by Ennio Morricone
FIR - 5/10
of Joy by Ennio Morricone is a score that struggles to match the potency
of The Mission. It bears some
strong similarities mostly due to Morricone’s use of the choir and
flutes. At times, like in
track 2, The Family of the Poor, this score is truly a pleasure to listen
to. At other times, this
isn’t the case such as track 5 entitled Hope where the main theme is
played on the sitar and pizzicato strings…or their electronic equivalent.
It is just too synthetic and awkward.
Whenever Morricone stays with the simple woodwinds, strings, and
chorus, he hits the bulls-eye of enjoyable music.
This score warrants a first impression rating of 5 simply because
half of it is very enjoyable music and the other half is…well, meant to
be enjoyed in the context of the film.
by John Morris
FIR - 4/10
John Morris composer of the scores for
The Elephant Man and Blazing Saddles and Dirty Dancing delivers a suitable
score for this television adaptation of The Scarlett Letter.
It is indeed suitable but not spectacular.
It is a melancholy work lacking much fire or zeal.
The most dramatic music is found in the opening theme and track 10,
The Scarlet Letter, but even these pieces are on the hum-drum side.
The only break is found in track 11, The Marketplace, which is a
little celtic diddy.
by Alan Silvestri
FIR - 8/10
Never mind all of the edgy metal and alternative cuts, there is
enough score on this CD release to make it quite a nice addition to
anyone’s soundtrack collection. There
are seven tracks of Alan Silvestri’s brilliant score.
Here one will find foreshadows of Contact and echoes of Predator
and The Back to the Future Trilogy. Silvestri
can be an absolute master of the loud as well as of sweeping string
melodies. This score offers
some of the best of both. One
doesn’t have to look any further than the first score track, Judge Dredd
Main Theme. This track has it
all. The main theme is
bright, bold, and reaches the borderline of cornyness, but just stays this
side of that mistake. The
Sinfonia of London does a stellar job of communicating Silvestri’s
masterful composition and helps to make this easily one of Silvestri’s
by Thomas Newman
Thomas Newman comes with an unexpected
blend of unassuming orchestrations and Latin flavors in his score for Up
Close and Personal. At times
Newman relies upon some intriguing piano leads (track 2, A Week Eight Days
; track 6, Up Close) and at others mystical synths and woodwinds almost in
the line of Jeff Rona’s White Squall (track 3, Uprising).
Newman truly shows of his talents in Up Close and So Much Cherry
Piecrust, where he employs the piano and strings beautifully.
Newman uses his big bag of musical tricks to delight the ears of
the listener. Much of this
score is understated, but still very pleasurable especially if one is in a
somber, reflective mood.
by Anne Dudley
FIR - 8/10
Anne Dudley's somewhat
eclectic collage of ancient choruses, hymns, and and carols is a
brilliant, contemporary tribute to each work...without defiling
them. it is nearly impossible to believe that this female composer
was once with the eighties group (not too mention their reunion of '99),
The Art of Noise! This release is anything but noise. While it
is not a film score, it has come from the talented mind and hands of one
of the UK's and US's most popular film score composers. This CD is
filled with energy and life and can be very soothing to listen to, say on
a Sunday afternoon. Many of the pieces take on a similar feel to
Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings: Veni Sancte Spiritus, Coventry
Carol. There is a meditativeness to almost all of the tracks.
The single exception being The Holly and the Ivy. The tracks range
from light intensity to very deep. Anne Dudley certain shows off her
talents as a conductor and arranger and makes a wonderful case for the
pure talent of film composers against the accusations of the
By Don Davis
FIR - 8/10
This may be Don Davis' best! With adventurous,
swashbuckling themes and huge doses of bombast, this score shares many
qualities with some of the most recognizable scores from that category:
Cutthroat Island, The Pagemaster among others. In fact, it
would not hard to imagine such a score coming from James Horner,
himself. it is simply mahvelous. Further, Davis' use of
chorus is some what similar to Danny Elfman's earlier work and is quite
appealing. Right from the start Don Davis grabs a hold of the
listener and doesn't let go until completely satisfying the craving for
high spirited film music. Twenty-four tracks insures that!
Thank you Prometheus. Don Davis had ample time to work on his music
for this film and it shows. Not to be overlooked is the
"heart and innocence" of the films hero. These qualities
can be heard in several tracks such as The Lifespring Rhapsody, Ryan and
the Tunnel of Temptation and Ryan's Strengths. The Denver Symphony
Orchestra and Chorus do a fabulous job. They certainly should be
used more often. This score is musical heroism at it best.