line
with Zimmer's Backdraft and also some beautiful moments foreshadowing
Mancina's recent work for Return to Paradise. The only draw back is
the electric guitar that rips through a couple tracks. If it had
been just a bit more subdued it would have been tolerable. The show tune
from Oklahoma and the William Tell Overture don't fit in too well with the
rest of tracks and serve as a mighty big distraction. The liner notes are
unremarkable and lack track length information. The Media
Venture tradition is still represented well in this release.
Coming Soon! by John
FIR - 5/10
double CD release contains tons and tons of trailer music composed by
composer John Beal over many years. I must say the first track,
"Black Beauty" is my favorite of the whole release. It
bears a close resemblance to Edelman's "Gettysburg."
Another nice piece is "For Sir Charlie" which is Horner's
Rocketeer theme for all intents and purposes. After that much of the
CDs take a serious dip in "listenability." Other notable tracks
are however: "Alaska," "Ham's Prologue & Epilogue,"
"Miracle on 34th Street," "I Always Fall in Love with
Love," "Pagemaster Trail," "Basic Instinct
Theme," and "Ocean Song." Sonic Images never fails to
produce high quality sound as well as appealing packaging. Coming
Soon continues that tradition.
July 4, 1999
The Magnificent Seven
score is one of the most recognizable western scores of all time.
The score is marked by its high energy and intensity. At the same
time, there are themes that are innocent, reflective, and even
playful. It is one of Bernstein's best scores and began a great run
of work with director John Sturges as well as a run of work in western
scores. This is the first release of the original motion picture
score and given that, the recording is acceptable although not nearly as
crisp as the Ryko's release of The Return of the Magnificent Seven.
One draw back, if compared to Ryko's other recent releases, is that there
are no "sound bites" from this film of great lines. The
liner notes are, as expected, fabulous- a fold out "poster" with
many great behind the scenes-shots from the set and even the
The Return of the
by Elmer Bernstein
representing this sequel film about the saving-seven of the West, this
score remained the only representation of Bernstein's marvelous work for
the original Magnificent Seven film for many years. Bernstein chose
to utilize the score from the previous film for the simple reason.
While the film itself paled in comparison to it predecessor, for various
reasons, Bernstein's score remains strong and is much cleaner and spacious
in its recording. It is unfortunate that Bernstein did not employ
more new themes into this score, considering that he wrote some of his
best themes in the sixties and for western films. While his score
helped to infuse the propel the first film, his virtual-duplicate score
fails to the same for the sequel. The images of the first film are
too tightly woven with the themes and cues Bernstein originally wrote to
be transferred to another film- sequel or not. Once again, the
packaging is great and the fold-out poster blesses anyone who might get a hold
of this CD. Unlike Ryko's release of The Magnificent Seven, they
include several audio clips from the film, which is a welcome bonus.
Another of the "enhanced" features of this CD is the original
trailer for the film. Such additions as these to film score CD releases
certainly make sense since the music, while great in its own right, is one
thread in a great tapestry called film.
The Great Escape
The Magnificent Seven and its sequel came the 1963 hit film and score The
Great Escape. Bernstein's score
for this classic WWII flick is just that...classic! This enhanced CD
is full of great little "goodies." It is a must have if
for fans of the movie or Bernstein fans. Bernstein and
director Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) combine again to produce a
memorable film and score. Bernstein is again, like his work for
...Seven, able to combine powerful, triumphant themes with musical
moments of suspense, mystery, and tragedy- and he does so seamlessly.
Once again this Ryko disc holds more than just great music, but a plethora
of additional multimedia material which, without leaving the realm of
reality, could (and should) be standard issue for film score compact